DIY - Front Brake Pad Replacement E65/E66 [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: DIY - Front Brake Pad Replacement E65/E66

02-03-2007, 07:14 PM
How to replace the brakes and reset the on board computer

Before You Start:
I always replace the rotors at the same time but that's your choice as long as they have the minimum thickness as indicated on the rotor.

Have your parts, tools and supplies ready:

New Brake Pads (I used BMW but I have had GREAT luck with "Green Stuff" Brakes on my M3
New Rotors (optional)
New wear sensor (optional - but I always replace)

1/2 Breaker bar
17mm & 18mm 1/2" drive sockets (for this job I use my impact sockets)
7mm (I think) Allen wrench (preferable to have one that can be placed on a 3/8 ratchet
3/8" drive ratchet
Large C clamp or compression tool

High Temp grease (for floating caliper)
A can of brake cleaner
Mechanics gloves (optional if you like dirty hands)

Get Down to Business

1. Chock the rear wheels
2. Slightly loosen lug nuts
3. Jack the car and put car on jack stands
4. Remove front wheels
5. Remove the bolt that is holding on the rotor - It's the counter sunk bolt that is in-between the holes for the lug nuts on the rotor (I do it now so that if I have trouble removing the bolt you can have someone step on the brake pedal while you remove the bolt (For this job I suggest you have your beautiful wife step on the pedal).
5. On the driver side caliper, remove the wear sensor from the brake pad
6. Take a flat screw driver and wedge it in between the rotor and the inboard pad (place the screwdriver into the wear sensor slot) and pry between the rotor and pad so that you push the caliper piston in as far as it will go (If you can't get the piston all the way in, don't worry you will get another chance in step 16 below)
7. Remove the anti-squeal spring by placing a flat screw driver at the center of the spring to get the center tab out from its relief
8. Remove the two 18mm bolts holding the caliper (remove the ABS sensor and wear sensor wires from the clip before removing the top bolt to be safe)
9. If you have to let the caliper out of your hands - SUPPORT THE WEIGHT of the caliper using wire (won't stretch). I tie the caliper to one of the coils on the suspension spring
10. Remove the brake pads
11. Remove the floating part of the caliper
12. Clean everything you can with brake cleaner
13. Clean the two rods that float in the fixed part of the caliper and place a very thin coat of HIGH TEMP grease
14. Assemble the floating part of the caliper back into the fixed part of the caliper
15. Install the new pads (If you are not using the OEM pads, spay the backs of each pad with spray-on anti squeal compound)
16. If you have a good compression tool or a large c clamp you can compress the piston now. Alternatively, I place the old pads in-between the new pads (friction material to friction material) and once again pry the pads apart so to press the piston in - BE CAREFUL and SLOW while pressing in the piston and don't touch the new friction material with ANYTHING
17. Now support the caliper as described above or by having you lovely lady help you - itís a great way for her to firm her biceps :-)
18. Bolt on the new rotor (I place a little anti seize or high temp grease on the counter sunk bolt so that I have less of a hassle next time)
19. Place the caliper assembly onto the rotor and hand tighten the caliper bolts (18mm socket)
20. Torque caliper bolts to 81 ft. lbs.
21. Replace the wear sensor (hopefully with a new one)
22. Place the sensor wires back into their clips
23. Replace the wheels
24. I think you can take it from here to get the car off the jack stands etc...

To Reset Computer
1. Place 'key' in the 'ignition' (kind of like 'rolling up' your window)
2. With your foot off the brake pedal press the start button (all the sensor lights on the dash should light up)
3. Press and hold the trip meter button until a menu lights up in the speedometer display
4. Press the trip meter button to scroll to "Fr. Brake"
5. Press and hold trip meter button until a menu lights up in the tachometer display
6. Press the trip meter button to scroll down to "RESET Fr. brake" in the menu in the tachometer display
7. Press and hold the trip meter button.
8. Remove the key and your computer should be reset
9. Have that beautiful wife of yours serve you a fine German beer!

Hope this helps!

02-04-2007, 08:56 AM
What a wonderful article,thank you very much!!


02-08-2007, 10:37 AM
Two things -

1. The title to this should note E65/E66 not E60

2. If you would like to see the pictures for this, you can find them here: (

Hope this helps!

02-09-2007, 06:23 AM
Good write up/pictures that will help new members if/when they do a search.
I just did my whole car and found the info on here in various it's all in one spot.

11-24-2008, 03:02 PM
Man right on time great info

02-03-2009, 06:39 PM
Man...thanks for the help. Beats paying $800.

02-03-2009, 07:12 PM
So, i followed all of the instructions, but noticed when i went to reconnect sensor, it seemed loose. Also, after doing the reset on computer i am getting the same thing as in the pictures, where it now says i am 4200 miles over. Any advice?

02-03-2009, 07:53 PM
I'll be doing mines this weekend...we'll see what happens.

bimmer vette
02-13-2009, 03:02 PM
good day all, have a 02 745i and attempting to rest the cabin filter service reminder, have tried the odometer button procedure but do not get cab filter or brake reset option.
mine is a 02 that BMW dumped 10's of 1000's into warranty by the end i believe the idrive program is 04 or 05...any help would be appreciated. just on a closing thought , i have owned since new and went through hell...but must say BMW just kept on pumping warrenty dollars into the the end of the day 05....what was the cause ...a bad altenator,,,,sometimes one should start with the simple things!! got to give BMW their due, they stood behind their product and for 3 plus years zero problems. bonus ....i got to drive just about every other bmw series while mine was in the shop.

02-14-2009, 07:00 PM
Resetting did not work for me. Orlando BMW Dealer told me that I need to replace Instrument Cluster because its not communicating with the computer, just like somebody replaced original with anotherone and did not code numbers while setting up new instrument cluster.