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Neil.D

i Drive problems / frying of electronics by water ingress

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My latest update with my panoramic sunroof and water in boot saga. I think I have found how the problem occurs. As other posters have said, the drain pipes clog because of the stupid crimped ends being to narrow. I have since snipped those off. The reason the roof actually causes water to leak in if the pipes are blocked is because on each longitudinal side of the sunroof frame you have two parallel channels. They look the same but they are not. The outer ones are the drain gutters and the inner channel is a non waterproof part of the mechanism. I know this because when I mistakenly poured a glass of water in what I thought was the rain channel, I got a facade of water in the side of the boot. It therefore is a simple matter that if the rain channel overflows due to a blocked pipe, it will simply go into the adjacent non waterproof channel with consequential flooding.

Also, the roof panel is not designed to be fully watertight. However, putting a liberal coat of petroleum jelly or vaseline on the mating surfaces certainly cuts out spurious wind noise around the front of the sunroof when closed so I guess it must also help make it more watertight too. Hope this helps.

What would help me is to hear from anyone who has had similar flooding and have found their dad radio inoperative after. I've dried out all the bootwell modules and the dab unit would have dried out by now. However, the dab option is greyed out on my screen and it takes about a minute or so for the audio system to come on now when switching on the ignition. I hear a few slight pips coming through the speakers and the emergency phone button by the sunroof will also flash a couple of times during the period and once the audio does come on, all is fine except the dab radio. Anyone had tho problem? Cheers

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Further update on the above. As more of my electronics are drying out, things are improving. However, dab option is still greyed out. Does anyone know if its possible to reboot the audio system in case its ignoring the dab unit or something, when it got flooded? Cheers all.

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Even without a runroof this is a problem. checked mine and it's dry. These threads are good though, remind me to check these things every now and then.

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Hi

I checked mine the other day, mine is a late 2006 build touring with no sunroof. The boot well is bone dry and looks like it always has been.

I went looking for the tubes to pull the ends off anyway to prevent any potential problems and I didn't have any tunes on either side.

Is this something that they changed throughout the years?

I've not yet had my micro-filters out on the front but if i pour water down it flows out behind the wheel exactly as i'd expect. I'm guessing they're not blocked.

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Hi guys,

 

I just wanted to reply to this thread, to thank Neil for posting this. Unfortunately I am also a victim of the dreaded water ingress.

My problems are 2 folded, first my (new) battery drained completely after 2 days of winter weather, I suppose this was due to a faulty IBS sensor, still need to replace this one... then I came across this thread.... I opened my back panels , everything was full of water aaaaargh I hope this did not fry my electronics, damage is still to be seen as my battery was killed I could not test anything.

Yesterday night I removed those freakin plugs from the tubes and drilled 2 holes in my trunk where the spare tyre is.

I hope I have seen the last of this, now I still need to replace the IBS, because this crappy sensor costed me 2 batteries already.

The pdc was replaced by BMW 2 months ago, I cannot believe they did not do anything about the tube/water ingress issue ???? My pdc was floating in water again yesterday aaaaaargh.

p.s. i just bought this car second handed , i was not aware of these issues.... apart from these amazing design flaws it still is a nice car.

Anyway I am really happy that I found this thread, although it would have been better that I found it before this happenend, but isn't it always like that ?

Thanks guys, and wish me luck , today I am going to disconnect the IBS until I have a new one, and put in a new battery...

 

 

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Hi - I agree that this design fault is really out of order for a car that has a list price of well over 50k. I love my car to bits but my ongoing problem with my iDrive soaking spoils the pleasure and my respect for BMW's attention to detail. I sincerely hope you get your car running properly again. Keep us posted!

 

I feel it's bad enough having blocked drain tubes though I understand what BMW were trying to do by crimping the ends of the drain holes but it just wasn't thought through by them properly. The worst part really is the fact that when the sunroof rain channels overflow because of drain tube blockages, the water simply spills into the adjacent rails in which the sunroof slides. These rails are not waterproofed in any way so any water in them will simply pour out of the ends of the rails, down the roof headlining and eventually (in my case at least) over the DAB module and then on into the side panels, soaking the electronics and then on down to the bottom of the boot where some nitwit decided it would be a good idea to locate a further number of electronic modules.

