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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 E46 M Coupe.
The car's about to go back on the road after not needing for commuting for most of this year, so I was a shocked to find a wet passenger foot well carpet.
Feeling around for a source path, imagine my shock when I opened the glove-box, and found it very wet, and then opened the fuse box and water actually came out from within the plastic cavities that the fuses sit within!

Apart from washing the body occasionally (never used a jet-wash), and moving back / forward to avoid flat spots, the car hasn't been touched. The battery is off and garaged, so no electrics on.

I've been all over the Web but no mention of water in the fuse-box.

I've had the car 7 years, and have noticed that the windscreen steams up fairly easily, but assumed it was just as it was ventilation-wise, as I've never found wet carpets etc.
It's not had a new windscreen to my knowledge, nor have the door cards/seals been off. I have noticed a couple of splits in the windscreen surround, both sides of the car (drivers side is definitely dry), but I think these are more cosmetic, the screen bonded underneath?

The car sits underneath a hawthorn tree, so I've cleared some small leaf reside from all the gutters etc that I can see under the bonnet and also from within the cavity that the rectangular filter sits within underneath the central bonnet grill next to the windscreen.

Are there any known drain holes / channels that I've missed that block perhaps?

Does anyone know of any other possible causes?

As the fuse box is wet, I can't re-instate the battery and use the car.

Thanks you to anyone who can help!
 

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Would have to be either the windshield or the sunroof drains that run down the front pillars. Even when it's closed water can come through the seal and should drain. You could manually open the sunroof with the hex/allen wrench from the trunk kit and pour some water down the sunroof drain at the front corner and see if you get any more water in the car. They can clog and the tubes can come off the shunts at the sunroof corners. Otherwise, should drain out behind front wheel I think.

Definitely dry everything out thoroughly before reinstalling the battery. I'd pull all fuses one at a time and dry them. Use a hairdryer for behind the glovebox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
water in fusebox

I've just got the extension out along with her indoors hairdrier!
Ought to add: no sunroof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I cleaned all the places, gutters, etc under the bonnet yesterday hoping that I was solved. However, after a night of heavy rain I've found that the A pillar is actually wet, almost from the top.
Hhhmm, dare I risk trying to get the A pillar cover off, bearing in mind there's an airbag in there?
Not sure what I would find / be able to do re fixing a leak? Is there a sealant inside maybe?
The car doesn't have a sunroof - Googling shows a lot of people get leaky sunroof drains.
The windscreen appears to be original as it has 'BMW' on it at the bottom.
 

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A pillar cover does come off but not sure what u can do from there like u say.

Might need to get a windshield place to check it.

Other thought is there are roof rack mounts under rectangular covers on the roof n maybe that's leaking? Would probably see wet on headliner though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good idea. Off to check the roof gutters. Headlining is beige, so not seen any wet but will feel it and see.
 

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The a pillar is easy to take off and the airbag isn't a problem. I've done It several times even with battery still connected. You will need a swivel joint though.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
 

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Search for the DIY. Someone posted one here or the other place. It does involve the A-pillar and a bit of the headliner as you suspect. The hose comes loose and does what you're describing. That poster also did something so the hose doesn't come apart again.
 

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Search for the DIY. Someone posted one here or the other place. It does involve the A-pillar and a bit of the headliner as you suspect. The hose comes loose and does what you're describing. That poster also did something so the hose doesn't come apart again.
OP doesn't have a sunroof.
 

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Hi, what's the hose mentioned? Can't see any tubes/hoses with the headlining corner off.
The hose is to drain water that leaks through the sunroof. So if you don't have a sunroof, I'm guessing no hose.
 

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It's the window cowl... the strip of black plastic along the bottem of your front window. It's old, dry rotted, and cracked and needs replacing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Freakusaurus, you look to be correct re the cowl - it has a split in it, although not large, it's there. There is also one on the drivers side, but no sign of dampness, but obviously, no access like the passenger side.
Can't see a leak spot at the top pf the A pillar though (A pillar wet om the inside - trim removed - for it's entire length). Surely not condensation from the cowl leak?
 

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Hi, can't figure out how the A pillar is wet though?
I still think you have a windshield leak near the top or some leak in the roof that's running to the pillar like a drain.

Dry it out, then pour a lot of water slowly on the top corner of the car so that it flows only over the top windshield corner (even in towards the middle of the windshield as it may be running across before down) and see if you see any leakage inside. Make sure water doesn't flow over the shiny gutter trim that runs the length of the windows. This is to isolate the windshield corner for the test. Don't even open the passenger door to look as you want the relevant environment controlled. Look from driver's side.

If no leak found, wait a day (in case the leak is really slow) and try the track area around the roof rack mount.

If no leak found, try the window area.
 

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I had a windsceen leak and it showed up in the same places you described. I used a mixture of dish soap and water poured around the windscreen seal, then used pressurized air blown from the inside and looked for bubbles. Just don't use 120psi... or you'll make a leak. Canned air might work. I had a 4 inch void in the upper right corner and the water would travel all the across the dash support to the glove box and passenger foot well. Hope this helps.
 
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