PDA

View Full Version : A newbie introduction and a brake pad question (longish)


Mike in Chi
01-19-2003, 10:18 AM
Hello everyone

Learned about this site from my son who has an '02 330ci. He speaks very highly of this board.

I've been into cars for almost 40 years, second part-time job was at a BMW/MB/Alfa dealer. I have 18 formula car races (I run mid-pack --working my way up to slow :D) and have numerous track days, schools and autoxs under my (seat) belt.

I've spent the last 3 years on Rennlist, and am looking forward to widening my circle of e-friends here.

Our family car is a '01 530i with the Sport Suspension and Contis. All in all, this is an incredible sedan, the best we've ever owned. This six is truly amazing.

Now to my brake question.

What's the usual service life of the OEM pads?

I did an archive search and found lots on the indicator sensor/light, but nothing on this.

We just started getting a little squeal on braking.
No indicator light.

At first I thought it might be a little disc rust - lots of salt here right now. But it still comes and goes.

The car has 25,000 mi. Most of the miles were put on by my wife who drives it conservatively. I drive it more aggressively (see above).

Because of the BBS style wheels, I can't get my mechanics mirror in there to check the thickness. And it being 15 degrees at the moment, it's a little cold to pull the wheel.

There is no scoring on the discs. But there is one line on the passenger rear (something bedded in the pad? a possible source of the squeal?)

I was hoping you might give me an idea of what to expect for pad life.

Thanks in advance

Mike

PhilH
01-19-2003, 10:28 AM
Welcome to the board. :)

Although there aren't many E39 owners around (hopefully one will show up to prove me wrong), I can throw in my $.02. I had an E34 5-series whose brake pads went 94k miles before needing replacement, which I think is pretty amazing. It took a BMW CCA driver's school to finally wear them down to where they needed to be replaced. I hear the newer BMWs don't quite have the brakes they used to, but 25k miles seems pretty darn early.

You say you attend driver's schools. Do you bring the 530i? If not, what? Obviously, the track will eat up brakes.

TD
01-19-2003, 10:35 AM
A lot of the E46s are wearing through their pads in <30K miles. So that can't be completely ruled out. But it is rare for the brake pad wear indicator light to not trigger well prior to the pads being fully worn. The line on one rotor would suggest something stuck in the pad and that could be your explanation. But you also did not describe your squeak. Some squeal-like noise is not uncommon throughout the life of the OEM pads.

So my guess would be either something stuck in the pads or absolutely nothing wrong at all. I would not worry that the pads were fully worn as, really, the dash light would have illuminated. And mild squealing really is common.

Personally, I'd probably ignore it until a warm day comes along where you don't mind pulling the wheel to take a look.

Oh, and welcome to the board. Hopefully the 5-series population here will continue to grow.

Patrick
01-19-2003, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by TD
Oh, and welcome to the board. Hopefully the 5-series population here will continue to grow.

Yes, welcome Mike!

I have done my part to get the 5er population to grow, how about you give it a go TD! :D

TD
01-19-2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Patrick 520iAT
Yes, welcome Mike!

I have done my part to get the 5er population to grow, how about you give it a go TD! :D

I'm working on it. I plan to post this link in my wagon thread as well, but what do you think of this car- http://www.groundleveldesign.net/images/2000528it.htm

He's reduced his price to $29K.

Patrick
01-19-2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by TD
I'm working on it. I plan to post this link in my wagon thread as well, but what do you think of this car- http://www.groundleveldesign.net/images/2000528it.htm

He's reduced his price to $29K.

Damn, I would not pass that up. That is a beautiful BMW. I wonder if Mrs TD would actually get a chance to drive it more than Mr TD!

Have you driven it yet? If not, do. I like your other choices - especially the A4 V6 - but AUDI is no BMW. And I am glad you got ovet the Volvo idea ...

I will lurk at your other thread to stay abreast!

Mr. The Edge
01-19-2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by TD
I'm working on it. I plan to post this link in my wagon thread as well, but what do you think of this car- http://www.groundleveldesign.net/images/2000528it.htm

He's reduced his price to $29K.

I like the 18s

TD
01-19-2003, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by atyclb
I like the 18s

I would never hear the end of it... :flipoff:

Mr. The Edge
01-19-2003, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by TD
I would never hear the end of it... :flipoff:

those RC's are great though. Lighter than any 17 OEM wheel and even many aftermarket 17s for sure

TD
01-19-2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by atyclb
those RC's are great though. Lighter than any 17 OEM wheel and even many aftermarket 17s for sure

And BBS is more or less the only aftermarket wheel manufacturer I'd consider for a BMW. Mostly because they look like they *could* be OEM.

nate
01-19-2003, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by TD
And BBS is more or less the only aftermarket wheel manufacturer I'd consider for a BMW. Mostly because they look like they *could* be OEM.

