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      10-07-2009, 06:43 PM   #1
CSMRX7
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BMW claims rotors need to be replaced with every pad replacement?!?!

So my car went in for service today and BMW wants to charge me $1800 for the front brake job.

My car has 20,000km with some track time so of course the pads are getting to the end of life, but they claim that the rotors wear out at the same pace as the pads. If this is the case I am moving to BBK.

I find this hard to believe. I other cars I have owned and tracked I could go through multiple sets of pads before replacing the rotors.

Is BMW trying to pull one on me?
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      10-07-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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As it was explained to me, the rotors getting thin, and if you dont want them to crack under pressure, u better change them when u change pads.
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      10-07-2009, 06:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
So my car went in for service today and BMW wants to charge me $1800 for the front brake job.

My car has 20,000km with some track time so of course the pads are getting to the end of life, but they claim that the rotors wear out at the same pace as the pads. If this is the case I am moving to BBK.

I find this hard to believe. I other cars I have owned and tracked I could go through multiple sets of pads before replacing the rotors.

Is BMW trying to pull one on me?
BMW is known for using very thin rotors compared to other manufacturers. I know that you cannot turn BMW rotors if they get warped like other manufacturer rotors. That doesn't mean that you rotors are worn out though. I would ask them what the rotor thickness is compare that to the minimum.
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      10-07-2009, 07:19 PM   #4
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BMW changed my pads and rotors at about 10,700 miles.

I was surprised they changed the rotors as well so I asked if they were in bad condition. My service guy told me unless its a special circumstance, they usually change the rotors on the M3 during a brake change.

In the states, brakes (pads and even rotors) are fully covered under warranty so we dont have to pay a dime
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      10-07-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
BMW changed my pads and rotors at about 10,700 miles.

I was surprised they changed the rotors as well so I asked if they were in bad condition. My service guy told me unless its a special circumstance, they usually change the rotors on the M3 during a brake change.

In the states, brakes (pads and even rotors) are fully covered under warranty so we dont have to pay a dime
Unfortunately in Canada brakes are not covered.

I have changed my pads with out changing rotors. Unless its covered under warranty, which its not in this case, stay away from the dealer. Buy your parts and have a good indie shop install them for you. You will save a bundle.
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      10-07-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
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so if we use bbk...those rotors don't have to be changed as much? i was thinking about this the other day. bbk is freakin expensive. if we have to change rotors on that too...it's not even worth it to me (if i don't track my car).
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      10-07-2009, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach330 View Post
so if we use bbk...those rotors don't have to be changed as much? i was thinking about this the other day. bbk is freakin expensive. if we have to change rotors on that too...it's not even worth it to me (if i don't track my car).
It depends on the BBK. Hard to say yes to this. Also, BMW uses soft rotors to maximize the stopping effectiveness of the brakes. Good for stopping distances, bad for rotor life.
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      10-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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I have the thickness, does anyone know what the minimum thickness is?
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      10-07-2009, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben335 View Post
It depends on the BBK. Hard to say yes to this. Also, BMW uses soft rotors to maximize the stopping effectiveness of the brakes. Good for stopping distances, bad for rotor life.
That's what I've read. It's not that the rotors are thin, but the metal BMW uses is soft, which is suppose to help with stopping.

As a general rule with BMW's, you change the pads, you also change the rotors.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      10-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #10
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As others have indicated, ALL BMWs are the same, soft rotors which lead to VERY good breaking capability for everyday (for the track, that is a whole other debate) along with GREAT pedal feel, but expensive to maintain and generally largerer amount of brake dust as compared to other manufacturers.

Cheers,
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      10-07-2009, 11:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach330 View Post
so if we use bbk...those rotors don't have to be changed as much? i was thinking about this the other day. bbk is freakin expensive. if we have to change rotors on that too...it's not even worth it to me (if i don't track my car).
I had a Brembo BBK on my e46 M3 as you can see by my sig. The rotors lasted over 55000 miles and about 8 track days.
They last much longer, went through numerous pads though from the track use.
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      10-07-2009, 11:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
I have the thickness, does anyone know what the minimum thickness is?
The minimum thickness (in mm) is stamped right on the aluminum middle section of the rotor.
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      10-08-2009, 12:48 AM   #13
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The minimum thickness (in mm) is stamped right on the aluminum middle section of the rotor.
28.4mm
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      10-08-2009, 01:44 AM   #14
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I've had 2 sets of pads on my rotors- the solution that i recommend is getting a different brand of high performance rotors that someone else recommends.... I need new rotors on my car now- It does seem as if BMW rotors do not last as long- and I've heard that it has something to do with them using softer metals...

