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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2007, 10:55 AM
sgnno sgnno is offline
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rain water leak passenger footwell

have a water leak into the passenger footwell on my 2001 325xi. I have had the vapor barrier replaced and the leak still appeared. On the second visit since the dealer could not find a problem with the right side vapor barrier they said they fixed the left side vapor barrier. Leak still there with the next rain. The dealer next checked the sun roof drains with the result that they damaged the shade screen which they replaced when I insisted that it was working before I brought vehicle in. Then they they informed me that I needed a new sunroof cassette ($1,300. +) leaking at both drivers drain holes. I declined the replacement sunroof. Had my local mechanic check the sunroof drain holes and they were unplugged. I am at a loss as to what to do now. Help
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2007, 11:50 AM
Big "J" Big "J" is offline
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This is a shot in the dark but, is the leak constantly there or just when it rains???

One thing that came to mind is on a different vehicle I had the heater core crack and leak. It was behind the glove box on the passenger side. Not sure where it is for the BMW e46, but that might be worth checking?
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2007, 12:56 PM
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soccerpapa soccerpapa is offline
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I think I can answer you. I have similar issues.

If you check the front passenger door bottom, you will see a round piece of rubber of size of a dollar coin >> I believe it is the source of the rain water. I can even see the matching water stain on the door frame step if I look closely.

btw, how much did you spend to get the vapor barrier fixed? thanks!

Last edited by soccerpapa; 12-02-2007 at 01:00 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2007, 11:22 AM
sgnno sgnno is offline
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rain water leak - vapor barrier

Cost to repair/replace vapor barrier-$75. Thanks for tip on drain plug. Will look at that.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2007, 11:27 AM
sgnno sgnno is offline
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rain water leak

leaks only after substantial rain.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2007, 09:26 AM
jaybouch jaybouch is offline
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I have the same issue with my 2002 325xi. Its been to the dealer twice and they claim nothing is plugged. It only happens after a significant rain.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2007, 10:18 AM
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odin328 odin328 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 alpine white 328i
same here 2000 323i leaks only after a substantial rain, had vapor barriers replaced checked and unclogged all drain holes, replaced sunroof seal. still leaks in drivers side front foot well. After doing all this the leak is not as bad anymore but it still leaks. I am going to check out the drain plug today. thanks for any help.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2007, 11:29 AM
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Test_Engineer Test_Engineer is offline
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Sometimes the drain in the HVAC unit will plug up with leaves or dirt or whatever and that housing will fill up with water and leak into the cabin. I'm not positive where it is on the E46, but most car will have a small tube that exits the firewall, usually about a 1/4" in diameter(this is typically where the small puddle of water comes from after using the A/C on a warm day). If you can find it and are able to get a small piece of wire or plastic to poke around in that hole, sometimes it will dislodge whatever is blocking it. Sometimes, the only way to fix it is to remove the dash and HVAC unit and clean it out.


Just a thought.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2007, 01:11 PM
GPalm GPalm is offline
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Passenger Leak

I had similar problem fixed before buying a used 01 325i. After several checks, they replaced passenger weather strip/seal and it has not leaked....

just a thought.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2007, 03:21 PM
Lbert Lbert is offline
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On one torrential rain, I actually saw water dripping off the door panel closest to the front. Place a towel underneath the door panel sometime when it rains. If it gets wet, then it is the weather seal. To get things done right, you have to do it yourself. The seal could be had at you local autozone for about $10.00. You will need to pull off the old seal from the door and from the foam panel and replace it with the new seal. Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2007, 06:01 PM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgnno View Post
leaks only after substantial rain.

same here, on a 99 328i, but mine had a little "pool" in the far corner, and then a thin, line of wet diagonally across the flat part of the floor, from left rear to the pubble at the right front.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2007, 11:17 AM
jaisonline jaisonline is offline
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i posted a few times about this topic in detail. do a search using my username spanning the last 4 years.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2007, 11:34 AM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaisonline View Post
i posted a few times about this topic in detail. do a search using my username spanning the last 4 years.


