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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-07-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
Mhnd
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Annoying front brake sound (groan, rubbing)

Can someone help me diagnose an annoying front brake problem. just before I stop, the brakes make a groaning sound, I can hear pretty nasty rubbing somewhere around the brakes. No skipping or vibration when brakes applied at high speed, can still hear the rubbing noise when taking off when speed below 35, no rubbing sound when speed over 30 mph, the sound only happen upon applying brake at low speed and upon taking off up to speed 35. Pads have good thickness, rotors are smooth. Mechanic told me it's warped rotors but I'm not convinced cuz no problems at high speed and no vibration when applying brakes from high speed, only the rubbing sound that bothers me. Could it be the axel? No grease around boots! Bearings, moved the tires back and forth, no abnormal movements! Any suggestions! No grooves on the rotors!!!!!
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:58 PM   #2
LittleChrist12
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The caliper may be beginning to freeze up. You can take it apart and service it before it seizes up completely. I don't have a link to a sponsor off-hand.

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Old 04-07-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
Mhnd
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Originally Posted by LittleChrist12 View Post
The caliper may be beginning to freeze up. You can take it apart and service it before it seizes up completely. I don't have a link to a sponsor off-hand.

Sent from my DROIDX using Bimmer App
So do u think that the caliper is seizing and therefore locking the pads against the rotors, but I don't understand why the rubbing doesn't sound even, it sounds on and off simultaneously. Could it be the axles? How can I check if the rotors are warped or not, as the mechanic suggested. I don't want to spend extra money for rotors replacement and then end up with the same problem!!!!?
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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I would start with bleeding the brakes. I have a guess the brake fluid hasn't been changed in the last two years anyway.

Judging by your join date, this is a new to you car, correct? If you bought it from a used car dealer, I bet they put in crappy $20 pads before they sold it to you.

Rotors should not have a lip.

Next I would take everything apart, inspect calipers, lube caliper slide bolts, and put new pads back in with anti-squeel compound.

Brembo rotors are about $50 each on amazon and performance friction z pads are $100 (or $50 for the tamer carbon metallic).

Last edited by Kubica; 04-07-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:09 AM   #5
Mhnd
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I would start with bleeding the brakes. I have a guess the brake fluid hasn't been changed in the last two years anyway.

Judging by your join date, this is a new to you car, correct? If you bought it from a used car dealer, I bet they put in crappy $20 pads before they sold it to you.

Rotors should not have a lip.

Next I would take everything apart, inspect calipers, lube caliper slide bolts, and put new pads back in with anti-squeel compound.

Brembo rotors are about $50 each on amazon and performance friction z pads are $100 (or $50 for the tamer carbon metallic).
Thanks for your suggestions ....

Youre correct! I got this car about 4 months ago, and going through the list and making fluids and the preventive maintenance. One thing I forgot to mention is couple of months ago and during a back tire change due to flat, the jack lift tilted backward causing the car to drop straight on the back rotor, I inspected the rotor afterward and it looked good (visual inspection) forgot to engage the handbrake :-( Do you think that this might have caused harm and the sound is actually transferred from the back even though Im feeling it at the front brakes?! I was looking to get a front rotor replacement from Bavauto ($65 each Original according to their website and matching the numbers with RealOem) Do you still suggest the Brembo rotors? Its Pep Boys mechanics who inspected the brakes and suggested that the front rotors are warped and they will charge about $400 dollars for replacement (something I can do myself). One thing I did to further diagnose the problem is placing a straight edge along the rotors face to see if there are any imperfections but of course noticed nothing, it lined up perfectly with the surface. No lip at the rotors outside perimeter !!

Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:17 AM   #6
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Just noticed that posts that has a single quote in the body do not post !!!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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I'm not sure where you live, but letting Pep Boys service your car needs to end now. Wiper blades, windshield washer fluid, cleaning supplies, and possibly oil are the only things you should buy there.

Don't use the jack that came with the car. Ever. Especially not in an emergency. Place the wheel under the frame rail as soon as you take it off, just in case the jack fails.

If that jack failed instantly and the rotor smashed into the ground, you may have more than a rotor problem. If it came down slow because your jack was sagging, it's most likely fine.

And to answer your question, yes- rear brake problems can be tricky to diagnose. Warped rear rotors can actually cause the steering wheel to vibrate.

Brembo blanks and performance friction pads are the best out there, in my opinion.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
I'm not sure where you live, but letting Pep Boys service your car needs to end now. Wiper blades, windshield washer fluid, cleaning supplies, and possibly oil are the only things you should buy there.

Don't use the jack that came with the car. Ever. Especially not in an emergency. Place the wheel under the frame rail as soon as you take it off, just in case the jack fails.

If that jack failed instantly and the rotor smashed into the ground, you may have more than a rotor problem. If it came down slow because your jack was sagging, it's most likely fine.

And to answer your question, yes- rear brake problems can be tricky to diagnose. Warped rear rotors can actually cause the steering wheel to vibrate.

Brembo blanks and performance friction pads are the best out there, in my opinion.
Thanks for the advice, (Pep Boys) it was a one time deal, to get a second opinion. !!!!

The steering wheel don-t vibrate!!
How can I check a warped rotors?
Im going to remove everything a part and do a complete clean up and antiseize application. Any other suggestions.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:03 PM   #9
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If it continues you might want to consider applying an anti-squeal compound. They make the world of difference sometimes.

These synthetic lubricant contains real ceramic solids for extreme performance under the most critical braking conditions.

Click HERE to order or for more information.



Please let us know if you have any questions! Feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

Best,
Joe
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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Mhnd, sorry to bring up an old thread, but did u eve figure out what made your rubbing sound? I have the exact same problem. The brakes pads are good. There is no shaking at the wheen. I had the rotors turned, so there is no more lip. Yet, the noise continues. I mounted the brakes on the rotor. When I spin the rotor, I see the space between the rotor and brake pad open and close, about 1mm. If the brake pads are assumed to be the reference point, then I think my rotors are warped. Mhnd, what did u end up doing?
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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Mhnd, sorry to bring up an old thread, but did u eve figure out what made your rubbing sound? I have the exact same problem. The brakes pads are good. There is no shaking at the wheen. I had the rotors turned, so there is no more lip. Yet, the noise continues. I mounted the brakes on the rotor. When I spin the rotor, I see the space between the rotor and brake pad open and close, about 1mm. If the brake pads are assumed to be the reference point, then I think my rotors are warped. Mhnd, what did u end up doing?
Yes and I'm really glad it's finally solved. It turned out to be the tires. I replaced all 4 tires to Michelin and the noise totally disappeared and now back to a nice and smooth ride
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #12
Mhnd
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Problem solved turned out to be bad tires ride is nice and smooth. Just did all 4 tires about a month ago ....

Thanks
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:14 PM   #13
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Oh good to know,,, thanks
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