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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-21-2011, 10:25 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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Brake job: Dealer vs DIY?

Just for fun and comparison:



Dealer's quote:

Rear brake job - rotors/pads/sensor/labor/tax ~$1000 US (holly macro!!! components must be gold plated at least and technicians must have PhD)
(they keep car for a day, you spend ~ hour between dropping car and picking it up so between you and wife it is 2 hours invested?)



Let me me see if it makes sense:\

Brake job on BMW is relatively easy and not requiring special skills or tools...unless you ask SA @ dealer

( set or sockets, lift, rubber gloves, large rug (so dirt from brakes doesn't go on surface) and small rug - to wipe stuff, can of brake cleaner....) and beer or two....
Not mentioning how smart you will look in your spouses eyes....


Front brakes maybe more sensitive to parts quality but rear is less - though a bit more complicated as it has parking brake...

Pads are critical - rotors also.
Yah, a bit dirty job....


DIY:

BMW parts (if you absolutely insist on original BMW parts):

from www.getBMWparts.com parts/shipping $421.22

Savings : $ 579 (~1.5 labor ) You making $286/hour (not bad)



OEM quality parts from autohousAZ (my choice) : parts: $235 (no shipping and no tax - delivered to your door). Same Texar pads as BMW uses, Zimmerman rotors - solid coated and balanced... Sensor and piece of noise dumping "stuff".

Savings: $765 You are making `$510/hour. Man, that is better than lawyers fees?


What am I doing in my job?
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2011, 06:09 PM
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Jashley73 Jashley73 is offline
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Tell me about it. I have access to a machine shop via my job, and have recently taken up re-surfacing brake rotors for myself. And boy does that help out. I was quoted $150 a piece for rear rotors from the dealer a couple weeks ago. Um, no thanks, they may be "OEM" but I'll pass for now. Now that I'm re-surfacing (talk about flat and parallel mounting and braking surfaces within .001" baby! ) and installing myself, it's nice to know the job is getting done right, and at a savings!
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2011, 08:01 PM
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MachtSchnell MachtSchnell is offline
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I am with you! I prefer a good DIY over paying someone. I might even spring for a little higher quality product

My brake job is looking closer to $700 but higher performance on. Still a hell of a savings.
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2011, 08:06 PM
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DIY if you know how is the way to go. Since the advent of the all-wheel disc brakes, brake jobs could not be easier. The old drums were a pain because of the initial set and the follow-on, reverse and slam to get the auto-adjuster just right.
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2011, 12:18 AM
juanrdz03 juanrdz03 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porando View Post
Just for fun and comparison:



Dealer's quote:

Rear brake job - rotors/pads/sensor/labor/tax ~$1000 US (holly macro!!! components must be gold plated at least and technicians must have PhD)
(they keep car for a day, you spend ~ hour between dropping car and picking it up so between you and wife it is 2 hours invested?)



Let me me see if it makes sense:\

Brake job on BMW is relatively easy and not requiring special skills or tools...unless you ask SA @ dealer

( set or sockets, lift, rubber gloves, large rug (so dirt from brakes doesn't go on surface) and small rug - to wipe stuff, can of brake cleaner....) and beer or two....
Not mentioning how smart you will look in your spouses eyes....


Front brakes maybe more sensitive to parts quality but rear is less - though a bit more complicated as it has parking brake...

Pads are critical - rotors also.
Yah, a bit dirty job....


DIY:

BMW parts (if you absolutely insist on original BMW parts):

from www.getBMWparts.com parts/shipping $421.22

Savings : $ 579 (~1.5 labor ) You making $286/hour (not bad)



OEM quality parts from autohousAZ (my choice) : parts: $235 (no shipping and no tax - delivered to your door). Same Texar pads as BMW uses, Zimmerman rotors - solid coated and balanced... Sensor and piece of noise dumping "stuff".

Savings: $765 You are making `$510/hour. Man, that is better than lawyers fees?


What am I doing in my job?
Thank god I read your post, I have an appointment this saturday to pay these goons at the dealer 1,200 for a front brake change...



