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Check Brake Linings

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by JAMAICAN TWIN TURBO, May 26, 2009.

    JAMAICAN TWIN TURBO guest

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    I got a check brake linings warning on my 2003 530i. I'm assuming it means my brake pads are wearing down. I'm not going to the dealership to get them done...does anyone know of any good aftermarket pads I can buy? And should I get new rotors and brake lines too? I would do new rotors if need be....but can I skip the brake lines? Also, would I need new brake wear sensors? Thanks

    T
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    granthr

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    Are you handy with a wrench? If you are you can do this job yourself. BUT FIRST buy the bentley manual for your car. E39 series. It will give you the necessary steps to do this job.

    However just because the brake lining light is on does not mean you need new pads and rotors. You need to get down there and look at them. The bentley will tell you how. Regarding rotors you may or may not need new ones. Some rotors have wear indicators on them. An indentation on the rotor surface. If it is nearly gone then replace. Or you can measure them with a thickness gauge. Go to Sears and buy one or borrow one from a friend.

    Brake hoses you can probably leave alone, changing them would mean having to bleed the brakes. Which you can also do yourself, but you should buy a powerbleeder. If you do this, DO NOT get air into the brake system, otherwise it is a trip to the dealer to activate the ABS to bleed the air out.

    All parts can be bought from Bavarian Autosport, BMP Design, your local Dealer, etc. Factory pads are great for initial bite, but they are dusty/dirty. Their are cleaner pads out there though. BavAuto etc also sell new pad sensors. Don't forget anti-squeak for the back of the pads.

    Good Luck

    JAMAICAN TWIN TURBO guest

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    Thanks for the info...I have noticed...from when someone else did my brakes....that my ABS is awfully bumpy when they are in use. Could it be because air got into the system and he didn't bleed them correctly?
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    granthr

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    Normal function for ABS when they are activated is a brake pedal that is pulsating. ABS should only be activated when braking very hard on dry pavement, or in lower traction situations such as snow or wet roads. So if you are feeling a pulsing brake pedal under the above mentioned situations then your ABS is probably working correctly.

    Now if your ABS comes on under normal braking you may have an issue that should probably be checked out by a mechanic. I would suggest going to an independent BMW Mechanic. You can find one in your area by going to http://www.bimrs.org/

    vtx guest

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    TGRANT3455: Second the notion about the Bentley manual, worth every cent. Look up "bentley manual e39" on http://froogle.com/ - usually covers all, or most, sources.

    Another thing, you want to read the Bentley manual *literally*. I've witnessed a first time DIYer to read the chapter about the oil change three times, and still miss the fact that they needed to buy a crushable washer for the drain plug.

    Statistically, you have about 1000 miles left on pads, give or take - but I won'd go that far. As for rotors, you have to measure - my warning lighted up for the first time at 61500 miles, and I've decided to replace rotors as a preventive measure and bought them before I started the replacement, and somewhat regretted it later - could've probably driven twice as much.

    Getting parts - http://realoem.com/bmw/ is a priceless resource,go there and specify your VIN, you'll get the part numbers for *your* car. I bet you'll bookmark the place and will visit it a few times a day :)

    *What* to buy is your choice, *where* to buy - I'm collecting a list of decent places to shop, see the signature. Plus, Froogle is your friend, too.

    Dealer prices are on average three times more expensive than can be found elsewhere, and it does make sense to buy from a dealer only if you can't obtain the same part elsewhere. *Especially* if they say they have to special order it.

    You do need to buy a new wear sensor - see RealOEM for the part number.

    You might also want to invest into a decent jack and a set of jack stands, but that's a different holy war altogether :)

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