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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #126  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:14 AM
Alex Bemporad Alex Bemporad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC_1915 View Post
More details --- were the drains clogged? Did they cover this or prior as "good will"? How much $ in repairs?
They covered the repairs twice before, before it was diagnosed as rain and clogged drains. They want $4,600 and will "goodwill" $2,000. But they have said it will happen again. The car was always serviced by BMW and this was never mentioned, even with the prior experiences. A lawyer seems my only choice, but what do I do with it then? I hate having an unreliable car and unresponsive dealership.
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  #127  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:45 AM
bbal bbal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Bemporad View Post
They covered the repairs twice before, before it was diagnosed as rain and clogged drains. They want $4,600 and will "goodwill" $2,000. But they have said it will happen again. The car was always serviced by BMW and this was never mentioned, even with the prior experiences. A lawyer seems my only choice, but what do I do with it then? I hate having an unreliable car and unresponsive dealership.
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First I'd be sure to read this whole tread if you haven't already. There is some good info in here. After that, I'd contact the service manager and discuss the whole issue once you are as informed as possible (SIB in hand), maybe even print off this thread? If no luck there I'd take it to BMWNA. Still no luck? Attorney. If it gets to that point, I would definitely take your attorney the info on this thread. There are plenty of us on here who are upset that our wagons are apparently not built to withstand a rainstorm. Another option: parlay your frustration with the dealership into another car on good terms for you.
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  #128  
Old 02-05-2010, 12:52 PM
cwickberg cwickberg is online now
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I think an attorney is the way to go...i have a 2006 xiT as well...the bottom line is that BMW sells these in the US...I do not know how many wagons they sell, but i would be surprised if they sold more than 1000 a year in the US...Since the only way you can get a wagon is with the Panorama sunroof, BMW should acknowlege that they have a defect on these cars, especially with the number of failures compared to the total number of cars on the road...It should not take an attorney more than a few well written and threatening letters to BMW to acknowlege this ( since it is a small amount of cars, but a large % of vehicles that have this defect...) BWM should then pony up and offer a lifetime warranty on the sunroof, leak, electronics replacement...

I am in if you need some fodder for the attorneys as i am sure others on this board and others are...It seems that a disproportionate amount a vehicles are plagued by this and the dreaded rear suspension failure.
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  #129  
Old 03-08-2010, 09:53 PM
swiet535xi swiet535xi is offline
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The wagon is acting up again --- electronics cutting in and out, error messages popping on and off --- just after the most recent rains in LA. My wife actually called me from the car saying "If I'm killed in a wreck, make sure you know it was due to a malfunction of the car, and not from some random accident." We've got to make this public. It's not that much different than the Toyota nightmare. And, unfortunately, BMWs response is just as culpable. And if no one speaks out, it'll be covered up, just like Toyota plotted.

I'd be willing to start a series of testimonials -- truthful recounting of what happened when our German luxury cars could no longer withstand the trials of being parked outdoors. I'd be happy to put them together into something that could be made much more public. They've coddled us into a "If I can just get my car fixed, I'll go away" mentality. While I'm grateful to those who've posted DIY fixes or maintenance checks, we shouldn't have to do this.

This is not a minor complaint. We're not simply miffed that the cargo hold is wet, or the car smells damp. This is a design flaw with serious safety implications. Someone could be seriously injured or killed. BMW needs to be held accountable. If we won't do it, no one will.

Let's start filming right away. Who's here in CA? And would Mr. Stewart agree to an interview?
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  #130  
Old 03-09-2010, 02:12 PM
bbal bbal is offline
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The problem with bringing exposure to this issue is the low number of wagons sold in the U.S. If BMW is able to keep the multiple fuel delivery issues with the N54 quiet, it is hard to imagine how this issue that affects far fewer vehicles will get attention. I completely agree that it is a safety issue to have your car lose power in traffic. Many on this board disagree, as you can read under the multiple threads regarding the N54 HPFP/injector/fuel issues. It really is hard to believe that the sunroof problem is not a recall issue. Some BMW dealers have even refused to pay for damages caused by these problematic sunroofs even while under warranty, despite the fact that nowhere in the manual does it outline how to maintain the drain system, and it is not maintained during service visits either. I haven't suffered the issue with the sunroof yet (knock on wood) but I feel for those who have. Have you reported this to the NHTSA?
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  #131  
Old 03-16-2010, 07:05 PM
545ISMG4LIFE 545ISMG4LIFE is offline
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same story here guys with my 04 545i smg in the worse storm I end up with burnt computers and the car has no communication with its circuits all going kookoo....

