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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:22 AM
staneee staneee is offline
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Location: UK
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: X5
Brake pedal goes to the floor

I've just changed my front discs and pads. Now I'm unsure if this was happening before I changed the pads but when the engine is running I can press the pedal all the way to the floor, its hard to do this but it eventually goes down.
With the ignition off the pedal is rock solid near the top, but as soon as I start the car I can press it down to the floor.

The brakes work still even when they are on the floor.
I didn't bleed the brakes and I didn't open any bleed screws so I'm assuming no air got in the system.

I don't think there is air in the system as with the ignition off the pedal is solid and doesn't feel soft.

Should the pedal sink to the floor if you press the pedal really hard?

Please let me know? any comments?
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:36 AM
dicor's Avatar
dicor dicor is offline
I'll do what I want!
Location: Bucks County, PA
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: 04 X3/94 325I/06 325 I
If your brake pedal goes to the floor you have a problem. If it were an older car I might suspect the brake master cylinder or even a leaking system, of course a puddle of fluid under the car would support a leaky system. Because it's not an old car I would bleed the system again, properly. If it still goes to the floor I would have it looked at by a pro, you don't want to mess with your braking system unless you absolutely know what you are doing.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:56 AM
staneee staneee is offline
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Location: UK
 
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Mein Auto: X5
As the pedal is rock solid with the engine off, wouldn't you say that there is NO air in the system and the breaks don't need bleeding?
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2008, 11:14 AM
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dicor dicor is offline
I'll do what I want!
Location: Bucks County, PA
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: 04 X3/94 325I/06 325 I
comprehensive list for the DYI

Having a brake problem? Not sure what's wrong or how to fix it? Need some help to diagnose and repair the problem?

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The brake system is probably the most important system in your vehicle. There's no sense in making the car go if you can't make the car stop. Over the years the brake system has evolved to be almost fool proof and with the introduction of the dual master cylinder, the possibility of total brake failure has virtually been eliminated. Still, things can go wrong that will adversely affect braking performance and increase the likelihood of a brake related accident. Here is what I think is the most common problems that can occur and the possible causes of those problems. If at any point you feel that you're in over your head, take the car to a professional mechanic and let them do any diagnosis and repairs.

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Brake Pedal Goes To The Floor When It Is Depressed :
When the brakes are applied the pedal goes almost completely to the floor. The vehicle may not stop or needs a lot of distance to come to a stop.
Possible causes:
Brake fluid is very low: Check the master cylinder fluid level and fill to the marked level.
The Master Cylinder is bad: Replace master cylinder.
Air in the hydraulic system: Bleed hydraulic system

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The Brakes Hardly Stop The Car Or Won't Hold It At A Stop:
When the brakes are applied the car barely stops. When at a stop you need to apply a lot of pressure to keep the car stopped.
Possible causes:
Brake fluid is very low: Check the master cylinder fluid level and fill to the marked level.
The Master Cylinder is bad: Replace master cylinder.
Air in the hydraulic system: Bleed hydraulic system
Brake pads and/or brake shoes are worn out: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.

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Brake Pedal Is Very Hard To Push Down:
The brake pedal requires a lot of force to apply. The pedal is extremely hard and you almost need to use both feet to stop the car. The problem will most likely occur without warning.
Possible causes:
Bad power brake booster: Replace power brake booster.
No vacuum to power brake booster: Inspect and replace vacuum line as required.
Brake line is pinched: Replace brake line.
Kid's toy is stuck under the brake pedal: Remove anything that's under the brake pedal. Insure floor mats are not interfering with pedal movement.

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Brake Pedal Fades:
The brake pedal stops fine, but slowly drifts down to the floor. This may or may not be constant and gets worse the more the brakes are used, such as in heavy, stop and go traffic.
Possible causes:
The brake pads/shoes are the wrong type or of poor quality: Replace brake pads/shoes with the proper type and quality.
Brakes are overheating due to dragging: Have the brakes serviced to free any sticking or worn components.
Brakes are overheating due to restricted airflow: Remove any obstructions such as brake dust shields or incorrect wheel types.
Brake fluid is contaminated with water, or has the wrong type of brake fluid: Replace the brake fluid with the fresh fluid of the proper type.

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Brake Pedal Moves Too Far To Apply The Brakes:
When you step on the brake pedal, the pedal goes too far down before the brakes apply. This seems like it's getting worse as time goes by.

Brake fluid is very low: Check the master cylinder fluid level and fill to the marked level.
Brake fluid is contaminated with water, or has the wrong type of brake fluid: Replace the brake fluid with the fresh fluid of the proper type.
Air in the hydraulic system: Bleed hydraulic system
Brake pads and/or brake shoes are worn out: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.
Bad power brake booster or booster check valve: Replace power brake booster or check valve.

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Parking Brake Won't Release:
You see smoke or smell burning brakes, or the rear wheels are abnormally hot, after driving. It feels like the car is dragging when going forward and rolls easily in reverse. The parking brake moves very easily up and down.
Possible causes:
Parking brake cables are frozen: Replace parking brake cables.
Parking brake linkage needs lubrication: Lubricate parking brake linkage.
Broken parking brake mechanism inside your rear brakes. Repair or replace broken parts as required.

