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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #41
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The is a known problem to occur with aftermarket brake pads, with oem brake pads there is no problem with wet braking
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:05 AM   #42
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I have OEM pads and rotors and definitely have the issue.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #43
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:41 PM   #44
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Same problem here. The first time I noticed it was in the rain.

I drive with cruise control a lot, so my first thought was the electronic throttle was not deactivating/closing as quickly as it should. If it were slow to close completely, there would be a short time where the brakes are fighting the nearly closed, but still partially open, throttle. Never had a problem like this in my Honda or Acura - both had mechanical throttles.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:49 PM   #45
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I didn't read all comments but some OEM size drilled/slotted rotors should help for stopping in rain since water is going through slots and pushed through holes when pressure is applied.

But personally I have no problems with my stock ones it might need a little pump to get rain off them before planning to use them hard but that's with every car.

Benz's actually have electronic way of automatically putting pads on rotor just enough to get rain off, not sure if BMW's do this these days.

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:22 PM   #46
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I had a chance to test the "wet rotors" theory today. After about 20mi of highway driving in a light drizzle, the problem happened. I would describe it as losing 50-75% of the expected braking force for the first 1-2 seconds, then normal braking force is restored. I agree it is related more to wet conditions more than a malfunctioning electronic throttle.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:44 PM   #47
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I didn't read all comments but some OEM size drilled/slotted rotors should help for stopping in rain since water is going through slots and pushed through holes when pressure is applied.

But personally I have no problems with my stock ones it might need a little pump to get rain off them before planning to use them hard but that's with every car.

Benz's actually have electronic way of automatically putting pads on rotor just enough to get rain off, not sure if BMW's do this these days.

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None of the other cars ive driven do this. Even a big heavy x5 (made in 2001, so before BMW had the brake wiping feature) stopped better than my 330 in the rain. I've since gotten the oem drilled/floating rotors and the problem is gone. I'd say in a panic stop, I'd be stopping about 50-100ft sooner (in the rain. dry should be same as before)
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:50 PM   #48
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None of the other cars ive driven do this. Even a big heavy x5 (made in 2001, so before BMW had the brake wiping feature) stopped better than my 330 in the rain. I've since gotten the oem drilled/floating rotors and the problem is gone. I'd say in a panic stop, I'd be stopping about 50ft sooner (in the rain. dry should be same as before)
Yeah I figured BMW do this also I just remember seeing really old episode of top gear where they talked about Benz having this wiping feature.

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Old 11-16-2010, 10:16 PM   #49
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the brakes getting cold has a lot to do with your problem but its not related like some earlier posts. whats happening is your brakes are getting very hot and then hit by cold rain water, wash water and cooling rapidly( steam usualy comes off of them when this happens). after enough of this the rotor becomes much harder.( thats how u harden steel get it hot and then cool it very rapidly). so the effect is a much harder steel rotor. this in turn makes your rotors glaze over and become very slick. the statement that the brakes have to be warm to work is only because they are glazed. the hot temp of brakes and wheels is an effect of braking and not necessary for good braking. the solution is to get new rotors. i would say turn the rotors and take off the top layer of metal to fix it. but BMW's have what Auto Zone likes to call one turns. where the rotors get one turn on the wheel and then they're too thin to reuse. a good brake lathe machinist can probably turn em and id take that risk if i were u to save about 200 dollars. my 330ci has brand new brakes and rotors and there is no problem in the rain. i have turned rotors before and they worked very well. btw Auto Zone has very cheap rotors and brake pads especially compared the oem cost. and i cant tell much of a diffrence between them. autzone only sells cermaic too so theres a plus.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:21 PM   #50
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If you are not using OEM brakes then this is your problem. Cheap pads and rain dont mix. Learn from experience.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:50 PM   #51
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One of the things you can do is re-torque your wheels using a torque wrench. Unequally torqued lugs can cause slight deviation of the rotor. A rotor that has even the slightest wiggle along the vertical axis will "push" the pads further aside when the brakes aren't applied. The problem with rain can be amplified when this happens because there is now a larger than normal gap between the rotor and pad to allow moisture build up. When you go to apply the brakes the 1st few milliseconds go towards drying this surface up.

Of course the actual pad formulation, bumper type etc all play a role in all of this as well.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:17 AM   #52
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One of the things you can do is re-torque your wheels using a torque wrench. Unequally torqued lugs can cause slight deviation of the rotor. A rotor that has even the slightest wiggle along the vertical axis will "push" the pads further aside when the brakes aren't applied. The problem with rain can be amplified when this happens because there is now a larger than normal gap between the rotor and pad to allow moisture build up. When you go to apply the brakes the 1st few milliseconds go towards drying this surface up.

