Questions about brake pads, wear sensors, and lights - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)

E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-02-2018, 12:55 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Questions about brake pads, wear sensors, and lights

I'm getting ready to replace the OEM pads on my 2005 e86. Yes they are OEM as it only has 55K miles on the clock. I have green EBC sport pads that are going in and I may/may not turn the rotors depending upon the looks of them or if there is much of a lip.

I also ordered both sensors as what i've read online implies I should consider them a wear item and just replace along with the pads.

Lastly, I have two lights illuminated - the BRAKE and the DSC indicators. Both stay on steady and are on as soon as i start the car until I turn it on. The BRAKE indicator is amber (not the red that it turns when I set the parking brake) as is the DSC indicator. Is this just indicative of a worn sensor being triggered? Or is indicative of a certain amount of miles being driven and the system is assuming the brakes are worn? I have found varying and conflicting answers to this online.

If it is either a worn sensor or system mileage countdown that triggers it, will it reset upon replacing the sensor or are there steps I can take with buttons on the dash to reset it once I finish the work?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 06-02-2018, 01:15 PM
acoste's Avatar
acoste acoste is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: California
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,332
Mein Auto: 2010 550i MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadna71 View Post
Is this just indicative of a worn sensor being triggered?
yes, you will need to read the codes to figure out which one. one of the wheel speed sensors. Not the brake pad

Quote:
Originally Posted by quadna71 View Post
Or is indicative of a certain amount of miles being driven and the system is assuming the brakes are worn?
no
__________________
__________________
2010 BMW 550i MT
2003 BMW 325i @216k and counting
1998 BMW 528i MT @ 231k //sold
1997 Saab 9000 //sold

Last edited by acoste; 06-02-2018 at 01:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-02-2018, 02:28 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
So it is a bad wheel speed sensor and not a brake pad wear sensor that is triggering the BRAKE light? I don't have a scanner for BMW so looks like that would need a shop to read it or me.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 06-02-2018, 02:36 PM
acoste's Avatar
acoste acoste is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: California
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,332
Mein Auto: 2010 550i MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadna71 View Post
So it is a bad wheel speed sensor and not a brake pad wear sensor that is triggering the BRAKE light? I don't have a scanner for BMW so looks like that would need a shop to read it or me.
A bad sensor which is connected to the DSC (I can't tell which one) and not a brake pad wear sensor that is triggering the BRAKE AND DSC light.

Wear sensor will trigger the brake light only.
__________________
__________________
2010 BMW 550i MT
2003 BMW 325i @216k and counting
1998 BMW 528i MT @ 231k //sold
1997 Saab 9000 //sold
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-02-2018, 02:42 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Got it - thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-02-2018, 04:14 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Acoste - what do you think about this. I have a full set of Kleen Wheels brake dust covers installed sandwiched between the wheels and the hubs. Sure they keep the wheels much cleaner, but I've always had the sneaky suspicion that they also hold in a lot of dust in the general area of the brakes, hubs, sensors, etc. Something along the lines of the dust not being blown off as well while driving due to the shields being in place. Do you think that there could be build up on one of the wheel speed sensors to the point where it would cause it to think it's not detecting spin?

I'll look very closely at them when I hopefully change the pads and wear sensors tomorrow.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-02-2018, 05:47 PM
acoste's Avatar
acoste acoste is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: California
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,332
Mein Auto: 2010 550i MT
I haven't removed wheel speed sensor yet because there was no need but whoever does that here on bimmerfest reports that it was dirty and that they went around and cleaned all of them after seeing it.

I wouldn't use any dust cover because the rotors need air cooling. If you live on a flat area and drive defensively then I think it should be fine.

Some people use ceramic pads to avoid the dust. But in daily driving ceramic pads don't perform well, they work better at higher temperatures only.
__________________
__________________
2010 BMW 550i MT
2003 BMW 325i @216k and counting
1998 BMW 528i MT @ 231k //sold
1997 Saab 9000 //sold
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-02-2018, 08:32 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12,565
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '06 Z4 3.0si, '11 128CiC
The wheel speed sensors look at the ridges in the plate on the back side of the bearing assembly. The wheel speed sensors are Hall effect sensors and they sense a change in the magnetic field as the peaks and valleys of the plate move past the sensor. If the valleys in the plate get filled with metallic debris from the rotors and/or metallic brake pad dust, the wheel speed sensor can't detect them and you get a DSC and/or ABS warning light. There have been posts where people have cured DSC/ABS faults by doing a good cleaning of the plate and the area around the wheel speed sensor.

This is a front wheel bearing and you can see the plate with the peaks/valleys on the back side of it.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-***-part...226757024~***/
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-03-2018, 12:16 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Let me start with a thanks to both of you. Tips and advice go along way to helping us work on our cars.