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  #6  
Old 07-22-2011, 07:33 AM
JASONAARONDC JASONAARONDC is offline
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I got my pads online for $100 and my sensor for $19 and changed it all in about 35 mins. I'd never go to the dealer for brakes...
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2011, 07:54 AM
jesimmons jesimmons is offline
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I did all 4 corners, pads only for under $200. Rotors would have added a few more bills. Took a few hours and only special tool needed was a torque wrench. IMHO brakes are fairly easy as long as caliper/piston seals are in good shape and you use top quality parts.
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2011, 08:21 AM
bmwjdub bmwjdub is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesimmons View Post
I did all 4 corners, pads only for under $200. Rotors would have added a few more bills. Took a few hours and only special tool needed was a torque wrench. IMHO brakes are fairly easy as long as caliper/piston seals are in good shape and you use top quality parts.
the dealer told me to replace all the rotors every time you do the brakes??

Said "thats how these german cars are made....produce alot of dust but brake well thats why you have to replace them all each time"

thoughts?

thanks
jason
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2011, 08:53 AM
JASONAARONDC JASONAARONDC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwjdub View Post
the dealer told me to replace all the rotors every time you do the brakes??

Said "thats how these german cars are made....produce alot of dust but brake well thats why you have to replace them all each time"

thoughts?

thanks
jason
Your dealer is a liar. I havent replaced rotors in my last 2 brake changes. I measured the rotors and checked the surface and there was no need to replace them. I havent had any trouble out of them at all.
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2011, 09:02 AM
bmwjdub bmwjdub is offline
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ah perfect, i replaced my fronts rotors pads sensors and all found a shop to do it for just 80$

the rears are squeaking a little now although my sensor says 20k miles left so i was thinking about replacing the pads and sensor myself and seeing what that does...
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2011, 10:51 AM
Kenpo Joe Kenpo Joe is offline
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I just did the rear brakes on my 545 in about 1 hour. Broke the sensor when I was removing it and I ordered a new one online. Now I have to do all 4 on my wife's car next. It's real easy of you have the right tools.


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  #12  
Old 07-22-2011, 11:34 AM
jesimmons jesimmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwjdub View Post
ah perfect, i replaced my fronts rotors pads sensors and all found a shop to do it for just 80$

the rears are squeaking a little now although my sensor says 20k miles left so i was thinking about replacing the pads and sensor myself and seeing what that does...
Rotors should be inspected for minimum thickness and excessive scoring/grooves. Replace if condition warrants replacements. If rotors in ok shape, you can go 2 sets of pads per rotor.

I replaced my pads when car was new to cut down on black brake dust. So rotors were still new.
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2011, 11:48 AM
BigEdJr BigEdJr is offline
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I really need help. I just changed my brakes a couple of weeks ago with he help from this site... thank you everyone! It's a 2006 525i.

But the sensor warning did not clear as I hoped it would. I have tried all the "turn the key a little and hold this button for a while" tricks, but my car is not responding like they say it will.

What should I do? Buy a code scanner? If so, which one?

I bought the car used last year and love it, but these code things are driving me crazy!

Thanks,
Ed
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  #14  
Old 07-22-2011, 12:29 PM
Porando Porando is offline
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  #15  
Old 07-22-2011, 12:31 PM
BigEdJr BigEdJr is offline
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Porando,

I just found that today after posting my question. I am going to try it tonight.

Thanks!
Ed
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  #16  
Old 07-22-2011, 12:36 PM
Porando Porando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwjdub View Post
the dealer told me to replace all the rotors every time you do the brakes??

