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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2013, 08:34 PM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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2000 323i door leaks

Hi- My 2000 323i is leaking around all 4 doors and the carpets get wet every time there is a hard rain. The closet dealership is about 3 hours away, so I took it to a local shop. They said it was the vapor barriers but obviously didn't repair them properly, so not sure what to do at this point. I've heard there are ongoing issues with the doors in this model and others and I've watched some videos on You Tube. It seems that there are many different suggestions for dealing with this issue, and I'm thinking maybe I should just take it to the dealer. The car is in great shape otherwise, and needs some other minor work done. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.. Thanks, Dawn
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2013, 08:30 AM
scottjoh scottjoh is offline
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2000 323i door leaks

Take the door panel off and check the vapor barrier for places where it is not stuck to the door along the bottom edge. Buy some of there black tar like substance and fix it. If the vapor barrier is torn replace it.


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  #3  
Old 09-24-2013, 10:23 AM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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Thank you for the advice. I don't know if I can do it myself, so maybe what I will do is take it back to the shop and make sure they do it right.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2013, 11:18 AM
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ahull ahull is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnrn View Post
Thank you for the advice. I don't know if I can do it myself, so maybe what I will do is take it back to the shop and make sure they do it right.
if you've already paid them, not a bad approach to demand it get done right. you can tell them to heat the sealer tar with a heat gun/hairdryer to make it stick better. a fresh bead of the sealant will do better as well. at least you'll sound like you know something about it. might irritate them into doing a better job second time around..... having a woman tell them how they messed up
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2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD

Last edited by ahull; 09-24-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:30 PM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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Great advice, thank you! I think I'll make them show me the work before they put the panel back on the door too!
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:35 PM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Reusing the old door panel clips can also result in water leaks. Each clip has its own foam gasket, which flattens out as it ages and doesn't seal as well as it did when it was new. The gaskets can't be had separately, so including a set of new clips would be a good idea when reinstalling the door panels.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:49 PM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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OK will do, thanks for the tip!
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2013, 09:53 AM
ALM168 ALM168 is offline
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You might want to make sure that the drip holes in the bottom of the doors are not clogged.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2013, 05:31 PM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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Will do, thanks!
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2013, 04:09 PM
magicarpet magicarpet is offline
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Are your rubber door seals intact, not broken or cracked? Where is the water coming in from? Try this trick, get your garden hose out and pour the water to each door and look to see where it comes in. Make sure to spray it every where and make sure you do lots of water until it starts leaking again.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2013, 05:02 PM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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Thank you so much. I've seen some You Tube videos where people had done that and I thought about it too. Once you see water coming in, how do you determine what is causing it to leak, is it usually the vapor barrier and/or the seals? Thanks again.
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2013, 05:39 PM
magicarpet magicarpet is offline
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I don't believe it is the vapour barrier. It may be the rubber seal around the door or the doors dont fit right. Are the carpets wet after a heavy rain and you haven't driven it? Or are they wet after you drive it? Another trick: Open one door, roll the window up and take the sprayer off the hose and pour water down the window at the window ledge on the outside. Look for leaks.
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2013, 06:15 PM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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They started leaking about a year ago, and I noticed it after a heavy, driving rain. When I took it to the shop, they said the vapor barriers needed resealing and it stopped for about 4 months, then when it started again. It's so frustrating! I will try the hose trick and let you know what happens. Thank you for the tips!
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2013, 06:50 PM
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I would run the hose just on the outer ledge of the windows first to see if its the barriers. Then you can close the doors and douse around the edges. Otherwise you might not be able to differentiate if you reverse the order.

After fixing one of my regulators the barrier leaked even though I was very careful to re-stick it carefully. So I took the panel off again and took a half- thickness slice of new "ribbon seal" and added it to the existing seal goo. Full thickness would have been too much. Heated w hairdryer then pressed it back down. No leaks over last two years.
__________________
2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2013, 09:41 AM
dawnrn dawnrn is offline
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OK thanks. I'll do the water test and see what happens. Thanks for the good tips! Will keep you updated!
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