Last edited by 545ISMG4LIFE; 03-16-2010 at 10:12 PM.
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  #132  
Old 05-08-2010, 03:34 AM
rickpaslawski rickpaslawski is offline
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Water Leakage - Valves on Rear Drain Tubes Clog

The main cause of water coming into the rear trunk is due to the valves at the bottom of the rear drain tubes clogging. Water nearly always leaks through the sunroof seals and is drained away via the four rubber pipes (2 at front, 2 at rear). The rear pipes have valves attached at the bottom ends and these will clog, especially after a period of dry weather when any gung, dirt or debris which has been washed down may solidify and block the valve. This has happened to me several times even after my BMW garage had fitted a new sunroof cassette AND fitted the redesigned valves as recommended by the factory for vehicles buit before Oct 2005. It is very likely that once you have had one instance of flooding then it will happen again eventually. Best solution is to have the valves removed so they cannot clog up again. There are no valves on the front tubes incidentally, and there are no reported cases of blockages of the front tubes!
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  #133  
Old 05-08-2010, 08:22 AM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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How do you get access to the rear valves? Are they inside the wheel well?
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  #134  
Old 05-08-2010, 10:29 AM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC_1915 View Post
How do you get access to the rear valves? Are they inside the wheel well?
I assume you have been going to the nearest dealership (Bellevue?). Have you tried Seattle to see if they can help you? Before you make any exploratory troubleshooting on your own, I recommend you read the link #1 below leading to the 2009 revision of the SIB covering your model. You will note that in this revision, BMW clearly stipulates that this defect and repair is covered by the new car limited warranty... did the techs install the absorbent kits on your previious visits regarding this issue?

On the sedan, per #2 below, major electrical damage can occur in the trunk area. The SIB requires them to drill 2 holes on the leading sealed stamped hole in the trunk recess to enable water to drain, AND relocate the electronics per the procedure attached.

#1 - Wagon: http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B540606g.htm

#2 - Sedan: http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B611306g.htm

Hopefully this will help your case a bit and get them to provide service your car needs.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf B611306Attachment.pdf (695.2 KB, 518 views)
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  #135  
Old 05-25-2010, 08:31 AM
rickpaslawski rickpaslawski is offline
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Redesign of Rear Drainage Sytem

Further to my earlier post re removal of rear drain valves. I had the latest redesigned sunroof cassette and rear drain valve fitted by BMW (UK) under warranty. This fixed the leakage for about 15 months, since when I have had several cases of water leakage into the rear trunk area of my March 2005 BMW 530d with the panoramic sunroof. I managed to spot the leaks before the water was not too deep so no electronics have been fried. Discussions with the foreman at my local BMW dealer indicated that the rear valves were really a design overkill and were unnecessary. Having little confidence in the BMW mechanics, and not being prepared to pay a labour charge of 120 per hour (over $180 at present exchange rates) I found an independent sunroof installer/repairer who had experience of this leakage from panoramic sunroofs on BMW X3/X5/530 touring models.
The removal of the valves (located at the rear of the vehicle within the rear bumper) appeared to fix the problem until I poured a bucket of water over the roof whilst washing the car! Thus the drain tubes, although not clogged, were apparently not able to pass water out of the car sufficiently quickly. Further examination showed that there was no blockage at the top of the pipes but that the BMW fitted drain tubes were are both small in diameter and quite soft and flexible. When these are installed each of the the pipes are held in place with four or so retaining clips; these clips gradually, over time, pinch or compress the tubes and greatly reduce the diameter of the drain tube. When pouring water slowly into the open sunroof these constricted tubes coped with passing the water from the drainage channel in the sunroof cassette to the outside of the vehicle, but when a greater volume of water needs to be handled the constrictions caused the drainage channel in the sunroof cassette to overflow as the tubes cannot pass water out fast enough.
This problem is exacerbated by the design of the drainage channel in the cassette. The lip is quite deep for most of the way round the perimeter of the cassette, but for a small length on both sides of the cassette the lip becomes quite shallow so making it vital that the drainage tubes can flow water out as freely as possible.
So the narrow and soft standard BMW fitted tubes have been replaced by the sunroof specialist with plastic tubing of larger diameter and of greater strength. Large quantities of water can now be handed by these replacement tubes, with the water pouring out very quickly from the exits on both sides and very close to the rear bumper; this compares to the slow trickle when the constricted, soft, small diameter BMW tubes were in place. However because of the reduction in the lip depth for a small distance on both sides of the cassette, a large intrusion of water may well cause another flood!
So it would appear this rather common water intrusion on BMWs with the panoramic sunroof is almost certainly the result of over-design (drain valves), poor choice of materials (too soft and too flexible rubber tubing), and bad design (sunroof cassette with varying lip depth).
Hopefully I should now experience far less flooding than before, but there is still a possibility that very heavy rain may well result in these modifications still not being able to cope completely. If it happens again I will permanently seal the sunroof with silicone and never raise it again!
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  #136  
Old 05-25-2010, 09:41 AM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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This is very helpful information, thank you! I noticed the drain tubes on my Subaru Forester were much larger.

