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BMW Brake Pad and Rotor (Disc) Replace DIY, How To, Tools Needed

May 16, 2012

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

car year: 2003
car model: 525i
Good day, I’m trying to replace brake pads of my 2003 BMW 525i.  What kind of tools and sizes to be used.  I got already pads and sensor that I bought from BavAuto. Thanks a lot.

The basic tools required for replacing brake pads on the front or rear of most BMWs from the early 1980s through the mid 2000s, are as follows, below.  You can watch the full DIY procedures (using the tools) in our DIY brake pad and rotor replacement video.

Click HERE for BMW brake pad and rotor replacement DIY video

*  Jack and jack stand(s) to raise and support the vehicle.

*  17mm (Some X5 and 7-series use 19mm) socket and breaker bar, or vehicle lug wrench, for wheel removal.

*  7mm or 8mm male Allen tool or bit/socket for use with 3/8″ drive ratchet (and ratchet) to remove the caliper guide bolts.

*  Two medium to large flat-blade screwdrivers or pry-bars for removing anti-rattle clip and prying caliper from the caliper mounting bracket.

*  Caliper piston retractor tool for pushing the piston back into the caliper bore, making room for the new, thicker, brake pads.

*  Synthetic caliper grease for guide bolts and pad mounting points.

*  Noise-Free compound for application to the back of the brake pads to assure no pad noise.

If you are also replacing the brake rotor (or disc), you will also need:

*  16mm, 17,, or 18mm socket, 2″ to 3″ extension and ratchet (typically, 1/2″ drive is best) to remove caliper mounting bracket.

*  4mm, 5mm or 6mm male Allen tool or bit/socket for use with 3/8″ ratchet for removal of brake rotor hold-down bolt.

Click below for caliper guide bolt and rotor hold-down Allen bits:
(click link, then ID your model and search “Allen”)

Piston retractor tool:

Noise-Free compound:

Disc brake synthetic grease:

Bavarian Autosport

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