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Brake rotor/disc and pad replacement DIY with Pics, BMW 535i RWD F10 2011

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Jack up the car, take the wheel off. Put another jack stand under where the lower control arm attaches to the frame.

Remove the anti-rattle clip holding the pads in place.

Using a flat screwdriver, take plastic covers off the caliper pin holes.

Use 7mm Allen bit to loosen and remove the caliper guide bolts. They should not be extremely tight and hard to loosen up.

Use your ratchet to wiggle the bolts out of their rubber holes, this may require a bit of wiggling so keep the allen on and try pulling it under an angle.

***** NEW for F10. The caliper will NOT COME OFF as it would in all other cars I have done. This got me thinking a bit and the solution is simple: at this point you must use a c-clamp to push the brake piston back in JUST A BIT to allow the caliper to come off. I was lucky to have the right c-clamp, but prepare for this - you may need to grab a special tool!

You only have to push it in a bit, just enough to get the clearance required to remove the caliper.

Lift up the caliper and the outer brake pad will stay on the bracket. The inner pad sits in the caliper piston. Use a wire to suspend the caliper (heavy!) above the rotor.

Remove the inner pad from the piston and use a piece of wood (or an old pad... I used wood since I kept the old pads just in case) to push the piston back in.

Use the 6mm Allen bit to remove the rotor holding bolt. Make sure you put the allen bit all the way in not to strip the head. If you strip the head, you will need to drill it out (extra time, part and stress!). You may need to stop the rotor movement by jamming it with a wrench or a screwdriver against the floor. Visible in this pic below the disk.

Use 18mm socket to loosen up two screws holding the bracket. WARNING: if your car is fairly new and things have not seized up yet, this will work with a breaker bar or a good hammer, BUT I've destroyed perfectly good sockets on this before (cracked the open). My past cars ran 10 years or so on the original rotors and after such long time loosening up those bolts was impossible without a blow torch and heating up the bolts to red-hot. After that, it went like butter...

Use a rubber mallet to bang on the rotor (hit it from the outside!). Careful... it may come off and fall down before you know it (unless it is badly seized up to the hub).

Wipe the guide rails on the bracket with a brush or sand paper and apply brake grease. Make sure you wipe the excess to never allow that grease onto the rotor!

Put anti-seize on the hub and make sure to leave a thin and even layer. Wipe excess off with a plastic glove and a finger.

Clean new rotors with a brake parts cleaner. I've never done this before but I did this time: the new rotors are ofter greased (to prevent rust maybe) coming from the manufacturer.

Put the rotor back on (do not touch the surface if your hands are greasy!!!). Hold the rotor from underneath or on the sides!

Put anti-seize on the holding bolt and install back in.

Reinstall the bracket with 18mm socket and bolts. Make sure they are on really tight. Look up the torque if you want and use a torque wrench.

Put the outer pad into the bracket.

And the inner pad into the piston.

Untie the caliper and re-install onto the bracket.

Clean the guide bolts with brake parts cleaner and apply brake grease before reinstalling.

Use the 7mm allen to insert them back and tighten to specified torque. Don't forget the two plastic covers to protect the guide bolts from dirt.

***** NEW for F10. The reinstallation of the anti-rattle clip turned out to be a massive challenge. I've done rotors and pads many times on my old E46 and the clip was easy... This time around, it took me 15 minutes of helpless tries to no effect. I ended up calling my wife and son for support, after which it went in really easy.

Here is what I did: push the top and bottom parts of the clip into their positions (they will fight!) and have two people hold them in place. Then use a screwdriver and a hammer to pry the centre clip outwards (away from the hub's centre) and bang/push it into its hole.

I found no other way so far and this worked fine (1 minute per side). This used to be a 1-man job, but I presume BMW ha a special tool for that now....

Put anti-seize onto the rotor (the non-braking surface!) BUT NOT AS MUCH AS I DID. I had to wipe it off later. Only apply it around the bolt holes.

Follow proper break-in procedure. I've found a few out there but I think the most important thing is to NEVER come to a complete stop as you break them in (because you will burn the pad material right into your brand new rotors thus effectively "warping them" (that is what is referred to as "warping" which it really isn't). Most guides say to to do a few hard accelerations and decelerations: first from 40-45 mph and then from 60 mph. Look it up.

