BMW DIY Video – Replacing Rear Brake Pads & Rotors on Models with Electric Parking or Emergency Brake
You’ve likely seen our DIY video on replacing brake pads and rotors on a typical BMW or MINI (if not, watch it HERE). The video shows how easy it is to replace the front and rear brake pads and rotors, without paying a shop a few hundred dollars. Since the video was published, BMW has introduced electric parking brake systems on many of the newer and current models. While the front brake renewal procedures have not changed, the procedures for replacing the rear pads is unique, due to the addition of the electric parking brake system. There are currently two different electric parking brake systems. The first generation system uses an electrical actuator that activates cables to standard drum-style parking brake assemblies. The second generation system uses electric actuators directly on the brake calipers.
Here are the links to our other brake service videos and DIYs:
As noted above, the second generation electric parking brake system incorporates an electric motor driven caliper piston extender mechanism that mechanically extends the brake caliper piston to compress the pads against the brake rotor (as opposed to a separate small cable actuated drum brake assembly inside the brake rotor’s hub, or hat). Unlike a standard brake caliper, the piston cannot be simply pushed back into the caliper, using a piston compressor tool. According to BMW, the pistons must be retracted through use of the BMW factory scan/diagnostic tool. The tool is connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port and then programmed to retract the pistons through the parking brake motor actuators. Once the parking brake piston extenders are retracted, the standard brake pad replacement can proceed.
So, you ask, do I have to take my vehicle to the BMW dealer for rear brake service? No.
As a DIY BMW owner, there are two options in servicing the rear brakes. We can use an aftermarket fault code and scan tool (available from BavAuto.com) or we can manually retract the actuators by performing a bit more work.
In this DIY video, we’ll show you how to circumvent the BMW parking brake retractor program and perform your rear brake service at home. Follow along as we
perform the rear brake pad and rotor replacement on a 2010 535i (F10 chassis) with electric parking brake.
Metric Socket, Allen, Torx bit ratchet set:
Brake Caliper Piston Compressor Tool:
Thin 15mm Open-End Wrench:
New Replacement Brake Pads:
New Replacement Brake Rotors:
New Brake wear sensor wire:
1) Lift and properly support the vehicle. Each rear brake assembly can be serviced with the individual wheel lifted, or both rear wheels, or the complete vehicle can be lifted. Note that the rear will be off the ground AND the park brake will be disengaged. Be sure to securely chock the front wheels.
2) Release the parking brake by pushing the park bake button downward. Check that the brake is released by turning the rear wheels. Note that the wheels will only turn a few degrees as the transmission will be in PARK. However, if the brake is engaged, the wheels will not move at all.
3) Remove the wheel/tire.
4) Remove the pad wear sensor (right-rear only) by prying it from the pad’s backing plate. Dismount and move the wire out of the way.
11) Re-install the parking brake actuator
** The remainder of the procedure is just as with a standard BMW disc brake assembly. See the DIY video (above) for specific procedures.