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Old 05-04-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
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How long should Rotors last on a 330ci


I have a 2004 330ci. I can feel that the brakes are starting to go. The dealership is advising me, without even looking at the car, that I should probably change the rotors too. I was thinking that I only needed to change the brake pads.

The car has about 50,000 KM (about 30,000 miles) on it and I use it for city driving.

Does this sound about right to you mechanically inclined guys? Would the rotors need replacing with about 50,000k (30,000miles) under normal city driving conditions? They can sell me everything plus the kitchen sink and I wouldnt know the difference.

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Old 05-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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guys will tell you that you have to change the rotors too, i dont buy it. does the car shudder when you brake? If you change your pads ( a simple diy) before they grind into the rotors you are probably good for awhile. id change them with your next set of pads just to be sure. i have an old beater nissan truck with 190k miles and Ive never changed the rotors just keep the pads fresh (cue: BUT ITS A NISSAN!) just check em out with your wheel off if they are grooved real bad replace em, if they look good Id keep em for another 20k miles or more

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Old 05-04-2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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Funny you mention grinding, because times were tough and I had to pass on the rear brakes for a few thousand miles, and they had just barely started to dig into the rotor before I got them changed today. Since the rears only do about 20% of the braking, I was able to get away with it. Last time I do that, though. It's not how to treat a car.

The dealer will always tell you to change rotors since that's their brake package. They automatically change the rotors, pads, and sensors whenever you bring the car in for brakes. They say the rotors are custom made for BMW's and are softer than normal rotors, and should always be changed with the brakes, etc. It's up to you whether or not you believe it. I always just have the rotors changed cuz my indy is cheap.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:58 PM   #4
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Depends how you drive. Assuming you've never let the pads wear down enough to get metal / metal contact, at 30k miles you should only need to replace pads. I'm told UK police cars have their disks (rotors) changed about every 12k miles. With far less urban start / stop driving mine tend to last well in excess of 100k miles.

If the dealer's advice is based on physical measurements of the disk (rotor) thickness then fair enough, otherwise as has been said if the surfaces look ok with no grooves, and they aren't warped then I wouldn't change them.

One worry though, unless pads are excessively worn pads you shouldn't "feel that the brakes are starting to go". Brake fluid may be due for a change (due every 2 years) or just require bleeding fluid.

Last edited by tony325ci_51; 05-04-2009 at 06:02 PM.
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