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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2011, 04:11 PM
captkirk captkirk is offline
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Z3 2001 2.5 Brake Pad Warning Light

I have a 2001 2.5 Z3. The brake pad warning light came on today. How soon do I need to replace the pads? I can't get pads until Tuesday. I would like to use it over the holiday weekend, but I don't want to tear up my rotors. Also do you need to reset the warning light? I have done a lot of brake jobs, but none on a BMW with a electronic sensor. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks, Kirk
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2011, 04:55 PM
Jaybrad Jaybrad is offline
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IIRC, the light comes on at ~ 4mm remaining on the pads, so you should be OK for normal driving (whatever that is), but I probably wouldn't take it to the track this weekend.

JB
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2011, 10:27 PM
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papitosabe papitosabe is offline
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mine were on for about a year...i still had some left when i changed them last week but not much...i think i only put 5k miles all year though...I wouldn't recommend waiting as long as I did, but you should definitely be good for the weekend...question for others, does the brake warning light ever go red?? or will it only stay yellow...

Last edited by papitosabe; 07-03-2011 at 09:25 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2011, 05:48 AM
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GeorgeT GeorgeT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captkirk View Post
Also do you need to reset the warning light?
You will have to replace the brake sensor when you replace the pads. The sensor has a wire embedded in it that is broken when the pads wear to a certain point. The broken wire interrupts a circuit and sets off the warning light.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2011, 07:11 AM
captkirk captkirk is offline
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I did the key position reset and the light went off. Does that mean the sensor is still ok?
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2011, 01:38 PM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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It means the brake pads are not the reason for the light coming on.

Check the brake fluid.
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2011, 02:02 PM
captkirk captkirk is offline
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Fluid is with in range. As soon as you start driving it comes back on. Thanks, Kirk
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2011, 04:08 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Not sure when the sensor gets checked by the system. I would think at start up, but it is BMW logic.

But it doesn't take long to eyeball the pads to see how far down they are.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2011, 06:13 PM
captkirk captkirk is offline
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A warning to those that wash their car often and use a brush on their wheels. On the drivers side is the brake pad sensor, and you can dislodge it when cleaning those wheels. I had plenty of pad left, but the sensor was just hanging free of the pads. Live and learn
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2011, 04:17 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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If it hanging free, it just won't work (it will not tell you that your pads are almost gone).

On our E46 M3, the sensors are rmoved from the pads and taped up to keep them from dangling. I have the wheels off and swapping pads often enough that they get visually checked often enough.

The senosrs are for thos ewho do not do bassic maintenance/inspections of their cars.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2011, 03:49 PM
captkirk captkirk is offline
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I washed the car and shortly there after the warning light came on. I did the key reset, and it went off. After a couple of days it came back on. When I pulled the wheel it was just hanging there, with the end scratched up a bit. My only guess is it came loose, when I did the reset it worked because it was just hanging. Some where along the way the end must have come in contact with something and triggered the light. Now if I could just figure out the Service Engine soon light coming on and going off, everything would be great. Thanks
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:42 PM
negrapalma1 negrapalma1 is offline
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I have a 2000 BMW Z3 2.3 and the brake light has come on for about 30 seconds. It has happened twice. Anyone know what that is all about?
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:52 PM
captkirk captkirk is offline
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In my case the sensor had come loose. Unfortunately it was damaged while hanging free. My pads were fine, but I ended up replacing them since I was that far into it. Good luck. Kirk
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:32 PM
smayo964 smayo964 is offline
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Pinecone, I believe when I chased my "light", I found the sensors are checked when you start the car. As a quick fix until I replaced the front sensor, I took a piece of 16ga wire and made a small jumper for the plug. Jumped the (2) terminals and not had an issue since. Eventually added the new sensor and all is still well.
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