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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
adaseb
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Why are my brakes so hard to depress unlike other vehicles

Basically drove a new Toyota Camry the other day and whenever I stepped on the brakes, I pretty much almost caused the tires to lock up each and every time. The brakes were very sensitive and easy to press.

Back into my E46, I felt like I was driving a car without Power Brakes, it required a lot of force to press.

Was the E46 designed this way for sportyness?

I already changed my pads, rotors, fluid, etc. Same effect.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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Same problem I had in the 330. I would basically have a to press the pedal all the way to stop quickly. When I got the M I thought it would be the same but I barely need to press the pedal and it will stop instantly.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
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Uh, you need new brake fluid. If you put in ATE super blue and bleed it properly, then the pedal will be very firm. Your pads are probably quite worn as well. If a Toyota is out braking your BMW, there is a major problem. These cars have bigger brakes than many SUVs (at least the 330 does).

If fluid doesn't fix it, then you need a new master cylinder.

Last edited by WDE46; 01-04-2013 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
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Hmmm... my 330i isn't this way. Brakes feel fine even compared to my trucks and my Camaro. I'm wondering if your pads/rotors aren't worn or perhaps wrong for street driving?
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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lol no no no WDE. thats not what he is saying.

he is saying the brakes are more sensitive in his camry as opposed to the BMW.

OP, that is not only normal, it is optimal. You have better ability to modulate brake pressure when more effort is required. If you're able to achieve full braking power with a light press, how do you achieve light to moderate braking power?

This is ideal. It's also perfect.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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Hmmm... my 330i isn't this way. Brakes feel fine even compared to my trucks and my Camaro. I'm wondering if your pads/rotors aren't worn or perhaps wrong for street driving?
If your 330 doesn't have a firm pedal, you need a re-bleed and new fluid!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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lol no no no WDE. thats not what he is saying.

he is saying the brakes are more sensitive in his camry as opposed to the BMW.

OP, that is not only normal, it is optimal. You have better ability to modulate brake pressure when more effort is required. If you're able to achieve full braking power with a light press, how do you achieve light to moderate braking power?

This is ideal. It's also perfect.
Oh. Well in that case, the brakes should take quite a bit of force. I'd say to activate ABS at 60 mph I need to apply like 70 lbs of pressure or so. I can't really gauge that very well though.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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lol no no no WDE. thats not what he is saying.

he is saying the brakes are more sensitive in his camry as opposed to the BMW.

OP, that is not only normal, it is optimal. You have better ability to modulate brake pressure when more effort is required. If you're able to achieve full braking power with a light press, how do you achieve light to moderate braking power?

This is ideal. It's also perfect.
Oh! I guess I misread him too... yeah, these brakes take some effort but the power is there! I've nearly locked them up a couple of times during an emergency.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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If your 330 doesn't have a firm pedal, you need a re-bleed and new fluid!!
No. It's firm! I just like the way the BMW brakes are. I thought OP was saying he had to stomp down all the way to get them to stop at all! My 330i will stop on a dime if I need it to!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
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^ That's good. yup these brakes as I've said before are nearly as big (off by a few millimeters) as 996 Porsche Turbo brakes!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #11
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I'd not overlook a defective weak power assist unit. They can fail.
Have it checked out.
BMW brakes are not super power assist, but this description seems extreme.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #12
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I remember driving my mom's G37 and immediately the same thing happened to me once i hit the brakes. the car screeched to a halt. I was driving with my mom in the car and she thought I was doing it on purpose. the brakes had absolutely no feel whatsoever and I was glad to get back in my E46 after that.

Yes I know the G37 stops incredibly fast and accelerates very quickly too... but the car was just a big sloppy soft boat. hated it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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hmm my brake pedel is super soft and easy to push to stop. then again i almost have fresh brake fluid in there as well. its pretty funny cus my clutch is heavy so sometimes when the road is empty i barely push on the brake with my left foot and the car stops almost instantly since i push it almost as hard as when i push my clutch haha. then i switch back to my right leg and nice soft, slow steady stop haha.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:41 PM   #14
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hmm my brake pedel is super soft and easy to push to stop. then again i almost have fresh brake fluid in there as well. its pretty funny cus my clutch is heavy so sometimes when the road is empty i barely push on the brake with my left foot and the car stops almost instantly since i push it almost as hard as when i push my clutch haha. then i switch back to my right leg and nice soft, slow steady stop haha.
bleed your brakes if you have a soft pedal.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:46 PM   #15
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Overboosted brakes are annoying.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:08 PM   #16
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Stainless lines make mine just that much firmer! I think the E46 pedal feel is perfect. As mentioned before, softer brake pedals (especially infiniti/nissan) really take some getting used to after being used to your BMW.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:05 PM   #17
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I saw this and almost laughed....not at you OP...but going from my car to the girlfriends jetta....talk about over-boosted brakes ha

Thought I was trying to do an emergency stop first few times I had to...got use to it but damn.

Keep noticing that no matter what car I drive always glad to get back into mine.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #18
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After my e36 was totaled, I rented an Impala. Every time I braked, everything fell off all the seats. Accelerate, I felt like I was tilting back in a recliner. Horrible car...but the brakes were the worst. Very over boosted.

OP...I think you're fine...but at some point, brake fluid should be every couple of years anyway...and also, it could also be that the PO put some cheap pads on yours...IDK. But, Mango is right...you have a range of control with our brakes that you don't with other cars.

For the rest of you...every 2 years or so...which means not more than 3 and you're stupid if you're going 4 years without bleeding brake fluid.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #19
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OP, this is a benefit of good brakes. My pedal is extremely firm and allows for very good modulation. If I need to slam on the brakes hard, I can very easily do that, but normal driving, it's very easy to modulate.

This is desirable in a sports car. Every sports car I've ever driven is like this.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #20
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bleed your brakes if you have a soft pedal.
nooo its not like i have air in my breaks type soft pedal... its just how it naturally is with all my break pads i've used and when i do flush the fluid. smooth stopping smooth pedal.
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