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Old 01-27-2016, 05:41 PM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Parking Break Malfunction (Update: Fixed)

Parked today and hit the button and the yellow 'brake' light lit up as did warnings on the dash and screen. It's off and it won't engage. I guess somewhat luckily it failed off instead of on. I read a lot about these mechanisms today, and it seems the actuator is the most likely culprit.

Has anyone here successfully repaired this themselves? If so, what was the problem? Did you order the replacement gears or a new actuator? I think the part that worries me the most is that I'm not sure I can adjust it properly after repair, which could lead the repaired unit to fail again immediately.

Last edited by Absentmathis; 02-29-2016 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 01-27-2016, 05:49 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Why do you think that it must be adjusted? Looks to me like it accommodates pad wear.

EMF Parking Brake 72 pages at

https://drive.google.com/folderview?...drive_web#list
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Old 01-27-2016, 06:58 PM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Thanks Doug. I was going off what I read from others who have replaced/repaired the actuator. I'm sure it is self adjusting in normal operation as most all are, but what I was reading earlier suggested that it should be readjusted after removing the actuator. Maybe not though. I'll read up from the docs you posted when I get in front of a larger screen.

Last edited by Absentmathis; 01-28-2016 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:39 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Now you have shifted from "adjusted" in the post to which I responded to "reset after removing" above.
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Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:41 AM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Now you have shifted from "adjusted" in the post to which I responded to "reset after removing" above.
So what? Semantics. Fixed it for you.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:48 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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After "Ugg! Broke." engineering technology is all "semantics." If it ain't broke then don't fix it, lest one fix until broke. What does that final word broke mean in context? That is how important are semantics!
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Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923)
Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:31 AM
boostedX5SAV boostedX5SAV is offline
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I had the parking brake malfunction go off. I believe at one point, it was red light instead of the usual yellow. It would work sometimes if I restart the car with the yellow warning.

I had the problem fixed under warranty and this is what was on the work order. Please let us know what you end up doing as I would like to fix this problem myself if it breaks again as I'm out of warranty now.
http://www.xoutpost.com/1059384-post9.html
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:45 AM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
After "Ugg! Broke." engineering technology is all "semantics." If it ain't broke then don't fix it, lest one fix until broke. What does that final word broke mean in context? That is how important are semantics!
As is common on the internet, you seem to want to argue more than anything. In this context, the distinction between reset and adjust is immaterial. Have you ever repaired an actuator...err...EMF...err...electromechanical actuating unit?
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:46 AM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boostedX5SAV View Post
I had the parking brake malfunction go off. I believe at one point, it was red light instead of the usual yellow. It would work sometimes if I restart the car with the yellow warning.

I had the problem fixed under warranty and this is what was on the work order. Please let us know what you end up doing as I would like to fix this problem myself if it breaks again as I'm out of warranty now.
http://www.xoutpost.com/1059384-post9.html
Thanks for posting that. If I'm reading that right it looks like they replaced the actuator, which doesn't surprise me.
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:40 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absentmathis View Post
As is common on the internet, you seem to want to argue more than anything. In this context, the distinction between reset and adjust is immaterial. Have you ever repaired an actuator...err...EMF...err...electromechanical actuating unit?
Have YOU ever repaired anything at the discrete component level and known why?

Yes, I have repaired electromechanical actuators of all sorts.
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Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923)
Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
(The Works of George Santayana p. 65)

Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:21 AM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Yes, I have repaired electromechanical actuators of all sorts.
Great. Back to my original questions...

Has anyone here successfully repaired this themselves? If so, what was the problem? Did you order the replacement gears?
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2016, 10:07 AM
boostedX5SAV boostedX5SAV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absentmathis View Post
Thanks for posting that. If I'm reading that right it looks like they replaced the actuator, which doesn't surprise me.
Yes, that's what it looks like. An expensive part too... $1000 http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/s...ssembly=257513
Part # 34436850289
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  #13  
Old 02-29-2016, 09:07 AM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Update: successfully fixed the issue by having actuator rebuilt. I pulled it from the vehicle and opened it up and inspected it, but could not find any faults. I could not find anything else wrong with the brake though, so I figured the actuator had to be the culprit. Repair kits ranged from $75-$125, but I found a company via eBay that rebuilt it (including fitting new cables) for $325. Once returned to me, I simply refitted the actuator and the warning lights went off and the brake works great. No coding, no clearing of codes needed.

I did not take photos (should have), but here are a few notes for any future interested parties...

- When removing, due to tight space, I found it easier to unbolt the bracket, remove it, then remove the actuator (reverse for install). The actuator was an uncomfortably tight squeeze between the adaptive sway lines. Had to flex them pretty good to finagle it out/in.

- Take very good note of how the cables are routed from the actuator to the wheels - it's a pain to refit them and they need to be routed exactly as they were.

- I would not recommend trying to refit an actuator with the old cables still on the car (when I pulled it, I initially left the old cables in place). The connections are difficult and fitting new cables is worthwhile. I removed the old cables and installed the rebuilt actuator with new cables already installed - much easier that way.

- You'll have to pull the rotors (which requires e18 socket or wrench for caliper), p-brake shoes, and adjustment mechanism to refit new cables. An extra pair of hands with the shoes/springs/mechanism was very helpful. Don't forget to readjust the shoes after reinstalling.

- The parking brake did not work with the vehicle off the ground (just FYI as I was tremendously frustrated at first). Dropped the lift to load the suspension and it tested fine.