 

6 months down the line, I'm still having problems with my iDrive, the DAB radio remains permanently greyed out on the menu. Unless it's cold weather, the audio, Bluetooth and dash screen will randomly freeze up for several minutes before finally going back to normal. I've opened up all the bottom of the boot modules to make sure they are all dry but the problem just hasn't gone away. I'm reluctant to go to BMW as they will probably want to charge me big money for a fix as my car is a 2008 so warranty is well expired. However, really they should recognise that this is due to their design fault but I've not seen any posts that suggest they look at this issue in a sympathetic manner for a car of this age.

 

I'd be really grateful for anyone with advice as to whether it might be a question of rebooting the iDrive system rather than a hardware fault and if so, if anyone has had any experience in doing that?  I'm not sure what the function of these modules is or what might have been damaged or needs resetting. However, the fact that the system is more stable in cold weather suggests that it may just possibly be a sensing fault though the DAB radio has never woken up since its soaking 6 months ago.

 

Any thoughts anyone?

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Hi Guys,

 

I think I might have been very lucky on this one, after drying all the modules with a hairdryer and the trunk, I got rid off the ingress water and it seems everything is still working in good order.

I left the IBS sensor disconnected and charged the new battery, so far so good, no more battery drains, so in the end it was the IBS ! I have decided not to replace it to avoid future problems as I don't find this sensor reliable and it can turn on you when you least expect it , resulting in a drained battery in the middle of nowhere.

There's a saying that a problem never comes alone, well now my rear air-suspension compressor died on me (at least I think it did) , it was making a hell of noise couple days ago and now the car looks like a low rider, the back almost touching the ground. I figured that there is a good chance it is the compressor motor, because of the terrible loud noise it made so I ordered a new one and I will replace it tomorrow.... I hope this is the last issue for now....

 

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Hi all,

This is most relevant to E61's with a panoramic sunroof owing to the larger surface of area and water ingress but can affect all E60/1's.

The matter hs been discussed before and a few memebers here have had issues owing to the winter months.

The Problem

i Drive / PDC issues or total failure

Smell of burning

Obvious water in boot / wheel well.

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The Cause

As water runs from the roof of the car it runs through water channels on the top edges of the roof.

Also, sun roofs are not water tight. They allow some water in when closed which finds its way to the channels and run to outlets behind each of the 4 wheels.

It is this that causes the issue.

The drainage tubes at the front are simply unifrom hoses, a bit like a garden hose. Therefore, if any dirt/grit is washed into the tubes it tends to wash straight out and onto the floor. Blockage of these 2 front tubes are rare.

The hoses at the rear have a design fault. The ends, where the water should pour from, are pinched.

On the end of the hose they have an attachment that easily clogs, causes a back log of water that, in heavy rain finds its way into your boot, wetting the carpet and slowly filling the spare wheel well, right at the bottom like a sinking ship. I have no idea why they designed them this way.

In this void, right at the bottom are important i Drive and PDC modules. When wet these electrically fry themselves and require significant work to replace, along with their wiring loom, recoding etc and can cost over 1k to repair.

Parked, facing uphill during a heavy rainfall would be your worst scenario.

The Solution

This is to simply remove the attachment on the end of the 2 back hoses so, like the front tubes you have a a uniform tube, just like the front ones that hopefully will not clog.

Some people remove the back bumper to gain access but that is too labourious and isn't necessary.

I prefer the following.

Open the boot and open the cubby hole on the left.

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Pull back the cloth and find this tube.

When you have, now this is very technical.... Yank it skyward. It will resist but it will come.

Once it comes up you may hear the attachment on the end fall off and into your bumber void. Good riddance.

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With the tube now out, blow up it hard and you will hear it crackle and clear. If you're lucky you may get a mouthful of claggy water.

Then, simply poke it back down where it came from.

On the off side, the proceedure is the same except you need to remove 3x (8mm IIRC) nuts that hold the fuses in place.

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...and this is the little tinker that costs people all this money, the threaded end is what is in the end of your tubes and for no plausable reason whatsoever it is crimped at the end.

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I do urge all to inspect their wheel wells asap, especially being mid winter. The clogging effect is accumalative and potentially ruining.

Since doing this to my car 2 months ago everything has remained bone dry. I was getting trickles of water in there after a few weeks of not checking.

Regards all,

Neil.D

Thanks Neil.  Just removed/replaced the tubes and found the one (normally at the lowest point on the driveway) appeared to be full of crud.  Slightly different setup on mine, presumably due to having different modules, but had enough of a guide from your post to tackle it.  Much appreciated.  Cheers.

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Ho hum - another victim here.  No sunroof though. :evil:

 

Did anyone find where the water is coming in from for non sunroof (LCI) models?  Rear lamps are suspect and of course boot seal - anywhere else?  The glass top tailgate seal maybe?  All seals seem intact on mine...

