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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 10-27-2006, 04:42 PM
ctfrasier ctfrasier is offline
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323i wet floorboard

I have a 200 323i and am getting water in the passenger side floorboard. Does anyone know where it might be coming from and how to fix it?
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2006, 04:51 PM
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PCStuff PCStuff is offline
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Check the AC drainage pipe (I'm assuming TN's still warm enough for the Auto AC to be on) - if it's clogged sometimes the moisture overflow would overflow into the passenger compartment.

Otherwise check the door seals I suppose ...
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2006, 05:35 PM
Anonymous Anonymous is offline
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when my e36 did that I just pulled out the carpet and burned it in the back yard. then I got some of that roll in bedliner for the floor and had the paint store mix it to my paint code. looks pretty good and mops up real well.
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2006, 06:18 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is online now
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Have you ever had a window regulator replaced on the passenger side? If so, then my money would be on the vapor barrier for that door.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2006, 10:45 AM
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silverbimmer3 silverbimmer3 is offline
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It was raining really hard the day before, and i found that the floor mat on the rear pass. side is all wet!!!

I check the roof and the side panel, and they both dry. Not sure where the heck the water came from. I am sure the windows were all closed during the rain...

Can you help??? Please~~~
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2006, 11:13 AM
roadkillrob roadkillrob is offline
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Ever had the windshield replaced? I have seen several cars where they did a poor enough job putting in a new windshield that they left a gap in the sealant large enough for water to get through and then it runs down the inside of the firewall and into the footwell.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2006, 12:00 PM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Vapor Barrier

Vapor Barrier, with the expectation you'v had window regulators replcaed at least once. Just had this problem myself yesterday. I had water on the drivers side rear footwell. But as the car was on an incline felt the wet trail and traced it to the front door. When I took the door panel off, sure enough there was about a 4" length where the vapor barrier was not attached. I happen to have the sticky stuff used to attach it, but there is usually enough already there. Heat it up with a hair dryer and it will stick real good. Also many of the little black rubber gaskets around the mounting pins were also missing. Don't think there are as critical but replaced them anyway. You can make your own if need be.

Took less then 15 minutes to fix.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2006, 05:52 PM
akhbhaat akhbhaat is offline
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Undoubtedly the vapor barrier.

Also, if you ever find water on or near the top of the rear seat (leaking from around the third brake light), there's a good chance the rubber grommet seal underneath the cell phone antenna has deteriorated. BMW dealership will want $110 for a new antenna mast, as the grommet isn't sold seperately, but you can pick up a rubber disc at a home improvement store for less than a dollar that do will the trick just fine with a bit of modification.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2006, 08:32 PM
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330ximd 330ximd is offline
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Had the same problem, it was the right front passenger side door's vapor barrier, the water was going to the back passenger area b/c the floor slants down that way, it was fixed under warranty though.
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2006, 01:36 PM
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silverbimmer3 silverbimmer3 is offline
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What does vapor barrier look like?? thanks!
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2006, 01:49 PM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Blavk molded foam sheet (m)

Once you remove the door panel you will see a black molded plastic foam sheet covering almost the entire door. That entire thing is the vapor barrier (you can't miss it.) There should be no tears, only holes to allow screws, wires and cables to pass. Also, it must be secured to the metal part of the door around the enitre perimiter, ESPECIALLY at the bottom (which is the primary source of leakage). This attachment must be waterproof and is done with a tacky, almost tar like material that never hardens. Sometimes you need to heat it up a bit to get it to stick good.

The vapor barrier must be removed to change the window regulator and this repair is the primary source of door leakage.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2006, 06:16 PM
ctfrasier ctfrasier is offline
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Thanks, I just had a window replaced after a break-in. Apparently Nashville's crackheads go around looking for visible change. They got $6.50 and cost me $329.
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2006, 08:42 AM
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silverbimmer3 silverbimmer3 is offline
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithS View Post
Once you remove the door panel you will see a black molded plastic foam sheet covering almost the entire door. That entire thing is the vapor barrier (you can't miss it.) There should be no tears, only holes to allow screws, wires and cables to pass. Also, it must be secured to the metal part of the door around the enitre perimiter, ESPECIALLY at the bottom (which is the primary source of leakage). This attachment must be waterproof and is done with a tacky, almost tar like material that never hardens. Sometimes you need to heat it up a bit to get it to stick good.

The vapor barrier must be removed to change the window regulator and this repair is the primary source of door leakage.

It was raining last night, and this morning, the passenger side rear seat floor is wet again. I found the wettest area is around the carpet lock (the round piece of plastic that secure the carpet to the chassis).