Said "thats how these german cars are made....produce alot of dust but brake well thats why you have to replace them all each time"

thoughts?

thanks
jason

It is your choice and decision. I change pads and rotors every time... it costs little extra but I can sleep and most importantly brake well..
I tried to change just pads on fairly flat rotors - they warped in the middle of the new pads life cycle...
One time I asked shop to resurface. Shop charged me $30/pc.. and these wrapped before new pads expired...
After some research I found that every rotor manuf is using different process and some of them make surface harder but once you wear it - the metal under is softer and warping is likely...
So now I pay $80 -100 bucks for rotor and have no problem...
Bottom line - your life (and others) depends on your brakes - you make the judgement how much risk you wiling to take. I don't "save" on brakes...
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  #17  
Old 07-22-2011, 02:14 PM
esanger esanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porando View Post
It is your choice and decision. I change pads and rotors every time... it costs little extra but I can sleep and most importantly brake well..
I tried to change just pads on fairly flat rotors - they warped in the middle of the new pads life cycle...
One time I asked shop to resurface. Shop charged me $30/pc.. and these wrapped before new pads expired...
After some research I found that every rotor manuf is using different process and some of them make surface harder but once you wear it - the metal under is softer and warping is likely...
So now I pay $80 -100 bucks for rotor and have no problem...
Bottom line - your life (and others) depends on your brakes - you make the judgement how much risk you wiling to take. I don't "save" on brakes...
Have to agree here. While I have all the tools and know I could do it myself, the peace of mind alone is worth paying a tech to do it right..Though I don't think I would do it at the dealer..try to find an independent to do it for me and would probably still save a bunch over having the dealer do it.
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  #18  
Old 07-23-2011, 07:02 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porando View Post
I tried to change just pads on fairly flat rotors - they warped in the middle of the new pads life cycle...
Just a gentle reminder to correct a very common misconception.

Rotors (almost) never warp. They're not made of putty. The proof is in the measurements.

The severe vibration (often called shudder, pulsation, shimmy, judder, etc.), is mainly due to the way you brake. That is, when you brake hard, as in the bottom of an exit ramp, do you leave your foot on the brake pedal?

That's a no no! You then deposit an extremely thin "pad imprint" onto the rotor (or so the literature says). That imperceptibly thin pad imprint then collects more and more pad deposition as you drive - ultimately - "warping' the rotors.

The long-term solution?
a) Bed the brakes properly to deposit an even molecule-thin layer of friction material onto the rotor
b) And, modify the way you brake to reduce or eliminate uneven pad deposition

The short-term solution?
a) Re-bed the brakes (to scrape off the pad deposition)
b) Or, turn the rotors (same purpose) & rebed
c) Or, replace the rotors & rebed

Don't believe me. Believe the experts:
- The truth about rotor "warp" (1)

REFERENCES:
- Avoiding Brake Judder at the Track, by Dave Zeckhausen
- Brake Rotor Shake Demystified, by Dali Racing
- The "Warped" Brake Disc and Other Myths of the Braking System, by Carroll Smith
- 8 Myths ... Holding You Back from Performing the Best Brake Job, by Andrew Markel
- Brake Roughness and Vibration: Causes & Solutions, by Dave Mann
- There's no such thing as 'warped' brake rotors, by Michael Block
- Raybestos Brake Tech School, Part One: Rotors Don't Warp, by Police Fleet Manager Magazine



PS: A brake job DIY is trivial to do at home with the right equipment (which is free, after the first brake job).
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  #19  
Old 07-23-2011, 11:09 AM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esanger View Post
Have to agree here. While I have all the tools and know I could do it myself, the peace of mind alone is worth paying a tech to do it right..Though I don't think I would do it at the dealer..try to find an independent to do it for me and would probably still save a bunch over having the dealer do it.
Have to disagree. This is exactly why I do it myself... peace of mind. They may do it for a living but I know my capabilities and I do a "leave for 30 and QA" all the time. Some of these guys are so wrapped up in finishing the job that they rush trough it. There are way too many repeats...
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2011, 04:29 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
This is exactly why I do it myself... peace of mind
I agree with you.

When YOU do it, you KNOW it's done right. Period.

That's peace of mind!

Here, by way of example, is an epic thread (my very first on Bimmerfest) detailing my experience with my very first brake job in my life. And, it was done right. It took a few days (because it was my first); but it was done right. So was the next brake job after that.

That's peace of mind!

