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Heavy rain, Water leak

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12 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

That rear vent, left and right, is connected directly to the air distribution unit behind the dashboard. If water ingress has occurred via the air distribution unit you will find water in all of the vents and not just the left hand side.

Ah yes thanks that is a very good point indeed,

I have only two options that I could only think it is.

 

1. Its the big grommet in the bulkhead, This could be leaking and working its way back to the rear of the carpet,

now if the rear vent that is under the seat is in a dip and there is a hole there in the vent then water will find its way into the vent and fill the vent and come out of the rear vent and slosh onto my carpet. ( My vent 100% has water in it and is splashing onto the carpet)

 

2. Not as feasible as no.1 but I thought as first was a possibility.. The aircon drain is blocked and this is filling up the vent.

But again I have been running the car without the aircon on, Am I correct in thinking there will then be no build up of water if the aircon is off? as im still having water in vent after rain. ( I have found the aircon drain under the transmission tunnel and have drained it off)

 

does anyone have a picture of the floor without the carpet? this would be a great help to me.

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7 hours ago, AwsomeBmw said:

Ah yes thanks that is a very good point indeed,

I have only two options that I could only think it is.

 

1. Its the big grommet in the bulkhead, This could be leaking and working its way back to the rear of the carpet,

now if the rear vent that is under the seat is in a dip and there is a hole there in the vent then water will find its way into the vent and fill the vent and come out of the rear vent and slosh onto my carpet. ( My vent 100% has water in it and is splashing onto the carpet)

 

2. Not as feasible as no.1 but I thought as first was a possibility.. The aircon drain is blocked and this is filling up the vent.

But again I have been running the car without the aircon on, Am I correct in thinking there will then be no build up of water if the aircon is off? as im still having water in vent after rain. ( I have found the aircon drain under the transmission tunnel and have drained it off)

 

does anyone have a picture of the floor without the carpet? this would be a great help to me.

 

Hi, 

I wouldn't consider the aircon condensate drain to be the culprit here as the amount of water generated is quite small. The aircon will only generate moisture while it is switched on, it being the water accumulating on the evaporator behind the dashboard.

 

I would remove the cover in the engine bay over the yellow grommet just to see if that is the issue. Easily done and obvious if that is the issue.

 

I only have this picture of the seat removed but carpet in situ:

 

IMG_5390.JPG

 

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5 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

Hi, 

I wouldn't consider the aircon condensate drain to be the culprit here as the amount of water generated is quite small. The aircon will only generate moisture while it is switched on, it being the water accumulating on the evaporator behind the dashboard.

 

I would remove the cover in the engine bay over the yellow grommet just to see if that is the issue. Easily done and obvious if that is the issue.

 

I only have this picture of the seat removed but carpet in situ:

 

IMG_5390.JPG

 

Thanks for the picture, any tips about getting the seat out? 

I have looked at the yellow grommet and yep loads of water in there and im going to sort it out.

Do i need to lift the carpet to check underneath for water damage? 

Or can i just dry the rear carpet out?

Any tips for lifting the carpet

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13 hours ago, AwsomeBmw said:

Thanks for the picture, any tips about getting the seat out? 

I have looked at the yellow grommet and yep loads of water in there and im going to sort it out.

Do i need to lift the carpet to check underneath for water damage? 

Or can i just dry the rear carpet out?

Any tips for lifting the carpet

 

There are just 4 bolts holding the seat in. You have to remove the plastic cover to the side of the seat and there is a flap in the plastic covering at the front that gives you access to the seat electrics module that needs to be unplugged. You also need to remove the seatbelt mounting bolt which is attached to the seat frame.


Here is the detailed instruction: https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f11-520d-tou/repair-manuals/52-seats-motorcycle-seat/52-17-front-seat-comfort/1LB8KlGW

This instruction does tell you to remove the back of the seat and remove the headrest. I did neither of these and still got the seat out relatively easily and without scratching the car trim on the way out. You must have 2 people doing the job and be slow and careful.

 

To lift the carpet you will need to remove all of the plastic trims at the door entry front and rear. If there is that much water you may do well to go the extra mile and lift the carpet.

 

Note: When you remove the seat be careful not to pull up on the seat forward/backward motion lever on the side of the seat. If you do, the rails will go out of alignment and installation is more difficult. 

Edited by Matthew Ashton

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Looking at that picture of the seat out, you can see the rear vent and it looks like its set very low down and from the picture it is very possible water from the carpet area can get into the vent. So, I think your problem is still the yellow grommet?

