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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

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

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Old 08-13-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
caliboy
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Brake pad light still on after brake change...

OK so i just changed the brake pads on my 04 325ci and i replaced the brake wear sensor as well. After everything is done the brake pad light is still on...i looked at a few DIY and none of them talk about a reset of the light..is there a reset involved? i did check the rear pads and they look good with at least 50% wear left in them. any ideas? the plug that goes into the car from the wear sensor, is that one sided? it goes in both way (front and back) so i just took a wild guess and plugged it in one way...any ideas guys?
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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did you change all four front/rear pads AND rotors? If not then you should.

there is one sensor in the front and one in the rear. Both sensors can and will set off the lamp.

Even if the rear pads looks good it can have wear that you dont see especially if the rotor is warped.


I did my front pads/rotors a few weeks ago and the lamped stayed on even though the rear pads looked okay. Later on when I did the rear pads I saw that they were worn down and right after the new pads went on the lamp went away.

The Driver's side front OEM Pagid pads had absolutely no meat (less than 20%) left on them compared to a new Jurid pad



The passenger side front pad actually had around 30% meat left on them when compared to new Jurid pad.




But when we did the rear brakes a few weeks after boy were we in for a surprise...the pads were literally flat on all of them even though they all looked physically good when I inspected them on the day we did the front pads:



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Last edited by delmarco; 08-13-2011 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #3
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We need more info, which pads did you replace? You're supposed to wait about 30 seconds with the key in position 2 for it to go off anyways, that is if you replaced the right sensor.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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yea i changed the front brake pads and had the rotors shaved just lightly to clean them up. the rotors were not warped and did not need replacing. i changed the front left and right brake pads and replaced the left front wear sensor. the rears i had done about 6 months ago so they are still good. i started the car and drove it a short mile or so but the light is still on.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by caliboy View Post
yea i changed the front brake pads and had the rotors shaved just lightly to clean them up. the rotors were not warped and did not need replacing. i changed the front left and right brake pads and replaced the left front wear sensor. the rears i had done about 6 months ago so they are still good. i started the car and drove it a short mile or so but the light is still on.
Key to position 2 is before starting the car and after the Accessory 'click'

Do what Jake said...he is one of 'the mans'!
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #6
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You're supposed to wait about 30 seconds with the key in position 2 for it to go off anyways, that is if you replaced the right sensor.

Done and light is out! Thank you very much Jake, you are the MAN!!
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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Nice, you're welcome.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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lots of brake threads lately.

i'm guessing it is brake season.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:41 PM   #9
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Awesome thread, and yes, it must be brake season. The key in position 2 for 30 sec worked for me too. For those that don't know, position 2 must be when the fan comes on right before the engine rolls over.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:02 AM   #10
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We need more info, which pads did you replace? You're supposed to wait about 30 seconds with the key in position 2 for it to go off anyways, that is if you replaced the right sensor.
Thanks a million bro ... Saves me from a potentially sleepless night trying to figure out where went wrong during the brake installs since the brake light didn't come off LOL
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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You're welcome bro. How have you been?
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:50 AM   #12
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Awesome thread, and yes, it must be brake season. The key in position 2 for 30 sec worked for me too. For those that don't know, position 2 must be when the fan comes on right before the engine rolls over.
BMW refers to the key positions as Position 0, Position 1, Position 2, and Position 3. For the sake of the newbies, I will define the positions of the key in terms that are recognizable, off, on, run, and start.


Position 0 = OFF
In this position, and the key removed, the steering wheel is locked. If you have difficulty turning the key from OFF to ON, then the steering is bound against the Steering Lock Ring, and you merely move the steering wheel from side to side to release the tension on the lock ring. If the key is OFF, but has not been removed, the steering is not locked.

Position 1 = ON
This position allows the activation of electrical accessories such as the radio. The headlamps do not operate here, but the parking lights do. There is limited electrical system operation in the ON position.

Position 2 = RUN
This is the position the key returns to when you release the key after starting the engine. All electrical systems operate here. The Check Engine (SERVICE ENGINE SOON) light will be on if the engine is not running. If the engine stalls for any reason, the Check Engine light will come on but will be meaningless. If the Check Engine light does not come on in this position, the vehicle will fail California Smog -- it may fail smog in other jursidictions as well. Additionally, when the key is moved from ON to RUN, the vehicle will enter a series of self test cycles for systems such as the ABS brakes and Traction Control, among many others. During these tests, the respective indicator lamps should be on and then cycle off as the test is completed. These lights should never be on during a drive cycle, and if they are then a fault is detected. A caveat is that the Traction Control system flashes its light when the system is doing its intended job, otherwise if the light is on the system is disabled or otherwise non-fucntional.

There are features on the car that tell the operator that certain maintenance items need to be addressed. The indicators for these items is typically reset by setting the key to RUN for 30-ish seconds. If one wants to extract OBD II Codes using any of the available code scanners, the key must be in RUN to initiate communications between the scan tool and the vehicle computer.

Position 3 = START
This position is where the engine starts. It is a momentary position, and if the key is not held here it will return to RUN (Position 2).

If the key is moved to Position 3 and then Position 2, there is a safety catch that prevents the key from returning to Position 3 without first being moved to Position 1. This is a safety feature to prevent the operator from engaging the starter again when the engine is already running.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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You're welcome bro. How have you been?
This year it's been a roller coaster for my life and my e46 lol ... I've downgraded to 17" M68 wheel just for that bit more comfort. Planning to get coilovers soon and go back to 18s ... Hopefully this year it's less maintenance and more performance upgrade

and how's life and the car been treating you thus far? Hope all is well brother
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #14
MonkeyMouse
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Looking for some help here. I did a full brake job, front and rear pads and rotors excluding the parking shoes. I replaced both sensors with aftermarket ones. Well I reset the light as mentioned, and that worked great for about 1000 miles. Yesterday the light came on, unsure as to why I tried to simply clear it and it would not reset? I checked the sensors and they appear to all be tight and in check. Tried to reset the light again and it still wont go off? Any ideas as to why or what I could do to get the light to go off?
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