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ozzy2015

Heavy rain, Water leak

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Thanks Ozzie. Having identified my leak to be the same as yours my car has gone to my local BMW garage today to be fixed. I've left them with a video of the leak inside the car from the grommet and your instructions on how to access the drain fom the underside.

I'm hoping all of this effort will save time and money in BMW diagnosis and therefore they can quickly get on with the fix.

If I get details I'll let you know what BMW do as a fix.

Thanks

Neil

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Hi I am a 520d owner, that is new to this forum, and this is my first posting but I believe, I have had a similar water leak problem with my 3 year old 5 series.  The dealership that repaired the leak, said that a membrane in the rear passenger off side door needed replacing, and the front passenger seat had to be removed to remove the carpet for drying.  The email below addressed to BMW UK should explain the matter.

 

From: G John

Sent: 23 December 2015 23:05

To: 'customer.service@bmw.co.uk'; 'contact.us@bmw.co.uk';

Subject: RE: Your BMW - case reference number: ***************

 

Good evening Gemma and Danny,

 

Registration:*********

 

Chasis Number:********

 

 

I am naturally disappointed with both of your responses, and I wish to make it very clear that:

(1)   I am complaining

(2)   I would like a refund to the BMW repair bill for the sum of £448.45 that I included in the previous email as an attachment

(3)   I would like confirmation of whether or not BMW would thoroughly investigate the problem, to confirm that this was not due to a manufacturing or design defect, as I have found similar problems reported by BMW owners (documented below in this email)

(4)   I want confirmation of your 'Final Response' on this matter so that I can take this to the Financial Ombudsman Service if I remain dissatisfied with your final response

 

This matter concerns the car that I purchased from a BMW dealership and subsequent problems that I have experienced concerning a fault and the BMW warranty.

 

In June 2012 I took ownership of a new BMW 520 Efficient Dynamics.  I have always been impressed by the reputation of the BMW brand and particularly the engineering, which I had believed to be second to none.

 

Unfortunately in recent months I became aware of damage being caused to the rear foot-well carpet as water appeared to be finding its way in to that area. I took the car to the dealership from which I had purchased the vehicle to be told, on inspection, that the membrane within the rear door frame had failed. It is quite possible, indeed almost certain, that this problem had occurred months ago and possibly within the warranty period, and had remained un-noticed by me as the rear seats of the car are used only to accommodate a baby who uses a baby seat, therefore no one’s feet rested on the floor mats of the impacted area.

 

The car is three years old, and as a comparison my one and only child is 1.5 years, so that faulty rear door was really only used for the last 1.5 years, so in my opinion this is less than the normal wear and tear you would expect on a car door.  In addition the car has exceptionally low mileage – under 15 000 miles, as I use public transport to commute to work.   From the BMW forums, I can see this is a type of water leak problem has impacted other owners, one of whom was lucky to report it when the car was under warranty:

 

http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/112666-f10-rear-door-water-leak/

http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/116098-heavy-rain-water-leak/

 

I requested that the dealership, in view of the above facts, consider meeting the costs of the repair. They chose to hide behind the terms of the warranty and, while this is an understandable response, I believe it fails to recognize BMW’s responsibilities, failings in the car’s engineering and belies their esteemed reputation. I was left with no choice other than to have the repair carried out and to pay the cost of it.

 

I am extremely dissatisfied with having been charged and am asking, therefore, that you consider reimbursing the cost of putting this right £448.45.  While I accept that my reporting of the fault falls outside the time frame of the warranty, I am sure you will agree that it is a fault that would not be expected or acceptable in a car of this age; well-maintained having been serviced throughout by BMW and with such low mileage.

 

I look forward to hearing from you in anticipation of a positive response to this request.

Your sincerely

John G

 

John

Did you get anywhere with BMW regarding this as I have the same fault it would appear with water literally sloshing around under the passenger side carpets. Taking it in tomorrow to BMW for them to investigate I only brought the car in Oct last year.

Thanks

P​

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BMW have replaced the bulk head yellow grommet in my car today. I just hope this has solved the problem.

It does appear to me through research that BMW have two common failures regarding water ingress on cars no older than 3 years old:

1) Door vapour seals

And/Or

2) Bulk head water ingress at yellow grommet behind glove box.

Both of these can cause significant damage to the cars - e.g. Carpet, foam underlay, under seat sub woofer and wiring harnesses.

These are faults that I really would not expect to find on 3 year old premium brand BMWs. I'm afraid I'm very disappointed.

