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

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:16 PM
anikaX3 anikaX3 is offline
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Location: Sacramento
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 E83
2004 BMW X3 Mystery Interior Cabin Leak

Hi, my 2004 X3 E83 regularly leaks into the rear driverís side door whenever it rains. During a heavy rain (probably twice a year) my two front sides get soaked as well. I have never had a problem with my rear passenger. After taking my car into two different shops, we have ruled out leaks through the sunroof lines and door seals. I have no idea as to how my front driver and passenger side floors get flooded. Through tests I have figured out that the water in the rear driver is leaking down through the bottom of the window, in through the door panel, and out of the bottom of the door (which is past the door seal) into my carpet. (see photos) The window seal is in good condition and looks no different than the other three. Hundreds of dollars later, no one has a solution!

Do I replace the window seals? Is there a way to make the seal run tighter along the bottom of the window? Where is the leak in the front of the car coming from?

I bought the car two years ago from Stevens Creek BMW in San Jose, CA without warranty. It wasnít until the rainy months that I had discovered the problem.
Iíd love to DIY so if anyone has had the same issue, feedback is appreciated!


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Old 12-28-2012, 12:59 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Location: chicago
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 895
Mein Auto: 2006 330i / 2007 X3
Clogged drain holes from sun roof?

Edit, looking at your photos, I'm guessing its failed vapor barriers/adhesive

Here's the problem on a E39, but its the same on the X3 if they fail

Last edited by bluskye; 12-28-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:22 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Location: Sacramento CA
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,279
Mein Auto: X3
Yep. It's your vapor barriers. Odds are the car had a window regulator replaced and the vapor barrier either shifted during reinstall or didn't have enough adhesive to stay fully in place.

Easy fix. Remove door panel and inspect barrier. Buy some butyl tape and reapply to inside edge carefully with a blow dryer.

Any body shop can do this for you for less than $200
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:12 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Location: Silicon Valley
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,596
Mein Auto: '09 Cayenne "S"
+1 Probably tried to just peel it off and then slap it back on without replacing the tape. While they are in there looking around check the drive dogs (cheap plastic) on the window regulator to see if it is showing signs of failure. If so probably a good time to do that as well.
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