Do you have more information about the original and replacement tube diameters?
Any information on installing them?

Also how do you get into the electronics area to check for water intrusion?
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  #137  
Old 05-26-2010, 01:45 AM
rickpaslawski rickpaslawski is offline
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Replacement Tube Sizes etc

The original BMW rubber tubes are around 13mm external diameter and 9mm internal diameter. The firmer plastic tubes used to replace the BMW original are around 17mm with a 13mm intrnal diameter. They are thermoplastic (heat sensitive) and have been shrunk onto the drain tubes at the rear of the drainage channels of the sunroof cassette, after being heated with a hair dryer. They have been retained with the original BMW clips which cannot crimp/compress as readily as the soft rubber BMW originals.
As the valves are discarded there is no need to remove the rear bumper to gain access to the valves as they can be cut off from inside the car; the lining underneat the car can be loosened to remove the free valves.
The electronics are at the bottom of the trunk, and as I have a temporary spare tyre can be accessed by removing the spare tyre, then the boot lining (needs a bit of force to pull it out of the retaining slots). then an expanded polystyrene moulding which is located above the wire looms and electronic units. Once removed you can see that there are no drainage holes anywhere so if water gets into the car there is nowhere for it to go - why is there not a drainage hole(s) to allow the water to escape and so avoid frying the electronics?
However there is no need to do all this in order to see if there has been any water intrusion. Just remove the flaps covering the hidden firts aid/battery compartment and the other compartment at the opposite side of the vehicle. Any water intrusion and the plastic trays within these compartments will be awash with water.
Incidentally in my experience the electronic instrument going haywire followed by warning messages occur braking or going round corners when the water lying at the bottom of the trunk will be washed over the electronics. If this happens I woukld recommend stopping the car asap and mopping up all the water; having followed this advice on several occassions I have been able to avoid any permanent damage to any of the electronics since the initial catastrophe which cost BMW around 5000 to repair/replace the sunroof/cassett/ all the electronic units/automatic tailgate motors etc.
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  #138  
Old 06-06-2010, 01:45 PM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
You will note that in this revision, BMW clearly stipulates that this defect and repair is covered by the new car limited warranty...
Actually the SIB says "(NEW) Provided that the water ingress is caused by a defect in material or workmanship, this repair can be claimed under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty."

Quote:
did the techs install the absorbent kits on your previious visits regarding this issue?
No, because they found blocked drains under Cause A. The TSB says to do the work in D only if nothing was found in A-C.

Quote:
On the sedan, per #2 below, major electrical damage can occur in the trunk area. The SIB requires them to drill 2 holes on the leading sealed stamped hole in the trunk recess to enable water to drain, AND relocate the electronics per the procedure attached.
There appears to be no such procedure for the wagon.
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  #139  
Old 06-08-2010, 07:06 AM
bubbakittie bubbakittie is offline
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Rick--

Thanks for all the information. I know it's only been a few weeks at least since your post, but how well are the larger tubes draining water? Or, rather, any water in the trunk since fitting of larger tubes?

Thanks! Fred
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  #140  
Old 06-08-2010, 11:03 AM
rickpaslawski rickpaslawski is offline
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Larger Tubes Working Well

Fred, we've had some pretty serious rain recently and the larger tubes are coping very well. The boot has remained completely dry, and I can now clearly see water dripping out in a steady fashion at the back of the rear wheel arches when it is raining heavily. I am now pretty confident that I have cracked the problem. I am also sure that if I had gone to my BMW dealer rather than involving an independent sunroof specialist I would have been told that a blockage in the tubes had been found and rectified rather than admitting to the crimping that had been caused by the clips pressing on the soft rubber BMW tubes and thus severely restricting the flow of the water ingress from the sunroof. I will post another response in a few months time even if all is still well, and obviously if I do get another flood I will own up to that as well!
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  #141  
Old 06-08-2010, 11:31 AM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Here is another question: has anyone with a wagon had the rubber seal around the glass replaced? (Section C of SIB) The tolerances for the distance between glass and roof are pretty specific (5.8mm +/- 0.3mm) and the seal could also deteriorate.

