E39 540i 1998 6 Speed - Simple Brake Question. - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 09:53 AM
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E39 540i 1998 6 Speed - Simple Brake Question.

Hello, I am new here and new to BMWs. I am not unfamiliar with Nissans and Porsches. When it comes to brakes sensors I am having a hell of a time. I am getting a message to "checkbrakelining" So one weekend I jacked up the car, I removed all the wheels and started examining my brake pads and the sensors. All seem to be intact and connected and the pads have more than 50% of there life left.

I did not check the Emergency brakes shoes because someone told me that I would need a special tool for those.

My question is... Does the Emergency shoe have a sensor?

The sensors appeared to be different on the rear left and right sides. The passenger side sensor clips right on to the pad and the driver side enters the rear side of the drum.

This is just the beginning of my problems I think. I just got this car and I am starting to think that the driving joy comes at a high price.

Any answers or direction will be greatly appreciated. I want to love this car. Is that too much to ask?

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#2 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 01:17 PM
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check those diagrams out


i hope that helps with your troubleshooting; also, check that the wires aren't just worn. the way the sensor works is it's a normally closed circuit ... a piece of wire making a u-turn at the end of the sensor; when it loses connection anywhere on the wire, it will throw a code at you.

probably the best thing to do (if you are sure your brake pads are still good) is get new sensors (they are only like 10-15 a piece), put them in ... after that i believe you put the ignition key in position 2 for something like 30 seconds to reset it (not sure, never owned a e39, but i think i read that somewhere)

welcome to bimmerwerkz.

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 08:19 PM
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I agree with Torque - those sensors are sensitive and destructively trigger. Which means they trip the code once their protective covering has worn off. Once that happens you gotta replace them, end of story. Fortunately, they are cheap.

The rest of your fears appear to be driven by lack of knowledge at this point; your car is really not expensive or troublesome to own if you are willing to do your own work AND you stay on top of things and don't let things go too long without fixing them.

Here is the deal, there is one sensor on the front pads (passenger side), and one sensor for the rear (forgot which side). The sensor must be installed correctly so that it will only be abraded when the pad is worn. Proper installation should be fairly obvious once you get a new set of sensors. Make sure you get the little metal clips with them.

Your e-brake does not have such a sensor.

If you are going to own a '98 540, you need to go out and buy the Bentley service manual, available at Amazon for about $109. You should also consult bmwtips.com and 540i6.com, and read this forum and the Roadfly E39 forum every day to educate yourself. Talk to Dave Zeckhausen (http://www.zeckhausen.com). Optional but recommended is a Peake code reader/reset tool. Also, start buying those weird metric size tools you never needed before, but will now: 16mm and 18mm combo wrenches, 16mm, 18mm, and 24mm sockets, 7mm hex key socket. For starters.

I hope this helped. I am at 124K on my '99 540/6 and I am enjoying every mile! It isn't CHEAP to keep, but it isn't too bad either.

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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