 

Bit annoyed as the car has had the xmas tree flashing dashboard and the rear suspension on the deck but this did clear...its been dry...and it was fine but thought I'd have it checked out.  However indie has charged me £336 for a new sus module and I would have thought that drying it out (for most of the PCB is varnished) around the connectors would have sufficed - at least worth a try...  No damage visibnle on PCB and it does work (when dry)!

 

>mini rant/start< Shambles BMW - just like Nikasil, Swirl flaps etc and they sit on their hands with COLLOSAL profits (so cash rich they lend money via their 'Alphera Finance' for people to buy Rollers and Ferrarirs)! :rolleyes: >mini rant/end<

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Hi Fellow travellers . It can be lonely out there. I have just experienced the spare wheel bay water problem, after visiting a car wash who uses high pressure lances. At least I started to have problems shortly afterwards. So it may have been them. I had the suspension error light on for some time and was advised to ignore it as the rear mechanical level sensor would dry out. Anyway, over the following month every error warning came on in turn, till the rear suspension collapsed. As others have found, all the modules in the bottom of the tyre well were soaking and steam was coming out of the water, resulting in a nice bill for replacements. All seems well now, except my remote locking has gone from 100 feet away to one foot near the rear window. Even using the Clarkson head aerial trick. I have checked out the module ( not sure what that does. Haynes book says it is for the radio?)  in the spoiler but it was nice and dry. Has anybody had this as a follow on fault or is it down to a coincidental broken wiring in the tail gate loom scenario.    

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Hi Fellow travellers . It can be lonely out there. I have just experienced the spare wheel bay water problem, after visiting a car wash who uses high pressure lances.

 

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I always wash my car myself, having become aware of this problem - and the possibility of water in the scuttle drains - before purchase. But I used them on my previous car and the volume of water they direct at critical areas of your car with those high pressure lances is huge.

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Hi guys. I have just joined this forum as like many others,having recently acquired my E60 525D M sport I am having a few condensation problems. Mine are with the screen misting ( sometimes worse than others ) I know I need to strip out pollen filters and housings etc etc to check for water and crud.

However. Can't beleive this issue with water in boot you guys have experienced. Nightmare !!! Massively informative topic with some great advice from people.

I have spent all my working years..........nearly, in the motor trade. Approx 27 years. Accident repair ( panel beater ) and I HATE sunroofs..............lol lol. Because of water leaks. As a 99.9% rule I won't buy a car with one. My E60 included. Thank god is all I can say after reading this thread. BMW need a good bottom smacking imho as this sounds a mare.

However. I am going to also pull all the boot trims out of mine. Just to check..........

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Brilliant post, especially the helpful pictures. I have popped those to plugs off. My wheel well looks dry, but I am getting a nice selection of errors and would really appreciate some advice. I have a warranty but it excludes water damage and damaged wiring.

For a while I have been getting an increased battery drain warning. IBS sensor?? what and where is this?

Sudden Self levelling suspension and tyre pressure sensor failure at the same time. No Noises or warnings Can these two be linked to a single unit.

Remote locking not working from the key, sounds like this is the sensor under the spoiler.

Car is an E61 M5 Touring. All advice greatly appreciated

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Yeh, had the same problem on my e60, i was lucky to find tlmy module 2nd hand on ebay for £40n was mimimum 140 elsewhere, bit of programming and all ok

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I have a 2008 LCI 535d with panoramic sunroof. I found the plactic tray on the lhs in the boot full of water and the carpet on that side wet. I pulled out the drain tubes on both sides (managed the rhs behind the fuse box without removing the fuse panel) and they do have a restriction in the end, although it is different to the one photographed. I simply cut off the last inch of the tube with a pair of scissors to remove it. I then blew back up the tube and cleared a blockage in both tubes. Then pouring water down the OUTSIDE channel in the sunroof (with the car facing uphill) resulted in it flowing straight out of the now clear tube. I then pushed the tubes back into their holes in the chassis and pushed the little rubber collar around the tube into its hole, so the tube is clear and all secure again.  I checked in the bottom of the wheel well and luckily it was bone dry, so I caught it in time. I will go back soon and drill a few precautionary holes in the wheel well in case The Ultimate Driving Machine decides to spring some more leaks in the future.

 

This is a great resource, well done to all contributing, and it is a shame it doesn't reflect better on BMW, they know this is a design fault and should do more to help sort it.