- If you have the manual release (newer models don't, I think?), refitting that cable clip into the cargo floor was a bit of a hassle. I just stuck my arm up behind the bumper from below and did it by feel. I did not pull the fender liner or trim.

Hope that helps someone down the line.
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  #14  
Old 02-29-2016, 09:13 AM
Silver Shadow Silver Shadow is offline
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Well done on the repair.

When mine failed it turned out to be a wire underneath which had gotten rubbed and was shorting out. Fixed under warranty.
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  #15  
Old 02-29-2016, 11:18 AM
lordshin808 lordshin808 is offline
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Thanks for the info. I might have to do the same repair soon. Who is the ebay company that re-built your actuator?
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  #16  
Old 02-29-2016, 12:16 PM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshin808 View Post
Thanks for the info. I might have to do the same repair soon. Who is the ebay company that re-built your actuator?
They were called 1st Choice Recons, unfortunately they were in London. I just searched for e70 brake actuator repair and Google led me to eBay. It was the only one I could find at the time, but I've since seen where there was someone in CA doing it as well which would be easier if you're in the states. It also occurred to me after the fact that I should have called one of the known reman groups like BBA.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:58 PM
lordshin808 lordshin808 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absentmathis View Post
They were called 1st Choice Recons, unfortunately they were in London. I just searched for e70 brake actuator repair and Google led me to eBay. It was the only one I could find at the time, but I've since seen where there was someone in CA doing it as well which would be easier if you're in the states. It also occurred to me after the fact that I should have called one of the known reman groups like BBA.
Ok thanks. I'm still on the fence about fixing this damn parking brake malfunction issue. I've probably used it maybe twice the whole time i've owned this car.

So you have to remove the rotors completely to take off the cables? I need to replace my rotors soon so maybe I will wait and do the brake job and take off the actuator at the same time to inspect it.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:47 PM
Absentmathis Absentmathis is offline
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I'm the kind of person that has to fix something if it's broken, but if you can turn off the warning light and don't need it you could save some trouble. Yes - I had to remove the rotor to release the cable. There may be a way to do it without doing so, but I don't think so. You could disconnect the cables on the actuator end, but the cables themselves could be the issue and as I mentioned above, reinstalling that way seemed pretty difficult to me.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:58 PM
lordshin808 lordshin808 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absentmathis View Post
I'm the kind of person that has to fix something if it's broken, but if you can turn off the warning light and don't need it you could save some trouble. Yes - I had to remove the rotor to release the cable. There may be a way to do it without doing so, but I don't think so. You could disconnect the cables on the actuator end, but the cables themselves could be the issue and as I mentioned above, reinstalling that way seemed pretty difficult to me.
I'm not one who shy away from most DIYs. I've been modding and doing most DIYs since my old E46. Yea, I'm still trying to figure out a way to disable the light with INPA and NCS Expert.

I'm glad I have your notes on this actuator repair if I ever decide to do the repair. Heck I might just take a bunch of pictures and create a DIYs to help fellow forum members. Thanks again.

Last edited by lordshin808; 03-03-2016 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:26 AM
rh71 rh71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boostedX5SAV View Post
I had the parking brake malfunction go off. I believe at one point, it was red light instead of the usual yellow. It would work sometimes if I restart the car with the yellow warning.

I had the problem fixed under warranty and this is what was on the work order. Please let us know what you end up doing as I would like to fix this problem myself if it breaks again as I'm out of warranty now.
http://www.xoutpost.com/1059384-post9.html
Getting this myself now and have a 3rd party warranty to contend with. Any idea approx. how many hours of labor this typically involves?
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  #21  
Old 06-10-2016, 11:19 AM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
Getting this myself now and have a 3rd party warranty to contend with. Any idea approx. how many hours of labor this typically involves?
Pretty sure the more appropriate question is: What is the book time for this R+R? Mitchell, Alldata or BMW I think will be the same. The insurance usually will follow that, but may not pay the hourly $$ rate.

But no, I dont know what that is...
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  #22  
Old 06-10-2016, 07:00 PM
boostedX5SAV boostedX5SAV is offline
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Sorry, not sure how long. I turned the car over on a saturday and received a call tuesday afternoon to pick it up. Im guessing it took most of the day on monday to repair.

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  #23  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:13 AM
fullmetaljacket fullmetaljacket is offline
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Sorry for resurrecting this old thread. My parking brake malfunction light has been on and off for over a year now. Sometimes the parking brake engages, sometimes it does not, sometimes it disengages and sometimes it refuses to disengage! I chose not to use the parking brake and just put the car tranny on park so that I can avoid that annoying parking brake error with matching chime.

My question is - has anyone tried replacing the parking brake actuator with those China rebuilt ones? They sell for about $300-$350 on ebay. I'm tempted to get one and do a DIY. BMW Brand new one cosr around $1300. So, should I go with the China rebuilt units??? Also, I heard somewhere that you can replace just the actuator and leave the old cables alone. In that way, I dont have to take out the rotors. Is it difficult to remove and reinstall the cables back to the actuator? Has anyone tried this route? TIA guys!
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  #24  
Old 07-22-2019, 12:29 PM
deroy deroy is offline
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I had the same issue. Turned out to be the wiring. Some section was rubbing against a stud somewhere along/behind the rear subframe and was intermittently shorting.


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Old 07-22-2019, 04:11 PM
n1das n1das is offline
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The parking BRAKE became a parking BREAK in my 2012 X5 35d when the switch handle broke. I had to stick a screwdriver down the hole to operate the switch. Replacement of the parking brake switch is easy and inexpensive.


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