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Thread: Brake lights came on how much life is left ?

  1. #1
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    Brake lights came on how much life is left ?

    2013 320i xDrive

    My brake lights just came on to change the pads. Is this like the fuel light where it kinda gives you a warning and there’s still , say, 20% more life left on the pads ?


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    dworthy's Avatar
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    Nope, that means you may get 500 miles at best before you start to hear metal on metal grinding at best.

    Typically that will tell you on that specific pad where the sensor is, you have about 1.5mm left on that pad.
    Darin
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    Aw, c'mon man. Just replace the pads, rotors and sensor. Do you know how many sets of brakes I buy every year? Just replace the stuff.

    Chris Powell
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdirtracer View Post
    Aw, c'mon man. Just replace the pads, rotors and sensor. Do you know how many sets of brakes I buy every year? Just replace the stuff.
    You told me 45 minutes ago, one set of brakes last you all 'season'. Right?

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  5. #5
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    All season being ~ 500 miles of track use. Got another set for street use, buddy. And the street brakes are much cheaper. But I do use two sets per year of front pads and rotors, on the street. Ugly but true, don't know why, but that's life. Note that I drive 35000 miles per year on the street.
    Last edited by bmwdirtracer; 03-08-2018 at 09:49 PM.

    Chris Powell
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    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
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    That happens when you are slowing down a two ton car. Get a E36! A 99 M3!!

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  7. #7
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    Wanna trade?

    Chris Powell
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  9. #9
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    Where am I gonna get cash? I've just ordered a new set of track pads and rotors, and I'm going to buy a set of Mich PS4S in the next week....all on credit cards, dammit. You know, the 4000 pound beast kind of rips this stuff up, at V.I.R.

    Chris Powell
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdirtracer View Post
    Where am I gonna get cash? I've just ordered a new set of track pads and rotors, and I'm going to buy a set of Mich PS4S in the next week....all on credit cards, dammit. You know, the 4000 pound beast kind of rips this stuff up, at V.I.R.
    I'm not a financial advisor, but buying disposable parts and paying CC rates over a long term is not the best approach to save money.

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  11. #11
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    But how else can I spend more money than I make?

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  12. #12
    MauiM3Mania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdirtracer View Post
    But how else can I spend more money than I make?
    If you want to stay legal ...credit cards are the worst approach simply because of the absurd interest rates. Then there always is declaring bankruptcy although that forces you into becoming somewhat responsible for future expenditures (unable to spend more than you make) and causes your next seven years or so to be sorta sucky. You could always marry into it or inherit the money.

    Keep us updated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dworthy View Post
    Nope, that means you may get 500 miles at best before you start to hear metal on metal grinding at best.

    Typically that will tell you on that specific pad where the sensor is, you have about 1.5mm left on that pad.
    How do you figure 500 miles?
    My experience is there is perhaps 20% of the pad remaining, using your math that's 2500 miles on a set of pads.
    I always thought this very early warning amusing. Given that BMW considers rotors sacrificial why not run them down to the bitter end? When you hear the scraping replace the whole works and start over. The brakes work just fine down to the last drop.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

  14. #14
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    That would be fine, if the pad with the sensor wore more than the other three pads on that axle. Since we're doing math, I'd guess that happens about 25% of the time

    I use more brakes than most people, I admit it. I have multiple sets of mated rotors/pads, for street and track. Some of them actually hit the sensor before I replace them. I have a set of extremely expensive track pads which have ~3-4mm left on the outside pads. I'm not going to put them back on the car, new set on the way.

    Somewhere on my phone, there's a picture of a car that came into the shop, with the pads trashed, and the rotors were MISSING the outside face: they were worn all the way to the vanes, which was when the piston ripped out of the caliper. The car was towed in, of course. Customer said he'd heard the noise for a while, figured it was normal.

    Chris Powell
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    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
    BMWCCA 274412 SCCA 334928

  15. #15
    dworthy's Avatar
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    I figure about 500 miles because I haven't seen even wear on pads on that old of a car.

    Now Mercedes Benzs puts a sensor on every pad, not just the two like BMW.
    Darin
    Current:
    16 220i Active Tourer Platinsilver MET (C08)/Dakota Black (PDSW), P7ACA, P7LDA, P7LHA, P9BDA, 6sp Manual - Wife's new toy!
    05 325it Electric Red(438)/Gray(N6TT) ZCW, ZSP 5sp Manual Back set cover, trunk mat, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield, and mud flaps! Mr. Wagon My new Winter car.
    05 M3 Imolarot II(405)/Gray(N5TT) ZCW, ZPP 6sp Manual C.F. Lip, CSL diffuser, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield and a trunk liner! Mr. Go_Fast Stored for the Winter
    Past:
    95 318is Montreal Blue Met (297)/Beige(K1SN) A Hooptie!
    84 M535i gray market Burgandy Rot Met/Black Leather Lowered by Intrax on bilies, poly everywhere, B&B cat back system, K&N, and a hitch! Da Beast - Still running w/375k+!
    91 316i euro Tizianrot/Gray cloth - E-36 w/M-40 motor, such a beater, but great on gas! Best was 38 MPG
    82 528i euro Saphire Blue Met/Blue Leather RIP
    79 525 euro Green/Green RIP
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  16. #16
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    I don’t plan on changing the rotors or the sensors. Just the pads. About 4months ago I was told that there was 5-6mm left on the pads when I did a safety certification. Not sure how accurate that is now but I think they’re probably worn out.