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Just to complete the loop on mine. The suspension and Tyre pressure problems were a module that had suffered water damage in the past. The tailgate and locking issues were down to broken wires on the tailgate hinges... not covered under warranty.  One way back from this repair a vanos sensor packed up, at least that was covered.  Thinking I was all set for trouble free motoring the clutch then decided to disintegrate, on the plus side warranty picked that up (80%) because it was an actual "mechanical failure" even though the clutch was at the end of its life.

 

Starting to properly enjoy the car again now, and expecting a Christmas card and chocolates from the garage.

 

Shame that faults like this and the wiring fatigue in the tailgate were not identified and sorted out

 

Thanks for the response, advice and helpful posts.

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Ju the clutch then decided to disintegrate, on the plus side warranty picked that up (80%) because it was an actual "mechanical failure" even though the clutch was at the end of its life.

 

 

 

Mechanical failure (covered) vs normal wear and tear (not covered). Lucky !!

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Thanks guys for the valuable information.  I went to take my car to my mechanic today to investigate a minor oil leak before I took the car on holiday.  Yesterday evening I went to fill the car up and all was well (apart from unleaded now being 1p/l more than diesel).  We had torrential rain yesterday, last night and today and when I started up the car I had loads of warning messages pop up about battery discharge, towing electrics indicators and break lights and then the TPS.  Arrived at the mechanics and found the tray on top of the battery full of water.   He investigated the oil leak (nothing serious and can wait until I get back from hols) and had a look at the water leak.  He suspected it may be from the panoramic drainage pipe.

Got home, took all the bits out from the spare wheel well and it too was full of water.

A quick google brought me here and after following the advice it seems the water is now draining through the pipe rather than from wherever it was flowing. 

Whilst removing all the stuff from the boot, I did notice water flowing off the trim.  After ripping out the pipe, this slowed then eventually seems to have stopped, so hopefully I have fixed the issue.  I have removed the 3 control modules from the boot so that they can dry out and once I have finished work tonight, I will need to remove the battery  to dry the compartment off properly. 

And to think I only got the car 10 days ago (private sale).

One quick question if I may:

I poked the tube back through the hole, does it need to be attached at all as without that grommet I wonder if it will become loose?

 

Thanks.

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is it possible to get some answers , i've got an e60 525d , and evry time i start up the idrive is bugging, and radio wont play , evrything brokes down, The parking sensor wont work , navigation , evrything ...and no1 could tell me whats the problem. Im not sure what to do about that , and many times the idrive screen gets turned of and again on while im driving. :neutral: 

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Here is my bluetooth module. Luckily no internal damage but it obv does get moist down here. I put a big bag of silica gel down there which ill dry out in the oven every few months

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I have a 2005 E61 with panoramic sunroof. Water was found in the boot in spare wheel well. when I first bought it 18 months ago. Ive removed the rubber valves on the pipes as suggested and cleaned the pipes with a bottle brush as they had lots of algae type mess in them I also drilled a couple of 5mm holes to allow water to drain out. Also I've removed a grommet from the battery compartment. I also replaced the sunroof seals. BMW have a revised part so obviously the originals had problems. I also removed some of the covers that make it difficult to inspect the spare tyre well. Ive had no problems since other than water leaking in through the rear light cluster and destroying the connector to the rear light. I soldered the wires directly onto the light fitting to fix this.

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Great guide.

 

I only bought my E60 LCI (with sunroof) on Friday but it had a dead module that lives in the boot and controls the DAB radio, Bluetooth, and SOS feature.  Luckily the garage I bought the car from got this module replaced but I wonder if water in the boot was the killer!  I'll be checking the drains this weekend.

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Great thread.

 

I want to check mine but cannot see any water.  Perhaps I'm not looking in the right place, or perhaps I do not have a problem.

 

What do I need to remove from beneath the boot floor, or is it enough to just lift it up and look where I can see?

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To add my support to this post and to share three really close near misses.... go and get rid of thos bloody bill valves!!! It's 15 mins of your life that could save hours of pissing around and £1000s. Even more woe if you don't have a decent Indy or Dealer to rely on like I do (plus warranty)!

 

the battery and IBS can't handle too many totally flat scenarios. I pancaked my battery 4 times just recently and both Indy, AA and dealer said I'm lucky to have not don't permanent damage too it.

 

be careful to make sure you place the hose straight when you push it back in. I didn't, I bent it back on itself and experienced more water ingress!!! I was lucky that I spotted it and no water went into the wheel well.

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