How to Change BMW Brake Pads

There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing your BMW needs new brake pads. The process of changing the pads is just as tedious as scratching an itch that can’t be scratched. However, you can take some of the stings out of this task by following these simple steps that show you how to change BMW brake pads correctly.

  • Jack Up The Vehicle

If you have a floor jack, put it under your vehicle and raise it high enough so that you can remove a tire from it. If not, get a pair of jacks from any other hardware store nearby.

  • Remove Retaining Clip

Use a pair of pliers to remove the retaining clip.

  •  Remove Plastic Caps

If you have tires that come with plastic caps, take them off by hand. Use a small flat-head screwdriver if necessary.

  • Loosen Caliper Guide Pins

Remove cotter pin and slide off both caliper guide pins located at the front and rear of each caliper.

  • Remove Brake Caliper

Remove brake caliper to make room for changing brake pads.

  • Remove The Caliper Bracket

Use an Allen wrench to loosen and remove the two bolts that hold on each caliper bracket. Pull down on each caliper to slide it off its bracket, being careful not to scratch or damage anything.

  • Remove The Set Screw

Place a pair of pliers around the hex head of the set screw located on top of each lug nut.

  •  Remove Rotor

Use a 1/2drive breaker bar to remove the rotor. The rotor is held on by 4 bolts, 2 on each side.

  •  Press Brake Piston

Use a screwdriver to push the brake piston from the caliper. If you hold the steering wheel at 12 o’clock position and your car is level, both wheels should be equal distance from the ground.

  •  Install Rotor

Rotors are removed by turning them counterclockwise until they unscrew from their position. Next, install your new rotor and turn it clockwise until it meets resistance so that it can be tightened in place and shouldn’t require excessive force.

  • Install Caliper Bracket

Hold the bracket in place and secure with four bolts, Torque 30-36 lb-ft (41-49 Nm).

  • Place Brake Pads On The Caliper

Place new ones on top of one another. They should align with grooves in brake caliper. For extra leverage, hold them against caliper with one hand while securing new nuts with wrench with other hand.

  • Install Brake Caliper

The brake caliper slides into place, and its upper arms squeeze together to clamp down on the disc rotor. Check that there is at least a 1/4-inch gap between each side of your new pads and your rotor.

  •  Install The Brake Wear Sensor

Be sure to replace your brake wear sensor after you have replaced your brake pads. This sensor is found behind a small cover near one of your wheels.

  • Inspect Brakes

Before you drive away after changing your brakes, ensure that they feel firm and give no cause for concern. Make sure any parts you replaced are working normally and free of damage. If anything looks suspicious, remove and replace it again until you’re confident there are no problems. This way, you won’t leave yourself open to a costly repair job later on down the line caused by not checking all is in order before driving off.