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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning, the first really cold morning we've had, I got in the car to find condensation not only covering the outside of my windows but also on the inside. All my windows were shut overnight and I can't figure out how any moisture got in. Anyone else experience this?
 

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Unless you are in a very dry, arid place, air usually contains a certain amount of moisture. When it is very cold outside, the air inside your car (with windows closed) will be warmer than the air outside. This air inside that comes in contact with the glass will result in condensation. This is the same thing that happens also in the windows inside your home.
 

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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But the car was sitting overnight so the air inside the car and the outside temp were about the same. All the inside condensation was there when I got in. It was so bad that I had to wipe the back window down with a rag to see out as the defogger didn't clear it off the back window and the front defog plus the AC didn't do it either. I've just never had this happen before to this extreme (the back window had a sheet of water on it) with this car or any others.
 

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Could be due to rapid drop in temperature. Also, there was a lot of rain in your area over the weekend.

BTW, I came back from Hartford yesterday. Wow, that was a lot of rain over the weekend. I saw three silver 330xi on I-90 and 84.
 

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Doesn't seem to me that anyone so far really addressed your question :(

You should only see condensation inside the car if the air inside is relatively humid, something that typically only occurs if there is something moist inside the car (a plant, bathing suit, or a generally high humidity environment like Hawaii, something like that). Then, if the temp outside drops dramatically (say, 70degF down to 30), condensation will form on the inside of the windows where the humid air is coming in contact with the very cold glass, just as it does on the outside of a beverage glass containing ice.

Barring this possibility, if there is an intrusion path into the cabin when some serious fog and cold temps roll in overnight, the same thing can happen, although this usually would require that a window or two was cracked an inch or so.

If none of this applies, I'd have the cabin checked for good airtight seal with everything closed and the ventilation system off. The quick, crude method of doing this is to compare the minimal effort necessary to close and latch a door both with all the windows up, and with a window opened several inches. The former should take noticably/considerably more effort due to the sealing effect of the cabin. If not, you've got a leak somewhere.
 

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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll give the seal test a try although I haven't noticed any difference in effort when closing the doors and I am not getting any whistling while driving to indicate a door or window is not sealing properly.

The shade on my moonroof jumped the track the other day so I have to see the dealer anyway. I'll have them take a peek as well.
 

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ERK said:
I'll give the seal test a try although I haven't noticed any difference in effort when closing the doors and I am not getting any whistling while driving to indicate a door or window is not sealing properly.
Remember, you're testing the minimal effort -- ideally, with a window rolled down, this is the door juuuuusssssst closing and clicking, not slamming at all. It's not too hard to get this down after 3-5 tries (BTW, we're talking about launching the door and letting it close and latch by itself -- not pushing it closed with your hand in contact the entire time). Once you have the feel for this, put the cabin in a sealed state (all windows up, climate system OFF so that vent flaps are closed), and try again. If well sealed, the door won't close with the same effort as before -- you'll have to slam it quite a bit harder to overcome the overpressure that builds when it closes.

IF you have a leak, it could come from a variety of places other than the door seals, so lacking any noise while driving doesn't necessarily mean anything. You could have a faulty climate system vent flap; the back seat might not be sealing out the trunk path well; many other possibilities.
 

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Was the AC running before you shut down the car?
 

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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The HACK said:
Was the AC running before you shut down the car?
No. I haven't run the AC in weeks.

Maybe some moisture from all the rain we got on Sat. into Sun. got in somewhere as I like to run with the sunroof tilted open to create a bit of fresh air movement in the cabin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dwallersv said:
Remember, you're testing the minimal effort -- ideally, with a window rolled down, this is the door juuuuusssssst closing and clicking, not slamming at all. It's not too hard to get this down after 3-5 tries (BTW, we're talking about launching the door and letting it close and latch by itself -- not pushing it closed with your hand in contact the entire time). Once you have the feel for this, put the cabin in a sealed state (all windows up, climate system OFF so that vent flaps are closed), and try again. If well sealed, the door won't close with the same effort as before -- you'll have to slam it quite a bit harder to overcome the overpressure that builds when it closes.

