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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 09-10-2006, 11:25 PM
pinballmik pinballmik is offline
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e39 540, water in rear footwells / backfloor

I've been getting a lot of water on the back floor whenever there is a lot of rain. I found TSB 510400 and figure that is my problem. I put a trash bag on the inside of the door, closed it and then put a hose on the car. Sure enough there was a puddle of water in the trash bag. I've read that some people had success in getting the dealer to replace the vapor barriers out of warranty and thats what I'm hoping for. Before finding the service bulletin I took it to a friends bodyshop and he said they had to take out all the carpeting to let it dry. I folded the carpeting up to the front seats and got out a few gallons of water out. Has anyone else had this problem and went as far as taking out the front seats to take out carpeting so it can dry or am I fine just leaving the carpet/foam as is and letting it dry in the car?
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2006, 03:45 AM
shuriken shuriken is offline
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Only time I had lots of water in rear footwells was on my E34 535i, it was the door seal. Replaced that and end of problem. Is your problem from the seal inside the door? I don't know what TSB 510400 is sorry.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2006, 04:33 AM
nightkrawler nightkrawler is offline
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tsb=technical service bulletin, if you need to drain the water out of the car you can pop out the round drains in the floor.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2006, 04:37 PM
mike43068 mike43068 is offline
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Does the TSB mean that BMW will cover it under warranty?

I have a CPO 2002 530i. The rear passenger side seems to have this issue. The way I read the CPO coverage, it seems to me that this would not be covered under CPO.

If I mention the TSB number, will they cover it under the CPO warranty anyway?

Last edited by mike43068; 09-11-2006 at 05:31 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2006, 09:33 PM
pinballmik pinballmik is offline
how fast were u goin meow
Location: NJ, United States
 
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Thanks for the info about the drains in the floor nightKrawler. I'll give that a try. I guess my biggest concern is that the foam might get mildew if it doesn't dry out quick enough, so do I go through the work of ripping out the seats and the molding just to make sure the foam drys.

Went to my local dealer today and mentioned the TSB. They gave me an estimate, but wouldn't do anything to defray the cost. So, based on their suggestion I'm going to call BMW North America and see if they will cover it. According to this guy http://www.gatago.com/alt/autos/bmw/13703435.html he was able to get it covered out of warranty.

Mike
I guess its luck of the draw, but maybe since its CPOed you'd have a better shot. The dealer's complaint to me was that my car is 6 years old.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2006, 06:31 PM
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King King is offline
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Now that you have found the problem, you should try to fix it asap. I would really fight this one with the dealer and try to get it repaired under the CPO warranty. Tell them it's been an ongoing issue and you could not find the source of the problem. You might be able to use a wet/dry vaccum and get all the water out of the carpets. Leave the doors open and park it in the sun!: My only concern would be rust
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2006, 10:06 PM
shabbaman shabbaman is offline
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easy fix for a body shop

I had this problem and a friend of mine who owns a body shop fixed it for me. You need to replace the 'glue' that binds the vapor barrier to the back of the door panel. It's like a guey roof tar like material (I don't know what it's really called) and any body shop should have it.

I must have had water for a while because the door panel material (which is made of a pressed cardboard material) was soaked in water and became soft and pliable (not good). I let the door panel sit in my garage for about 4 days to let it air out and dry before it was reassembled.

Rust isn't an issue becase the parts that are getting wet are painted and protected.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2006, 08:36 AM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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I recently had the same problem but my dealer (who is good, not like most) traced it to a defective rubber seal in the bottom of the door itself. They first suspected vapor barrier, but that was not it. Just look at everything when diagnosing the problem and you should be able to find it.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2006, 09:13 AM
ShawnB ShawnB is offline
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+1 to the list who got this fixed under CPO. Fight it till they pay for it.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2006, 09:56 AM
darkstar darkstar is offline
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I have kind of the same issue, although the water does not make its way to the carpet.

I have noticed after a car wash, when I open the rear passenger door, a good amount of water splashes to the ground and the bottom part of the door jam and molding is wet. No rust on the car but the "M trim" molding on the bottom is discolored.

