Vapor Barrier Leak - wet foot well - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 05-13-2013, 05:19 PM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is offline
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Vapor Barrier Leak - wet foot well

I found my front passenger foot well was soaked after a rainstorm.

First, I checked the drains. All drains looked clear; sunroof, door, and cabin air filter area. During the next storm, I checked the door and I could see the water coming in at the bottom of the interior door panel - vapor barrier leak.

The original butyl tape was not dirty, so I just reactivated the stickiness using a heat gun and pressing down the vapor barrier to the sticky butyl. It is holding strong so far.
I did puchase 3M Window Weld, which looks just like the OEM butyl on the door. But it looks like the heat gun did the trick.

This is how a vapor barrier leaks.
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Last edited by al_macaroni; 05-13-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:08 PM
aturkinside aturkinside is offline
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Location: New Jersey
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330I ZHP
my footwells also were soaked after hard rain but only because the gasket (the one that runs all the way around the door) had rips and shreds towards the bottom and when too much rain goes into the gasket it overflows from the rips into the car. I actually punched more holes in the valley of the gasket to allow more spots for water to leak out9the factory holes were not enough). one place i punched a hole and sand fell out.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:00 PM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3
I just fixed this problem on my 2007. I went to O'reilly's and bought a 3M window seal kit and used that butyl to do the repair. Worked great. But, my vapor barrier wasnt torn.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:41 PM
MADBMWX1 MADBMWX1 is offline
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Al Macaroni...sorry, for highjacking your post, but I figure I share my story (2005 BMW X3) instead of creating another post...

I am this X3's second owner...
I noticed a bit of water around the door (inside) when I washed it, but it was not until we had a serious down pour that I noticed the standing water on both sides...
I have no idea why the pax side vapor barrier was torn the way you see below.

Location of water leak: rear driver and pax foot well.
What I checked: Weatherstrip-no issues. Sunroof drain-no issues
What I did:
1. Searched this forum
2. Removed door panel--using instructions I found on this forum
3. Used heat gun to Re-activate --as described above
4. Used a water hose to check for leaks and presto no more leaks....
5. BTW, BMW of Sterling, VA wanted to charge me $800, yes you read right, $800 to replace the Vapor Barrier and do all of the above--Nuts!
6. How about a few pics, huh?

Here's what I saw when I removed the pax door panel:

After re-heating:

This is how vapor barrier behind drivr side looked like...all was good, with the exception of the bottom...

Last edited by MADBMWX1; 07-17-2013 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:27 AM
sevarino sevarino is offline
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Location: Cheshire, CT
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 2003 530i, 2007 X3
vapor barriers

I've had this issue on both doors of my 2003 530i and one for the2007 X3. Expect to do this every 1-2 years if you use the "reheat" method to reattach the vapor barrier. I've had it last longer if you clear the vapor barrier itself of the butyl residue with a mild solvent (I use 3M adhesive remover) but be careful. I also use 3M window weld when replacing the butyl cord, but I'm not sure it will last longer as I've only had that for under 2 yrs so far.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:00 PM
MADBMWX1 MADBMWX1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 BMW X1
Thanks for the advise...definitely expect to go through this again in the future.
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