If the system can only outflow so much water, perhaps a bigger issue is the amount of water getting IN to the cassette. Remember these drains are the backup system, the glass to body seal itself should be relatively watertight.
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  #142  
Old 06-09-2010, 01:39 AM
rickpaslawski rickpaslawski is offline
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Sunroof Seal

The whole of the sunroof cassette was replaced by BMW about 18 months ago, which included fitting of new seals, and I started getting flooding some fifteen months after this replacement. It is my understanding that these large panoramic sunroofs ALWAYS leak to a greater or lesser extent. Remember that they are in two sections as well, so there is a large amount of seal area, and the mode of operation of these roofs (two areas of glass which tilt upwards) make it very difficult if not impossible to create a waterproof seal, especially I suspect in the join between the two glass panels. Thus the tubes and drainage channels are there as a water management system and not as a last ditch defence mechanism.
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  #143  
Old 06-23-2010, 11:13 PM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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In other German engineering news, Audi had some kind of class action suit against them because they didn't disclose required "drain cleaning" in owner's manual and therefore should not have made customers pay for repairs caused by clogs. I don't have more details other than a friend with an Audi who got a settlement letter.

VW has some broad TSB requiring the removal of flapper valves on the VW drains, because of them not allowing debris out.

BMW appears to have failed on both of these counts, not disclosing that the drains need cleaning in the owner's manual, and also a design that doesn't let the normal debris out.

BTW our car is back in the shop, full of water. I'm not going to go into any details until the repair is complete, other than to say I took it in about a month ago telling them there was a lot of water sitting in the sunroof cassette and to check the drains, which they said was normal and that the water would just drain out. Well, apparently it wasn't "normal"... and the water was draining out, just into the trunk.
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  #144  
Old 06-30-2010, 03:27 AM
Burj530 Burj530 is offline
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Guys,

Believe it or not I have the same problem in a country (Qatar) receives so little rain. I am driving a 530 2007 with only 33K on the clock and is being covered by extended warranty.

I noted the water stain appeared on the upholstery on both sides back seat, goes in parallel with the C pillar. Took it to the dealer and they said the window has to be re-sealed. They did some pressure test and found there is nothing wrong with the rear window seal and later realized it was the clogged sunroof drain caused the problem. They cleaned the roof drain and sent me a bill; 400 USD.

I used the same lines most of you have used when dealing with SA; 1. it's a design problem. 2. There is no way the owner can prevent the clog. Even it only rains 50 mm per year I still have to wash the car. 3. I still have the warranty.

The SA refused to listen to me and we had a big fight. I have to make an appointment next day to talk to the workshop and warranty manager to complain about the bull**** manner from the SA and the entire drama of the sunroof drain. I even printed out the entire thread and told them nowadays owners are as informative, if not better, as the SA. They listened, explained that even there were recalls but my car is not included and my case is the first one in Qatar.

At the end of the day, the SA still kept his job and my bill has been reduced to 150 USD. Am I happy? No. The water stain is still there and I have to find a way to remove it. Any experience?
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  #145  
Old 06-30-2010, 12:29 PM
caden caden is offline
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Fortunately my 535i is fine. The E53 had the sunroof repaired twice. The tech told me to avoid not just parking outside during a rainstorm, but on an incline during a rainstorm. Hmmm....
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  #146  
Old 07-12-2010, 04:15 PM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC_1915 View Post
BTW our car is back in the shop, full of water. I'm not going to go into any details until the repair is complete, other than to say I took it in about a month ago telling them there was a lot of water sitting in the sunroof cassette and to check the drains, which they said was normal and that the water would just drain out. Well, apparently it wasn't "normal"... and the water was draining out, just into the trunk.
OK, so finally got the car back. Here is the short chronology:

- took the car in because of water sitting in the drain channel around front of sunroof (they said it was normal)
- a month later PDC, RDC, ride level warning lights, as well as stereo on the fritz etc.
- took trunk panels out to find water streaming down the LH D pillar wiring harness onto the stereo amp and also the spare wheel well was full of water
- the electronic modules sit in a styrofoam tray under the spare tire, they were all wet
- dealer "couldn't find the leak" and took it to a "trim shop"
- trim shop backed another car into both LH doors, $5k damage covered by trim shop insurance
- after body damage was fixed, dealer replaced sunroof seal and adjusted glass per TSB (they said the drains weren't blocked)
- electronics were dried out and everything works ok now (so they say)
- went to pick car up, and new sunroof seal was torn, so they replaced it again
- everything covered under warranty (other than the accident damage, covered by trim shop's insurance)
- picked car up today, car was off the road for over a month

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  #147  
Old 07-12-2010, 04:20 PM
obi.wan obi.wan is offline
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you still sane?

For the trim shop
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  #148  
Old 07-12-2010, 08:05 PM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obi.wan View Post
you still sane?
barely. Our service advisor has been pretty helpful during the whole thing, but it doesn't undo what happened.
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  #149  
Old 07-12-2010, 08:58 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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So what did they do about your electronics?
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Last edited by Nube1kenobi; 07-12-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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  #150  
Old 07-13-2010, 07:20 AM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
So what did they do about your electronics?
Dried out and reinstalled. Interesting, when customers are paying for it (clogged drains), the electronics are replaced....
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