It's a shame that BMW aren't more proactive in preventing damage to their reputation by admitting such faults or design floors and fixing the problems free of charge when they occur.

Edited by Neil Brookes

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It's a shame that BMW aren't more proactive in preventing damage to their reputation by admitting such faults or design floors and fixing the problems free of charge when they occur.

Agree 100%. No doubt they'll say these are isolated incidents and don't warrant a recall. I think car makers are scared of recalls and the impact that it has on their reputation. They'd get more credit by holding their hands up and admitting they made a mistake. Look at VW and the emissions thing and how much the cover up has cost them both in terms of cost and reputation.

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Ozzy2015, Neil B and Mistry, thanks very, very much gents for helping me diagnose and resolve two frustrating water leaks that had exactly the same sympton - wet (=sodden) carpet in the N/S rear passenger footwell.

 

Initially I thought it was the door vapour barrier and sure enough the bottom corner of the barrier in the N/S rear passenger door had peeled away. Not excessively but enough to cause a small leak into the footwell. I used advice from the forum (all spot on), bought a tube of "Dow Corning RTV SILICONE, 732, BLACK" bonding sealant (approx £17 via Amazon) and repaired the vapour barrier. Job done I smuggly thought. But it was clear water was still finding its way in. Grrr. Back to the forums.

 

So last weekend I followed Ozzy2015's advice:

* got my 520i up onto ramps

* removed the middle floor cover (8mm bolts) - took a while there's loads of 'em

* gained access to the insullation plate and used a Torx T30 (I think) to remove the 4 screws (as Mistry said the top 2 are relatively hard to reach) - great pics from Ozzy to help

* and exposed the yellow grommet, which is more of a 6" disk than a small grommet

 

A load of dirt came away when I took the plate off (and into my face as I was directly beneath :???: ) and as can seen from the photo it was clear water had been sitting against the grommet for a long time. I felt around the edge of the grommet but there didn't seem to be obvious deteriation but I assume this is where the water was getting into the passenger cabin. I decided to put sealant all around the edge of the grommet, working it in rather than replace it - so adopted Ozzy's solution. I guess this is not ideal in the long run. I cleaned the cavity that is created between grommet and insulation plate. I made sure the drain hole was clear (see photo for location - annotated - Alexak: OK?) and put it all back together. Fingers crossed it's now done as the carpets are drying out despite more rain.

 

post-62862-0-15232100-1455373183_thumb.j

 

Other observations:

* water flowed into the cavity via the drain hole (not out) when I put a hose by the N/S windscreen area - so I guess this is why if there is crud in the cavity it collects at this spot

* the only way the water can exit the cavity it seems is through the 2 or 3mm gap between the bottom of the insulation plate and the bulkhead. I only realised there was a gap when I screwed the insulation cover plate back on and saw it wasn't fitting flush onto the bulkhead. I used a piece of wire to poke back up into the cavity into the spot where the dirt had accumulated. So maybe this is the root cause of the problem. I will regualrly poke up into the cavity in the future  :)  And, if I am correct, it's a bit of a design flaw because its clearly not big enough.

* and finally I also followed Neil's advice and removed the a/c fan cover and removed as much as the crud as I could from underneath - there were some leaves and water. I think (couldn't confirm) it is from this area that water flows into cavity via the drain hole. It would make sense as they are close together.

 

Hope this helps - and keeps my carpets dry. In the 3 years I've owned the car this is its first problem.

Edited by AdrianO

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Adrain that's perfect thanks now I understand completely.

 

FYI I spent years looking after the BMW E46 derived Rover 75 and ZT range.

In the plenum these have drains fitted that go through to the wheel arches.

These would become blocked with leaves you could easily get a couple of inches of water sloshing in the plenum this could work its way into the passenger footwell by breaching the aircon pollen filter.

In many cases the engine ecu also mounted low down in front of the filter in the plenum would be flooded - result car not starty any more.

 

At the time I had the full Landrover T4 Diagnostics system and I have replaced quite a few £800 Diesel DDE4 and (fortunately for the petrol owners) cheaper petrol Ecus!

 

You would think design faults like these would soon be captured by manufacturers and added as a service check/recall item at least but MGR never owned up to the problem and I doubt BMW will do this of ours.

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Alexak, you're right, design faults such as the one causing the N/S wet carpets should have been picked up by BMW by now. The data would be there - plenty of it - and the fix, to my simple mind, isn't hard to work out. A re-designed insulation plate with a far larger exit point for the water to flow out and downwards. This would mitigate the consequences of crud getting into the cavity between the plate and the gasket. Sigh.

