BMWs are high-performance vehicles that are designed to accelerate quickly, handle with ease, and stop on a dime. While all of the vehicle’s components work together to provide an incredible driving experience, the brakes are undoubtedly one of the most important.
Failing to keep up with your BMW’s brake maintenance can lead to costly repairs. Even worse, unresolved brake problems often create dangerous driving conditions. Whether you think you have a brake issue or you’re just curious about maintenance requirements, you’re in the right place! Here’s a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about BMW brakes.
1. My BMW Brake Light Came On – What Does This Mean?
The sight of any BMW warning light can be enough to make your heart skip a beat. But when your brake light comes on, there’s usually no need to panic. Some of the most common issues that can trigger a BMW brake warning include:
- Worn brake pads
- Low or leaking brake fluid
- Burned out brake light bulbs
- Engaged parking brake
- Faulty sensors
- ABS failure
After checking to make sure the parking brake isn’t engaged, you should be able to do some simple troubleshooting to rule out a few of the other common BMW brake problems. However, if you don’t see an obvious issue, it’s always a good idea to have an expert take a look.
2. What’s the Best Way to Maintain My BMW’s Brakes?
Just like going to the dentist every six months can help prevent tooth decay, having your BMW brakes checked regularly will help you catch small issues before they become big problems. For this reason, it’s a great idea to have your technician inspect your brakes each time you bring your BMW in for its six-month tire rotations.
In addition, BMW’s recommended maintenance services include a brake fluid check and front and rear brake inspection every 5,000 miles. You’ll also want to replace your brake fluid after the first 30,000 miles and every 60,000 miles thereafter.
3. How Long Do Brake Pads Last on a BMW?
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact BMW brake pad lifespan, since this depends on a number of factors. Your driving style, whether you’re primarily driving in the city or on the highway, the quality of the brake pads you use, and whether you keep up with your brake system maintenance will all impact how long your brake pads will last.
That being said, you should generally plan to replace your BMW brakes after about every 50,000 miles of normal driving. If you’re particularly rough on your brakes, you may need to replace them after as few as 25,000 miles.
4. How Can I Tell if My BMW Brakes Need to Be Replaced?
Even if you keep up with all your brake maintenance requirements, it’s still important to watch out for common warning signs of a brake problem. Some of the issues you may run into include:
- Screeching, grinding, or clicking sounds when you apply your brakes
- Vehicle pulling to one side when you brake
- Brakes that feel “spongy” or slow to respond
- Steering wheel vibrating or shaking when you brake
- Brake pedal pulsing up and down when pressed
If you notice any of these BMW brake system issues, make sure to address them right away. Otherwise, they may become a much bigger problem.
5. What’s Up with the Recent BMW Brake Recall?
In August of 2021, BMW recalled over 50,000 vehicles for brake-related issues. All of the cars and SUVs affected were produced between 2019 and 2021. According to a bulletin released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a software problem was causing a loss of braking assist.
When a BMW loses its brake assist capability, you can still stop the vehicle. You’ll just need to press the brake harder and the stopping distance may be longer. Unfortunately, this has the potential to increase the risk of being involved in a crash.
If your vehicle was involved in this recall, you should have received a notification by October 1, 2021. For safety reasons, it’s important to take care of this issue as soon as possible. You can take your vehicle to any BMW service center and have the problem repaired for free.
6. Who Should I Trust for My BMW Brake Maintenance and Repair?
This one is easy! The certified BMW technicians at The Haus would be happy to take care of all your BMW brake repair and maintenance needs. We’re a full-service independent BMW repair shop and you can trust us to keep your vehicle in top shape – without the sticker shock that comes with a visit to the BMW dealership.
We offer quick and reliable service and have two convenient locations to serve you. Contact us today to book your VIP appointment at either our Santa Monica or Sherman Oaks location.