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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 08-20-2009, 05:46 PM
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3sons66 3sons66 is offline
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Standing water in rear passenger floor WTF?

Ok...so we had this terenchal downpour the other day. Went to take the carpets out of the back seat in my 02 540i Touring and there practically a puddle of water on the floor...it's flipp'n soaked! Where the hell did this come from. Checked by seals and appear fine. Anyone have this problem before? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:50 PM
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search vapor barrier
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:52 PM
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GusIsBoosted GusIsBoosted is offline
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haha had this happen in my old DSM.....

i had a puddle of water in the rear seat carpet......

i cleaned it all out.... but i still heard water...


took my (i kid you not) a MONTH, to finally check the trunk......... under the spare...... there was a HUGE puddle of water..........

Moral of the story is clean it, and dry it GOOD..... or rust will soon be in you life.
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2009, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lild View Post
search vapor barrier
+1... Been there
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2009, 07:16 PM
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jstover jstover is offline
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Pull the door pannel and reseal the vapor barrior with trim adhesive. You can find it at most auto part stores and comes in a tube. The problem goes away immediately. Make sure to vent the car or you will experience one of the worst smells you have ever smelled.
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:39 PM
Financeman Financeman is offline
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I had the same experience with my left rear door earlier this week following a similar downpour. I've been watching the problem develop for the last several months (water dripping from the door panel after washing) so I was just waiting for the situation to get bad enough to warrant a fix. I purchased some black RTV this evening and plan to pop the bottom clips of both rear doors this weekend and reseal the barrier back on the bottom and side. Seems like this minimal fix worked well for several on this board. We'll see. If that does not work, then I'll pull the entire panel and do a much more thorough job. Candidly, I've owned a bunch of cars in my life both expensive and cheap, none have ever had something like this occur on any of them.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusIsBoosted View Post
haha had this happen in my old DSM.....

i had a puddle of water in the rear seat carpet......

i cleaned it all out.... but i still heard water...


took my (i kid you not) a MONTH, to finally check the trunk......... under the spare...... there was a HUGE puddle of water..........

Moral of the story is clean it, and dry it GOOD..... or rust will soon be in you life.
What's a DSM?
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jstover View Post
Pull the door pannel and reseal the vapor barrior with trim adhesive. You can find it at most auto part stores and comes in a tube. The problem goes away immediately. Make sure to vent the car or you will experience one of the worst smells you have ever smelled.
Gonna get this done asap. What the fu#K??? I thought I bought a BMW..not a flipp'n Kia!!
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2009, 09:00 AM
jbrovage jbrovage is offline
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I've done this same repair on many cars i was the 2nd/Xth owner of. The culprit is usually a previous owner who "fixed" a window/door latch/speaker problem and neglected to reattach the vapor barrier, underestimating it's worth. sometimes it was just MISSING.

I'd also note if any small holes are in the sheet metal on the inner door. I had a VW that actually EXPECTED water to collect between the plastic vapor barrier and the INSIDE metal of the door. there were actual DRAIN HOLES in the metal, and if the RTV/DUMDUM wasn't installed just below the holes, the water would sit in that pocket until the adhesive would give up. Obviously make sure water drains out of the bottom of the door, too (there's drains there also) An older car seems to leak water into the door more, partly because the seal at the bottom of the window wears over time.

Side note, i've been plagued with a "water in the rear footwell" issue on my (cringes...) Grand Marquis for a long time, and only recently discovered the problem was a rubber grommet with a flap that's on the FIREWALL. the water would run along the outside of the car, then leak through this grommet. Then it would run from the firewall to the rear footwell before collecting. i never noticed the moisture in the front seat footwell because it would run in the ribbed channels under the carpet.

Lesson there is to check for wetness all over the inside of your car before dismantling lots of stuff. it isn't a guarantee that it's leaking at that door.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:20 AM
jallen jallen is offline
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99% chance that it is the vapor barrier.
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:27 AM
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paferri paferri is offline
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yep, had this issue in my wifes '99 VW passat wagon after a heavy downpour last fall and after checking sunroof drain at front doors and cutting them down, checked firewall and door seals etc, it ended up being the vapor barrier.
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2009, 01:46 PM
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It seems to be a big issue with these cars. I have the same issue with mine, and it is the vapor barrier. I have to open the doors as soon as I get out of the car wash and huge amounts of water pours out of the door. It's uspposed to be a big fix if you have the side airbags like mine does.
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2009, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 525iM View Post
It seems to be a big issue with these cars. I have the same issue with mine, and it is the vapor barrier. I have to open the doors as soon as I get out of the car wash and huge amounts of water pours out of the door. It's uspposed to be a big fix if you have the side airbags like mine does.
Got side airbags. Not a problem when I did mine. If you simply reseal you don't need to deal with the airbag module. In my case, the reseal with the Butyl rubber used by BMW failed twice so I bought new vapor barriers and had to pull the airbags out. Removed battery cable, waited 10 minutes, then pulled the module. Not a problem. And I'll say it again. "DUMB ASS DESIGN" by BMW.
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:26 PM
rjw0501 rjw0501 is offline
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Had same thing happen...rear passenger floor.

