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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:35 PM   #1
E46Moonlight
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 2,597
My Ride: 2000 323i
DIY Fix for leak in battery compartment

Here is a simple DIY for solving the problem of having water in your battery compartment in the rear after a heavy rain storm or after going through the car wash.

Items needed:

Go to home depot and buy some foam cooper pipe insulator. Should be no more than $5
Pliers
Water proof tape
scissors

Difficulty: 1/10

Things to check that cause leak:
  • Tail light gasket
  • Battery vent
  • Any rust that my cause leaks
  • After market trunks.
  • If you have a CSL trunk and have leaks you might want to double up on the back up light gaskets or add some extra foam insulator that you purchased from home depot. Also the trunk handle can cause leaks as well.
    ***You can use the same steps from below to the lights and trunk handle if you don't want to purchase a new gasket. It's a little ghetto, but gets the job done***.

One sure way to check leaks; is to get a water hose, spray the car with the hose on hand and then check from the inside where the leak is coming from while spraying.

First check your taillight gasket. This is straight forward. If it's bad get a new one. Problem solved. If you still have a leak check for rust. If no rust, then follow these steps.


The leak happens when your rear bumper starts to sag, and causes a gap for water to creep into the vent.



Step 1:
Open trunk and take out the battery cover



Step 2:
Pull back the carpet, Locate vent (black square piece)


Step 3:
Take out vent with pliers


Step 4:
Take a piece of tape and measure the area around the vent. Cut the tape to that length.


Step 5:
With the insulator that you've purchased, cut a very thin piece with scissors to the same length of the tape




Step 6:
Apply the this piece of insulator you just cut to the water proof tape. You want to apply the foam more towards one edge, rather than just the middle.


Step 8:
Now apply the tape around the area.You should end up with something like this.



Step 9:
Now install everything back in reverse order and your done.

If you have any questions just ask, and I'll do my best to answer them.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:05 PM   #2
keromin4151
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Nice DIY. Yeah it will be scary to battery leakage due to exposure to water...Moonlight, your DIY list is growing
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:16 PM   #3
ralphy846
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Moonlight, I have the same issue, maybe we can hook up and if possible can you take care of it. PM me your price
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
E46Moonlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keromin4151 View Post
Nice DIY. Yeah it will be scary to battery leakage due to exposure to water...Moonlight, your DIY list is growing
Thanks. Yea, it was pretty scary finding water back there one day after the car wash. Simple fix!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphy846 View Post
Moonlight, I have the same issue, maybe we can hook up and if possible can you take care of it. PM me your price
ummmm. it's a simple DIY dude. If you can use a scissor and tape, then you can do this. Just give it a shot, should work.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
genuity
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@OP: Optima FTW!

You can secure your optima with the hockey puck mod like this:

http://www.ninemisfit.com/vehicles/2..._coupe/optima/

or how I did mine (left pic) with a caster

Right pic is from the site above--uploaded it in case it went down.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
E46Moonlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genuity View Post
@OP: Optima FTW!

You can secure your optima with the hockey puck mod like this:

http://www.ninemisfit.com/vehicles/2..._coupe/optima/

or how I did mine (left pic) with a caster

Right pic is from the site above--uploaded it in case it went down.
Thanks! I've been looking for a way to secure it!
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
Nitrius
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I know this is a bit old, but i think i have a similar problem. Noticed it was wet and some parts of the battery compartment had rusted, so i fixed the rust, or tried, still holding up at least.

Anyway, only place there is water is in the battery compartment, rest of the trunk is dry, and i must say that this vent look suspicious, also the white tube that you can connect to the battery, if you have acid filled battery(or some batteries needs it), but i have an AGM battery, so i don't need that tube, or the vent for that sake, if am not mistaken.

How would be the best way of going about this? I was maybe thinking of sealing the edge around that vent with the same material used to seal the vapor barrier on the inside of the doors? But am not sure if it's leaking around the vent, or maybe from the vent holes it self?
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:53 PM   #8
rawbspear
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water leak in battery compartment

see below for different solve to issue

Last edited by rawbspear; 02-12-2017 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:45 PM   #9
rawbspear
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This fox only works if you have an AGM battery. If you have not upgraded your battery to Absorbed Glass Matt this will not work for you.
Due to an AGM battery not venting gasses you can seal the battery compartment.

the metal patch measurements are for a 1999-2005 325xit wagon

Needed:
Tin Snips
6 3/8" X 10" piece of sheet metal
100 Percent fast drying silicone
good tape.
bastard file
beer


Measure and cut out your patch plate. File down sharp edges.
Remove 2 lower bolts for water tank. Possibly wagon only; not sure.
Remove vent with pliers. There are 2 clips on top that need to be released with flat head screw driver. There are 2 clips on bottom as well. I destroyed my vent with malice when removing.
Cover edges of patch liberally with silicone
Bond in patch plate, tape to hold down.
Attach water tank bolts.
Drink 2 beers.
Remove tape.

I added a patch on the outside of car with marine vinyl and gasket sealing adhesive. I completely covered steel patch with silicone and bonded outside vinyl patch to the steel patch.






Last edited by rawbspear; 02-12-2017 at 08:04 PM.
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