Car is still under warranty (my CPO coverage starts in November), so I need to make an appt very soon.

Do you think they will replace the molding as well?
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2006, 02:07 PM
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map map is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstar View Post
I have kind of the same issue, although the water does not make its way to the carpet.

I have noticed after a car wash, when I open the rear passenger door, a good amount of water splashes to the ground and the bottom part of the door jam and molding is wet. No rust on the car but the "M trim" molding on the bottom is discolored.

Car is still under warranty (my CPO coverage starts in November), so I need to make an appt very soon.

Do you think they will replace the molding as well?
I have this same issue but since no water is making it into the interior of the car I'm not too worried about it. Should I be?
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2006, 02:55 PM
mobilegun mobilegun is offline
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maybe. mine does it on the driver side but only if its really raining hard. 'normal' rain doesnt seem to do it just IMMENSE downpours. it might just be a plug if thats the case.
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2006, 10:34 PM
pinballmik pinballmik is offline
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if you are seeing the same issue but it looks like the carpet is not wet, check under the carpet. I first checked by taking out the 'mat locks' and looking through the hole. I was able to see that there was still water underneath even with a dry carpet. After pulling up the carpet I found the foam in the back was soaked even though the carpet was dry.

Picking up new vapor barriers from the dealer today. hopefully replacing them will fix the problem.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2006, 08:27 PM
Johnnie Watkins Johnnie Watkins is offline
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just had mine replaced at the dealer was inform by BMW representive at bmw of towson in maryland that this is not covered under CPO warranty.Paid 210.00 dollars.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2006, 09:38 PM
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kishg kishg is offline
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i noticed the same issue after a wash the other day, small amount of water, doesnt seem to happen when moving in rain. i guess i need to take it to the dealer. mine's still under factory warranty..
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2006, 11:31 AM
darkstar darkstar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstar View Post
I have kind of the same issue, although the water does not make its way to the carpet.

I have noticed after a car wash, when I open the rear passenger door, a good amount of water splashes to the ground and the bottom part of the door jam and molding is wet. No rust on the car but the "M trim" molding on the bottom is discolored.

Car is still under warranty (my CPO coverage starts in November), so I need to make an appt very soon.

Do you think they will replace the molding as well?

Brought it in for service last week. Replaced the vapor barrier and ordered the kickplate molding which was discolored as a result of the water. Car still under orginal warranty (ends next month, then CPO kicks in), so it didn't cost me anything.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2006, 03:00 PM
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530dsport 530dsport is offline
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move to de desert!! soz!!
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2006, 06:39 AM
jyoz jyoz is offline
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Door Leak

I havee had this problem on both rear doors. I have brought it back to the dealer 2x for the driver, the passenger door was fixed the 1st time. Will be calling for a service appt today. Funny thing is no one ever sits back there so it must have been doing it for awhile I just want it fixed before the winter so i don't have an ice rink or mushrooms back there. They re-glued the seal last time (i could smell the adhesive for months) I just want it fixed, If you guys have any suggestions to tell my dealer I would love to hear them.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2006, 07:39 AM
Cancan Cancan is offline
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Is there a site to search for various TSB's for my model and year of BMW? It would be handy to be able to search for various complaints you "think" you have and see if BMW has verified them?

Anyone know how and where to search for BMW TSB's?
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2006, 02:51 PM
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kishg kishg is offline
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what i don't get is i never have a problem even in heavy rain. only sometimes when i wash.. must be the angle of entry..
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  #21  
Old 10-20-2006, 08:02 PM
slackerou slackerou is offline
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Had a similar problem that water would puddle up behind my drivers seat. The water would travel down teh door frame and leaked through the the inside molding when it met up with the light at the bottom of the rear door. My friends and I had to pay close attentiona and this is what we found. Seems like the first owner of my 530i either had his kids swinging on the front door or strained it somehow so when the doors were closed we looked at the gap between where the front edge of the front door lines up with the rear edge of the rear door (close both doors and look at the gap by the door frame post between each door). This should be a consistent gap and we found our space was wider at the top and that the door rubber that seals the outside did not line up as well. We carefully use a 2x4 to brace the bottom of the driver's door and applied some force at the top of the door frame to bend it in just a tad so that gap space could be close to perfect as we could get it (this was nerver racking, I had to close my eyes at time doing this). Sure enough that stoped the leak. I just took my car in for service and complained about a rattling on my driver side door and they are replacing the door rubber as well under warranty.
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  #22  
Old 10-31-2006, 08:04 AM
jyoz jyoz is offline
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follow up

