How to Install a BMW Brake Discs and Brake Pads in 5 Steps
Brake discs and brake rotors play very important roles in the operation of the braking system. Brake pads come into contact with the discs to create the frictional force required to slow down a car. If the discs become too thin due to wear and tear, its ability to stop the car drastically decreases. Sometimes the discs become grooved due to corrosion, resulting in decreased braking capability. Luckily, replacing brake pads is one of the easiest car maintenance tasks that any driver can do. As a rule, you should check your BMW's brake pads every 10,000 miles and replace them if the pad replacement sensor is activated. However, most people don't usually check their brake pads visually. Instead, they rely on the brake warning lamp on the dashboard. It is highly recommended to replace the pads and check the discs once this warning light turns on.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- Allen wrench
- Brush or air compressor
- Rubber hammer
- Brake rotors
- Brake pads
- Brake pad sensors
- Brake disc set screw
- Anti rattle clip
- Anti squeal compound
- Anti seize spray
Preparing for the task
Before you start working, you should prepare all the tools and parts that you will need so that you can work faster. You can also loosen the wheel lugs beforehand. You can bring your BMW to a local mechanic to have it loosened.
Getting to the caliper
Using the sockets, dismount the wheels and the anti-rattle clip. Remove the brake pad connections on the side adjacent to the brake pad sensor. You may also remove the caliper guide bolts.
Removing the caliper
To remove the caliper, clamp the solid part of the caliper (located near the face of the rotor) using a C-clamp. Just be sure that you are supporting the caliper so that it will not hang down, which may cause damage to it.
Removing the brake pads and the brake disc
After removing the caliper, you may now take out the brake pads. Then remove the set screw and brake rotor cautiously. You can also use a rubber hammer if the rotor sticks to the hub.
Prepping up the wheel hub flange
Use a brush or an air compressor to clean the area around the wheel hub flange.
Installing the new brake disc
Put the new rotor on to the wheel hub and screw in to hold it in place. Clean it up using a piece of cloth and some brake cleaner. Afterwards, install the mounting bracket for the caliper and push the piston in place using a c-clamp.
Installing the new brake pads
Install the brake pads carefully. Start with the inner brake pad then the outer brake pad.
Installing the new brake pad sensor
When you're done with the last step, don't forget to install the new brake pad sensor and connect it to the brake pad. Place the caliper on top of the brake disc then put in the guide bolts and the anti-rattle clip. In the mounting location, smear some anti-seize compound but make sure that it does not get into the rotor surface.
Putting the wheel back
Reinstall the wheel and lower your BMW.