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Was poking around under bonnet earlier and noticed approx 2" of water collected against the bulkhead of the passenger side inner wing.

 

See photos. I pumped approx 1.5 litre of water out.

 

Carpets are dry thankfully.  Not sure if this is the same cavity with the yellow grommet in this thread ?

 

There were no leaves to be seen so not sure where this should be draining.

 

Probably worth  a periodic pump out as a matter of routine maintainance. Pretty poor though.

 

All clear on the other side though I notice you have to remove the wiper to get the cover off to check brake fluid level? That's a poor design. 

 

20160220_162730.jpg

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Mike, just read your post and was thinking about the amount of water you discovered and why it wasn't clearing. It's just a guess but I found that water flowed into the cavity (see my post above) from, I think, the area where you found the accumulated water. It would make sense because they are right by each other, in front of the passenger bulkhead area. If the water wasn't clearing it would mean that either this drain was blocked or the bottom area of the insulation plate was blocked, where I think water drains downwards and then away.  Both could result in the accumulation of water you found (again, I think). You could test this by removing the insulation plate and having a look. This is also where you'll find the yellow grommet (more of a disk). The fact you weren't getting wet carpets may be because the edges of the yellow grommet were watertight and thus preventing water ingress at this point.

 

Ozzy's post and few others in this thread describe how to access and remove the insulation plate. I found it was best from underneath so you'll need ramps or other way of getting underneath and removing the floor pan.

 

And agreed all this equates to a bit of a design flaw.

 

Good luck, Adrian

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Discovered exactly the same issue on my 2011 F11 yesterday after hearing a sloshing noise from the back.  I've done some basic investigation and I'm not convinced it is the door and after reading this thread am more convinced it is water collecting near the bulk head and ingress is via the air con as the rear passenger carpet are wet from vents under the passenger seat back.  I don't have access to ramps, is this something I can realistically fix from the engine bay or do I need to get it looked at by a mechanic with access to ramps etc??

Like everyone else here I'm really disappointed with the quality from BMW, my local dealer who I bought the car from is only interested in making money from my predicament, £132 +VAT to water test the car is just the starting point.  I'm seriously considering getting the car fixed and dry and then selling it on sharpish!

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8 hours ago, Hillagio said:

Discovered exactly the same issue on my 2011 F11 yesterday after hearing a sloshing noise from the back.  I've done some basic investigation and I'm not convinced it is the door and after reading this thread am more convinced it is water collecting near the bulk head and ingress is via the air con as the rear passenger carpet are wet from vents under the passenger seat back.  I don't have access to ramps, is this something I can realistically fix from the engine bay or do I need to get it looked at by a mechanic with access to ramps etc??

Like everyone else here I'm really disappointed with the quality from BMW, my local dealer who I bought the car from is only interested in making money from my predicament, £132 +VAT to water test the car is just the starting point.  I'm seriously considering getting the car fixed and dry and then selling it on 

Spoke to my local independent BMW specialist and he new all about the issue and was actually in the process of clearing blocked bulk head drain holes on another car. Mine is booked in next week to have drain holes cleared, interior strip down on the passengers side and a thorough dry out. Cannot wait to get it sorted now. Thanks all for the info, this thread is invaluable!!

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Hi Hillagio, all the best in getting your carpets dry. I've checked mine afte last week's rain and still dry so looking like the issue has been solved. Fingers crossed.

 

Going back to your earlier question it would be difficult to solve without getting underneath and that won't be possible without ramps. There just isn't enough room. That said it would be possible, but not easy to get at the insulation plate (see above) from above. Two considerations though. The first is the top Torx screw of the insulation plate will be tricky to access from above. If I remember it's not easy to see from above. And the second is worrying about dropping a screw. If this happens it won't simply fall through to the ground it will be stuck on the floor plate and really difficult to retrieve from the top of the engine.

 

I was thinking though, something you can do is poke something like coat hanger wire up into the gap between the bottom of the insulation plate and the bulkhead. I took a photo this morning and annotated it where you can do this. I hope this helps. It won't obviously clear out the whole area but it is something relatively easy to do and get access to.

 

Good luck.