 

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Hi Everyone and thank you for the replies,

 

After lifting up the rear carpet to confirm the leak i was shocked to see the amount of water  in the rear foot well,

I also solved the water in the rear vent.... As the water was quite deep the vent connection under the passenger seat was sitting in a pool of water,

when the floor vents were then used  this would cause a syphon at the connection point drawing water into the vent.

 

So the point of origin of all the water was the yellow grommet.

 

A very bad design on bmw's behalf.

 

I removed the cover plate in the engine bay to reveal a pile of mulched leaves, After a few searches i learned that the drain was actually the bottom part of this cover that was removed,

I cleaned all round the grommet and sealed it with silicone sealant.

So before refitting the cover  i drilled about 8 off 10mm holes near the bottom of the seal, just so the water could drain easily.

 

Removing the seat was a doddle, 4 off bolts and unplug the wiring harness underneath, I left the seatbelt connected as there was enough length to leave the seat outside the car and still work around it, I removed the headrest to make it easier to take out.

 

*** WARNING DO NOT SWITCH YOUR IGNITION ON WHILE THE SEAT IS UNPLUGGED AS IT WILL BRING ON THE AIRBAG LIGHT AND

WONT GO OFF UNTIL YOU HAVE IT RESET BY A DEALER OR SOMEONE WHO CAN DO IT VIA A LAP TOP***

 

the rear seat just pulls up to pull the carpet back and it will slide out of the sill trims at the back

you will have to remove the passenger side front door kick plate to lift the carpet

also take off the subwoofer grille under the passenger seat,

remove the under glove box trim and trim at the door side of the front part of the carpet

 

you can then have some room to lift most of the carpet

 

this is where i saw a good few inches of water at the rear and middle part of the floor so i removed the sub also

i used a wet vacuum to removed most of the water and then a powerful air blower over a few days to dry the soaked sponge under the carpet.

 

Glad i finally  found the cause and rectified the fault before it got any worse.

20171111_154041.jpg

20171111_154059.jpg

 

Edited by AwsomeBmw

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Once again, the engine bay bulkhead sound insulation cover and the yellow grommet that lies beneath are the culprits. 

 

Before disconnecting and removing any electrical part especially where there is an airbag concerned - remove the battery negative terminal.

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55 minutes ago, nashdm2 said:

Matthew, why does the water only materialise in the back seat area and not the front seat also?

 

As the floor design and the carpet is thick with foam, all the water runs to the back of the foot well

Here all the water will pool up and soak into the foam of your carpet.

yes the front part was slightly wet where the water runs, but as for the carpet right in front of the passenger seat... there is a thick polystyrene block

under the carpet so this keeps the carpet out of the water hence you wont see any water at the front im afraid

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Hi everyone,

Having read everyone’s stories to date in the post I decided to remove the blanking plate inside the engine bulkhead to see what I could find.    Luckily enough I did not have any water damage inside the car but decided to remove the plate and give the area a good clean out as part of preventative maintenance.

 Working from the top of the engine I removed the engine acoustics cover.  This gives you enough room but space is tight!  You will need a T30 torex socket wrench to remove the screws.  This is what I found:  A complete build-up of muck (old leaves silt etc.) after 5 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_E2840.JPG

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I used a plumber’s pipe spring to clean out the drain hole.   I was also curious to see where the hole leads to?  It goes right over to the right, near the bottom of the gas strut that holds up the bonnet.    This area tends to block up with dead leaves in the autumn.  I used a vacuum to clean this out.

 

IMG_E2877.JPG

IMG_E2876.JPG

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I decided to clean and modify the blanking plate as shown rather than drilling holes in it.    This helps water to drain more easily.  I then put everything back in place.

IMG_2832.JPG

IMG_2890.JPG

IMG_2891.JPG

IMG_E2892.JPG

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The next photograph shows the cover where the water leaks down from the top.   Overall the design of the plate is extremely poor!

 

I’d suggest that you give this a go yourself and occasionally use a coat hanger to clean out the bottom of the plate and to make sure to clean out dead leaves from inside the engine compartment.  

 

Best of luck!

 

 

 

 

IMG_E2930.JPG

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Unless I am mistaken, this is the first time we have seen where the drain hole comes out? The ironic thing is that the area under the gas strut also fills up with leaves and blocks lol..

Edited by nashdm2

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Yes, you are right!

 

 Every time it rains,  or you use the wiper washers,  the rain water drains from the windscreen down though the engine bay at the back of the bulk head.  On the left hand side (passenger side of a RHD car) the water drains via the panel shown in my previous post.   If you test this by pouring water from a watering can on the windscreen you will see where the water eventually exits.   You may also notice that the engine tray under the car will be wet when it rains or you use the wiper washers. 

