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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:12 PM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Brake pad and rotor life

Hi just curious on how long the lifespan usually is on the brake pads and rotors for the rear on a 325i. I changed my pads and rotors on the rear about 25k miles ago and now need new ones. I just feel its kind of soon. I know its best too change both the pads and rotors at the same time. and please dont tell me to use the search function. thank you!
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 05:52 AM
gimmethemuumuu gimmethemuumuu is offline
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On my '02 325i, it was like clockwork: Fronts every 24K miles, rears every 36K. YMMV.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:12 AM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimmethemuumuu View Post
On my '02 325i, it was like clockwork: Fronts every 24K miles, rears every 36K. YMMV.

Good luck!
and at that time did you change both the pads and rotors?
I just feel the rotors should last a lot more than 25k miles.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:16 PM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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You can start by measuring the thickness of the rotors. If they're nowhere near the minimum thickness, then consider re-using them.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2012, 02:23 PM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fishful Thinking View Post
You can start by measuring the thickness of the rotors. If they're nowhere near the minimum thickness, then consider re-using them.
Do you know of any DIY where I measure from and what the minimal thickness is? Just trying to save some money if I dont need new rotors.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Watts2590 View Post
Do you know of any DIY where I measure from and what the minimal thickness is? Just trying to save some money if I dont need new rotors.
OEM BMW rotors are not real beefy right from the get-go, which is why we normally replace them at every brake change (which in my case is usually around 32-35 K miles for fronts, and maybe 50-ish for rears). Brake parts are about the least expensive "consumable" parts on these cars, so it`s kind of foolish to *not* replace them. Hell....all they do is *stop the car*
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:19 PM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
OEM BMW rotors are not real beefy right from the get-go, which is why we normally replace them at every brake change (which in my case is usually around 32-35 K miles for fronts, and maybe 50-ish for rears). Brake parts are about the least expensive "consumable" parts on these cars, so it`s kind of foolish to *not* replace them. Hell....all they do is *stop the car*
I just find it surprising that after only 25k miles i need new rear brakes. Especially now since your saying it seems to last you around 50k miles. I definitly feel 25k miles for the rotors is too soon.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Watts2590 View Post
I just find it surprising that after only 25k miles i need new rear brakes. Especially now since your saying it seems to last you around 50k miles. I definitly feel 25k miles for the rotors is too soon.
If you drive in such a manner that your DSC is flashing on frequently, that could be the answer....the DSC will apply the rear brakes selsctively, which can lead to premature wear like you`re experiencing.
Or, you could have a caliper hanging up....
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:40 PM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
If you drive in such a manner that your DSC is flashing on frequently, that could be the answer....the DSC will apply the rear brakes selsctively, which can lead to premature wear like you`re experiencing.
Or, you could have a caliper hanging up....
Thats good to know. Thanks! Just didnt expect them to go this soon. especially since i also try to downshift as much as possible to reduce brake wear.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:29 PM
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especially since i also try to downshift as much as possible to reduce brake wear.
Now, that`s just plain dumb....replacing brakes is FAR cheaper than all the potential damage that a lot of constant downshifting will cause !
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:38 PM
tystager93 tystager93 is offline
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Now, that`s just plain dumb....replacing brakes is FAR cheaper than all the potential damage that a lot of constant downshifting will cause !


Sent from my DROID4 using Bimmer App

I doubt he is just power shifting from 4th to 3rd or whatever, if you properally rev match then there should not be a problem with braking anything.


Did you last replace your brakes with OEM or after market parts, also entheuseastic driving will wear your brakes
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:28 AM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Originally Posted by tystager93 View Post
Sent from my DROID4 using Bimmer App

I doubt he is just power shifting from 4th to 3rd or whatever, if you properally rev match then there should not be a problem with braking anything.


Did you last replace your brakes with OEM or after market parts, also entheuseastic driving will wear your brakes
Yea whenever i downshift I make sure the rpms dont go too high. I dont remember if they were oem or aftermarket. What is a good webiste where I can buy new pads and rotors so I can change them? Thanks
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:30 PM
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I'm more like 50-60k on rears. I think I might only be on my second set of rear brakes. They last a long time.

