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Ågent99 05-18-2006 01:18 PM

Glass rubber cover, windshield & rear window (E39)
I've notice on my 2001 530i that the rubber COVER around the windshield is drying out and has cracks perpendicular to the windshield. Near as I can tell, it does not leak.

Also, the rubber gasket/seal around the rear window is looking about the same. In fact, the two upper corners have pretty much dried out and cracked off.

Yeah, I know pics would help but I'll get those up later.

How is everyone elses holding up? Any cracking at all? Hmm, I wonder if I have any recourse with BMWNA...most likely not but there is no way these should be failing on a 5-year old car with under 70k on it, IMO.

SoCaLE39 05-18-2006 02:54 PM

I have the same problem however i fear who and how replacing them to look new and still function. Ive hear stories of replacements where paint is lifted, and/or scratched beneathe the rubber just so they can get the old seal out:eek:

chivas 05-18-2006 03:01 PM

funny you should post this. i just had my windshield replaced this morning for $270. it was pitted and i just couldn't deal with it anymore. it was replaced by PPG glass and when they did the seal, it was a thick coating around and not some wimpy thin strip. great place if anyone in north jersey is looking for a shop. they are located on Englewood. all the dealers use him and i've seen a few ferrari's there too.

Shark06 05-18-2006 03:25 PM

I'm noticing some cracking on my '00, but can't recall if my '97 had the same issues. :confused:

Vette528i 05-18-2006 03:47 PM

I just had my mouldings replaced front and rear, had local auto glass co do it and replace front windshield with new glass at same time, sure can see better at night now, the moulding can be replaced without removing glass but it is hard to do and you will probably scratch the paint, and it will be very hard to get them straight

Carbo3D 05-28-2006 10:44 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Yeah, same thing with my '99 528i. Chintzy rubber moulding around windshield is totally cracking all around. So bad that chunks fall out upon wiping after a wash. Need to replace ASAP. Maybe the pitted windshield will go, too. You'd swear this car is 20 years old!

harvoh126 05-28-2006 09:15 PM

If you live in a very hot climate, you will having this problem.

bchang2001 05-28-2006 11:12 PM

so i can just replace the front windshield with rubber seals from any of those glass companies that go to your house?

tcar 06-02-2006 10:56 AM

I have the same situation with my 2000 528IT and was told the rubber cannot be replaced without breaking the glass and I'm not in need of a new windshield at this time so here's what I did. I masked the glass and the paint leaving only the rubber exposed,took some silicone black adhesive sealant and covered it.You need to work fast and smooth it out and you can end up with a good looking job.I think you can get good results from black silicone window caulk.I'm satisfied with mine.I am also dissappointed with BMWs rubber and plastic. Good luck, tcar

Ågent99 06-02-2006 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by Carbo3D
Yeah, same thing with my '99 528i. Chintzy rubber moulding around windshield is totally cracking all around. So bad that chunks fall out upon wiping after a wash. Need to replace ASAP. Maybe the pitted windshield will go, too. You'd swear this car is 20 years old!

Yep, that is precisely how mine looks...looks to be 20 years old! Has anyone tried anything with BMW about this? Perhaps we should all start calling them and complaining. Maybe we can get something done a la the pixel problems!

Black_528isport 06-05-2006 11:44 AM

Mine is terrible... the BMW store in cincy said there was a recall on the strips, but mine didnt qualify.. I really wish I wouldve have it taken care right when I got mine.. :mad: Mine has completely chipped away.. looks horrible... Ive been quoted tons of off the wall prices to repair..:dunno: none anywhere near 270.00 or 300.00!

if we could still get something done SIGN ME UP!! ill do whateve to have this problem fixed... my weather stripping in the doors are all dried out too.. need that fixed bad..

Ågent99 06-05-2006 01:52 PM

Please post in here if your car is suffering from the problems as stated. Be sure to look at the pictures posted, too.

ChileBeem 06-05-2006 06:05 PM

my car, 02 540i Msport has dried out rubbers too, front and back. Not as bad as pictures, but just starting. My climate is So Cal type, hot and dry. All 540's I saw before buying mine had same problem. Sucks. I am going to try to stop them getting worse with "Gummi-Pflege", not sure if the URL works, but:

Again, as with Pixel problem, my car new is over 100K here, and it's not acceptable that it has this type of problem. Keep waxes and solvents off the rubbers, park in shade, should help.

spiker322 06-05-2006 07:52 PM

I went car shopping with my dad before he bought me my 528, and almost every 5er we looked at, 528, 540, 530, almost every single one had a cracked seal like this.

Carbo3D 06-05-2006 11:36 PM

Folks, we need to have this issue addressed. Be sure to click on my small photos above to enjoy the full-size photos of those cracks and missing chunks. No excuse for vehicles that are 4, 5, 6 years old. This should never be an issue, not even if this were a first year production vehicle. My 10-year old Nissan Altima didn't so much as have a hairline crack around the windshield moulding when I sold it....and that car was exposed to the exact same environment as my cracky '99 528i. This is NOT consistent with a manufacturer that prides itself on quality and craftsmanship, is it?

I've sent off an email to asking if there is any BMWNA repair/replacement program in place for issues such as this. I explained that I'm afraid if more chunks start to fall out the windshield may become unstable. I suggest all others join in the inquiry.

