Changed my brake pads - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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#1 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 07:41 PM
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Whats up fellas...pretty damn proud of changing my own brake pads. After it finished raining all morning, I said fuck it an went out to change them. the Brakes started squeeling about two or three weeks ago, then the sensor light came on last week and it was pissing me off. So, about a week ago, I got some EBC Greenstuff's from Tirerack.com.

The link in the DIY was SOOOO much help. I was a little intimidated at first at taking care of the job myself, but it turned out to be extremely easy. (Also learned how to bleed my lines and troubleshoot as well...) So far the pads are working out great, but thats with about 10 miles on them so far...haha.

Anyway, if anyone could clue me in on how to clear the brake light sensor light on my dash, that would be wonderful

I sit here and ponder how anyone can go out and pay upwards of $300+ for a brake job. I spent $100 on pads and did the work myself. Took two hours, but thats because I cleaned everything as well. If I just went to do the pads, it would have taken a half hour or 45 minutes tops...

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#2 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 07:46 PM
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Dude.... thats awesome.... good job... doing it your self... will save thousands.... trust me.... word to the wise.... :

You learn more this way... you save... and its a lot more fun with beer.... so everyone should do it your self.



I know a Peake Research reset tool will get ride of that light for you... not sure of another way besides the dealer... any one else????


1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 07:49 PM
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Congrats on the brake pads. Did you change the sensor? In some cases, once the brake pad light comes on, the sensor needs to be changed. It should have extinguished shortly after the brake pad change and driving the car. The sensor is also a piece of cake to change. But don't purchase from a dealer, they charge twice as much as what you could but them online. BAVAUTO, etc. Should cost between $9 -12. There is one on the front left wheel and one on the right rear wheel.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 10:39 PM
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hey
good job bro ,thats gonna be my next mission!
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 10:42 PM
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you may need to replace the pad wear sensor.

i dont think the code reader will do it.

2008 128i Jetblack
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 11:13 PM
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yea pads are sooooooo easy to do, great money saver

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#7 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 11:13 PM
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Yeah thats what i was actually thinking (replacing the sensor). I did notice that it had been worn down along with the front brakes, hence the warning light coming on. The front brakes were substantially worn more and I know its the front left sensor that is tripping the light. I'll look into replacing it. I hate stupid little off color lights on my dash...its annoying.


Yeah Alpine, beer would have made it more fun, but I was sweating my ass off outside today. Its such a load off my shoulders to have gotten it done though. sooo glad.


One last little thing...I had to bleed the lines to get the pistons to release some to fit the calipers back on with the new pads. After finishing the job, I noticed my brakes were a little softer (had to push a little harder on the pedal to engage braking). How can I get it back to firm braking? I did go back and bleed the front brake lines some and it did make a little difference for the better...should I just go ahead and continue doing it until I get the braking response I should?

1996 318i
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 11:48 PM
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Good job there. I Did my first BMW brake change too this week. I changed front pads and rotors on both sides as well as the brake wear sensor. Took me 2 1/2 hrs to disassemble, clean and replace both sides.

-Al

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#9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 06:59 AM
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Blanton, can I ask why you had to bleed the line to compress the piston? You normally should not have to. All you need to do is open the brake master cylinder reservoir to let the fluid level rise.after taking some out with an eye dropper or turkey bastor.

I ask this because when you bleed the brakes and compress the piston, you may get air in the sytem if not done right. You may now have air trapped.

You have to be careful that you only open the bleeder WHILE the piston is compressed and CLOSE the bleeder before you stop compressing. This way you dont risk getting air in the system when the pressure is off.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 07:52 AM
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I agree with Fadec, the way to handle the piston retraction is with a c-clamp and the old pads. Just hold the caliper in your hands, install an old pad and tighten until the metal touches the rubber piston boot.

Instead of the eye dropper, I just put a rag around the brake reservior cap and that worked for me.


There could be two reasons you aren't back to firm braking:

1 - these are new pads and need some time to break in. I used Pagid pads and brembo OE rotors and it took about 60 miles of city driving for them to get back to their good ole sticky selves. Go easy and give it a chance.

2 - You may have introduced air into the system. The object of bleeding is to keep applying pressure while closing the bleeder. THis prevents air (evein the tiniest amount) from getting sucked back in.

If after 60 or so miles, your brakes are still not up to snuff, you may have to bleed them again.

As for the light, you need a new sensor and it'll go off.

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#11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 08:27 AM
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Thanks a lot guys...yeah, I knew about the C clamp method, however, I didn't have one and considering I had all the brakes dissasembled (well, one at a time) I couldn't really hop in my car and go buy one at Home Depot. None of my neighbors or friends had any either ghead So, I did what I thought would be the next best thing. I will definitely invest in a C clamp though...as I recollect, I didn't immediately close the lines when compressing the pistons, so that most likely is the problem. Lets call this a noobie kinda mistake here...

Having a air in the lines is the first thing that came to my mind. As I did a good 50 miles worth of driving on I95 today coming to work, they did begin to feel a little better, but still somewhat soft. I am doing some more work on my Bimmer this weekend (plugs, oil, etc...) so I will probably bleed the lines again to flush out this little problem. I think it may be time for a Rotor change as well considering they looked rusted out on the backs and on the vents. The braking surface still looked to be in real good condition though...

Thanks again guys, you are all a great help!

1996 318i
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Alpine CDA-7895 Head Unit
12&quot; Alpine Type-R, sealed box
Pioneer 400w amp for $20 at a yard sale (to replace my fried MRV-1507)
Infinity Kappa 4&quot; 2-way speakers(rear)
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#12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 09:16 AM
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If it hasn't gotten better yet, my money is on air. Get a helper and have them apply the brakes, and from each wheel open the bleeder.
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#13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 10:44 AM
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Didn't read through the other posts, but with regards to your brake light.

Changed the sensor? IF it is worn down to the metal, you need to.

Still on?

Put the key in the ingnition turn it to on but don't start. Pump the brakes a few times and turn off. That should do it.

Just to report:

Bought EBC Green Stuff as well about a month ago. Like 'em. Good feel. Require a little more effort, but really this helps with aggressive driving as IMO the brake input required with oem pads isn't AS conducive for heel/toeing. Very little brake dust (as advertised), and they look kinda cool.

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#14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 10:50 AM
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congrats on the DIY not only will it save you TONS OF MONEY (damn bmw dealerships!) but it will also make your car that much more speical to you! And with the money you saved you can make your car even more badass!

David
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#15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 10:36 AM
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yeah, I am digging the green color...the response is very good...can't wait to even brake them in...HAHAHA...its a play on words, get it? ghead

1996 318i
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Alpine CDA-7895 Head Unit
12&quot; Alpine Type-R, sealed box
Pioneer 400w amp for $20 at a yard sale (to replace my fried MRV-1507)
Infinity Kappa 4&quot; 2-way speakers(rear)
Infinity Kappa 5.25&quot; component speakers(front)
Debaffled airbox, K&amp;N filter
Tracked Mud on carpets
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