Last time I did my fronts, I picked up rotors, pads, and a wear sensor from Import Replacement Parts which is sort of a ghetto website but it had pretty good prices.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystager93 View Post

I doubt he is just power shifting from 4th to 3rd or whatever, if you properally rev match then there should not be a problem with braking anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watts2590 View Post
Yea whenever i downshift I make sure the rpms dont go too high.
Doesn`t matter.....constant downshifting to slow the car down is a very bad habit to get into....*use the brakes*, that`s what they`re there for !
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:26 PM
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Do you know when the last time your brake fluid was changed? At least every 2 years is a good rule of thumb. Your car is 10 years old. Contaminates could be causing your rear calipers to bind, partially release and accelerate the wear on pads and rotors. That's a really low mileage vehicle but its been in service for at least ten years. I'd change the brake and clutch fluid, go over the brake calipers clean all corrosion, brake dust and contamination from everything that slides rotates or squeezes, pay attention to the condition of all dust boots- cracked, split or missing, replace them and make sure everything works properly Use good OEM stuff - It's a lot of work, but to keep that older low mileage car up to speed, it's probably worth it.
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watts2590 View Post
Thats good to know. Thanks! Just didnt expect them to go this soon. especially since i also try to downshift as much as possible to reduce brake wear.
You have to take into consideration that living on Long Island, you are probably driving in heavier traffic, and therefore using the brakes much more than other drivers. I used to be on the LIE a lot, and can see how that might cut brake life in half. Living in a much less congested area now, my brakes last a lot longer than they used to.
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:35 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Drive aggressively and brakes go fast. I used to burn thru pads in 22K miles. Got older and changed driving style. Mostly highway now and get 150K on pads and rotors.
Wide variation.
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  #18  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:13 AM
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I have 90k miles on my current set of rotors & pads, and the pads have plenty of thickness left.

Even when I did 3-4 track days a year, my pads & rotors lasted like 40k (this was an E36 325i).
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  #19  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:11 AM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Yea I am stuck in some heavy traffic on the LIE at times. I think it also has to do with the way I drive like fastbob mentioned. I'm actually going to try and do the pads and rotors myself this time instead of taking it to a shop. Also should flush out my brake fluid. The car has 83k miles now which is still low for an 02. Anyone know a good DIY on the brakes and brake fluid? Or should I just search YouTube and google? And any recommendations and which website to buy from?
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watts2590 View Post
Yea I am stuck in some heavy traffic on the LIE at times. I think it also has to do with the way I drive like fastbob mentioned. I'm actually going to try and do the pads and rotors myself this time instead of taking it to a shop. Also should flush out my brake fluid. The car has 83k miles now which is still low for an 02. Anyone know a good DIY on the brakes and brake fluid? Or should I just search YouTube and google? And any recommendations and which website to buy from?
YouTube has some good DIY's on E46 Brake replacement. The Wiki at the top of the page also has some links to good DIY's as well. Flushing the brake fluid is a very good idea. BMW recommends every 2 years, and I do mine every 3 because it is basically a summer car. I would recommend buying your parts from oembimmerparts.com. Great service, free shipping, and a Bimmerfest sponsor. Driving fast is fun, and if the price you have to pay for that is more frequent brake replacement, I say that is money well spent! Good luck!
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  #21  
Old 10-12-2012, 01:23 PM
Watts2590 Watts2590 is offline
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Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
YouTube has some good DIY's on E46 Brake replacement. The Wiki at the top of the page also has some links to good DIY's as well. Flushing the brake fluid is a very good idea. BMW recommends every 2 years, and I do mine every 3 because it is basically a summer car. I would recommend buying your parts from oembimmerparts.com. Great service, free shipping, and a Bimmerfest sponsor. Driving fast is fun, and if the price you have to pay for that is more frequent brake replacement, I say that is money well spent! Good luck!
Thank you
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2012, 09:40 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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...Brake parts are about the least expensive "consumable" parts on these cars, so it`s kind of foolish to *not* replace them. Hell....all they do is *stop the car*
Correct. And stopping the car is a function that can easily be accomplished by other means, such as a concrete barrier, or a very large oak tree. Of course, this could result in some minor additional costs...

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  #23  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:38 AM
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Max at OEM bimmer parts has really good OEM parts deals on brake kits. First place I'd get them from if I were to use the OEM brake set.

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...brakekitsz.htm

Oh yeah, on my ZHP (330i Performance Package), since I've owned it, avg brake job is about 40-60K with Brembo rotors + Porterfield R4S pads. Previous owner had them done at 39K with OEM brake parts. Brake wear also highly depends on your driving style/technique and conditions.

Last edited by av98; 10-14-2012 at 03:41 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:24 PM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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[QUOTE=av98;7132937]Max at OEM bimmer parts has really good OEM parts deals on brake kits. First place I'd get them from if I were to use the OEM brake set.

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...brakekitsz.htmQUOTE]

Plus free shipping, which is considerable considering the weight of the rotors....Of course, they're not the only supplier with free shipping, but Max's service is great.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Doesn`t matter.....constant downshifting to slow the car down is a very bad habit to get into....*use the brakes*, that`s what they`re there for !
And brakes are a lot cheaper than a clutch.
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