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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 04-12-2013, 06:51 AM   #1
Rudyj07
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Brake Issue

I have now owned my current e46 for a little more than a year and 1/2 and still cant seem to figure this issue out. When driving in any kind of wet condition my brakes have a sponge feeling for about two sec. then will finally grab and feel normal. Mostly this happens when I am on the interstate and have drove for a couple of minutes without having to hit the brakes. Could it be a gas build up that happens when water hits the rotors or pads? I haven't had to changed the pads or rotors yet due to maintance but from a visual prospective, everything looks normal. On my E36, I never had anything like this nor in my parents E90. Does anyone else have this issue?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:58 AM   #2
vbfronkis
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I'd start with bleeding out the brake system and getting fresh brake fluid in there.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
Rudyj07
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I'd start with bleeding out the brake system and getting fresh brake fluid in there.
Thanks for the input but what would the moisture on the road have to do with the brake fluid. It's somewhere to start but the brakes eventually work after the pads make contact to the rotor for a second or two. Thanks anyways for the response.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:10 AM   #4
vbfronkis
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Thanks for the input but what would the moisture on the road have to do with the brake fluid. It's somewhere to start but the brakes eventually work after the pads make contact to the rotor for a second or two. Thanks anyways for the response.
I was going more for the "sponge" feel that you described. Any sort of spongy non-responsive feel in the brake pedal can be due to air in the system or tired fluid that has become compressible and therefore doesn't work properly.

What you could also be experiencing are simply wet brakes. Normal friction brakes need to shed the water off first before the pads grab the rotors. All else being normal with your braking system, this is expected. If you switch over to ceramic pads you'll likely have better wet performance.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
choxor
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Originally Posted by vbfronkis View Post
I was going more for the "sponge" feel that you described. Any sort of spongy non-responsive feel in the brake pedal can be due to air in the system or tired fluid that has become compressible and therefore doesn't work properly.

What you could also be experiencing are simply wet brakes. Normal friction brakes need to shed the water off first before the pads grab the rotors. All else being normal with your braking system, this is expected. If you switch over to ceramic pads you'll likely have better wet performance.


When you use the word "spongy" when referring to brakes, you're going to be told to bleed the system.

Use the brakes occasionally when driving in the rain to dry them off.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #6
Rudyj07
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Thanks guys! I guess whatever pads were put previously on the car were a cheaper pad. Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
vbfronkis
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Thanks guys! I guess whatever pads were put previously on the car were a cheaper pad. Thanks for the input.
I'm just curious how the hell you've gone a year and a half without needing a brake job
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #8
zander271
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I'm just curious how the hell you've gone a year and a half without needing a brake job
If he is on the freeway a lot then he prob hardly uses his brakes. My cousin did like 99% freeway driving and got 200k out of his pads.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
Kubica
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I find this happens when the rotors are worn too thin and need to be replaced.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
cvx5832
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Our cars also have air ducts from the bumper to the disc, supposedly to cool them in spirited driving.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
shanneba
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I'm just curious how the hell you've gone a year and a half without needing a brake job
I've had my 330Ci for 10 years / 115,000 miles and have replaced the pads once and even then the brake pad light hadn't come on. Still have the original rear rotors, they were less than half used last summer when I last measured them

I even have 9 track days on the car........ Texas World speedway (2days), MSR Houston (2 days), Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta, Road America, Barber Motorsprts and Mid Ohio.

A lot of the "other" miles were one day, 1000+ mile highway trips from Houston to Indy
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