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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 07-22-2010, 06:53 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Leaking-but from where???!!!

Hello -I'm a newbe here -I joined this forum for advice -I'll give it if I have it -but now need it because I don't!

My 2004 X3 has wet front rugs! I have had the sunroof gasket replaced ($500) and a rear window gasket replaced ($200) by local dealer. I had the rugs replaced under an insurance claim $2K –but there wet again.
Their repair jobs were done in two different companies so neither wants to own the problem! The insurance covered it once and they surely don’t want to hear that it’s still leaking.
The buggy is out of warrantee by two months--wouldn't you know it!

I am going to check around all I can –but none of the side of transmission hump is wet and vertical sections under dash also seem dry. Any advice on chasing this down –would be great. I’ll look for comments in the X3 forum.
Thanks
Jim
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2010, 08:13 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Likely, the sunroof drains are clogged. There is one in each "corner".
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2010, 08:24 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Likely, the sunroof drains are clogged. There is one in each "corner".
Or the vapor barriers (on front doors) are leaking. Have you ever done anything on your front doors?
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2010, 04:40 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is online now
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Sometimes the window washer fluid hose that runs to the back window will leak. I think it runs on the left side of the cabin.

Does your wet carpet smell like window washer fluid? If so, search the forum for washer fluid leak and wet carpets.

Good luck
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2010, 06:54 AM
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My bet

is that the door barriers are leaking. Please search this forum on the water barriers in the doors. I have posted pics previously on what and where to look for signs of this. Also, you can test your front drains very easily. Again search the forum for this procedure.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2010, 07:03 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1! This is a known problem and I would guess that with an '04 at some point the window regulators have failed and been replaced. Or the panel has been removed for some other reason (broken window replacement?). As an aside, I went through a car wash recently and noticed the floorboards were wet. Turned out the pax window was not quite up in the channel and it allowed water to enter the car.. I discovered that by lightly touching the switch in the driver's door it moved the window just slightly down. Now I hit the switches to be sure they are in full up before I go through a wash. Just a thought.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2010, 04:25 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Thumbs up Thanks for Advice

It is raining like crazy here in RI right now but tomorrow promises to be sunny. I'll check the four corners of the sun roof for proper draining -I assume a garden hose directed down the holes?
There seems to be a trend in your replys toward a door vapor barrier I'll give that a shot when I figure out how to remove the panel.

Washer fluid is a good idea but the smell is not there and leak is on port and starboard sides.

Jim
I just looked at photos and thread on water barriers--yep the vapor barrier could be the culprit

Last edited by jpmcguire; 07-23-2010 at 04:49 PM. Reason: after thought and work
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2010, 07:13 AM
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No water hose

Just get a cup, open the sunroof and slowly pour water into the channels that lead to the drains. Do not pour it into the wrong channel. You can easily see the front drain holes with a flashlight. The car need parked level. Pour water forward so it goes to the front drains and then as far back as you can so it flows to the rear. It should immediately pour out in a distinct stream. While your at it get some trimmer string and run up from the bottom to clear debris, you can't get it the whole way through due to a 90 degree fitting. I can't access either end of my rear drains to clear them however.

See the pics I posted about half way down on this thread. Also look at the first post on this thread where it says "water appears at this junction in the trim" You can pop or pry this trim piece up but look and see if water appears to be collecting here and spilling over into the floorboard first. Then pry it up and you can see if there is water underneath.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...450&highlight=
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2010, 08:49 AM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Thanks X3Extremist

? I had the car parked up hill in the driveway last night --back seat floors soaked. I removed the back seat-pulled out some trim and lifted the rug and under mat-foam pad. There was at least a 1/2 gallon of %^%# water under there!
Last time I had it parked facing down hill –water in front floors!! Is that is sign of something?
I looked at the door -rectangular holes -clean - dry: I looked at the door panels for signs of any water -dry as a bone in Arizona! Probably not vapor barrier as we suspected.
I'll look more at sun roof. Where do the channels drains rout to? Where can I see a picture of this stuff?
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2010, 09:51 AM
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Drains

The front dump out just behind the wheels from a black tube a few inches in from the side. Mine has a rubber flap over the end. Try squeezing this and see if junk comes out. Also run the trimmer cord up in. See if the top front drains have debris over them.

The rears on mine dump out somewhere up in the bumper area, I can' see it. If you remove wheel and wheel well liner you might be able to access.

Did you check to see if there is water in the rear storage compartment, and underneath cargo floor. Also check to see if the A and C pillars are wet and/or the roof liner itself. Since you have an 04 there is a TSB and SIB on this subject. Drains were updated at some point. A sunroof removal may be required to properly clear the drains. It has also been reported that the drain tubes have come detached from the sunroof apparatus itself on occasion. The dealer is going to want to replace the whole cassette which is not necessary. If you had it this long with no problem it should be able to be fixed.

Do you park it outside? If so all kinds of crap can accumulate in the drains, our did. Good luck, this is a particularly bothersome and problematic issue.
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2010, 03:53 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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TSB and SIB

I think a TSB is a technical Bulleten but you got me on the SIB? Does this mean I might have a recall and get it fixed on the BMW Corp tab?
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2010, 08:11 PM
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Service Information Bulletin

and sorry no such luck although you might give it a whirl, such a catastrophic failure with dire consequences should be stood behind by BMW but I haven't heard of it myself although others here might have had a different experience.
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2010, 06:36 AM
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Reply to PM

I got your PM but as I said lets keep things going here so you can get help from others who may have run into this and have alternative things to check.