I do not trust the BMW dealership- I would never pay 1800 for a Full Brake job even if it were all 4 rotors and pads.... Pads are not that expensive ... And 2 Rotors costed me $300 when i got them wholesale- and they were the Same OEM rotors that BMW offers.

For the labor it should take no more than 3 hours max for the front (pads and rotors) I know this because I did this myself a year ago and I have no mechanic experience. Same thing goes for the Rear.

BMW once tried telling me my bulbs and sockets were out when in fact just the bulbs were out on my rear lights- they quoted me $150 each for each new socket to be replaced- Then I went to jiffy lube a week later to get the bulbs replaced and there were no socket defects at all!!!!
If they lie to you- Go to the head of maintenance and complain- Thats what I had to do, then they will think twice about lying to your face.
Good Luck!
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      10-08-2009, 10:49 AM   #15
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My rotors measure 29.7mm on the front. Anyone know what the thickness is new?

I am trying to make a decision for how I will set the car up for next season. If I am going through a set of rotors with each set of pads I may move to BBK where that shouldn't be the case.
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      10-08-2009, 02:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
My rotors measure 29.7mm on the front. Anyone know what the thickness is new?
30mm (360x30 as seen here)

So you can chew through at least one more pair of pads.
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      10-08-2009, 03:38 PM   #17
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There might be thermal cycling considerations behind the recommendation in addition to decreased rotor thickness. Meaning, the material might lose some of its strength if it experiences significant thermal cycles, but I'd have to look it up to see if it indeed can be a significant factor. Are you seeing any scoring, cracking, or spyder web like formations on the surface? If the surfaces are in good shape, you are "probably" OK with just putting in new pads.
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      10-09-2009, 05:09 PM   #18
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I would imagine that your rotors still have some servicable life remaining unless you are switching to track pad compounds for track days.
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      10-09-2009, 07:43 PM   #19
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Ya I am a bit torn. There is no cracking but there is a bit of scoring. I have been running the stock pads on the track for a while (with street tires).

Next summer will be r-comps so the rotors will be seeing track pads. Just considering whether or not I will upgrade to Stoptech brakes as well for the r-comps. May be a good time to do so, but would prefer to stay with the stock brakes if they are adequate and won't require rotor replacement as frequent as the dealer is sugesting.
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      10-09-2009, 10:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
Ya I am a bit torn. There is no cracking but there is a bit of scoring. I have been running the stock pads on the track for a while (with street tires).

Next summer will be r-comps so the rotors will be seeing track pads. Just considering whether or not I will upgrade to Stoptech brakes as well for the r-comps. May be a good time to do so, but would prefer to stay with the stock brakes if they are adequate and won't require rotor replacement as frequent as the dealer is sugesting.
I would put another set of pads on with your existing rotors. Worst case, you can change the rotors as needed.
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      10-10-2009, 02:04 PM   #21
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I'm no tech guru here but I'm a mechanic in the Army. Every time you replace rotors or pads, you have to change both. Due to the shape formed on both parts. If only one part was changed then the new part will wear out faster because of the irregularity of the shape on either parts.
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      10-10-2009, 05:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
Ya I am a bit torn. There is no cracking but there is a bit of scoring. I have been running the stock pads on the track for a while (with street tires).

Next summer will be r-comps so the rotors will be seeing track pads. Just considering whether or not I will upgrade to Stoptech brakes as well for the r-comps. May be a good time to do so, but would prefer to stay with the stock brakes if they are adequate and won't require rotor replacement as frequent as the dealer is sugesting.
If that is the case, I would just get some pads and call it the day. This might be blasphemy to mention this but I would check to see if Auto Zone have some pads (prob not) that are lifetime guaranteed. Abuse those pads with free replacements until you upgrade to StopTechs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertfg View Post
I'm no tech guru here but I'm a mechanic in the Army. Every time you replace rotors or pads, you have to change both. Due to the shape formed on both parts. If only one part was changed then the new part will wear out faster because of the irregularity of the shape on either parts.
Usually, you would turn the rotors so that would create a flat surface. Can you do that on drilled rotor or slotted rotors?
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