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Old 12-03-2012, 07:50 PM
Atomicity Atomicity is offline
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Location: Florida
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Brake pads have frozen to my rotors

I have a 2008 335i with 25K miles, which is my daily driver. I live on the beach and keep the car parked outside. I naturally expect to need to wash the car more often (which I do), but did not expect what has been happening to my brakes.

Last year we went on a 5 day trip. When we came back my wife took the car out. As soon as she started backing up, THUNK.... a horrible noise from the wheels. We took it for a slow drive up the street during which it was obvious there was a problem. The left front brake pad had seized to the rotor and broke a chunk off when the car moved. We had to tow the car to the dealer for repairs. BMW NA refused to cover it under the warranty, but the dealer agreed to cut the rotors on their dime.

I've since been extra vigilant about washing out the rotors every few days. However last week it happened again. And now no one wants to cover it. The car still has 10 months left on the original warranty.

I completely understand that living next to the beach leaves a car more susceptible to some problems. I think the accumulation of salt on the rotors will definitely lead to more wear on the pads and the need to replace those pads more frequently. I accept that. What I do not accept is a pad that is seemingly incapable of being exposed to salt air and can glue itself to the rotor over the course of a few days. My Nissan Titan has no such problems. My neighbor with a 328 (also parked outside on the beach) has no such problems. The problem of the pads cracking off the calipers seems isolated to this vehicle, and to me indicates a defect.

So I ask, what say you? Am I wrong in thinking I could buy a car from a dealership at the beach, and then parking my car next to the beach not 10 miles from where it was purchased? Am I "abusing" the vehicle, and if I am, shouldn't parking a car at the beach be a specific exclusion in the rust warranty? Or are these brakes defective and BMW NA should replace the rotors and put a set of pads on that can take some salt?

What would you do in this situation?
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:52 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is online now
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Originally Posted by Atomicity View Post

I've since been extra vigilant about washing out the rotors every few days.
are you driving the car after doing this to dry the pads and rotors?
otherwise, you may be doing more harm than good.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:55 PM
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-=Hot|Ice=- -=Hot|Ice=- is offline
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Make sure to dry the rotors off. You're in a humid location.
Originally Posted by CaptainAudio
In the words of one of Bimmerfest's greatest minds:"Been there, done that"
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:03 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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I agree completely, this is probably a defect and should be covered under warranty. I have not read of a single issue such as this in seven years on Bimmerfest and as you point out you even have a neighborhood with a like car in like conditions that does not experience this issue. Given the circumstances I would consider the onus to be on BMW to prove it is not a defect if they are going to refuse to cover it.

Tell the dealer you want them to initiate a PUMA case to BMWNA and you want a BMWNA field engineer to assess the situation with your car.

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Last edited by tturedraider; 12-03-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:20 PM
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laser laser is offline
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Originally Posted by Atomicity View Post
The car still has 10 months left on the original warranty.
You are covered on the "full maintenance" part of your purchase agreement which includes brakes if you are still within the 4 year 48 months since purchase.

There is no exclusion for living near the water in the documentation that BMW provided.

If you are in a large FL market try another dealer since your current dealer is acting clueless.

"sometimes you're the windshield .... sometimes you're the bug"

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