 

Adrian

insulation plate 5Mar16.jpg

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Just been searching forums as recently discovered that my 2010 F10 535d has a wet rear passenger carpet. It is exactly as everyone has described with a soaking carpet under the floor mat but no sign of moisture on any vertical surface. People mention the moisture barrier in the door and will check this tomorrow but using hosepipe I can't get it to rain in even when squirted directly at the doors. I am surprised that there are quite a few possible solutions to what seems, worryingly, to be a reasonably common and specific problem. Is anyone aware of any drain plugs or rubber grommets in the floor pan that could be leaking as it would make sense that the water is coming from below. I have recently started parking the car nose up on our drive which is quite steep and don't remember this problem previously so maybe its the angle the car is parked at combined with some other factor. If anyone has a good solution I would be grateful as that much sound dampening takes bloody ages to dry out.

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Hi,my 2013 f11 had the same problem and is also nearly always parked nose up,I took it to my local BMW dealership and they changed both the door membrane in the rear passenger door and the yellow grommet and insulation plate mentioned in earlier posts.They also sealed around the yellow grommet,luckily for me my car is still under warranty so it was all free.However when I picked my car up I checked under the carpet that they were supposed to have dried out and it was still wet and the door membrane that was not leaking before they changed it was now leaking leaving water on my kick plates.I returned my car to them and this time asked for a courtesy car,they fixed the leaking door seal and told me they had dried the carpet out,as I wanted to be sure it was dry I asked them to leave my rear bench out so I could check under the carpet before I took the car home.When I went to pick up my car I checked it with the dealership service manager present and it was still wet,as I am sure you can imagine by this time I was getting quite anoyed!!!My rear carpet now also had a bit of a kink in it so I insisted that they change my carpet.Anyway I have had my car back now for nearly 2 months and we have had a lot of heavy rain in that period and everything still seems dry,so changing and sealing the grommet in the floor pan under the glove box seems to have done the trick!

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Hi. Just wondering if it is leaking through the yellow grommet how the water gets from under the bonnet to the rear floor pan without wetting anything on its way. My passenger side front carpet is bone dry as is the area under the passenger seat. I could imagine it coming through the air vent on the floor under the seat but surely

then water would slosh about wetting other areas. Bit reluctant to put it in to local dealer if it can't be done under warranty but may eventually have too.

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Hi,I think the water finds its way from the yellow grommet under the glove box to the back footwell via one of the grooves in the floor so it doesn't actually touch the front carpet,that's what BMW told me anyway,hopefully it seems to have done the trick.My warranty runs out in December so if it's still leaking I'm hoping it'll show up again before then,let me know how you get on!

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New Here also same problem with water in the rear passenger side foot well (uk spec) I removed the cover plate by undoing the 4 torx screws which released about a litre of water trapped between the back of the (watertight seal?) of the cover plate and the yellow bulkhead grommet with holes in. After i removed the cover i poured water onto the windscreen and the water runs straight onto the top of the cover. In my case the seal at the bottom of the cover was better than the seal at the top and it caused the void between the back of the cover plate and the yellow grommet to fill to a point where it would begin to find its way into the cabin via the yellow grommet. I am also just out of warranty but as can be seen from the photss i have taken (which i dont know how to attach) the algae and the tide line indicates this has been happening for months.

 

I cannot understand why the yellow grommet has holes in, when the cover is sealed all the way around, surely if you want to drain water away you would allow it into the engine compartment and not onto the carpets! A very easy fix that just requires BMW to admit the problem as there is a potential for All  F10 /F11 to suffer this failure which may go unnoticed for years

 

Not impressed and waiting for a reply from BMW!

IMG_1575.jpg

IMG_1574.JPG

IMG_1573.jpg

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Captain, I can see from your photos you had exactly the same problem as me. Water building up in the cavity between the grommet and the cover plate, and then ingressing through the grommet. I found the bottom of the inside of the cover plate was like yours - an accumulation of mud. Because this is where I think the water is meant to run out, and down, the blockage is at this point. Again like you I poured water in the windscreen area and it emptied into the cavity. So the lesson is to take off this plate once a year I guess and give the area a clean. You can also poke up into the cavity area. This might help.

 

Hope you get your carpets dry. It took ages, but seems all OK now.

 

Adrian

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I'm beginning to think this is a common problem and I'd find it hard to believe that BMW are not aware of this a s a design flaw.

 

People with 3 year old BMW are getting this problem and it cannot be expected to be part of routine maintenance to clear this blockage.