- My very first brake job (1)

Last edited by bluebee; 07-23-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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  #21  
Old 07-23-2011, 08:10 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Very nice.
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  #22  
Old 07-25-2011, 09:41 AM
esanger esanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
Have to disagree. This is exactly why I do it myself... peace of mind. They may do it for a living but I know my capabilities and I do a "leave for 30 and QA" all the time. Some of these guys are so wrapped up in finishing the job that they rush trough it. There are way too many repeats...
I can see both sides of the argument, and agree with both. I guess it all lies in what you are comfortable with..

Can you explain what you meant by "leave for 30 and QA"? This is a new one to me.
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2011, 11:01 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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While I do not disagree with experts, I am doing what I am doing (replacing rotors) based on my experience. I drive BMW's for over 15 years and my driving habits don't change much...
I replace my brake components and always bed them the way it is recommended. I have done few autocross and race track session, I attended few BMWCCA technical sessions so I am aware of "deposits" physics/chemistry. Even w/o any problems once in a while when I remember I will re-bed my brakes and if they start shaking _ will try to run a "gunk scraping" (aka re-beding) session

For all these years I have "experimented" a bit with different quality components, changing pads only or machining rotors... I don't remember having any steering wheel shaking problems while braking (that is what I associate with "warped" rotors) when I change pads/rotors for a good quality ones.... and every time I have done something different - there was a noticeable reaction...
Jut maybe a year ago, I ordered a front set for my X5 and unfortunately I made mistake when entering PN so I got front rotors for a car with 4.8L engine which a quite larger... I have not noticed that until I had brakes taken completely apart.....So since my rotors where "not that bad" - has small groves but looked fine, and to return/replace would take a week or so I decided to leave the old rotors in and put only new pads... and see what happens. Everything worked great (as normal) for about 8k miles - and than it started to shake while braking... Pads were not even half through their life when issue become so bad that I had no choice but fix it..... So, I replaced both rotors and pads (could leave pads alone but I just did not want to save $50 and worry about that year or so after.... and brakes are back tot their normal "razor sharp" braking" . Was it "deposit" - maybe but I still believe that it was more related to the temp distribution on rotors or their inability to handle it. Sure it can have nothing do do with rotors but it could be i.e "sticky" calipers ( one site braking harder and making one site of the rotor hotter which could cause warp? )... but if it was caliper I would feel it after I didn't do anything with calipers but only replaced rotors/pads...made about 8k on new set and still no problem.
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  #24  
Old 07-25-2011, 03:33 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porando View Post
Was it "deposit" - maybe but I still believe that it was more related to the temp distribution on rotors or their inability to handle it
That was an eloquent discussion of what happened & you did cover all sides quite fairly.

The articles referenced above are pretty clear that the rotors don't actually 'warp' (i.e., they don't change shape). Plus, as the photo above asks in the caption, you'd have to measure true 'warp' off the vehicle (as compared to runout) ... and you and I both know almost nobody actually does that. So, almost (if not all) instances of 'warp' are really 'something else'.

Whether that 'something else' is merely pad deposits is what you're discussing above. I dunno.

Personally, I'd place my bets on the side of the (ample) anecdotal evidence which 'seems' to show that putting larger rotors & calipers (at least on SUVs that have anemic rotors) seems to reduce the instances of brake-related shudder.

The theory (in that situation) is the larger rotors dissipate heat better (duh) which then causes less brake pad deposition (which in itself is mostly happening during high-speed (i.e., high heat) stops where the driver leaves their foot on the pedal, thereby causing pad imprints. The theory is that the 'cooler' rotors imprint less.

But ... this is just my two cents.
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  #25  
Old 07-25-2011, 04:51 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esanger View Post
I can see both sides of the argument, and agree with both. I guess it all lies in what you are comfortable with..

Can you explain what you meant by "leave for 30 and QA"? This is a new one to me.
The "leave for 30 and QA" is a just self-inspection term coined for a tech to re-inspect his work area. In the aerospace industry you always have a second or even a third set of eyes doing the inspection prior to release for flight, but in the auto industry or other job detail you do not have that. it is only to prevent the so-called "tunnel vision", where one cannot detect the mistake one made after a prolonged exposure to it. To leave or rest and return is the best way to counter this tendency. The away duration can change depending on the length or complexity.
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