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rear brake job for E60 '06 530xi - variety of questions

Discussion in 'E60 (2004-2010)' started by chebowitz, May 15, 2013.

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    chebowitz

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    I'm preparing to replace the rear brake pads, rotors and sensor for my E60 2006 530xi. I also intend to flush the brake system afterwards. A few questions:

    1) The bavauto.com pressure brake bleeder for my car model (i.e., all E60's) indicates: " Must purchase ALB30583 adapter for use on this vehicle" which is their universal reservoir cap and costs an additional $20. I called them and they said for my vehicle, the reservoir cap that comes with the pressure bleeder doesn't fit quite right and they'd rather err on the side of caution (which happens to get them another $20). So I called a local BMW dealer and they said when they do pressure flushes, they use the same reservoir cap for all their cars. The bavauto is packaged with a collection bottle and on sale, which makes it a better deal than the MOTIVE system (which claims their 45mm reservoir cap fits all BMWs as well as most euro cars). Can anyone chime in on the bavauto system?

    2) When putting on the new pads, the caliper piston will need to be pressed to accomodate the new pad thickness. Do I open up the respective bleeder valve to allow the fluid to escape locally rather than pushed back through the brake lines and into the reservoir? I've read a few threads and get the impression not opening up the local bleeder valve - even if the reservoir cap is removed - can potentially cause ABS system issues.

    3) BMW original or Zimmerman rotors? Zimmerman's seem pretty common. I'm inclined to go stock for nearly everything, but I'm slowly coming around to alternatives. Any thoughts or concerns with Zimmerman's? Are their other brands I should consider?

    4) BMW original or ceramic pads? Akebono Euro ceramic pads seem to be a popular alternative especially for the brake dust issues. I appreciate the rear brake dust is less than the fronts... but this may be a preview for when I need to do the fronts. Right now the fronts are BMW original with about 15k miles on them, so I have a while before they need to be replaced. Two concerns: (A) maintaining the "bite" if I use the ceramic vs. traditional. (B) is it okay to have traditional on fronts and ceramic on backs? Are their other ceramic brands that I should be considering or that offer better performance?

    5) Brake fluid: ATE gold 200 super gold vs the super blue. Other than color is their any difference? I read on some threads that their may be some temperature boiling point differences, that the gold has a lower boiling point.

    6) Resetting the service intervals on the iDrive system. I've been reading a lot of threads and saw a couple of videos that show a way to use a combination of the trip odometer reset button and a few other buttons that will reset the service intervals. The process takes place on instrument panel area and not on the NAV screen. Anyone have any experience with this? Does it work? Can the state inspection also be reset this way? The last thing I want is to create an issue.

    Thanks in advance to all who offer their insights.
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    MGarrison

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    I like the BavAuto pressure bleeder compared to Motive because the motive does not have a pressure relief valve. I understand conserving every penny, but if they recommend the cap, I'd go for it - much better than having brake fluid sprayed all over your engine bay and potentially the paint (bad news because brake fluid is corrosive) if the other cap doesn't stay sealed under pressure (or not being able to use it at all from not sealing and having to draft your wife or neighbor to complete the job). Don't over-pressurize the bleeder. Pressure bleeders leave the reservoir filled to the top, you'll need to remove some fluid to get it to the correct level (a turkey baster works - buy a cheap one or at least replace your wife's ;) ) - on that note, place some paper towels, rags, or whatever around the reservoir when your remove the bleeder cap to catch any overflow spill, and yes, don't forget to de-pressurize the bleeder first.

    I'm not sure what any problem might be with the abs system from pushing the pistons back in the calipers - if you had a major amount of air in the lines, it's probably better not to get air into the abs unit, but if you had that much air in your lines, your brakes would have so much pedal travel you'd hardly feel they're working. If the brake system is functioning normally, I wouldn't expect the relatively nominal amount of fluid moved to compress each piston to be any problem. Pump the brakes back up after you swap the pads on each caliper so you don't risk overflowing the brake fluid reservoir. Perhaps there is a specific E60 issue, but haven't had a problem with the E30 & E34 & E38 I'm familiar with. I don't see any problem with cracking the bleeder however for piston retraction, and you should be able to push in the piston more easily - it will use up some fluid though, so you wouldn't want the fluid level to get too low and possibly end up getting air in the abs unit (although I think that's unlikely too, the amount of fluid in all 4 calipers likely is not more than what's in the reservoir - of course you can keep an eye on the reservoir as you go).

    I haven't tried zimmerman, I'd just say don't use the absolute cheapest rotors - clean the rotor surfaces with brake parts cleaner before installation (not uncommon that they're oiled so they don't rust while in inventory). I generally have confidence in Roundel advertisers, I'd think any rotors sourced from anyplace in the Roundel should be just fine.

    Suit yourself on the pads - I've had no problem with ceramics on my cars; I can't imagine there being enough 'bite' difference for there to be an issue having stocks front and ceramics on the back. I've used PBR/Axxis ultimates -
    http://www.importrp.com/product.php?productid=341584&cat=&page=1

    As far as I know, there's no difference between ATE gold & super blue - you can look them up online and compare to doublecheck - it can be convenient to alternate, as then you can see by the color difference exactly when you have the new fluid through the system.

    No i-drive experience, so no ideas for you there if you can reset through the i-drive system. Peake Research makes reset tools, perhaps that's what you need -

    http://www.peakeresearch.com/fcx3.htm
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    Garrsion advice above is spot on with everything. If you want to reset your service lights you don't need any special tools it is built into the instrument cluster. All you do is turn the to the run position( put key in slot push start button once look for check engine light) dont start the car though. Now wait for all the warning messages to disappear and the time and temp to be seen in the insturment cluster. Now hold down the trip meter reset button and a little triangle with a exclamation point inside of it keeping holding the reset button until you will see a image with a service counter. You are looking for one that has a picture with a back half of a car. If it doesn't show that one first you will have to release the reset button and press it once and the picture will change. Once you find the one you want press and hold the trip reset button until the word reset comes up with a question mark. Then release the trip reset button and push it again the light should reset. This is the same for any other services you need to reset and this will also reset the service counter in the Idrive. Hope this helps and isn't to confusing.
    • Member

    chebowitz

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    Boy do I love the BMWCCA community... it's really great to get feedback from fellow enthusiasts.

    Thanks MGarrison for your many comments and advice. Regarding the bavauto pressure bleeder, the pressure relief valve is another feature that's drawing me to theirs. I appreciate your comment about not going cheap and get the extra universal cap. That could prove useful for brake flushes with the other family (dare I say non-BMW) vehicles. But it just seems odd they claim their standard cap won't provide a good seal for the E60 brake reservoir yet Motive's standard cap is okay for all BMWs (as well as many other euro cars) and the BMW dealerships also just use one cap for all vehicles. Curious, have you used the bavauto on an E60 5 series vehicle?

    Has anyone used the bavauto pressure bleeder with the standard reservoir cap on an E60 5 series?

    BTW, I read a neat trick to minimize splashes: don't put fluid in the pressure bleeder, just pressurize the tank and keep your eye on the reservoir.

    Also, thank you charlson89 for your feedback on the service reset procedure.
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    MGarrison

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    Glad I could be of some help - I've just used the bavauto press. bleeder on my cars, so I don't know what the issue is with the cap fit on E60's. But yes, seems odd there would be an issue with just one specific model if it works for all other BMW's. Give us an update about it when you find out! :)

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