To clarify, you did the drain test and got water immediately streaming from ALL FOUR corners of the vehicle? And the sills are dry, and it doesn't look like water is coming from between the door panel and the metal door framework as per my pictures I pointed you to. You have no water in the trunk area, underneath the cargo floor nor behind the two side panels than can be opened. Please confirm if all this is correct.

Does this problem affect both sides of the vehicle, driver and passenger? Does it happen while the vehicle is parked or do you have to be driving it for water to enter the cabin? Does is only happen when raining (a little, hard etc.)

Something to check, is the carpet wet up high in the very front, where it goes up underneath the dash, kind of where your toes point when seated. Water could be coming through the firewall somehow. This I believe is where it runs down if a sunroof drain tube is detached.

Another idea is that your AC drains could be blocked causing the water to drain into the cabin. With all the humidity we have been having a lot of water is generated, more than you might think.

You also mention you have spent a lot of money fixing this problem. What was done, who did it and why aren't they standing behind it. If it was a BMW dealer I would ask that they involve BMW NA and ask them for help with the situation.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2010, 06:45 AM
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Here is another thread

This might give you an idea of other points to consider. From this link I think an important question is raised. Are you parking with your nose pointed even slightly downhill?

And, could it be coolant from the rear washer hose that travels through the center console area?
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2010, 04:50 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Gave Up!

I have looked at all I can. Mby it is airconditioning condensation flowing into front floors then collecting enough to flow around the floor as we park up or down hill. I'm having the dealer do a through look at it --I'v got to stop the leak or I'll be selling the buggy at only 88K miles.
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2010, 05:25 PM
Speedo6 Speedo6 is offline
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I have had a couple of cars that have had leaks as you describe. It is a potentially very serious problem. There are all sorts of electronic sensors and wiring on the floor and if you are not careful you will get corrosion problem which will cause electrical trouble and big expense. I would get rid of the car or trade it in. We had a BMW mini which was leaking through the front windscreen seal. Unfortunately the ECU is position near the floor on this car and it caused serious corrosion requiring the ECU to be replaced.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2010, 06:23 AM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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we like the car too much to get rid of it yet--but if we cant find the leak -either we take the rugs out so we can monitor the water level -or we get rid of it. I really would like to buy another X3 but only if they leaking problem is solved or I'll find my self in the same situation with a new one.
Mby I'll buy a Ford!
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2010, 06:12 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Latest edition: Dealer thinks it's windshield. I don't --taking it home un-repaired. I'n not convinced water can get from ther to floor and not get somthing wet on the way?!
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  #19  
Old 07-28-2010, 08:07 PM
chazbo1952 chazbo1952 is offline
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Try the Water Doctor, They will come to your home or office, their speciaty is finding leaks.
http://www.waterdoctors.com/
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  #20  
Old 07-28-2010, 08:25 PM
Speedo6 Speedo6 is offline
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What is history of vehicle? Any accident damage repair or windscreen replacement? You should be able to source the leak. Lift carpets and then wet car with a hose from various positions and then watch when and where the water comes in. Do this carefully and you should be able to pick up the leak. You need to properly dry car out with a dehumidifier so that the carpets are fully dry otherwise you may not be able to tell when the water comes in. Other possibility is vent is blocked under the windscreen wipers.
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  #21  
Old 09-01-2010, 08:10 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Smile Found the leak!

After a lot of hits and misses the 'find' wes the airconditioning condensation drain tube. Some how it got full of junk and cloged. I thought that was the same drain tube as all the stuff in the firewall drain area but evidently it has a different start point. I'll need to do more digging to see where that really is.
Thanks for all your input gang.

Jim
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  #22  
Old 09-01-2010, 08:11 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Found it

Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
This might give you an idea of other points to consider. From this link I think an important question is raised. Are you parking with your nose pointed even slightly downhill?

And, could it be coolant from the rear washer hose that travels through the center console area?

After a lot of hits and misses the 'find' wes the airconditioning condensation drain tube. Some how it got full of junk and cloged. I thought that was the same drain tube as all the stuff in the firewall drain area but evidently it has a different start point. I'll need to do more digging to see where that really is.
Thanks for all your input gang.
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:13 AM
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More Info Please

Where is this tube located so that I can run some trimmer string up it for preventive maintenance
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  #24  
Old 09-02-2010, 01:19 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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don't know yet

I havent had a chance to go looking for it - I do plan on making that a project after the hurricane
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2010, 03:16 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
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Still got rug wet.

Took the x3 back to body shop again --the clogged hose they fished out -sprung a actual leak -a cut as it passed through floor area. I did not see the project but acording to the owner -who has take this on as a challenge--the whole dash area had to come out to get at it. I'm really glad he found it a challange and id it out of principle not for $$$. I am for ever indebedet to him for this dedication.
Anyone in RI let me say I have had a good dealing with Dennis at Cranston Autobody in where else Cranston RI

I'am a glutton for punisgnment --bought a 1999 323i (E36) Convertable this morning!
$3k 145K miles dirty !!!! dirty but seems soynd other wise. CU at the e36 forum for more details
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