Okay. Started with the front end up on jack stands. Disconnected the battery, pulled the wheels, and popped out the Kleen Wheels dust shields from the wheels. I pulled the pads off, compressed the piston slowly, the reassembled with the green EBC sport pads. While in the driverís corner (left where I am) I replaced the pad wear sensor. I unbolted the wheel spin sensor and pulled it out to inspect. Yep, loaded up with metal fuzz and a couple little bits of debris. I cleaned it up and then tackled the input wheel for that sensor. I spun the hub a few times with a small telescopic magnet position where it was just brushing the divots as I spun it - it came out with more debris. Did that a few more times until it quit producing metal. Bolted everything back together, repeated on the passenger side (right), then dropped the front end. Fluid didnít rise in the reservoir too much while doing the front.

Rear was about the same. New pads, pad wear sensor, and cleaned those wheel spun sensors the same way with similar results. Dropped the rear, torqued the lug bolts, reconnected battery, and checked tire pressure for good measure.

Now I wait for the rain to pass so I can go drive around after bedding the brakes. While it may optimism or maybe a result of disconnecting the battery, a quick start and idle showed that both indicators were out. (Fingers crossed)




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-03-2018, 01:57 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12,565
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '06 Z4 3.0si, '11 128CiC
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadna71 View Post
Let me start with a thanks to both of you. Tips and advice go along way to helping us work on our cars.

Okay. Started with the front end up on jack stands. Disconnected the battery, pulled the wheels, and popped out the Kleen Wheels dust shields from the wheels. I pulled the pads off, compressed the piston slowly, the reassembled with the green EBC sport pads. While in the driverís corner (left where I am) I replaced the pad wear sensor. I unbolted the wheel spin sensor and pulled it out to inspect. Yep, loaded up with metal fuzz and a couple little bits of debris. I cleaned it up and then tackled the input wheel for that sensor. I spun the hub a few times with a small telescopic magnet position where it was just brushing the divots as I spun it - it came out with more debris. Did that a few more times until it quit producing metal. Bolted everything back together, repeated on the passenger side (right), then dropped the front end. Fluid didnít rise in the reservoir too much while doing the front.

Rear was about the same. New pads, pad wear sensor, and cleaned those wheel spun sensors the same way with similar results. Dropped the rear, torqued the lug bolts, reconnected battery, and checked tire pressure for good measure.

Now I wait for the rain to pass so I can go drive around after bedding the brakes. While it may optimism or maybe a result of disconnecting the battery, a quick start and idle showed that both indicators were out. (Fingers crossed)




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I've got a hunch you'll be all clear when you get a chance to test drive it. The magnetic field from the Hall effect sensors isn't very strong and when you get all those metal bits built up on it, they shunt and distort the field.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-03-2018, 04:25 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Thanks. Rain forecast until Wednesday morning so it looks like Wednesday evening I'll be taking a nice long drive on some back roads.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-06-2018, 03:33 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Damn - 5.8 miles into the shakedown run and both indicators popped back on. But hey, the brakes have never felt stronger! I guess itís time to find a local shop that can scan me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-10-2018, 03:28 PM
wspohn wspohn is offline
Registered User
Location: Vancouver BC
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 56
Mein Auto: 2007 Z4MC
Always a good idea to turn the rotors lightly to true them and provide a new surface, otherwise the pads may never bed in properly.
The EBC Green are only so so - not really up to any spirited driving. The Red Stuff, a ceramic low dust compound would have been a better choice.
__________________
Current fleet:
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1958 MGA Twin Cam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently departed:
1965 Jensen CV8
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1969 MGC roadster
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-10-2018, 05:26 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Thanks. Iíve had good luck with the greens so stuck with what I know. Iíll look into the reds for the next time Iím in need of pads on one of our cars or Jeeps!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-16-2018, 05:39 PM
psycleridr psycleridr is offline
Registered User
Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 2008 Z4 3.0si
I would have just changed the rotors too but I know its not always necessary. I just find less isaues by doing both and if you DIY cost isnt too much more.

Also, most auto part stores have readers they will let you use at no cost. I usually go to Autozone. Once you get code, just reaearch it to see what it could be.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:51 AM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Fast forward a year and Iím still in the same condition. Amber brake light and amber DSC light both illuminated. I purchased a basic code reader in hopes it would give me my codes, but nothing appears on it. I mean it reads all the parameters, recognizes that it is a Z4, but shows no codes. I guess I need a more specific reader from a specialty shop or the dealer?










Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:32 AM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Turns out there are no local shops with the needed scanner aside from the dealer and they are a decent drive south of my house. I'm half tempted to just start buying the ABS sensors one at a time and swap them out until the lights extinguish. Aside from being frivolous, would this be a route I should take?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:56 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 253
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0si
I don't recommend throwing parts at a problem as it might be a fluke issue that you never chase down, but a BMW- specific scanner should pinpoint it. There are several good ones available, but they can be pricey and in this case it might be easier to let the dealer scan it. My local dealer sometimes runs a free diagnostic special I was able to get in on, yours may too.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-09-2019, 01:06 PM
joelselman joelselman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: lake havasu city, az
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 356
Mein Auto: 05 Z4 3.0i smg, 01 530ia
I have ceramic pads on all of my street cars and find the performance very good with low dust. All of my street BMW's are on Hawk Performance Ceramic.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:35 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 253
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0si
Not to hijack this thread, but Joel what are pads you running on your track car? I started running Hawk 5.0's and really like them. However after one track day (approx 2 hours track time) they are 50% gone.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-11-2019, 09:04 AM
pc_ma pc_ma is offline
Registered User
Location: Somerville, MA
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2005 E85 Z4 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadna71 View Post
I'm getting ready to replace the OEM pads on my 2005 e86. Yes they are OEM as it only has 55K miles on the clock. I have green EBC sport pads that are going in and I may/may not turn the rotors depending upon the looks of them or if there is much of a lip.

I also ordered both sensors as what i've read online implies I should consider them a wear item and just replace along with the pads.

Lastly, I have two lights illuminated - the BRAKE and the DSC indicators. Both stay on steady and are on as soon as i start the car until I turn it on. The BRAKE indicator is amber (not the red that it turns when I set the parking brake) as is the DSC indicator. Is this just indicative of a worn sensor being triggered? Or is indicative of a certain amount of miles being driven and the system is assuming the brakes are worn? I have found varying and conflicting answers to this online.

If it is either a worn sensor or system mileage countdown that triggers it, will it reset upon replacing the sensor or are there steps I can take with buttons on the dash to reset it once I finish the work?

Thanks!
DO NOT BUY SPEED SENSORS!!

When BRAKE and DSC are illuminated but not the TPMS OR the ABS light that means that the problem is not with the wheel speed sensor, or the ABS unit. Otherwise the ABS light will also be illuminated. You can do the test by unplugging a speed sensor and the ABS light will illuminate (and probably the TPMS light if your car doesn't have designated sensors for it).
If you read you car owner's manual, you will see that a specific light is displayed along with the BRAKE light when your pad are worn. It basically looks like a circle with two dashed lines on each side.

By experience, when only DSC and BRAKE are illuminated in yellow, it could be a problem with the yaw sensor, the steering wheel sensor or the brake pressure sensor on the master cylinder. When I mean problem with the sensor, it could as well be an electrical issue such as a bad connector/wire.

You will need a code reader that can do ABS or you can buy a $10 INPA cable on ebay and find some youtube video showing how to install INPA and read the ABS codes. Once you get the ABS code this will pinpoint which sensor/circuit is responsible for the trouble codes.

Last edited by pc_ma; 06-11-2019 at 09:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-11-2019, 09:55 AM
joelselman joelselman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: lake havasu city, az
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 356
Mein Auto: 05 Z4 3.0i smg, 01 530ia
Andyz4: I run DTC-70's on the front and I don't really keep track, but I think they generally last about 4+ track days. I do use them occasionally on the street but they are very dirty and get very noisy. By the way, you didn't say if you were running 5.0's all around; you can run a more aggressive pad in front than in back.

Last edited by joelselman; 06-11-2019 at 09:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:41 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12,565
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '06 Z4 3.0si, '11 128CiC
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelselman View Post
Andyz4: I run DTC-70's on the front and I don't really keep track, but I think they generally last about 4+ track days. I do use them occasionally on the street but they are very dirty and get very noisy. By the way, you didn't say if you were running 5.0's all around; you can run a more aggressive pad in front than in back.
The DTC-60s and DTC-70s will last longer than the Street/Race 5.0 because they're formulated for much higher temps. They will however eat rotors at about 2X the rate the 5.0s will.

Note: I get roughly 4 track days also on the DTC-60s at Sebring full course, 6-7 days at Daytona.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-11-2019, 10:27 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 253
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0si
Thanks guys, good info. Yes Joel 5.0's all around, running full course Sebring. I may need a harder pad all around though as rears are wearing just as fast as fronts. I will check out the DTCs.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-24-2019, 02:48 PM
quadna71 quadna71 is offline
Registered User
Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i Roadster
Fast forward another couple months and I just finished replacing the 4 speed sensors (sorry pc_ma but I didn't see your post until just now) and then put it all back together. I also blew out the holes where the sensors go and visually inspected the wheel inside and the ridges all looked fine and not bad at all. But, nothing changed. I disconnected the battery while I swapped the 4 sensors and then hooked it back up - both lights came back immediately. I've read anecdotal comments online where people have had success disconnecting and reconnecting the DSC plug, but I tried that too and still no success.

Yes, I understand that in the grand scheme of things I should've had the dealer scan my car from the start, but it's just very inconvenient. I have to take a vacation day in order for that to happen and that is tough to accept. Oh well...I'll report back in once that happens.

Sheesh!!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories

Tags
brake light, brake pads, brake sensor, brakes, dsc, sensor


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.