Is it possible that the water come from underneath?

oh my goodness~ please help!!
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2006, 09:07 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Not from underneath (m)

Not from underneath. It's your vapor barrier. The reason the water pooled to where the floor mat disc is because that's the lowest point of the floor, it slopes to the rear. It can be a leak in the front door that causes it get wet in the rear because of the slope. You need to check the vapor barriers.
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2006, 10:29 AM
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silverbimmer3 silverbimmer3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithS View Post
Not from underneath. It's your vapor barrier. The reason the water pooled to where the floor mat disc is because that's the lowest point of the floor, it slopes to the rear. It can be a leak in the front door that causes it get wet in the rear because of the slope. You need to check the vapor barriers.
Thanks, Keith....

Do I need to check both the front door and the rear on pass. side? Can I do it myself? I know hot to open the panel and stuff...

Thanks
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  #16  
Old 11-02-2006, 11:02 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Yes you can do yourself.

Yes you can do yourself. Getting the door panel off is the hard part. Checking and/or fixing the vapor barrier takes just a couple of minutes. ONce you get the panel off it will be obvious what you need to do. The molded panel has large indentations for speakers and the like. The water will drop in the door and land on top of the indentations. Then it will work is way around the back, and and defying gravity (wicking effect) come around to the underside of the moded indentation. Especially at this spot, if the barrier is not sealed properly to the metal part of the door, it's coming in the car.

I gave the instructions earlier in this thread how to fix the seal. See if the floor is wet under the front seat near the outside edge where the front seat track is. If wet, the leak is probably from the front door running to the back. IF dry, then probaby the rear door.

Just fixed this 2 days ago. It just rained but cannot tell for sure if really fixed until my wife brings the car back home tonight (hope/expecting a dry floor).
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  #17  
Old 11-02-2006, 01:10 PM
beemermike beemermike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctfrasier View Post
Thanks, I just had a window replaced after a break-in. Apparently Nashville's crackheads go around looking for visible change. They got $6.50 and cost me $329.
That Sucks!. I had the same thing happen to me about 6 months ago. They stole my briefcase and.....my cracked cup holder . They left my wallet which I keep in the little gap next to the handbrake (It had about $200) The window cost was about $300. I dont ever remember being so pissed
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  #18  
Old 11-03-2006, 08:30 AM
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silverbimmer3 silverbimmer3 is offline
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Thank you Keith... I will give it a try...

Talking about thieves, I once had the driver side mirror stolen - the repair shop told me that the thieve can rip the mirror off by his elbow and fore-arm...like taekundo...
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2006, 08:57 AM
mudarez mudarez is offline
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I resealed vapor barriers but still had leaking problem. Ended up being a kink in the drainage tube from sunroof. I paid someone to fix it, so I can't help with a DIY. My floor boards have gotten wet so many times, I have this terrible odor and I'm contemplating replacing the fabric. Not sure what that would cost. FRUSTRATING.
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  #20  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:35 PM
geebee43 geebee43 is offline
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Another place you might check is the windshield seal, especially at the bottom near the wipers. When I got my car (sept 2008) I noticed the original seal was dried and cracked. I got the old seal out and replaced it with a black marine sealant (polysulfide). After a rain recently I noticed the floor was wet on the passenger side. Checking the seal again I could see gaps at the top of the windshield. I guess my next option is to have a pro take out the windshield and put in a new mounting seal.
What may be a problem unique to where I live, Redding, California, the summer temps usually reach the 100 to 110 degree mark in a very hot sun. That would dry and crack the seal.
Good luck.
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  #21  
Old 01-10-2009, 11:00 AM
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delmarco delmarco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vavet5308 View Post
Have you ever had a window regulator replaced on the passenger side? If so, then my money would be on the vapor barrier for that door.
yup. I have the same problem.

It is that black foam goey bit inside the door that got unstuck or was not replaced correctly and rain water is trickling inside the door and down out onto the rug.

You also probably have wet windows when you wind them down and up again a day or tow after it rains.
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  #22  
Old 01-14-2009, 04:37 PM
Gunnau Gunnau is offline
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Mine has a leak in the rear drivers side passanger which in the case of the US cars is just the rear passanger.
I found the trail leading over the rear door seal right at the highest part beside the seat.
It was first thought to be the sunroof but no staining anywhere and it would not appear to be the door drain because there is no slooshing sounds. I am going to replace the door seal soon. In the short time, i keep an old towel to sop up the water.
Pelican Part will sell you a new seal for around $80.00. You can install it or get a mechanic or smash repairer to do it for you.
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