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Discussion Starter #1
We might just have to start calling my E61 "Christine". She's seems to have gotten upset that I was spending all my free time working on a master bath remodel.

Two or three weeks ago I replaced the rear shocks, replaced a bad rear level sensor, inspected and recalibrated the rear air suspension system, and cleaned / replaced the steering angle sensor. After a successful test drive I went in take a shower. An hour later I go out to grab some lunch and I get a gear shift lever malfunction. A couple of hours of googling and ripping apart the dash and center console and I find a bad $3 microswitch that lets the car know that the shift lever is in park. After a week of trying unsuccessfully to locate that switch I end up at a couple of salvage yards. Picked up a used shift lever for $40 to steal the microswitch from and I'm back on the road.

Now parking the car outside so I can store lumber needed to lower the master bath ceiling and install a tray. Last Wednesday we got a heavy ran. On Thursday went to go to lunch, and the radio came on all by it self. Then a few moments later it started cutting in and out every few seconds. All this while, several of the steering wheel controls are not working. The radio power/volume knob is not working. The iDrive joystick is not working. Then all of a sudden the iDrive reboots. When it comes back everything is working fine. My first thought was battery issues.

I drove to Autozone to get the battery tested. Technician connected the tester to the jump points under the hood to test the alternator. Started the car. He initially tells me the voltage is too low. Then, "oh, wait, it's ok." Then a few moments later says the voltage is fine right now but fluctuating. Tester indicates that one of the three tests failed. Seems the alternator is on it's way out.

We move to the trunk to test the cold cranking amps. There's no easy way to connect the test lead to the positive terminal with the bulk of the BST in the way. We decide to disconnect it. The tech goes to put a socket on it and it moves. The positive cable is loose. Now, I remove the negative cable quite often with just about every repair job. But I never touch the positive cable. No idea how long it's been loose. We remove it completely and test the battery. It tested good.

Can a loose positive cable cause a faulty reading on the alternator? Should I retest it now that the battery cable is tightened?

Friday I need my favorite flashlight out of the trunk of the wagon. I go out to the car and open the trunk. Everything looks normal. I've got a trunk mat which is completely dry. I lift the mat and storage lid to get the flashlight. It's wet. The canvas shopping bags I store in there are soaked. I start pulling everything out. The bottom of the front storage compartment is wet, but the compartment lid is dry top and bottom. The rear compartment is dry. The spare tire well is completely dry. Dodged a bullet there. The plastic storage tray on the left side behind the carpet panel is wet, but dry underneath. So time to find the pano sunroof drains and clean them out.

So now I'm thinking my radio problems on Thursday were due to a wet diversity antenna. Pulled the roof cover. Lots of dust and dirt. Pulled the cover off the antenna. Looks dry. No signs of water. Looks like I need to pick up some silicone and seal the cover better.

Should I pull the diversity antenna and investigate further?

In hindsight my keyfob has been getting weaker and weaker. I have to get closer to the car before it will respond. After reading more about the divesity antenna last night it now sounds like the keyfob is fine, but the diversity antenna is going bad.

How exactly does water get from the rear roof drains and into the tire well. I don't quite understand how water can appear inside the left compartment in the plastic tray but all of the carpet on the left side is dry. And can appear in the front compartment every though the floor tray and carpet are dry.
 

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Overflows the pano drain channel, onto the inside of the headliner, rolls down over the fuse panel, into the compartment over the battery, overflows that and fills up the battery compartment, overflows that and fills the spare tire well. :) I've got a diaper sitting in the compartment over the battery, and I leave that access cover open. After rain, I eyeball the diaper - if it's dry, I'm still good. If not, then it saved me from rain getting further downstream. Last event had my fuse panel dripping wet, but the car ran. I used compressed air to gently blow the water out. I later found the IBS (sensor on battery black lead) had been killed, so I unplugged that so the car would start. Some day I should probably replace the IBS, but at my car's age it's a tangled web to figure out what part number to buy.
 

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So I'm guess mine is blocked worse on the left/driver's side. Battery and fuse panel was completely dry. Still don't understand how it could get into the front compartment but not into the tire well. Maybe the water dropped straight down and a day later the lid dried out while the lower compartment did not.
 
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