I have a 2004 X3 3.0xi non-sport pkg. with 119,000k miles. Pads are getting thin, rotors are scored, and I'm hearing a squeak and light scraping sound from the front left when braking at low speed, so I guess it's time to get out the wrenches. I think I've read just about everything here about brakes on the X3 and have pretty much finalized the replacement parts I'm going to order, but my inner masochist compels me to put this out here so that everyone can once again weigh-in on this controversial topic.
The last pad & rotor job I did was on a 2000 Z3 3.0 with a 5spd. manual transmission. That car was so damned light that I was more concerned with eliminating pad dust on the wheels than worrying about stopping power. Engine braking did most of the work, and the friction brakes were mostly for the last few feet. I used Akebono Euro Ultra-Premium Ceramic brake pads, Replacement brand ("Replacement" is actually the brand name!) "OE Equivalent" solid brake rotors, and noticed very little difference in braking except for the complete absence of brake dust!
Now for the heavier X3 coupled with an automatic I'm much more concerned with quality and stopping power. On the subject of solid vs. cross-drilled / slotted rotors, I'm convinced that solid is the only way to go and that anything else is a gimmick. I'm going with Meyle solid rotors so I can feel the German-made warm and fuzzies at a reasonable price.
Pads are a more difficult choice... I could go with Akebono ceramics again, and I found good prices on both Brembo ceramics and Textar oem metallics. I'm still hung-up on that damned brake dust, so that's a black mark against the Textars. I'm a little worried about the decreased "bite" of ceramics on the heavier X3 w/ auto trans., so I dinged the ceramics. I read a couple of good reviews about Centric Posi-Quiet Premium Semi-Metallic pads which placed them somewhere between the Textars and the ceramics in both "bite" and brake dust. Sounds like a good compromise, so that's where I'm leaning.
Any thoughts on this subject out there?
Last edited by mtcarey; 10-08-2015 at 02:27 PM.