Of course the actual pad formulation, bumper type etc all play a role in all of this as well.
If you think your rotors aren't torqued properly, then I'd recommend to remove the wheel and at least clean inside of wheel and top of rotor...me? I'd also remove rotor and clean inside top of hat and hub too...with sanding disk...then apply think layer of antiseize to ensure none (NONE) gets on lugs at all when putting lugs back...and a real thin layer (also around hub shaft too behind rotor).

Then reassemble...

But, that's just me. Pads sit only 5/1000" off rotor...so NK is right that a little off not only moves pads off a bit more, and lets more water in...but they lose braking force whether wet or dry.

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:02 AM   #53
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My 01 330ci does this. OEM rotors and pads, recently flushed fluid.... it has done it since day one. After driving anywhere above 10+ miles on the highway in the rain, the first time I apply the brakes the pedal moves and the brakes BARLEY work and then BAM Im slowing down normally. Stock front bumper and everything.....
Kind of weird that my 87 Camaro never had this issue but an 01 BMW does.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:35 AM   #54
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One thing I noticed was the previous owner of my car seemed to have changed the brake pads without changing the rotors; maybe this created a larger gap then there should've been? I do *not* think it's an issue with getting cold. My rotors cool down quite a bit quicker than the stock rotors, since they're drilled and floating. Like I said, I don't have this problem anymore.

Also, is there anyone who has this problem in a 325 or 328? How about M3? It seems like everyone who posted in this thread has a 330i/ci. Should see if the Z4 3.0si guys have the same problem; I think they share brake with us - though their cars probably have that rotor wipe feature.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:56 AM   #55
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One thing I noticed was the previous owner of my car seemed to have changed the brake pads without changing the rotors; maybe this created a larger gap then there should've been? I do *not* think it's an issue with getting cold. My rotors cool down quite a bit quicker than the stock rotors, since they're drilled and floating. Like I said, I don't have this problem anymore.

Also, is there anyone who has this problem in a 325 or 328? How about M3? It seems like everyone who posted in this thread has a 330i/ci. Should see if the Z4 3.0si guys have the same problem; I think they share brake as us - though their cars probably have that rotor wipe feature.
Changing pads without changing rotors shouldn't affect things one way or the other really. The piston 'rolls' back the same distance off the rotor because of a little rubber ring inside caliper.

Run out, as mentioned, might be attenuating the problem, just because it, by itself, would cause decreased braking...water, being a great lubricant, only makes it worse.

That said, can't say I notice the amount of reduced braking reported here...but I do keep my distance all the time anyway...more in rain...and when I use brakes, use them hard...in rain, just hard a little sooner than in the dry.

Always a good idea, though, in the rain, especially through puddles, to tap brakes to rub water off.

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:35 AM   #56
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Changing pads without changing rotors shouldn't affect things one way or the other really. The piston 'rolls' back the same distance off the rotor because of a little rubber ring inside caliper.

Run out, as mentioned, might be attenuating the problem, just because it, by itself, would cause decreased braking...water, being a great lubricant, only makes it worse.

That said, can't say I notice the amount of reduced braking reported here...but I do keep my distance all the time anyway...more in rain...and when I use brakes, use them hard...in rain, just hard a little sooner than in the dry.

Always a good idea, though, in the rain, especially through puddles, to tap brakes to rub water off.

Doug
Well with the extent to which this problem occurred, it'd be almost impossible to always plan for that distance, especially in panic situations. As has been mentioned, there is a full 1-2 seconds of almost 0 braking force. On my old rotors, my car would only lose maybe 5mph during this period. After that 1-2 seconds, the car would brake normally. So at 60mph, that's a full 88-176ft extra room potentially required - that's 5-10 car lengths!
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:46 AM   #57
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Doesn't the 7 series have a rain sensor that automatically dries off the pads every so often?
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:05 PM   #58
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Doesn't the 7 series have a rain sensor that automatically dries off the pads every so often?
E90 was the first to get them, I think all the other BMWs got it for MY2007
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:20 PM   #59
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You know what come to think of it I never experienced this when I was using an E46 323iA loaner car. My friend's 530i and my dad's 540i doesn't experience this as well. It's only been my car. I've been in a few panic situations where someone decides to cut me off and hit an offramp right in front of me. Slamming on the brakes did hardly anything to slow me down as I watched their trunk get closer and closer. Luckily noone has been next to me as I quickly lane change without any drama.

I've never had a problem with puddles because before I hit a puddle I'm slowing the vehicle down in preparation for my neighbour to be splashed! LOL. After I come out of the puddle if I hit the brakes right away I still have full braking power. I'm guessing because of the rotor heat generated before the puddle, water can evaporate quickly when the splash occurs. This is not so during a straight 10 minute drive without brakes in the rain as the rotors stay cold.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:31 PM   #60
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I always had this problem--worst was after long stretches on the highway before I needed to brake. I recently put on a set of drilled rotors, and have much better wet braking.
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