I had some paintless dent removal done, and it probably popped out the vapor barrier i hear about.

Will report back with the results.

-Bob
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2009, 05:11 PM
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87vert 87vert is offline
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I am also having a problem with water in the rear but I dont believe it is from the doors. because it is dry on those sides. It is mostly the hump and I felt the water coming out of the rear a/c area, the storage pocket under the vents was full of water. Any ideas? the car was out in the rain all day as I had the wifes car in the garage cleaning it to sell it.
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  #16  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:03 AM
rudeman rudeman is offline
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Originally Posted by 3sons66 View Post
Ok...so we had this terenchal downpour the other day. Went to take the carpets out of the back seat in my 02 540i Touring and there practically a puddle of water on the floor...it's flipp'n soaked! Where the hell did this come from. Checked by seals and appear fine. Anyone have this problem before? Thanks!
I have the same exact problem as water accumilates with big rains on the right rear passenger floor pan of my 2002 525 wagon. I have the passenger seat taken out, carpet pulled back and there is a lot of puddled water on the pan and the foam is soaked. By the look of the coorostion on the foam it appears to originate in the back portion of the floor pan (i.e. where the heels of your feet would reside of the rear passenger). I am not convinced this would be a vapor seal issue in the door. Who out there has solved this one?

Thanks
Rudy
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  #17  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:36 AM
vytama vytama is offline
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I had the same issue. I took the door panel out - vapour barrier was broken. Resealed it - no problem since. I would say start with that - it takes a few minutes to take the door panel out and you can visually see if the barrier is broken.
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  #18  
Old 01-05-2010, 12:54 PM
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This link should help: M5 Leaky door panel removal and fix.
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2010, 05:01 PM
Financeman Financeman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudeman View Post
I have the same exact problem as water accumilates with big rains on the right rear passenger floor pan of my 2002 525 wagon. I have the passenger seat taken out, carpet pulled back and there is a lot of puddled water on the pan and the foam is soaked. By the look of the coorostion on the foam it appears to originate in the back portion of the floor pan (i.e. where the heels of your feet would reside of the rear passenger). I am not convinced this would be a vapor seal issue in the door. Who out there has solved this one?

Thanks
Rudy
Your observations would make sense based on my experience. I discovered my rear vapor barrier was slightly detached along the back edge of the rear doors, likely the result of the physics of repeatedly being opened and slammed closed over the course of many years. I duplicated my leaks with a water hose before the repair and noted that water would come out of the vapor barrier along the back edge of the door, travel along the door panel, and then come into the car over the top of the inner rear rubber door seal and through thecourtesy light on the bottom of the door. The water initially puddled where your heels would reside - and then leak through the holes that hold the rear floor mats in place. I too did not believe this to be the source until seeing with my own eyes.
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2010, 05:33 PM
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LOL best thread title ever! Welcome to the E39 Mine leak too I've just been too lazy to fix and have a garage so it's rarely out in the rain. Still, it sucks when I get stuck in a downpour outside and my rear floorboards end up damp.
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  #21  
Old 02-14-2010, 01:56 PM
larryshomework larryshomework is offline
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Finally took the plunge to fix the vapor barrier problem. I was waiting for warmer weather so the butyl would be more workable but it was 50 today and more rain is coming.

Used the pics from the M5 fix to get the door panels off. I have an 03 530i and one difference was there were no screws behind the wood trim (not that I could find).

I ended up not fully removing the door panels - I popped all the pins with a trim tool and it came out enough to access the VB.

Sure enough, the VB was not connected on the rear wheel side (same on both rear doors). On the first one, I was pretty light with the butyl but went gonzo on the second one.

Just washed the car and the first door I did still lets a bit of water out of the door in places other than the drain. On the one I used more butyl tape on, all the water appears to be coming out of the drain hole.

It's an easy fix (if I can do it...). Thanks again to Bimmerfest posters!
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2010, 07:45 PM
kdaddy100 kdaddy100 is offline
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Cool BMW 530i e39 water on rear floor behind driver seat

I found a puddle of water behind the driver's seat in my BMW 530i. After a bit of research I found this site that shows you step-by-step how to correct this problem. I haven't tried it yet but it does seem logical that the leak is caused because the vapor barrier seal is worn out and that allows the water from the outside to leak into the door and ultimately onto the rear floor.

This link has the full fix to your problem As soon as the weather breaks, I'm going to do it. I will get back and let everyone know if it worked. I believe it will.

http://public.fotki.com/stilljester/...ol-sealer.html

Good Luck!!!!!

Last edited by kdaddy100; 03-14-2010 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Better title
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  #23  
Old 03-17-2010, 09:40 PM
bimmer91 bimmer91 is offline
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nvm

Last edited by bimmer91; 03-18-2010 at 08:23 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-23-2010, 01:04 PM
kdaddy100 kdaddy100 is offline
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Standing water in rear passenger floor WTF?

I don't know how its getting in. Apparently, according to this site http://public.fotki.com/stilljester/...por-barrier-r/ this is what needs to be done to stop the leaking.
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  #25  
Old 03-23-2010, 01:07 PM
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LOL wow you guys really have some catching up to do on the E39.
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