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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Enthusiasts,

I think my brakes are going bad (~50K miles, beyond warranty for a 2001), but I have yet to see the sensor come on. I don't hear any noise while driving, but I do when I park the car and let my foot off the brake. As always, the car moves ever so slightly, and then I hear the noise. It sounds like metal on metal. I took my car to the stealership 3 months ago for an oil service, and this was in their writeup from back then:

"CLIENT WILL NEED TO GET REAR PADS. CLOSE TO THE SENSOR. ROTORS ARE .682 AMN MIN. REQUIREMENT IS .685. BRAKES WILL COST $400"

1. Should I wait for the sensor, or get them replaced immediately?
2. Does the metal on metal sound indicate that I am damaging the rotors as well?
3. Isn't it strange that my Rear Pads have gone before the front ones?
4. How can I tell if my rotors really need to be replaced or if the stealership is trying to steal my money?
5. Does the .685 number mean anything to anyone?

Thanks in advance for the replies...
 

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1) I would replace them immediately

2) The longer you wait the more damage is likely to be caused

3) No i don't believe so, my rear have always worn out faster than the fronts (not by to much though!)

4) You say you are out of warranty? I would avoid dealership then and get recommendations to a good private bmw specialist (save you about 50%). What is your car like under hard braking? sterring whell wobble? If it seems normal i wouldn't worry about the rotors or just get a second opinion. Although this could be an opportunity to upgrade!

5) dunno...sorry
 

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This happened to me too. You probably want new brakes ASAP. And your sensors are probably already bad. But it IS strange that your rear pads are out before your front ones.
Dealership ususally tell you to change the rotors when they still have about 30% left. That's usually when the pads go out.
And I have no idea about the .685.
 

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sunil2323 said:
Enthusiasts,

I think my brakes are going bad (~50K miles, beyond warranty for a 2001), but I have yet to see the sensor come on. I don't hear any noise while driving, but I do when I park the car and let my foot off the brake. As always, the car moves ever so slightly, and then I hear the noise. It sounds like metal on metal. I took my car to the stealership 3 months ago for an oil service, and this was in their writeup from back then:

"CLIENT WILL NEED TO GET REAR PADS. CLOSE TO THE SENSOR. ROTORS ARE .682 AMN MIN. REQUIREMENT IS .685. BRAKES WILL COST $400"

1. Should I wait for the sensor, or get them replaced immediately?
2. Does the metal on metal sound indicate that I am damaging the rotors as well?
3. Isn't it strange that my Rear Pads have gone before the front ones?
4. How can I tell if my rotors really need to be replaced or if the stealership is trying to steal my money?
5. Does the .685 number mean anything to anyone?

Thanks in advance for the replies...

change your brakes...Now if you havent already.
The .685 is a number. The way an inch is broke down is .0001 to .1000 of an inch. They measure it with a micrometer or a dialcaliper (more accurate) the BMW safty limit is .685 so at the time of your inspection you were at .682 if you are hearing metal on metal that is worn seriously down. And yes you are damaging the Rotor and the caliper. The rotor can be turned down (cut) to smooth it out but if the brake shoe wares down too much the caliper (piston looking thing inside) will freeze up and you must get a new one. if you know anything about cars breaks are the easiest to fix you can get a new rotor for about 50 bucks and a claliper is about 25 bucks new shoes depending on your flava 20-250 bucks. Good luck
 

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sunil2323 said:
Enthusiasts,

I think my brakes are going bad (~50K miles, beyond warranty for a 2001), but I have yet to see the sensor come on. I don't hear any noise while driving, but I do when I park the car and let my foot off the brake. As always, the car moves ever so slightly, and then I hear the noise. It sounds like metal on metal. I took my car to the stealership 3 months ago for an oil service, and this was in their writeup from back then:

"CLIENT WILL NEED TO GET REAR PADS. CLOSE TO THE SENSOR. ROTORS ARE .682 AMN MIN. REQUIREMENT IS .685. BRAKES WILL COST $400"

1. Should I wait for the sensor, or get them replaced immediately?
2. Does the metal on metal sound indicate that I am damaging the rotors as well?
3. Isn't it strange that my Rear Pads have gone before the front ones?
4. How can I tell if my rotors really need to be replaced or if the stealership is trying to steal my money?
5. Does the .685 number mean anything to anyone?

Thanks in advance for the replies...
I'm guessing you need to get rear pads as they are close to tripping the sensor. Your rotors look shot. I'm guessing it will cost around $400 at the dealership.
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1. Why would you wait for a sensor? Do you realize how low they have to get to trip that thing? Who's to say your sensor even works?

