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325isMostar 10-03-2012 09:15 AM

E30 water on the driver's side floor
Everytime it rains, I go inside the car after and there is a small splash puddle underneath my feet, or right below the gas/brake/clutch pedals.

Any pointers as to where its coming from? The moonroof? The firewall plastics panel leaking?

Thanks guys

InfiniteDice 10-03-2012 10:31 AM

Most likely your lift point is so rotted out that the water is being absorbed into the foam under the carpet. When I took out my carpet the whole thing and the insulating foam were soaked!

You can remove the knee bolster (panel under the steering wheel/dash) and see if there is a rust trail from further up under the dash... that could mean the corner of your windshield is leaking. One time I had a place change the windshield and then realized 6 months later that when it really rained it would leak. I pulled the plug strip out and resealed the window as best I could with black RTV then put the strip back in.

The sunroof drains don't go into the car, they go out to the rocker area through tubes.

The vents below the window have drains in the engine bay. It is possible that is blocked and leaking although I've never had that happen.

#1 You have a hole in the floor.
#2 You have a window seal issue.
#3 You may have a heater core issue, but that would smell like coolant.

everlast 10-03-2012 10:48 AM

I'd wager on hole in floor also. There is a sharp edge about halfway up the wheel in the wheelwell that gets blasted with debris and rusts through. It's about 2-3" above the clutch assembly, but to the left in the corner.

325isMostar 10-03-2012 10:59 AM

ok, thanks for your replies....I should point out that the car is stationary (haven't been driving it) and this is the outcome...water on the drivers side floor...

everlast 10-03-2012 11:19 AM

Hmm, then leaking door seals or something seems more likely, or the sunroof drain as pointed out above.

sb_600 10-03-2012 01:00 PM

On my e36, the sunroof drain hose popped off and there was a puddle at the bottom of the passenger side A-pillar.... could be that!

InfiniteDice 10-03-2012 01:50 PM

If the car had just been sitting in rain, my guess is the windshield. If you at all drove it even through a few puddles, it can be a hole.

Once the water gets under there it stays there. It takes a shit-load of water to have it come up through all that underpadding and foam. So either it's been saturated for a long time... or you have a windshield/vent leak and it's running under the dash and dripping on top of the carpet.

Like I said, once you have moisture under there it's game over unless you peel back the carpet enough to see what the situation is.

When I pulled all my carpets and under padding it was soaked. That crap is like a sponge and would literally take weeks to dry out.

aberg83 04-30-2013 09:47 AM

Any advice on how to non-destructively remove the carpet to inspect water seepage issues?

everlast 04-30-2013 10:03 AM

You have to remove the heater core to do so, which to me poses more risk than altering the carpet.

With the seats and console out, you can cut the carpet under the lower console in front of the shifter, and the carpet will pull around the heater core. When you replace the console, you don't see the cut.

aberg83 04-30-2013 10:04 AM

Any how do you remove the black plastic door sill trim pieces? I pulled a bit on one and it started to crack.

everlast 04-30-2013 10:08 AM

Use a trim removal tool. (A fork will work somewhat, in a pinch.)

See if you can search for pictures of the trim off to see what you're dealing with: there are around 5 white plugs that snap into the car. They come out with the trim. You can't apply pulling pressure on the trim too far away from the plug, or you'll break the black trim. But when you start applying pressure near the plug, you'll notice the trim isn't bending much, and with additional pressure the plug will pop out.

I'll be honestly, its not a pleasant experience.

aberg83 04-30-2013 10:14 AM

Fun! Well I will be pulling my carpet for a few reasons... to help sort out a water issue and to dye it black. I will restore my recaro seats at the same time.

Since the underpadding foam is saturated, I was planning to toss it. Do you need to put some foam back in before carpet re-installation? Or would a coat of truck bed liner on the floor pans do the trick?

everlast 04-30-2013 10:23 AM

AFAIK the foam is attached to the carpet in a rather non-detachable way. :( You could just let it dry out and reinstall.

I dyed a light grey carpet to black once with Duplicolor fabric spray. It went well, just make sure the carpet is as clean as humanly possible before you spray.

aberg83 04-30-2013 10:27 AM

ok thanks for the advice!

karmatose 04-30-2013 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by everlast (Post 1608427)
AFAIK the foam is attached to the carpet in a rather non-detachable way.

The previous owner of my car removed it somehow. I think he had replaced it with dynamat. So, it is possible, I'm just not sure how the best way to go about it would be.

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