I brought my car into the dealer and it was, in fact, the gasket seal in the door. I thought that this problem had been fixed previously, but i guess it had not. Judging from this board it happens quite often. Last saturday was very wet here in Northern NJ and I had a nice puddle on the rear passenger floor, w/o driving the car. I thought it only happened when the car was driven in the rain. Hopefully this has been fixed. good luck to the rest of you.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2006, 09:33 AM
shmorgs shmorgs is offline
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Exactly the same problem

I have a 4.5 year old (out of warranty) 530iSport with low mileage and owned since new. About 10 days ago after heavy rain in the UK we noticed about 2cm of water in the rear passenger side footwell.....car is parked with nose slightly uphill.

BMW reckons passenger side seals have gone front and rear - good news is that BMW UK has offered to pay all labour and 50% parts leaving me with a very small bill to settle ( ). Problem they're having is that the foam is still wet after 3-4 days drying time in their workshop - so this definitely seems to be the problem if this happens to your car.....not an easy way to dry it quickly. Engineer is recommending to leave everything out for another 1-2 days before we pick it up......
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  #24  
Old 12-29-2007, 06:53 PM
blitz_g blitz_g is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 540i Sport
Door Leak

I had the same problem with the driver's side passenger door that had recently started leaking a quart or more of water in the floor board after a heavy rain. After doing some research I came to the conclusion that the problem was the vapor barrier. I had just come through 15 100 degree days with no rain. The next big rain & I had water in the floor board. Having a black car with afternoon sun on that door caused the selant on the vapor barrier to become dislodged on the lower portion -> hence leaking. So I had came across how someone just resealed the vapor barrier & the problem was gone. Ok fine so I removed the door panel of my 540 which has a door light at the bottom of the panel. Once I looked more closly I could see that water had come through the light housing. So I aleady had sealant to fix the seal, but after starting to apply that I decided that it would be difficult to know for sure if the seal was water tight. Well I happened to have some foil masking tape from Polyken that I had used for something else. Very useful stuff that you may have seen folks use to reduce car noise or vibration - very sticky tape with a layer of rubber covered by a layer of metal foil. It handles a wide temp ranges and makes an easy water tight seal. So I used that to re-seal the seam of the vapor barrier which I think will have a far better seal than out of the factory. Only downside being if someone has to get behind the vapor barrier then they would have to remove the tape, but even so I think that it would be a simple task. Anyway the leak is gone for me, and I don't have to break out the wet/dry vac anymore.

cheers & hope this helps someone else out b/c it sure is an annoying problem that I think is difficult to get sealed properly using typical sealant.
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  #25  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:52 PM
hurst01 hurst01 is offline
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Bad leak on 528i E39

I know this is an old thread but I am hoping someone will read it. I have a 2000 528i E39. I bought my wife a much newer 535i E60 about three years ago so the 528 hardly ever gets used. I jumped in it one day and took off. I heard water splashing and when I got home I found 3 inches of water in the drivers side rear floor. I also found about 6 inches of water in the spare tire well. The water was in there so long that there is a very foul odor and the carpet will have to come out. It has mildew hair growing on it.
It was bad enough that the cloth upholstery on the "A" piller air bags is peeling off. My Sister wants the car but I have to clean and dry the carpet first. Can anyone be specific on the seal in the door bottom that is leaking, or is it the weather strip that goes around the doors. Even at that, where is the water in the trunk coming from? I can't believe all the weather strip round all the doors and trunk will have to be replaced. They all look good. I will check further.
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