Brake Repair

Instructions for BMW Brake Repair


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BMW brake repair is a job that anyone with the right tools and knowledge can undertake and successfully complete in a matter of just an hour or so. This article will detail the general tools and the information you need to complete this repair job. Read this article carefully and completely before undertaking this job. First, gather the tools and materials required:

  • Floor jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench or “star-bar”
  • Set of sockets or allen wrench sockets
  • Wire brush
  • Large c-clamp or large channellock pliers
  • Correct DOT level brake fluid
  • Shop rags or a cloth that can be thrown away after use
  • One piece of 120 grit sandpaper

Remove Front Wheels

Run the floor jack under the front of the car until the jack pad is under the front frame cross member, and lift so that some of the weight of the vehicle is taken by the jack. Using the lug wrench or "star-bar”, loosen the lug nuts enough to turn by hand. Lift the vehicle the rest of the way and place the stands under the side frame rails. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the stands and remove the jack. Remove the lug nuts and then the wheels.


Remove Calipers

Turn the steering wheel all the way to one side. Go to the opposite side and determine whether a 15 millimeter socket, wrench, or a 3/8 inch allen socket is needed for the bolts securing the caliper to the steering knuckle. Then, remove the caliper from the knuckle and hang from the strut coil with a wire. Turn the wheel the other direction and repeat for the other side. Pull the rotors off and take them with you to the parts store to be measured. If they are within specifications, have them resurfaced. If not, replace them.


Load Calipers and Reinstall

Using the sandpaper, remove the sharp edges from the new brake pads. Place the pads upside down on the box and liberally apply the special adhesive that came with them on the metal backing plates. Wire brush the excess rust off the calipers. Loosen, but do not remove the cap from the brake reservoir and place rags around it. Using the c-clamp or the channellock pliers, collapse the caliper pistons until they are almost flush with the caliper body. Install the new pads, replacing any springs, clips or plates you took off the old ones and collapse any tabs or “wings” on the pads to help secure them to the calipers. Replace the rotors on the hubs and slide the calipers over them. Reinstall the caliper bolts and tighten them to about 60 foot-pounds of torque. Suction out the old and dirty brake fluid and fill to line with new, clean fluid.


Replace Wheels and Lower

Hang the front wheels on the studs and screw the lug nuts down until they make firm contact with the wheel. Roll the jack back under and lift the car off the stands and pull them out. Lower the car until the wheels take some of the car’s weight. Tighten the lug nuts to about 75 foot-pounds of torque and lower the vehicle the rest of the way. Start the car up and press and hold the brake pedal down for about 10 seconds to properly seat the pads.


Brake repair isn’t terribly difficult to properly complete, as long as you have the correct tools and knowledge. If you follow the instructions outlined above you will be able to complete this repair in about an hour or so.

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