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  17. #17
    dworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x3L2004 View Post
    I don’t plan on changing the rotors or the sensors. Just the pads. About 4months ago I was told that there was 5-6mm left on the pads when I did a safety certification. Not sure how accurate that is now but I think they’re probably worn out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Was that the front or rears? There are two sensors, Front left and Rear right.

    If you just got new pads up front, and that is the sensor that is cut, I would think that you may have a dragging caliper. But if it isn't then have a look at the rears. Also a misrouted sensor line can get cut over time too.
    Darin
    Current:
    16 220i Active Tourer Platinsilver MET (C08)/Dakota Black (PDSW), P7ACA, P7LDA, P7LHA, P9BDA, 6sp Manual - Wife's new toy!
    05 325it Electric Red(438)/Gray(N6TT) ZCW, ZSP 5sp Manual Back set cover, trunk mat, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield, and mud flaps! Mr. Wagon My new Winter car.
    05 M3 Imolarot II(405)/Gray(N5TT) ZCW, ZPP 6sp Manual C.F. Lip, CSL diffuser, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield and a trunk liner! Mr. Go_Fast Stored for the Winter
    Past:
    95 318is Montreal Blue Met (297)/Beige(K1SN) A Hooptie!
    84 M535i gray market Burgandy Rot Met/Black Leather Lowered by Intrax on bilies, poly everywhere, B&B cat back system, K&N, and a hitch! Da Beast - Still running w/375k+!
    91 316i euro Tizianrot/Gray cloth - E-36 w/M-40 motor, such a beater, but great on gas! Best was 38 MPG
    82 528i euro Saphire Blue Met/Blue Leather RIP
    79 525 euro Green/Green RIP
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dworthy View Post
    Was that the front or rears? There are two sensors, Front left and Rear right.

    If you just got new pads up front, and that is the sensor that is cut, I would think that you may have a dragging caliper. But if it isn't then have a look at the rears. Also a misrouted sensor line can get cut over time too.
    No I didn’t change any pads yet. And the 5-6mm reading during safety certification was when they measured all four pads I guess the worse was probably 5-6mm reported I’m not sure if they’re all in the same range or some have more or less life or if it was averaged out to be honest. I’ll take some pics of it soon and post it here.


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  19. #19
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    The pads don't always wear evenly.

    If the BRAKE light is on, and it's on because of pad wear, then at least one sensor is trashed. Once they trigger, they are no good ever again. Furthermore, once you remove even a good sensor from a pad, the little spring doesn't like to work anymore, and the sensors often slip out of a new pad. The sensors are inexpensive, and I personally always order a new one when I'm doing a brake job....mine or someone else's.

    If there is a significant ridge on the outer edge of the rotors, they should be changed too, because even if they're presently above minimum thickness, they'll almost certainly go well below minimum before your NEXT pad change.

    Chris Powell
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    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
    BMWCCA 274412 SCCA 334928

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdirtracer View Post
    The pads don't always wear evenly.

    If the BRAKE light is on, and it's on because of pad wear, then at least one sensor is trashed. Once they trigger, they are no good ever again. Furthermore, once you remove even a good sensor from a pad, the little spring doesn't like to work anymore, and the sensors often slip out of a new pad. The sensors are inexpensive, and I personally always order a new one when I'm doing a brake job....mine or someone else's.

    If there is a significant ridge on the outer edge of the rotors, they should be changed too, because even if they're presently above minimum thickness, they'll almost certainly go well below minimum before your NEXT pad change.
    I took some pictures of the rotors during the pad change. Also, my mechanic who strictly works on bmws only told me the sensor was reused so he didn’t change it.

    For me personally I’m just trying to get to the next brake job where I change everything but just do the pads for now.



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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdirtracer View Post

    Somewhere on my phone, there's a picture of a car that came into the shop, with the pads trashed, and the rotors were MISSING the outside face: they were worn all the way to the vanes, which was when the piston ripped out of the caliper. The car was towed in, of course. Customer said he'd heard the noise for a while, figured it was normal.
    Ah, yes. The ever popular ratcheting brakes.
    First time I saw this(albeit with what was left of the piston still in place) was on a car owned by a guy with the nickname "Bernie", short for burnout. Wow, man!
    Scary that they share the same roads with us.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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