IF you have a leak, it could come from a variety of places other than the door seals, so lacking any noise while driving doesn't necessarily mean anything. You could have a faulty climate system vent flap; the back seat might not be sealing out the trunk path well; many other possibilities.
Thanks for the details! :thumbup: I've give that a try after work.
 

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ERK said:
Maybe some moisture from all the rain we got on Sat. into Sun. got in somewhere as I like to run with the sunroof tilted open to create a bit of fresh air movement in the cabin.
Man, that sounds like a really good candidate for the source of the moisture. Under those conditions, with the A/C off, the air in the cabin is going to get pretty saturated. Seal the thing up, and have the temp drop dramatically overnight, and what you experienced wouldn't be surprising at all.

The A/C will dry out the interior air significantly if it is on with recirc. I'd advise manually setting your climate system to run A/C, forced recirculation, and all three vent settings open (defrost, dash, and footwell), then adjust the temp and blower to your preference, when driving around as you describe above. Even if you have warm air coming out of the system, it still gets dried out by passing through the A/C evaporator first, before being routed through the heater core.

In fact, I'm surprised you didn't have a window fogging problem while driving, although if the outside temp wasn't too cold, clear windows isn't out of the question.

Dave
 

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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
dwallersv said:
Man, that sounds like a really good candidate for the source of the moisture. Under those conditions, with the A/C off, the air in the cabin is going to get pretty saturated. Seal the thing up, and have the temp drop dramatically overnight, and what you experienced wouldn't be surprising at all.

The A/C will dry out the interior air significantly if it is on with recirc. I'd advise manually setting your climate system to run A/C, forced recirculation, and all three vent settings open (defrost, dash, and footwell), then adjust the temp and blower to your preference, when driving around as you describe above. Even if you have warm air coming out of the system, it still gets dried out by passing through the A/C evaporator first, before being routed through the heater core.

In fact, I'm surprised you didn't have a window fogging problem while driving, although if the outside temp wasn't too cold, clear windows isn't out of the question.

Dave
Good stuff, Dave. That all sounds plausible. I didn't drive it yesterday so I am guessing it sat, sealed up with some moisture in it for 36 hours. The quick temp changes probably did bring out the inside condenstation. I am going to try to dry to car out tonight and see if it's not better in the morning.
 

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ERK said:
[elided...]
Should we refer to you as Effort Reducing Kit? :D

Got UUC on the brain...


Dave
 

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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
dwallersv said:
Should we refer to you as Effort Reducing Kit? :D

Got UUC on the brain...


Dave
huh? :dunno: the elided comment went over my head.

I've got UUC under my left foot. :D
 

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ERK said:


huh? :dunno: the elided comment went over my head.
From Websters:

Main Entry: elide
Pronunciation: i-'lId
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): elid·ed; elid·ing
Etymology: Latin elidere to strike out, from e- + laedere to injure by striking
Date: 1796
1 a : to suppress or alter (as a vowel or syllable) by elision b : to strike out (as a written word)
2 a : to leave out of consideration : OMIT b : CURTAIL, ABRIDGE

"Omit" is the closest meaning here... I was simply leaving out your text for brevity's sake (Brevity is quite a babe, by the way :yikes: )

I've got UUC under my left foot. :D
In case you weren't aware, the ERK is a part of UUC's short shifter products.

Dave
 

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Think Snow!
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
dwallersv said:
From Websters:

Main Entry: elide
Pronunciation: i-'lId
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): elid·ed; elid·ing
Etymology: Latin elidere to strike out, from e- + laedere to injure by striking
Date: 1796
1 a : to suppress or alter (as a vowel or syllable) by elision b : to strike out (as a written word)
2 a : to leave out of consideration : OMIT b : CURTAIL, ABRIDGE

"Omit" is the closest meaning here... I was simply leaving out your text for brevity's sake (Brevity is quite a babe, by the way :yikes: )In case you weren't aware, the ERK is a part of UUC's short shifter products.

Dave
Ohhhhh, now I get the elided comment. (I'm a bit slow...bear with me. ;) )

Anyway, I did a quick door test and the seals seem fine and on my way home yesterday I cranked the AC. It poured last night and this morning my car was dry as a bone inside. I guess it was just some residual moisture from the cracked sunroof. :thumbup:

Thanks for the help!
 
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