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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 09-27-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
nola mike
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Brake pad wear sensor?

Replaced my rear pads/rotors ~1k miles ago, reused wear sensors. Today had the wear indicator light cut on. I assume it's related to something I mucked with in the rear. I haven't taken a look at anything yet.
1) Is there a way to pinpoint which sensor is tripping?
1a) I'm guessing that the sensor works by completing a ground circuit when it contacts the rotor--is that right? If so, do I just disconnect the sensor and check for continuity between the leads?
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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No, it works when the circuit is opened. The rotor grinds through and breaks the loop. Was your brake indicator on before you changed the brakes. If not then the sensor should be fine. If so then you have to change it. Try turning the ignition to position 2 for 30 seconds to see if it resets.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
nola mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
No, it works when the circuit is opened. The rotor grinds through and breaks the loop. Was your brake indicator on before you changed the brakes. If not then the sensor should be fine. If so then you have to change it. Try turning the ignition to position 2 for 30 seconds to see if it resets.
No, the indicator wasn't on. The rotors needed changing, so I changed the pads as well. So it sounds like the light shouldn't trip unless the sensor is physically damaged, a wire is cut, or there's a bad connection? Again, disconnecting the sensor and checking for continuity should give me an answer, right? I'll try resetting the light as suggested...
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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exactly what choxor said. here is a nice video that show how to reset the light,

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Old 09-27-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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I haven't tried to, but you should be able to test it for continuity. That would be my plan of attack.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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If the light went on 1,000 miles in, there's a chance you didn't get the sensor in the right place. First time I did it I realized just before it was too late, that I was putting the sensor too far forward in the pad. I doubt it would trip at 1,000 miles, but check that if you don't see bad connection or the like.

Also, there's a water tight gasket in the connection, and it's possible it got lost, water got in, and corroded things enough where you got a signal--not sure if that's electrically possible or not, but it's easy enough to look for.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
nola mike
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Thanks for the tips. Tried resetting the light, didn't work. It's nap time now, I'll take the wheels off this afternoon and see what I find. Hopefully something easy/obvious, and of course I hope I start with the right wheel...
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:09 PM   #8
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Well, it seems that I found my problem
Anyone have a pic for the correct routing of that wire?Click image for larger version

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:16 AM   #9
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Looks fine to me. Lol jk
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