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Tracy Thorne
12-21-1998, 05:06 PM
Just took my 1995 525iT in because the "brake linings" light came on.<p>The car has 48,000 miles on it, and the dealer is telling me that I need new pads and ROTORS. <p>His story is that BMW uses "extra soft steel" for better stopping, but that leads to quick wear out on the<br>rotors. I find this hard to believe, and think that he's trying to sell me some rotors. <p>Any thoughts?

Chris Barton
12-21-1998, 06:17 PM
Time for a second Opinion!!!! (Even if you just call around a few indie BMW mechanics)

Jay
12-21-1998, 11:03 PM
<i>: Just took my 1995 525iT in because the "brake linings" light came on.<p>: The car has 48,000 miles on it, and the dealer is telling me that I need new pads and ROTORS. <p>: His story is that BMW uses "extra soft steel" for better stopping, but that leads to quick wear out on the<br>: rotors. I find this hard to believe, and think that he's trying to sell me some rotors. <p>: Any thoughts?<p></i>Unfortunately I think you're dealer's right. When I first had to change the pads on my 90 535 (with my driving style and city/highway mix they last about 30k miles) I too was shocked to hear the dealer say that I needed new rotors too! I mean, all other cars I knew about did not need new rotors with each brake job, just new pads and having the old rotors "turned" did it for them. Besides, my dealer's credibility level with me was very low, given my experience with them.<p>So I said "no thanks" and drove off to my independent mechanic, who I have grown to trust and you know what, he said the same thing. Apparently with my car, at least, it's not a good idea to machine the rotors, so they should be replaced with each brake job. Since my mechanic had nothing to gain from this - his profit margin on the parts (from BMW) was not much, and he actually loses the labor time to turn the rotors - I believe he was telling me the truth. He also told me I could save more money if I bought the rotors myself from the dealer. I passed because the cost savings were immaterial.<p>Anyway according to both my dealer and indie my car's rotors are quite thin by design so that they can dissipate heat faster, which then resists brake fade. My dealer also said the rotor material was soft, also to improve braking performance.<p>Which is why few sedans can match the our 5-Series in braking performance. At the expense, unfortunately, of maintenance costs.<br>Back to you - having said all of this, I'd still encourage you to get second and third opinions, with another dealer and an indie. If in the end someone reputable believes they can turn your rotors properly, that's great. But regardless of how you go on the rotors I'd like to suggest one more thing - make sure you use only original BMW pads. They're softer than the aftermarket ones out there, which means they'll grab better and more importantly, they won't warp your soft rotors so easily under heavy use.<p>Let us know what you find out.<p>Jay<br>90 535

Dan Masucci
12-22-1998, 02:52 AM
This was posted on the "other" board, and should be very useful:<p>[start]<br>Posted by Jeff on December 12, 1998 at 12:13:06:<p>Well, I finally got my rotors and pads from Vertex (one week on order, 3 weeks of my E34 on jackstands)<p>But I must say, of the 10+ brake jobs I've done, on as many different cars (all my own), the BMW was by far the easiest. No<br>goo required to quiet the pads, and they do not grab, squeal, grind, or do anything but smoothly stop me. If anyone knows how<br>to take the wheel off their car, they can do their E34 brakes. The whole job cost....$106. Yep. $34/ea. for rotors, and $38<br>for the organic pads. Sure beats the $400 quoted by my dealer.<p>If anyone wants to know about how to do theirs, just write.<br>[end]<p>You can use factory (soft disk, soft pad) or aftermarket (hard disk, hard pad) with equal results. Just dont mix factory and aftermarket (ie: hard disk, soft pad). <p>Dan Masucci<br>Lake Forest, CA<br>94-530i/5<p><i>: Just took my 1995 525iT in because the "brake linings" light came on.<p>: The car has 48,000 miles on it, and the dealer is telling me that I need new pads and ROTORS. <p>: His story is that BMW uses "extra soft steel" for better stopping, but that leads to quick wear out on the<br>: rotors. I find this hard to believe, and think that he's trying to sell me some rotors. <p>: Any thoughts?<p></i>

John Dilzell
12-22-1998, 10:11 AM
<i>: This was posted on the "other" board, and should be very useful:<p>: [start]<br>: Posted by Jeff on December 12, 1998 at 12:13:06:<p>: Well, I finally got my rotors and pads from Vertex (one week on order, 3 weeks of my E34 on jackstands)<p>: But I must say, of the 10+ brake jobs I've done, on as many different cars (all my own), the BMW was by far the easiest. No<br>: goo required to quiet the pads, and they do not grab, squeal, grind, or do anything but smoothly stop me. If anyone knows how<br>: to take the wheel off their car, they can do their E34 brakes. The whole job cost....$106. Yep. $34/ea. for rotors, and $38<br>: for the organic pads. Sure beats the $400 quoted by my dealer.<p>: If anyone wants to know about how to do theirs, just write.<br>: [end]<p>: You can use factory (soft disk, soft pad) or aftermarket (hard disk, hard pad) with equal results. Just dont mix factory and aftermarket (ie: hard disk, soft pad). <p>: Dan Masucci<br>: Lake Forest, CA<br>: 94-530i/5<p>: : Just took my 1995 525iT in because the "brake linings" light came on.<p>: : The car has 48,000 miles on it, and the dealer is telling me that I need new pads and ROTORS. <p>: : His story is that BMW uses "extra soft steel" for better stopping, but that leads to quick wear out on the<br>: : rotors. I find this hard to believe, and think that he's trying to sell me some rotors. <p>: : Any thoughts?<p></i><br>$34 for E34 front rotors sounds awful cheap. Best price I've seen(without looking real hard)is $59. Were you satisfied that these were OEM quality?

Todd
12-22-1998, 01:19 PM
<br>: Just took my 1995 525iT in because the "brake linings" light came on.<p>: The car has 48,000 miles on it, and the dealer is telling me that I need new pads and ROTORS. <p>: His story is that BMW uses "extra soft steel" for better stopping, but that leads to quick wear out on the<br>: rotors. I find this hard to believe, and think that he's trying to sell me some rotors. <p>: Any thoughts?<p>We had the same thing done to our '94 525i at 48M miles, so you're dealer is probably right-unfortunately!<p>Todd

TBM
12-23-1998, 12:05 AM
First of all, the brake rotors are not steel. They are cast Iron (which by nature is soft). Second. I can't believe BMW would put rotors are thier cars that only last 50,000 miles. I have 250,000 miles on my 85 325e 200,000 of which are mine. I have yet to replace the front rotors. I do use Repco Metalmaster pads.. they last about 50,000 miles ( at least they way I drive.) I have 150,000 on my 89 525i, 70,000 of which are mine. I still have the original rotors on the car. (At least thats what the records indicate that came with the car). I would ask your dealer what the thickness of the rotors are and what the runout is and if they could be turned. I am not sure what the original thickness is, but minimum is .803" in the front and .331" in the rear, runout is .008" with the rotors installed according to the Bentley Manual. Ask them to show if you are not sure. If you do decide to replace them. tell them you want the old ones (just a precaution). I would bet they are trying to pay for thier Christmas Bonus. Hope this helps!<p>TBM<br>85 325e<br>89 525i


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