McCandless 06-06-2006 09:59 PM

My 99 528iA WAS the same way. As did "bimmer5michael" posting on a couple of other forums, I ignored the nay-sayers, bought the COVER and replaced it. Took about an hour and no tools other than an el-cheapo plastic putty knife. <$40 for the COVER. Notice my emphasis on the word "COVER". Because that is exactly what it is. It covers the gap between the body and the glass. The SEAL between the body and glass is the adhesive that the windshield is imbedded in during installation. Search the archives on RF and BimmerBoard for more details on the replacement process.
All that being said, I agree that the cover should most definitely last longer than it does. Heck, the windshield gasket on my long gone (but still in town and still running) 86 Dodge van is STILL in better shape today than the crap I peeled off the 528. The manufacturers CAN make this stuff to stand up to the environment but it costs a little more. For instance my city supplied trash bin is made of plastic. It's over 15 years old and sits in the Arizona sun at 4500 feet above sea level from sunrise to noon. It shows NO signs of even thinking about falling apart.

Ågent99 06-07-2006 08:05 AM


I'm confused...what exactly is the COVER and do you have part numbers or links or pics handy to guide us further?

Is this COVER only on the windshield? What about the rear window. My rear window's rubber is coming off in chunks as well.

Carbo3D 06-07-2006 04:17 PM

Keep this in mind: my REAR window moulding is in fine shape, leaving me to believe the front and back rubber compounds BMW used may have been different? My theory is based on the fact that my front and back have been exposed to the exact same elements and environment here in the L.A. area....but with completely opposite results. Agent 99 your 530i being from the Bay area is in a much cooler climate, so it seems one can't lay this off to the "climate being too extreme" or whatever. Still waiting for others to chime in with their own issues......

ChileBeem 06-07-2006 05:44 PM

do you have the part number on that cover?

Black_528isport 06-07-2006 07:54 PM

Let us know th outcome of this as soon as you know.. Mine is so bad it just recently started leaking slightly. drips out of the fuse panel cover low left of the sterring wheel.. I knew if we all join in we can try something...

Gh0sT 06-08-2006 02:53 PM

CRAP! I just noticed a few chunks from the front and rear corners are MISSING!!! I am talking about 1 - 2 inches completely GONE.

Whats sad is that I gotta 1987 NISSAN MAXIMA. And the rubber seals still looks GOOD.

Black_528isport 06-08-2006 08:13 PM

When I said fuse panel, I meant the obd cover.... ALL of mine is gone.. like they picked at it to make it look like nothing was wrong.. there are a few pieces here and there..

McCandless 06-09-2006 06:21 PM

The part number for the cover on my 99 528i is 51-31-8-159-784 and is illustrated at As is the one for the rear window. BTW, short of having your own copy of the BMW parts catalog (ETK), the "realoem" site is super for looking up your own part numbers.
There is no reason for confusion between SEAL and COVER. I was simply trying to encourage the use of the correct name for the part. We are all talking about the same piece of crap rubber around the edges of the windshield and rear window.
I was also trying to encourage the use of the search functions on the various forums to find answers to questions and other how to's. Here's what I posted on RF.

"1. GET THE REPLACEMENT COVER FIRST! So you have some idea of how it goes in. Besides, at this point you can always back out and return the part. :-)

2. Take the "foamy" blocks out at the junction of the fender, hood, and windshield (bottom left and right corners of the windshield) to reveal the ends of the cover/trim. Start there on each side and peel it out, up and across the top.

3. CLEAN the crud out of the area between the body and glass. I have found that REGULAR HARDWARE STORE lacquer thinner (NOT AUTOMOTIVE GRADE!!!!) won't harm the paint at all. So I DAMPENED a rag with it and GENTLY wiped the groove out. Don't flood it, you don't want to get it on the adhesive that is holding the windshield in!

4. On install, start with the section across the top of the windshield. Making sure it's centered L&R properly before you start working it over the edge of the glass. Takes considerable force and maybe even a few karate chops with the heel of your hand to get it in there.

PATIENCE, they say, is a virtue!
(Also keeps you from screwing things up!) :0)

Yes, slips over the edge of the glass. Only problem MIGHT be if "they" got really heavy on the adhesive. It might have glued the trim in so solid you can't get it out. My windshield appears to be the original and there were just a few short spots where the adhesive and the trim were in contact.

Look at it this way. If it gives you a hard time, you have the trim in hand already. Go to the glass folks and at least you won't get charged their markup for the part. :)"

sourkraut 06-12-2006 05:57 AM

:mad: I have a 99 528 in san fran,ca bay area that looks just like the posters photos and just had it replaced and the slass as well.Is there recall info? If so-I WANT IN!!!!!Quoted 321 for sekurit windshield glass and i supplied molding/reveal I bought online from bell BMW in N.J.My 20 year old volvos have the original rubber and have sat outside exposed all those years-so it's sad that BMW doesn't make theirs out of neoprene or something similiar.

slvr666 06-13-2006 06:23 AM

Am I the only '03 here with this problem? I agree %100 this is unacceptable. Specially on a car with factory warranty! I hope that this is not considered normal wear and tear and is still covered under warranty. I'll be making my way to the dealer next week, also have dead pixels on the radio. Love the car but scares me a little seeing such common parts fail on cars with outstanding reliability.

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