****************** UPDATE (wrong!!) ******************

I forgot to put brake quiet on the back of the pads and I get horrible squeel at low speeds. I didn't really forget but what turned me off is that some instructional videos said to apply the substance 24hrs before doing the brakes and I did not have 24 hrs.

Anyhow: USE BRAKE QUIET if you want quiet front brakes! (I have never done it on other cars and never had a problem until the F10. Lesson learned.).


>>>>>> TURNS OUT BRAKE QUIET WAS NOT IT!. I never believed that stuff anyway. Supposedly I have used cheap pads that just squeal like sh^&*. I was told I needed expensive OEM pads for quiet braking. My pads continued on squealing badly (at very low speeds during braking to complete stop) for the next year or so and they've finally shut up as of recent.

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I suppose that is an option... funny you should mention it. These rotors ended up being utter **** so I had to put new rotors on after just two years (pads still had plenty of life left). It didn't occur to me that maybe I should have left the pads on and removed the whole caliper as one piece...

I will give that a try next time...
I just did my fronts on an x5 and only undid the two that hold the caliper. Slip the whole thing off.

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Had to rush Homedepot twice to find the correct size. It turned to be 9mm instead of 7mm. Funny thing is that Homedepot doesn't have 9mm but 6, 7, 8 and 10mm. Luckily one of L-wrench sets included 9mm. Thanks guys.
I'm stuck in the middle of the job. It seems that it's not 7mm allen for the caliper guide bolt. It sounds strange but I can't figure out the size.

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Yep, 9mm as mentioned in my post above :thumbup: I guess that applies to 5 series also then...
Had to rush Homedepot twice to find the correct size. It turned to be 9mm instead of 7mm. Funny thing is that Homedepot doesn't have 9mm but 6, 7, 8 and 10mm. Luckily one of L-wrench sets included 9mm. Thanks guys.
What are folks using for rotors and pads?
The ones I used in this DIY turned out to be garbage. Not coated (would have rusted had I not sprayed the centres with high temp silver paint), and lasted only 2 years before warping badly and shaking at high speed.

So I just used Zimmerman coated rotors this past summer and so far so good and because they are coated, no need to paint to prevent ugly rust in the centre.

The price of the Zimmerman rotors was OK too.
I also used Zimmermann (Coat Z) with Textar pads and wear sensor. Very pleased so far.
Thanks. I just ordered this for my rears.

FCP confirms they are coated as well.
I also used Zimmermann (Coat Z) with Textar pads and wear sensor. Very pleased so far.
Reviving an old post to get some additional info

Can someone shed some light on how to reset the brake service due in ##### miles in Idrive ?

Do we need to to reset it or it will change automatically based on sensor feed

Appreciate your response

I just did the front and rear brakes on my 2011 528i - I used the Carly app to reset the service interval and to put the brakes into service mode. I don't think it resets automatically.
I only do this once a year for oil changes and much less frequently for brakes, but here are my notes for oil reset. I believe they are the same for brake reset, try it!! Once you get into the menu, you should see the options.

Here are my cryptic notes written to myself, darn, I wish I was more clear, but give this a try, this WILL work for resetting things (2011 F10 at least). Let us know how it went. I have done it many times.

"RESET OIL COUNTER: turn ignition ON, press odo reset button (press/hold it?), press until Oil reset shows up, then pick an option and hold to approve changes. Must enter menu for resetting things."
Thanks all for your response.

My local indy did my brake job and he forgot to reset the brake due in #### miles note on service required menu .

I think I need to take it back to my mechanic to get it reset :thumbup:
Since the thread was revived, I thought I'd mention that I just had my original rotors turned since they were still well within spec. I've driven it for 4+ months without issue.
What are folks using for rotors and pads?
Or you could read one post above yours.
Thanks all for your response.

My local indy did my brake job and he forgot to reset the brake due in #### miles note on service required menu .

I think I need to take it back to my mechanic to get it reset :thumbup:
Just followed my own DIY to quickly change my pads and I've found a better way to remove the caliper. Not sure how I got it done with the square shaped blue C-clamp shown in my DIY but this time around I used a bent/angled screwdriver and wiggled it back and forth as a pry bar to allow the caliper to slide out as shown. I did it both in the upper and lower section.


Thank you very much for the detail pictures on brake work.
Do not use lube on the guide pins, it defeats the design purpose of the rubber guide bushings.
they are ribbed in order to pull that side of the brake pad back from the rotor just a hair. It relies on the good contact between the guide pin and the rubber guide bushing.
The TIS says do not lube.
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