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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:00 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
Tail light condensation (I searched but I'm still asking.)

Today walking back to my car in a parking lot I noticed some condensation in my driver side tail light. I figured I'd just take it off there and figure out why. Searched a few googles in the parking lot. Most say it has something to do with tail light gasket. Ok I take out tail light to inspect. Gasket is fine still plyable. No tears nothing apparently wrong. Turn the tail light over and I'm covered in water. Yay looks like I pissed myself in a parking lot. Anyway... Gasket is good but something is leaking into my tail light some how. Any ideas Bimmer brothers?
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:15 PM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
What Speed Limit?
Location: Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDeGraff89 View Post
Yay looks like I pissed myself in a parking lot
They have adult diapers for that

No all kidding aside. Have you checked the assembly for any cracks or holes? If the gasket is fine then it must be some sort of opening that's letting water in. If you can, take the whole assembly apart and re-assemble it. Maybe then you can figure out what the problem is.

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  #3  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:17 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nfs021 View Post
They have adult diapers for that

No all kidding aside. Have you checked the assembly for any cracks or holes? If the gasket is fine then it must be some sort of opening that's letting water in. If you can, take the whole assembly apart and re-assemble it. Maybe then you can figure out what the problem is.

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There is some broken plastic around where one of the bulbs go. But technically should be on the "dry side". Ya know?
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:28 PM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
What Speed Limit?
Location: Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i
Yeah I just looked at both of mine. Beside being filled with cobwebs (bastard spiders) the gaskets look a bit worn but not too bad. I'll get them sorted soon before fall kicks in. Yeah the bulb area should technically be dry saying it's access is in the trunk. There's obviously something that's causing the water build up that badly. Keep investigating and let us know what you find. Things like that are always good to know about so I can check up on it too.

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  #5  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:30 PM
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Also other posts have mentioned the sunroof drains. But I haven't been able to locate them quite yet.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:33 PM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
What Speed Limit?
Location: Oregon, USA
 
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I thought the sunroof drains drain out through the wheel wells?

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  #7  
Old 08-03-2014, 05:59 PM
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Hey NSF. Just went out to the car with a pitcher of water. Poured it in the rain gutter in the trunk with the bulb holder pulled out. The foam gasket has seperated from the body of the car right. Above the turn signal. Light is technically sealed. But the gap between light and body is allowing water to enter via bulb holes fixed it with my finger buy pushing up on the foam until it was tight between both surfaces again. So yup.. Simple I guess.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:11 PM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
What Speed Limit?
Location: Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i
You gonna replace the gasket then? I've looked online and you'd be looking between $10-15 each for a new one depending where you buy from. Not cheap, but not horribly overpriced. Heck it might be one of those rare things that's actually cheaper to buy from the dealer if they give discounts to you like the one I go to does. When I reinstalled my lights, I also made sure that the bolts are nice and real snug too.

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  #9  
Old 08-03-2014, 06:15 PM
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I need to get part numbers. Because my assembly on the other side is missing two of the nuts. So yeah I'll. Be replacing but I want to walk in to the dealership with part numbers ready to go. Off to realOEM I go.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2014, 06:26 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
Gaskets: 63212161597

Bolts: 63259128043
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2014, 06:27 PM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
What Speed Limit?
Location: Oregon, USA
 
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Good to know.

I love that site. Don't know what I would do without it lol.

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  #12  
Old 08-04-2014, 06:58 AM
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Just bought the gaskets from ECS for 24 bucks total.
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2014, 08:59 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Yup, the taillight gaskets. Even though it might seem good, it's leaking. Replace them on my old 03 540i MSport and there's no more leaking/condensation.
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2014, 11:46 AM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Hey guys. I'm at work. But remembering my disection ffrom last night and I think PO may have installed these gaskets backwards. See to me it would make more sense to put the adhesive backed side against the car so it will hold. But on mine the adhesive is touching the tail light assembly. Which looks like way too mch adhesive for such a small surface area. The bolts should pull the tail light assembly into that foam.. Yeah? No?
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2014, 03:15 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Guys. Does anyone have a picture of the tail light with the gasket on? I'm not finding pictures of that side of the tail light at all. Apparently its not a selling point so its never shown.
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