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Old 05-02-2013, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 260
lordshin808 is on a distinguished road
water leak from vapor barrier fixed.

just wanted to share my experience and some pictures, hopefully it will help others.

My rear passenger floor have been soaking wet after going thru the carwash and after heavy rain, so I did some research on how to fix it. Apparently, the 2 common culprits are the vapor barriers in the doors and the sunroof drains. I checked the drains and they were fine. I decided to remove the door panel and take a look at the vapor barrier.

I followed this youtube video:
Part 1: X5/X6 (E70/E71) 2007+ Stage I Speaker Upgrade Install - YouTube

I discovered that the southwest corner of the vapor barrier was coming apart. The butyl tape was still there, but it just wasn't sticking anymore. I pressed it back in place and used Prematex black silicone from walmart to seal it back up. I went ahead and checked all around the vapor barrier and made sure it will sealed tight and not coming off.

I knew I had to remove the carpet to dry out the foam underneath to prevent mold and bad odors. I used some microfiber towels to absorb all that water. There was plenty of water there too.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:37 PM
rh71's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LI | NY
Posts: 3,924
rh71 is on a distinguished road
looks like a lot of work - glad you found it. Can you show where the sunroof drain is? I heard this was a common problem too and it gets full over time. Couldn't find a previous thread discussing this, but I know they're out there.
'08 X5 3.0si - Alpine White / Saddle Brown interior
Specs: Sport Pkg, Premium Pkg, Tech Pkg, Comfort Access, Aero Kit, Style 433 staggered 20s on Conti DWS
Mods: Carbon 35 tint, LED angel eyes, GP Thunder 7500k fogs, H&R 20mm/25mm spacers, clear reflectors, gunsmoke-tinted taillights
Coded: Digital speedo, windows/sunroof/tailgate close via keyfob

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 260
lordshin808 is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
looks like a lot of work - glad you found it. Can you show where the sunroof drain is? I heard this was a common problem too and it gets full over time. Couldn't find a previous thread discussing this, but I know they're out there.
there's one in each corner of the sunroof about the size of a pea. I pour some water into the holes and made sure it drained out the bottom of the car next to the wheels.

luckily, there wasn't any mold or bad odors, but I definitely had to pull the carpet up to dry it out. The foam was an inch thick! Doubt it will evaporate by itself that easy.
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Old 05-19-2023, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 180
heatmizr is on a distinguished road
Oldie but a Goodie!
I found my driver side middle floor damp a month ago and blamed my son for spilling his water bottle. A month later I happened to park outside one night and a HUGE storm came through. Couple days later I noticed a musty smell and the same area was wet again... and I wound up here reading through several similar threads.

The weird thing about my issue was that at first I thought it was something else... Looking at the bottom of the door - the hollow tubular rubber wind seal that runs around the door seemed to be weeping water out of the tiny holes punched into it at the bottom. (pic 1) I repeatedly squeezed the seal from either side toward the holes and several ounces of water squirted out. I could NOT figure out how the water would have gotten inside it, as the seal is in like new shape all around, and is not open or torn anywhere.

All the posts here pointed to the Vapor Barrier or the sunroof drains. I park inside exclusively so my drains are all very clean. That's when I noticed the dried up drip marks coming from under the door card, and sure enough when I pulled it off the Vapor Barrier was detached in a few spots. It would appear the water running from under the vapor barrier ran down to the wind seal and, having nowhere to go, must have filled it up via those little holes.

It just so happens this door was replaced a few years ago when someone backed into it and crushed it. You would think when they reassembled it and installed this barrier it would have outlasted the other 3 original doors.... But here we are.

I wanted to thoroughly dry the floor while I did the door repair, and what a pain it is to pull up the carpet. Had to remove the middle seat on that side, holy crap it weighs a ton. Then a bunch of trim to pull the carpet up enough to aim a heater under there to dry out that thick foam padding underneath. (pics 2-3) I tried to remove the B pillar trim for even better access but BMW fastening methods are just inscrutable most of the time and I gave up. But I let it dry all night like in the pic, seems fine now.

I have two kinds of Permatex in the garage to choose from - Black (heat resistant) and Blue. Either should be sufficient to seal this puppy up.
Now I am wondering if I should check the other doors, or just wait for more wetness.

*Another tip for others: For all the wiring connections to the back of the door card, I always spend 5 minutes cursing and trying to figure out how to press little tabs to get the connectors apart while holding the card up, until I just pull hard and they disconnect. Every one of them.
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Last edited by heatmizr; 05-19-2023 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 05-19-2023, 11:46 PM
ard ard is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sierra Foothills, California
Posts: 6,724
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We had these issues 18 years ago with E39s.... door vapor barrier not glued/sealed properly. Go figure
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