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General E46 Forum
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:11 AM   #1
WzGy44
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Changing the rear brakes and now I'm confused

Hey guys this is my first post and yes I tried a search before I decided to post. The car in question is an 00 323I. Yesterday I replaced the rear rotors and brake pads. It was very easy, much easier than my previous car (saab 95) but I noticed something that puzzled me. On the passenger side there was a brake wear sensor but not one on the drivers side. There were line holders for the wire and a groove for the sensor on the caliper but no sensor itself. Is this normal? Is there suppose to be just one sensor on the passenger side? Thanks for any answer in advance.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:13 AM   #2
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Yes. One is on the front DS the other is rear Pass side. That is normal for e46 cars.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:18 AM   #3
WzGy44
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I had kind of figured that to be the case. Thanks for such a quick replay.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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There is an assumption that both sides will wear at the same rate. So there's only one sensor for front/rear each.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
WzGy44
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Same thought crossed my mind initially but it seems odd they wouldn't account for a seized caliper or something of that sort by having them on both sides. But regardless it's good to know I'm not missing anything and don't have to replace it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WzGy44 View Post
Hey guys this is my first post and yes I tried a search before I decided to post. The car in question is an 00 323I. Yesterday I replaced the rear rotors and brake pads. It was very easy, much easier than my previous car (saab 95) but I noticed something that puzzled me. On the passenger side there was a brake wear sensor but not one on the drivers side. There were line holders for the wire and a groove for the sensor on the caliper but no sensor itself. Is this normal? Is there suppose to be just one sensor on the passenger side? Thanks for any answer in advance.
Yes, it is normal. The holder thingy is the same on both sides, so there is capacity to hold the wheel speed sensor (both sides) and the brake wear sensor (one side). There is another brake wear sensor on the left front.

Since both brakes on the same axle are expected to wear at the same rate, but at a different rate than the other axle, then there only needs to be one sensor per axle. Left Front and Right Rear. The brake wear depends on serviceable parts to work accurately. The engineers do not expect a seized caliper or other major malfunction to be the cause of the wear sensor being tripped. Most cars have no wear sensors, and the brake life depends on visually inspecting the brakes from time to time, or waiting for the telltale squeal of metal on metal. BMW tells you that the brakes need attention so you do not have to pull an inspection.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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