 

I got mine fixed "relatively" cheaply by diagnosing the problem and telling be BMW exactly where the water was coming in from. It cost me an hours labour plus the cost of the replacement part. I dread to think how much more this would have cost if they had gone through diagnostics first and then probably targeted the vapour seals before finding the real problem of the bulkhead grommet.

 

I'm beginning to think that I should not have had to pay for this and BMW should be admitting to the fault.

 

im wondering whether a complaint to Watchdog maybe in order.

Edited by Neil Brookes

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I bought this car hoping not to have to get underneath it, ever. But ho hum. Bit of preventative maintenance it is then.  So I guess when the plate is off, drilling extra holes at the bottom for easier drainage is a good idea? What about taking out the grommet and resealing it with silicone ?

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Hello Adrian,

 

If you look closely at the cover plate it has a seal all the way around. I summise that this cover is an afterthought by BMW. It appears to me they have tried to seal this area against water ingress but have made the problem worse. Someone has already suggested inserting a washer which is a partial solution which would allow any water entering this are to drain away, I believe that no water should enter this area in the first place.  A video would better demonstrate the problem as even a small amount of water on the windscreen forms a torrent when funnelled towards the cover. this design is doomed to failure and I have stated to BMW. I think if every car were to be checked there would be a very high failure rate but unless you are looking for this problem it is unlikely to be found until it's too late! I for one very rarely have anyone sitting in the back and I only discovered the problem by chance

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Hi All

 

Just to add weight to this topic I appear to have a similar issue, I syphoned 6L of water out of the n/s rear foot well on Sunday, My car is also parked on a slop nose upwards.

As I was concerned I rang BMW recovery services who had it recovered to Halliwell Jones (Wilmslow) and provided a hire car.

 

I spoke to the service dept. at HJ on Monday and they advised the extended warranty would not cover water damage and asked me to authorise 1 hour diagnosis, after much argument they agreed to do the diagnosis at their cost.

 

I then got a call from HJ Service dept. on Tuesday saying tat they needed to remove the carpets to diagnose the issue and subsequent damage and this would take 5 hours and wanted me to authorise over £800, following ensuing arguments they offered to reduce the rate bringing the charge down to £470. I told them I would not authorise any cost.

 

I then emailed Graeme Grieve (BMW UK MD) and the MD of HJ. I have received a reply from Graeme Grieve stating that he has asked his senior CS team to handle my complaint and I have also heard from the Service manager at HJ, presumably as a result I mailing his MD who has promised he will update me shortly.

 

I have owned 7 BMWs since 1991 and I have never felt so badly let down, I sincerely hope they resolve this issue or regrettably I feel this will be my last BMW.

 

Update:

Have received a call from HJ dealer principle and he has advised that he will take up the issue with BMW on my behalf, he doesn't want HJ to pay for the diagnostic anymore than I want to.
Additionally he has delivered me a loan car and arranged for the hire car to be collected so that I do not get charged for that

 

I will update this thread as soon as I get anywhere

 

 

Edited by binary

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This design fault is a ticking time bomb for all f10 by the sound of it.

 

Has anyone drilled bigger drain holes into the removable plate? What does the plate do anyway, can it be left off and would that solve this as the water wouldn't pool?

 

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bmwmike, good questions. The three photos I've seen in this thread of the yellow grommet and the surrounding area all show an accumulation of muddy, fine dirt, not leaves. And the dirt is at the bottom of the cavity as you would expect. I still think it's the combined facts of the shape of the cavity, the grommet that has holes in it by design, a water drain that empties into the cavity between the cover plate and grommet (and upstream of this drain is the water from the n/s windscreen area - so loads of water) and a small water exit point that are the root cause of our wet carpet woes. Yes, the door vapour barrier can be another cause, but unlikely to cause x litres of of water which all of us have experienced.

 

I believe water is designed to flow out from the bottom of the cover plate, but if you get your finger to feel around this area you'll see there is only a 3-5mm gap. Really small. This is where it clogs up as the picture evidence seems to suggest. So, I do think additional drain holes in the bottom area of the cover plate would provide more egress routes for the water. Potentially you could even saw a portion off the cover plate leaving a large gap. That would really help. And as far as I can work out the cover plate covers the yellow grommet and adds more sound insulation to an area of the bulkhead. There is nothing structural about it.

 

But as I've written my carpets are now dry thankfully so the fix does seem to work.

 

Binary, do keep us updated with the outcome of your complaint to BMW UK hierarchy. Start at the top! Nice. Sad, though, that you may conclude this is your last BMW.

 

Adrian

 

 

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