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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit: Took off my wheel and took a look at my front driver side brake pad. My mistake, I guess it's normal for the edge of brake pads to have that slope on it or whatever? So now that I know the pads are not missing a chunk, what could be causing my brakes to feel weak? I haven't driven the car much since that day, but it did feel pretty weak the one day I did drive it.

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2000 328ci

So I replaced 4 rotors / pads / parking brake shoes about 3 months / 1000 miles ago.

Pads/rotors are the ebay junk slotted/drilled rotors etc. I think the pads were PBR or something, green box. Parking brake shoes are oem from dealership.

Everything was working fine. The other day I was headed home from a park at the top of a hill. Downhill was maybe 3 miles or so. Halfway through my brakes started to feel really weak, then I smelled the brakes. I started going slow giving myself a lot of distance between the cars in front of me, brakes were really weak, took a lot longer distance and more pedal effort to come to a stop.

When I got home took a quick look at the pads through the wheels, front pads looked like they were not flat against the rotor? Like a piece of the pad material was missing/broke off? Pads are supposed to be pretty much flat against the rotor surface correct?

Rear pads looked fine, pretty much flat against the rotors, both front pads looked like they had a chunk of pad material missing.

Could it be the pads were junk, and going downhill made the pads hot and killed them? I know slotted rotors can eat pads, could that be the problem with the downhill?

My old oem pads still had a good amount of life left when I removed them, can I just reinstall those pads only if my current pads are missing a chunk? Haven't had time to remove the pads completely yet.



 

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If you're not upgrading to Stoptech, OEM brake parts FTW. This is one area of the car you don't want to cheap out on.

Hopefully you weren't riding the brakes all the way down that hill. Even if you own an automatic, you should've geared down. Riding the brakes for that long will overheat your rotors, your pads, and cause warping. Add that they are no name parts and all of that becomes more easy and dangerous to do. Properly cross drilled rotors shouldn't eat at your pads unless maybe under very heavy braking, and even then rarely.

I would suggest you swap out those pads & rotors for OEM parts as soon as your budget allows.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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if that happened it sounds like the pad was defective

as mentioned, please examine pads and/or post a picture
 

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It's the pad. Don't go wasting money on replacing rotors. Manufacturers usually have warranties on this type of failure.
 

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2016 340i xD 6-spd
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The answer about gearing down was the best. Instead of riding the brakes down the hill, gear down, and when you need to stab the brakes hard.

When street brakes get too hot, they'll lose braking ability.

That's one answer. The other is that they got so hot, and you had moisture trapped in your brake lines, it formed vapor which isn't as firm as brake fluid in a hydraulic system. Thus, you might need to bleed your brakes...and if you haven't ever done that, I'd say flush the brakes entirely.

The pads might not be the best...all I know is they're not OE...and might fade faster than other compounds. Honestly that incident seems as likely to be one as the other to me.
 

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