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Brake Pedal Feels Spongy:
When you step on the brake pedal it feels very soft and mushy. It should feel firm and not excessively hard. Pumping the brake pedal may make it firm once again but the softness returns after you release the pedal.
Possible causes:
Leak in brake line or hose: Replace leaking brake lines and hoses.
Air in the hydraulic system: Bleed hydraulic system
Brake fluid is contaminated with water, or has the wrong type of brake fluid: Replace the brake fluid with the fresh fluid of the proper type.
Brake pads and/or brake shoes are worn out: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.

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Brakes Grab:
When you lightly step on the brakes, it feels like you pressed it very hard. Sometimes the car will pull to the left or right when this happens, or one or more wheels will lock up. It usually happens suddenly but may get worse over time.
Possible causes:
Parking brake not releasing: See above.
Brake pads and/or brake shoes are worn out: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.
Bad front disc caliper or rear drum brake wheel cylinder: Replace or rebuild both front calipers. Replace or rebuild both rear wheel cylinders.

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Brake Pedal Vibrates:
When you step on the brakes, you feel a pulsation or vibration in the pedal. This may start out slight and progressively gets worse over time. If your vehicle is equipped with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) this is normal under hard braking.
Possible causes:
Brake rotors have excess run out or are warped. Brake drums are out of round or warped: Machine or replace front disc brake rotors. Machine or replace rear brake drums.
Loose or broken front end steering parts: Check and replace loose and broken parts as required.
Lug nuts loose: Tighten all lug nuts to the proper torque specifications.
Wheel/tires are out of balance: Balance wheels/tires on a high speed wheel balancer.
Wheels are bent: Replace wheels as required.
Bad defective or worn tires: Replace tires as required in pairs or as a complete set.
Loose or bad front wheel bearings: Replace bad wheel bearings. Repack and retighten loose wheel bearings.

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Brakes Drag:
As you are driving, it feels like you're towing the Queen Mary. The wheels may smoke and you may smell burning brakes. The wheels seem abnormally hot..
Possible causes:
Parking brake not releasing: See above.
Broken or loose parts inside your rear brakes: Repair or replace broken parts as required.

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One Or More Brakes Lock Up:
When you step on the brakes, the car veers sharply to one side or the other and a wheel may or may not lock up.
Possible causes:
Brake pads/shoes are loose or broken: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.
Bad front disc caliper or rear drum brake wheel cylinder: Replace or rebuild both front calipers. Replace or rebuild both rear wheel cylinders.
Loose or bad front wheel bearings: Replace bad wheel bearings. Repack and retighten loose wheel bearings.
Brake pads/shoes are contaminated with grease or oil: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.

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The Brakes Squeal When They Are Applied:
When you step on the brakes you hear a loud, or maybe not so loud, screeching or squealing noise. This noise may come and go, or remain constant. The car may or may not pull to one side when the brakes are applied.
Possible causes:
Dirt or brake dust accumulating on the pads/shoes: Clean and sand brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums. These will probably return in a week or two.
Brake pads and/or brake shoes are worn out: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.
Brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums are glazed due to overheating: Clean and sand brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums.
Audible Wear Indicators are contacting the rotors: Replace the brake pads.

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Brake Pedal Pulsates And/Or Chatters When Braking On Slippery Surfaces:
This is a normal condition for Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS). Do not pump the pedal, maintain a constant pressure on the brake pedal. Let the ABS do all the work.

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Brakes Make A Rhythmic Scraping Noise At Low Speeds:
When you step on the brakes, you hear a scrapping noise in time with your speed. You may or may not hear the noise when you are braking from a higher speed, but it will become audible when the car slows down. The sound may start suddenly and get progressively worse.
Possible causes:
Brake pad/shoe material completely worn away. Metal backing plate rubbing on brake rotor/drums: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.
Loose or bad front wheel bearings: Replace bad wheel bearings. Repack and retighten loose wheel bearings.
Brake rotors have excess run out or are warped. Brake drums are out of round or warped: Machine or replace front disc brake rotors. Machine or replace rear brake drums.

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Clunking Noise During Braking:
Whenever you step on the brake you hear a clunking or banging noise. It may be a loud or not so loud noise and the severity may be based on the vehicle speed and how hard you apply the brakes.
Possible causes:
Loose or broken front end steering parts: Check and replace loose and broken parts as required.
Loose or broken suspension parts such as a shock or spring: Repair or replace suspension parts as required.
Disc brake mounting hardware broken, missing or loose: Repair or replace mounting hardware as required.
Disc brake pads loose in the calipers: Tighten or replace disk pad mounting hardware.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2008, 08:07 PM
reyes3 reyes3 is offline
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Location: San Jose
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: '01 530i
Master Cylinder or Brake Booster

That helps, thanks

Last edited by reyes3; 12-31-2008 at 08:10 PM.
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