found em, only i dont have a sunroof, does this def mean its my door seal?
im way off warranty, do you guy know if this is a pricey fix.
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2007, 05:54 AM
jaisonline jaisonline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snikwad View Post
found em, only i dont have a sunroof, does this def mean its my door seal? im way off warranty, do you guy know if this is a pricey fix.
Then it's prob the vapor barrier. Door removal is easy. I'm not sure how much the plastic sheet-like vapor barrier is.

also be sure to sure your door's weather stripping. Any loose or cracked ones?
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Last edited by jaisonline; 12-30-2007 at 07:18 AM.
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2007, 06:49 AM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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when it rains lightly, and i get out of the car, there is moisture on my door sills, both sides.
in heavy rain it does the leak thing on the passenger side.
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2007, 07:20 AM
jaisonline jaisonline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snikwad View Post
when it rains lightly, and i get out of the car, there is moisture on my door sills, both sides.
in heavy rain it does the leak thing on the passenger side.
Did you check that door's window weather strips? If so and all is good, then you need a new vapor barrier.

Do you have a Bentley manual w/ door removal instructions? if not, checkout this site for instructions if you want to DIY.
http://www.bimmerdiy.com/dir/e46
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Missing my '02 325xi w/ manual trans


one good site: www.realoem.com
=========================
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2007, 01:10 PM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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i have solid confirmation, i saw the water trail over the sill from under the door and into the cabin.
def the door seal.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2007, 01:11 PM
jaisonline jaisonline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snikwad View Post
i have solid confirmation, i saw the water trail over the sill from under the door and into the cabin.
def the door seal.
i had the same thing. u need a new vapor varrier.
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=========================
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Missing my '02 325xi w/ manual trans


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=========================
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2007, 01:25 PM
fraggle fraggle is offline
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2003xi - passenger footwell

New to the forum, unfortunately my first post is about an issue (!)

There's a leak somewhere above the passenger footwell on my 2003 330xi. I know it isn't a door seal because I can reach up and put my finger behind the screw for the glovebox hinge (I think that's what it is) and there's a ton of water in there. Only when it rains - no coolant.

Any ideas? Anything simple? Such a nice car it would be a PITA to tear into it.

fraggle
'03 BMW 330xi
'87 Porsche 928
'75 Porsche 914
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2007, 01:30 PM
jaisonline jaisonline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fraggle View Post
New to the forum, unfortunately my first post is about an issue (!)

There's a leak somewhere above the passenger footwell on my 2003 330xi. I know it isn't a door seal because I can reach up and put my finger behind the screw for the glovebox hinge (I think that's what it is) and there's a ton of water in there. Only when it rains - no coolant.

Any ideas? Anything simple? Such a nice car it would be a PITA to tear into it.
search my older threads.
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=========================
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Missing my '02 325xi w/ manual trans


one good site: www.realoem.com
=========================
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  #21  
Old 12-30-2007, 10:10 PM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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Vapour barrier. Cool, ill look apricing it. Is it a DIY'er?
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  #22  
Old 01-03-2008, 05:55 PM
fraggle fraggle is offline
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thanks!

I'll be checking these things tomorrow.

Here's the thread that helped me out, for those too lazy to go searchin'.

Link
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  #23  
Old 01-03-2008, 07:05 PM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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Yeah, I saw that link.
I gotta take care of the vapor barrier thing tho.
That's what mine is for sure. I wish someone fixed it or found out what's involved in it. But it seems everyone just let the dealer deal with it.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2008, 12:18 PM
mani.b mani.b is offline
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Hi,

Some good suggestions on the link below, hope it helps.

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/po...tm?f=4&t=56501

Mani
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2008, 05:01 PM
snikwad snikwad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani.b View Post
Hi,

Some good suggestions on the link below, hope it helps.

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/po...tm?f=4&t=56501

Mani
Thanks Mani, nice lil trick but I doubt that will work for me since I saw the water drip from under the door over the sill and unto my carpet, saw the lil bugger with my own two eyes. So mine is def the vapour barrier.
Plus there is a playstation and a power converter under my glove box and a changer in it. So if I was coming from anywhere in the front, my car wouldve probably caught fire already.
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