Hi guys. I have no pedal feel but my sensor isn't on so let's go drive down this steep hill. OH NOES!!1111one.
2. Probably. Sounds like they needed to be replaced anyway.
3. If they were isntalled fresh at the same time, and are of the same rotor/pad material, then they should wear relatively even, with front going first generally. The fronts are stressed more in braking.
4. Measure.
5. Yes, to people that measure.
 

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GordonMurray said:
I'm guessing you need to get rear pads as they are close to tripping the sensor. Your rotors look shot. I'm guessing it will cost around $400 at the dealership.
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1. Why would you wait for a sensor? Do you realize how low they have to get to trip that thing? Who's to say your sensor even works?

Hi guys. I have no pedal feel but my sensor isn't on so let's go drive down this steep hill. OH NOES!!1111one.
2. Probably. Sounds like they needed to be replaced anyway.
3. If they were isntalled fresh at the same time, and are of the same rotor/pad material, then they should wear relatively even, with front going first generally. The fronts are stressed more in braking.
4. Measure.
5. Yes, to people that measure.


this coming from a guy who called me a thief for trying to trip my brake sensor. I pretty much have the same symptoms as the guy who posted this thread. only difference is, my brakes ARE covered under maintenance warranty.
 

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10chi said:
this coming from a guy who called me a thief for trying to trip my brake sensor. I pretty much have the same symptoms as the guy who posted this thread. only difference is, my brakes ARE covered under maintenance warranty.
THIEF!

The difference, you were trying to trip a sensor - where any decent tech would know when your brakes need to be replaced. You can trip your sensor after you put fresh ones on if you want.
 

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GordonMurray said:
THIEF!

The difference, you were trying to trip a sensor - where any decent tech would know when your brakes need to be replaced. You can trip your sensor after you put fresh ones on if you want.
AS</>SBAG!



and u just told the other guy why wait. and that it would take forever for the brake sensor to come one IF it even works....your words. and I am not a thief so why would I want to trip the sensor AFTER I get new ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All,

Thanks for the insightful information. I took the car into a mechanic and he says the pads/rotors need to be replaced, but should be able to avoid the caliper replacement. I bought the parts from the stealership and got 15% discount for being a BMW Car Club of America Member. My mechanic is going to charge me $70 to install the rear brakes/rotors tomorrow. He also said since the sensor has not tripped, I can reuse it (saves $24 for the part). I trust this guy as he was trained on BMW's in Germany. I know that its not too complex of a DIY, but $70 is worth it to me since I am not that great with my hands.

On a side note, GordonMurray/10chi, I've had the pleasure of reading your banter from other threads regarding the ethics of tripping the brake sensor early in order to get the brakes replaced under warranty. The stealership is constantly ripping people off, so why can't the consumer get even and return the favor? They charge a high premium because they know that the average person feels most comfortable taking their car to the dealership instead of some random shop. They prey on the fear of their customers and tell them that if they take their car to a non BMW dealer, they will run into problems. Give me a break! Any semi-qualified mechanic, and even a bunch of e46 fanatics can install brakes with identical results to the stealership. And you're telling me that the stealership is ethical for charging as much as they do for the identical service? 10chi, stick it to the man thats been sticking it to you and many others for years. GordonMurray, no hard feelings...just my 2 cents
 

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sunil2323 said:
All,

Thanks for the insightful information. I took the car into a mechanic and he says the pads/rotors need to be replaced, but should be able to avoid the caliper replacement. I bought the parts from the stealership and got 15% discount for being a BMW Car Club of America Member. My mechanic is going to charge me $70 to install the rear brakes/rotors tomorrow. He also said since the sensor has not tripped, I can reuse it (saves $24 for the part). I trust this guy as he was trained on BMW's in Germany. I know that its not too complex of a DIY, but $70 is worth it to me since I am not that great with my hands.

On a side note, GordonMurray/10chi, I've had the pleasure of reading your banter from other threads regarding the ethics of tripping the brake sensor early in order to get the brakes replaced under warranty. The stealership is constantly ripping people off, so why can't the consumer get even and return the favor? They charge a high premium because they know that the average person feels most comfortable taking their car to the dealership instead of some random shop. They prey on the fear of their customers and tell them that if they take their car to a non BMW dealer, they will run into problems. Give me a break! Any semi-qualified mechanic, and even a bunch of e46 fanatics can install brakes with identical results to the stealership. And you're telling me that the stealership is ethical for charging as much as they do for the identical service? 10chi, stick it to the man thats been sticking it to you and many others for years. GordonMurray, no hard feelings...just my 2 cents

thanks bro. Good luck with your brakes. :thumbup:
 
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