 

You need to keep the area under the gas struts free from leaves at all times.  Also make sure to keep the water exit at the bottom of the panel free otherwise the water may back up and eventually leak back into the car via the yellow blanking plate. 

 

Overall a a very poor design by BMW. 

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How hard is it to get to this insulation panel? I have had a quick look today via the passenger side, but could not quickly identify it. Unfortunately this panel and cover is far more common than you think F01, F06, F10, F11, F12, F13, Ghost, Wraith and Dawn. So clearly there is some level of design cockup.

 

My drains under the bonnet struts are fairly clear of any debris (but I will be hoovering them at the weekend as I have noticed one leaf - damn autumn. 

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2 hours ago, Gate1 said:

Yes, you are right!

 

 Every time it rains,  or you use the wiper washers,  the rain water drains from the windscreen down though the engine bay at the back of the bulk head.  On the left hand side (passenger side of a RHD car) the water drains via the panel shown in my previous post.   If you test this by pouring water from a watering can on the windscreen you will see where the water eventually exits.   You may also notice that the engine tray under the car will be wet when it rains or you use the wiper washers. 

 

You need to keep the area under the gas struts free from leaves at all times.  Also make sure to keep the water exit at the bottom of the panel free otherwise the water may back up and eventually leak back into the car via the yellow blanking plate. 

 

Overall a a very poor design by BMW. 

 

I found mayor blockage there, water just accumulated and drained very slowly. So yes quite a problem. However, my car is LHD and I have no yellow plate. Also the floor and subwoofer were wet on right side (or passenger side for LHD). Any ideas for that?

 

Right now I'm waiting for my UV dye to arrive and I'm planning to soak the car with it.

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Hi Ninja59

 

If you remove the engine acoustic cover ( i.e the large cover on the engine at the oil fill cap) you will be able to identify the blanking plate at the back of the bulk head . It is held on by 4 torex screws. Stand in front of the bumper and look to the back right hand side of the engine. 

 

Removing the the engine cover gives you more room to remove the screws. 

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No need to remove the engine cover you can work from the top quite easily, don't attempt to remove the panel

without being sure you have removed 4 off torx screws there is one hidden on the passenger wing side, quite difficult to view it from top but feel around and you will identify it.

this is my panel in place showing where I drilled it to allow better drainage

20171112_162105.jpg

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Cheers guys managed to identify said cover this morning gave it a  little tug to see if anything would appear, but clearly still bolted all up. Nothing appeared, but it clearly loosened the fabric.

Will look to remove it this weekend, or as it is in for my boot drip rail and central air vent to be replaced I might try and charm my SM to remove it for a nose and clean.

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5 hours ago, Ninja59 said:

Cheers guys managed to identify said cover this morning gave it a  little tug to see if anything would appear, but clearly still bolted all up. Nothing appeared, but it clearly loosened the fabric.

Will look to remove it this weekend, or as it is in for my boot drip rail and central air vent to be replaced I might try and charm my SM to remove it for a nose and clean.

 

That fabric is there for noise deadening so don't pull it off. The panel is made from 3 or 4mm thick ABS plastic so you will need to remove the bolts to gain access, there is very little give in the plastic itself.

 

Also, for those drilling holes in the plastic cover, aren't you just delaying the inevitable if leaf build up is the actual issue? The leaves will just block the holes you've drilled and you will be back to square one? My view on this is that this cover has become a regular maintenance job so I will be removing mine every 6 months to clear any debris but without modifying the cover itself.  

Edited by Matthew Ashton

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This is my first post on here.

Thanks to all the contributors, I did the job today. I picked up my 2012 520d ED

last Sunday. I had a choice of 2 very similar cars at the dealers, until I noticed the other one had about an inch of water in the rear passenger side footwell (and this one had the widescreen pro nav and Xenons)

During this week I noticed mine had got damp after the heavy rain.I had the day off, so tackled the job today (less than a week after picking the car up).

As I took the cover off, water came gushing out and the drain was obviously blocked up. Also, someone had been here before, as the cover was cracked and only had 3 of the 4 bolts fitted.

Anyway, I got it cleaned up and this time made some drain holes in the cover.

i did the job from the top and it probably took around 90 minutes, most of that was trying to fit it back on.

I've got bruised arms now.

 

Anyway, thanks for the tips.

I suppose I'd better go and introduce myself now.

Cheers, Adz

IMG_0117.JPG

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