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Plate O' Shrimp
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I dodged a bullet today.

I had been having problems with the Nav DVD player. I'd just bought a cleaner DVD and popped it into the drive, which seemed to solve the problem.

Then I got to thinking that I should have a look under the spare. I don't look back there often, but whenever the car has electronic hiccups, I start thinking about that moonroof problem. So anyway, I went through the whole rigamarole to get down there - 4 layers of styrofoam, blah blah blah.

Well, as it turns out, the electronics are just that tiny bit damp to the touch. I lift out the platter in which they are arranged, and there is maybe a quarter inch of water in the very bottom of the pan - not enough to drench the electronics, but way too close for comfort.

So I cleaned it all out with towels, then air dried the bottom pan and the electronics themselves with careful use of a heat gun. Reassembled and thanked the whim that made me open it all up.

Started thinking that maybe it was the roof leaking, and I suppose it could be that. But also remembered that the other day when I was going to wash the car, I drove up a slight incline and over a speedbump in our parking structure with a bucket of warm water in the back. a little bit spilled, and I wonder if that is what found its way to the bottom of that pan. Hard to say.

I have the car booked in for service tomorrow anyway for what I suspect is a bad bearing on the right front wheel, so will have them make sure that the drain holes are not plugged at that time.

Moral of story: Check the compartment under your spare reasonably often. Even if the water doesn't drench the electronics, it is bound to create a humid environment that will cause problems with the components, not to mention rust the bottom of the car sooner or later.
 

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Started thinking that maybe it was the roof leaking, and I suppose it could be that. But also remembered that the other day when I was going to wash the car, I drove up a slight incline and over a speedbump in our parking structure with a bucket of warm water in the back. a little bit spilled, and I wonder if that is what found its way to the bottom of that pan. Hard to say.
I would have to guess a spilled bucket of water in the back.
 

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I had a whole bucket spill in the trunk and thought nothing of it other than it soaked a few books back there (I had not yet learned there were any electronics under the spare.) Took the iDrive going out, blown fuses, and eventually smoke pouring from my trunk to find the completely fried control unit down there in a pool of water.

Consider yourself lucky sir!
 

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I have one of those rubberized material trays in the trunk - in the US, WeatherTech makes them. Mine has raised lips at the edges of the tray, supposedly to contain spills. I wonder if those actually work. Anyway, I check spare tire pressure once every few months, so I guess I will start checking the electronics bay at the same time. Thanks for the warning.
 

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2006 535xi
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the two in the front you can see with the sunroof open. the two in the back you cannot. test how they drain by parking at an incline and pouring water into the gutter of the sunroof. turn car around at opposite incline to test the others. when i tested the rear drainage it took about 30 secs for the water to trickle out of the rear wheel well. it should be immediate and you should get exactly the amount you poored in. i brought mine into an indy and they found that the two rear drain pans were leaking like a sieve! they had to re-seal the sunroof cassette. you should also check the rear drain plugs to make sure they are not gooped up. browse the sunroof topics and you will find some great pics others have submitted. -OX
 

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the two in the front you can see with the sunroof open. the two in the back you cannot. test how they drain by parking at an incline and pooring water into the gutter of the sunroof. turn car around at opposite incline to test the others. when i tested the rear drainage it took about 30 secs for the water to trickle out of the rear wheel well. it should be immediate and you should get exactly the amount you poored in. i brought mine into an indy and they found that the two rear drain pans were leaking like a sieve! they had to re-seal the sunroof cassette. you should also check the rear drain plugs to make sure they are not gooped up. browse the sunroof topics and you will find some great pics others have submitted. -OX
Thanks man .....
 

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THANKS!!! Tons of great info about this ultimate driving machine. It rained tonight; gonna checkout those rear doors, sunroof and the sparetire tray first day break.
 

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Sleeper Wagon
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729 Posts
Every car wash I check my drains with a bottle of Poland spring.
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Will water from a Brita filter work? Trying to be environmentally friendly...:p Check mine regularly also after car washes.

Maybe someone should sell a water sensor for the bottom of the "electronics pit" that sets off an alarm if it detects moisture...:dunno:. I'd spend $100 to save $3000. Pulling the spare and all the packing is a PITA.
 

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I have not personally tried this yet, but saw on Amazon some water sensors for basements. About the size of a deck of cards and let out a loud squeal when wet. Ten dollars shipped, might be some cheap insurance, but not sure how wet they need to be to work.
 

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Sleeper Wagon
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I have not personally tried this yet, but saw on Amazon some water sensors for basements. About the size of a deck of cards and let out a loud squeal when wet. Ten dollars shipped, might be some cheap insurance, but not sure how wet they need to be to work.
Agree - They are supposed to detect 1/32 of an inch - which is way less than the 1/4" VVicar found in his car.

http://www.amazon.com/Water-Alarm-Detects-Leaks-Saves/dp/B000JOK11K

I'm surprised BMW hasn't re-badged these and trying to sell them for $150...:rofl: Course, then they would have admitted there is a problem.
 

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U of Dawgs
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:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
Darn! Why didn't I think of this? Thanks Phoenix1! I have one similar to this under my water heater. It goes to show...
 

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I have not personally tried this yet, but saw on Amazon some water sensors for basements. About the size of a deck of cards and let out a loud squeal when wet. Ten dollars shipped, might be some cheap insurance, but not sure how wet they need to be to work.
Great idea! Ordered 3 of them - free shipping. One for the trunk, one under the water heater and one for the laundry room.
 

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U of Dawgs
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Great idea! Ordered 3 of them - free shipping. One for the trunk, one under the water heater and one for the laundry room.
I actually ordered 3 as well. I ordered the ones with remote wired sensor so I can mount or velcro the alarm itself somewhere above the trunk floor for easy visual monitoring and battery testing/replacement. I will lay the sensor on the lowest point of the spare well...

This is very cheap peace of mind!!! :D It looks like I needed to thank both Nam11b and Phoenix2. Great idea guys! Geniuses, both of you!
 

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I actually ordered 3 as well. I ordered the ones with remote wired sensor so I can mount or velcro the alarm itself somewhere above the trunk floor for easy visual monitoring and battery testing/replacement. I will lay the sensor on the lowest point of the spare well...

This is very cheap peace of mind!!! :D It looks like I needed to thank both Nam11b and Phoenix2. Great idea guys! Geniuses, both of you!
Same here. I got the one linked by Phoenix1. Thanks guys.
 
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