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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 01-26-2013, 09:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Carmel, Indiana
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My Ride: 1988 535is 5-Spd
Odd issue on the highway, frozen brakes?

I decided to drive my wife's Xi to work yesterday since it was snowing, and after a 45 or so minute commute to work the car sat in a parking lot for almost four hours. Once I got back on the highway I went to brake and the brakes were non-responsive and I got a hard pedal.


As I continued the drive, my issue changed into veering hard to the left on braking (the harder I pushed, the harder it dove to the left)

Now this is getting real weird...

I dragged the brakes with my left foot to see if there was something stuck in there and heat them up. No change. I finally got off the freeway and came to a stop and made my right turn onto a surface street.

Problem solved.

I'm glad I was in the car rather than my wife, because I know she would've freaked out and had an accident, but now I need to figure out what happened. We've owned the car for almost a year and I doubt the brakes have ever been bled, can that water in there actually freeze leaving me with temporarily dead calipers? I'll add that this has NEVER been an issue in the past.

Thanks guys.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #2
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My Ride: 2003 325xi
Sounds like you need a RF caliper, or new brake fluid, or possibly a CV boot ripped and spilt grease on the rotor.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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Location: Maine seacoast
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i doubt theres enough water in the system to freeze and form a plug-sounds like sticky calipers. Id replace both fronts with a set of remanned units. I had an issue last winter with one side sticking in cold weather; new calipers solved it. make sure you take the time to bleed them real well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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Location: Denver
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I'm having the same issue this winter. Twice this month I started getting a weird feel on the brake pedal and some shaking on the front end. Happened just tonight on the way home. Felt my rim and it was very hot meaning stuck caliper. Pads and rotors are fairly new but calipers have 162k on them.
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