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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 06-26-2011, 10:35 AM
HeavyJ HeavyJ is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i M-Sport
E39 Trunk Leak - Gas filler recess?

I have been suffering a trunk leak in my 2002 540i. When I removed the full spare, I had shale rust on the base of the well. Less than amazing.

- coming in somewhere on the battery side
- just removed right rear tail light, discovered one nut missing, gasket was ripped on the top.
- patched up gasket with silicon and replaced missing nut (greased bulbs and connectors)
- leaking taillight did not explain volume coming in
- water check with garden hose reveals leak in gas cap recess
- there is a dip behind the lower hinge point, seems to be an intentional drain, seems to drain directly into the trunk down the back side of the wheel arch.
- I will plug this and retest. My leak is definitely coming from the filler recess, but I cannot be absolutely certain this is the only place it is entering the car

Is this typical? Seriously man, WTF?

BTW, it's not just my tail lights and my gas filler recess, the rear door seals also leak badly. So good.

Any comments or corroborative experience to share?

J

Also saw this link:

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=493832
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2011, 11:00 AM
HeavyJ HeavyJ is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i M-Sport
- Removed filler recess door
- Yes, the dip is an intentional drain
- Internally, this drain must be directed or captured by a tube. When I get a chance, I will pull interior panels off to investigate.
- For now, I have sealed the dip with a dab of silicon (this cannot be a long term solution because the filler recess will hold water and ultimately cause the body panel joint to rust)

I will post the results of my drain tube investigation.

J
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2011, 08:05 PM
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Interesting, I have a 2001 540 M-Sport canadian market car, and there is a dip where you describe, but no hole. Dirt and debris collect there and I wipe it out, but it is simply a depression, no hole.
Your door leak problem is the vapor barrier, a common issue. Search "vapor barrier" and there are tips to fixing it. Basically you need to go to the dealer and buy some more of the 3M butyl rubber vapor barrier sealer, and also go to the hardware store and buy a wallpaper seam roller. Those two things and tips on this forum on removing the door panels and you will have that fixed in no time.

If your tail lights continue to leak, just order new foam seals. I decided to replace mine preventively recently, and just clean up everything behind them (there was a lot of gunk). The hardest part of the job is removing all of the old foam and cleaning the mating surface on the tailight. This ensures a tight seal to the new foam adhesive.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:48 AM
Fox Fox is offline
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Hi there,

I've got exactly the same problem with my 2002 530i. I also have a recess by the hinge which has a hole in it. When water enters the hole, it runs down under the battery and collects in the wheel well.

Is this hole intentional? Is it an actual drain point? I wonder why some have it and some don't - I had the entire wing replaced by BMW in 2006, so perhaps the newer type wings have a drain to prevent the rust problem you get in the filler cap area.

If it is a drain, where does it drain to? How do I get in to fix whatever is stopping that?

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2011, 12:42 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Fox,

Can you post a picture of your setup?
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2011, 01:19 PM
Fox Fox is offline
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Sure thing - here you go:

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  #7  
Old 08-10-2011, 02:18 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Interesting.

My car does not have this drain hole near the gas door.

But I think yours should have a rubber hose draining downward and maybe it is disconnected somewhere causing water to enter trunk???
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2011, 12:16 AM
Fox Fox is offline
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It must be something like that - question is, how do I access that area?
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2011, 04:01 AM
Fox Fox is offline
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Any ideas?
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:19 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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My 1998 528i has no drain hole that "Fox" mentioned.

I have learned a new habit when washing the car: I use towel to dry the gas filler recess after a car wash. Standing water is no good!

I took Fox's photo and place an arrow so people know what we are talking about.

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  #11  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:02 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I took Fox's photo and place an arrow so people know what we are talking about.
Well, I don't see an arrow, and I don't see a hole. But I can't even make out what we're looking at.

I'll look at mine to figure out what you guys are talking about.

Is all this from looking from the outside or from the inside of the trunk?
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:32 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Bluebee,

We are talking about the Gas Filler Cap area.
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2011, 11:38 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
We are talking about the Gas Filler Cap area.
I'm missing the whole point. No big deal, but, what is that photo showing?
PS: I don't see any arrows in the one photo in this thread ... reproduced below at 640x480 pixels.

Here's a picture of my gas filler cap area, for example.
PS: The arrow points to where all my money goes!

Q: Pray tell, where is what we're looking for on this picture?


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  #14  
Old 09-21-2011, 11:48 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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look at other thumbnail in your last posting, at 3-4 O'clock position there is a little hole looks like a "u" . early cars do not have it neither does my my2000 oct 99 production 528
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2011, 11:57 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JYG Y2k5285spCT View Post
look at other thumbnail in your last posting, at 3-4 O'clock position there is a little hole looks like a "u" . early cars do not have it neither does my my2000 oct 99 production 528
OK. I put a bright red arrow in the "3-4 O'clock position" where there is a "U".

Is that what the OP is talking about?

And, why does his picture look absolutely nothing like mine?

Are we talking about the same area of the vehicle?

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  #16  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:02 PM
xraye39 xraye39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
OK. I put a bright red arrow in the "3-4 O'clock position" where there is a "U".

Is that what the OP is talking about?

And, why does his picture look absolutely nothing like mine?

Are we talking about the same area of the vehicle?
About 1" to the left of the arrow in your foto, you are pointing at the fuel door, he is referencing the flat sill under gas cap.
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraye39 View Post
he is referencing the flat sill under gas cap.
Thanks. I think I'll just give up trying to understand (I don't seem to have a 'flat sill', for example, under 'my' gas cap).
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2011, 03:52 PM
Fox Fox is offline
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Just thought I'd bump this with some new info which might explain why some of you cannot find a drain hole inside the filler cap.

Just got another 530i - this one is a 530i Touring - and this one has NO drain hole inside the filler carp. It is an August 2002 car. My Sedan DOES have the drain hole, as photographed, but had a new wing fitted by BMW in late 2006.

I wonder if then BMW revised the design of the rear wing right at the end of E39 production to fix the rust inside the filler cap issue?
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  #19  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:39 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Sounds like you have it figured out....my 97 does not have the mouth slit hole in it...no rust either...but it is a transplant Portland car...no rust anywhere .
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  #20  
Old 11-28-2011, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox View Post
Just thought I'd bump this with some new info which might explain why some of you cannot find a drain hole inside the filler cap
My 2002 doesn't seem to have this u-shaped hole.

BTW, is the arrow finally showing where you guys are talking about a hole existing?



BTW, this thread has a LOT of information about what drains & leaks from the fuel filler recess area:
- When I spill gasoline and it flows into holes at 3 & 9 o'clock ... where does it go?

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Last edited by bluebee; 11-28-2011 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Added a reference thread ...
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  #21  
Old 06-08-2013, 12:35 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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Searching for my problem and found this thread. Interesting others are having issues too. Here is what I found out.

My car is a Dec 2002 production, '03 model year 530i sedan. US market. I bought my car used so no idea if the PO did anything in regards to this. But I didn't even see a recess where the mouth slit was supposed to be. So one day I take a knife and poke around and looks like someone filled the drain with bondo or something alike and painted it to match the car. Then my trunk started filling up with water. Wish I left it alone. Now I have to re-bondo and paint the hole. Annoying. You would think BMW would have thought about this and put a tube down to the wheel well liner area.
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  #22  
Old 01-21-2014, 08:55 AM
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See also:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > gas spillng from top of gas tank
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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