Fikse :thumbup:

http://fikse.com/yourcar/street2.jpg

TD
01-19-2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by nate328Ci
Fikse :thumbup:

http://fikse.com/yourcar/street2.jpg


Let's not hijack THIS thread, okay. I posted this same link in the other thread.

This should be a "Welcome to the Fest" thread.

Nick325xiT 5spd
01-19-2003, 12:09 PM
On the plus side, you could pull the RCs and swap them plus cash with another 5'er owner.

Mike in Chi
01-19-2003, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.

(and seeing how quickly a thread can go elsewhere makes me feel right at home)

Phil H 94,000 has to be some kind of record!

25,000 seemed to early, and I just wanted to check.

I don't track the 530i. It basically my wife's car. I've suggested it, but she says I have my own fast cars I can use for that. For track events - DEs and autoXs -I've been using a '97 911 coupe.
I'm thinking of getting a dedicated race car for club-racing. In the past I've switched between track pads and street OEM (no squeeling)

Schools: Did the Skippy three day at Laguna four years ago. That led to their Race Series.

Also did Porsche Driving Experience with two newbie friends last year at Road Atlanta. That is a wonderful program if you're looking for a school

TD

Wow. 6,000 posts. Do you have a second job in addition to Bimmerfest?
:D

Actually my son said to watch for posts from you.
He says you're very knowledgable, with a unique perspective.

You wrote:
"But it is rare for the brake pad wear indicator light to not trigger well prior to the pads being fully worn."

That's what I was hoping for. Thanks.

The squeal is new, and fairly faint. Not like a performance pad squeal.

I agree that the likely culprit is something bedded in that one pad. The sound seems to come from that side as well.

I appreciate the reassurance. I'll keep an eye... errrr ear on it.

Mike

Patrick
01-19-2003, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by Mike in Chi
Wow. 6,000 posts. Do you have a second job in addition to Bimmerfest?
:D

LOL! And TD has actually got this amazing post count by posting something (controversial or not, still interesting reading), i.e., more than just two to three word replies, or 8 smilies next to a picture. :confused:

Imagine that ...

TD
01-19-2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by Patrick 520iAT
LOL! And TD has actually got this amazing post count by posting something (controversial or not, still interesting reading), i.e., more than just two to three word replies, or 8 smilies next to a picture. :confused:

Imagine that ...

LOL.

I'm still a few thou behind Nate.

Mr. The Edge
01-19-2003, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by TD
LOL.

I'm still a few thou behind Nate.

we'll never know for sure...

:D

Patrick
01-19-2003, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by atyclb
we'll never know for sure...

:D :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

BS540i
01-20-2003, 03:59 PM
Timing for this question could not be better. My '01 540i also just in the last week has started make a little squeal when I apply the
brakes. I was thinking it is the salt and gritty sh---t they have been putting down for the snow. I only have 20k miles on it!!:dunno: :dunno:

Mr. The Edge
01-20-2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Patrick 520iAT
:rolleyes:

:tsk: :tsk: :tsk: :tsk: :tsk: :tsk: :tsk: :tsk:

PropellerHead
01-20-2003, 09:02 PM
Welcome to the board, Mike!

I have 26K on my 2000 540 and not a squeek from the brakes or the wear indicator. I wish I would sometime soon as I want to do the Brembo's when it's time for the stockers to go.

I am a fairly aggressive driver and lean more on my brakes than the tranny for slowing. Throw into the equation that I'm running the heavier 540 and I'd start looking at whether or not your boy has a lead foot.:D

Mike in Chi
01-21-2003, 07:30 AM
BS540 & Propellerhead,

thanks for the replies.

In listening for it now, it seems to occur 2/3 of the time, just before the car comes to a rest.

I'm thinking the cause is grit or a stone embedded in the pad, 540. Especially with just one ring on the rear rotor. You may want to check your rotors for something similar. I might just go into the dealer and say my brakes suddenly started sueaking and see if they'll replace the pad under warranty.

Prop, if the noise is due to aggressive braking/heavy foot, I'm the culprit, not my son. He's in another city, doing quite well for himself, which is how he can afford a new 330. He must have gottten his brains from his mother, and the gearhead gene from me.

M in C

5_sport
01-21-2003, 04:55 PM
FYI: I have '99 528i. I replaced my brakes around 35k miles. It did not squeal or make noise. The brake indicator came on so I replaced it. Luckily I did it soon because the pads were pretty worn out. BTW, I also replaced the rotors too.


Good luck Mike in Chi!

Mike in Chi
01-22-2003, 10:08 AM
5 sport

thanks for the info. 35000 sounds reasonable for pad life, especially with different drivers.

btw, nice cars....