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BMW M3 rear brakes/rotors


ualdriver's Avatar
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10-27-03, 05:18 PM   #1  
BMW M3 rear brakes/rotors

Hi-

I posted a question up here not too long ago as to what to do for preventative maintenance for my '98 BMW M3 Sedan with 38,000 miles. I followed the advice given and had the appropriate work done today that the forum suggested. Thanks for that information.

The mechanic doing the work (whom I have no previous business relationship but seemed pretty honest) said that I needed new rear brake pads and two new rear rotors, as he said that the rotors on my car cannot be machined or turned, which I found a little unusual. I realize it's a BMW and everything is going to be more expensive than my neighbor's Chevy, but does the above sound right? He ended up charging me 1/2 hour labor ($35) plus $313.80 for both new rear rotors and $149.95 for the rear brake pads (ceramic). Did I get ripped off or does the above seem legitimate?

Could someone also explain to me the normal relationship between replacing brake pads on a car and what needs to normally be done to the repsective rotors when the pads are changed?

Thanks for your time in advance,
Steve

 
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10-28-03, 04:32 AM   #2  
BMW = Bust My Wallet, but you already knew that.

Here's some perspective: My wife's '95 Toy Camry has 165,000 miles on it and has original rotors that have never been turned. Been through about 5 sets of pads.

As the brake pads wear they conform to any imperfections or wear in the rotor. When you put new pads on you won't get 100% contact between the surfaces until the pads wear-in slightly. The difference in braking would be unnoticeable unless you're maybe at Daytona. Turning the rotors (or replacing them) brings them back to OEM condition basically. If you're going to spend $500 for rear brakes and rotors every 38k miles, better buy the parts in bulk, LOL.

In my honest opinion, barring some kind of damage, I can't imagine that the rotors on ANY car could bve toast @ 38,000 miles. I would be willing to wager that new rotors could be had for a lot less than $150 apiece even for a Wallet-Buster.

Like here for instance:

http://216.111.176.236/webapp/wcs/st...IntercoCatalog

 
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10-28-03, 07:02 AM   #3  
rotors

the_tow_guy-

When pads are normally replaced, do the rotors have to be serviced at all? Could I have just said, replace the pads, leave the rotors alone? When mechanics normally do new brake pads for a wheel, is it possible to just leave the rotors alone? What determines whether a rotor is good or needs to be replaced?

Thanks,
Steve

 
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10-28-03, 07:03 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Thickness, surface condition, if they are warped, OEM recommendations for replacement, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

 
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10-28-03, 09:55 PM   #5  
ddbensinger
Here's some help on BMW brakes:

1) For some reason, the rotors BMW uses are soft. They actually do wear pretty easily. After about 30k miles, you will notice that you may begin to get a little shimmy under light braking. Most often, this is because the rotor is beginning to wear.

2) So, I replace the rotors and pads at the same time. It's one of the easiest and most satisfying jobs to do on my BMW. I have a 1993 525i, but your brakes are going to be pretty much the same. Takes me about 30 minutes per wheel including cleanup.

3) The brakes are also the best place to get ripped off. The rotors are about $50 each all around for OEM if you go to the right place. I use BMA @ www.bmaautoparts.com. The previous owner of my car paid about what you paid.

4) Given the price of replacement rotors, there's really no point in machining the old ones.

For more advice about your bimmer, try www.bimmer.info.


Hope that helps,
Dave

 
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10-29-03, 06:07 AM   #6  
Thanks

ddbesinger-

Thanks for the info. I bought the Bentley manual for the car a few weeks back, and after getting hit for the $600 job I looked at the section pertaining to pad/rotor replacement and it doesn't seem that bad. Next time, I probably will do it myself! Thanks for all of the info.

Steve

 
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10-29-03, 09:09 AM   #7  
Joe_F
Ya, the parts and labor on these are killers .

 
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10-29-03, 09:55 AM   #8  
Parts and Labor

Well, the labor wasn't that bad. He charged me for 1/2 hour of labor, which ran me 35 bucks. Considering they did other work on the car besides the rear pads and rotors, that was very reasonable.

However, I think he told me he got the parts directly from the BMW dealership which is what killed me. I don't know if he just marked up the price he paid for the parts 100% or if he just got a bad deal on them, but the parts were very expensive. I looked up the OEM parts on the internet at home, and had I purchased them at one of the many online BMW OEM suppliers, I would have saved literally 50% on the parts. Next time, I'll ask if I can get the parts myself.

But considering that the car is 5 years old and I haven't put a dime of maintenance into it except for fluid, oil, and filter changes, I guess I haven't done that badly right? Besides I really enjoy the car's performance and handling, so I guess that's just the price I have to pay sometimes : )

Thanks for all the info,
Steve

 
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10-29-03, 10:28 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Just be aware if you bring your own parts, he/she may not warranty any labor or redos if there are problems.

(If he/she will even install customer supplied parts. Many shops won't do that.....cuts into their margins. You'd have to ask).

 
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10-29-03, 04:54 PM   #10  
ddbensinger
yeah, your labor on that was a really good deal. Joe's right, most places don't let you bring your own parts, especially for something like brakes or regular maintenance (a suspension upgrade is a different story). A lot of the indy's make their $$$ on the parts and give you a break on the labor.

It's the same thing as the corkage fee at a restaurant.


The good thing about BMW's is that a lot of the owners tend to be DIY people, so there are a lot of aftermarket parts and resources available. Your M3 could last you 300k miles with proper care.
dave

 
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10-29-03, 05:10 PM   #11  
Thanks

All valid points. Thanks for all the info.........

Steve

 
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10-29-03, 05:24 PM   #12  
When it comes to brakes the rules are different for Mercedes and BMW. They use very soft rotors and it is recommended to change them with every brake job. Like any other part made, if there are enough buyers, somebody will find a way to sell them cheaper. Now MOST of the time these parts are less quality. Your mechanic is entitled to make a profit on parts. that one of the reasons he's in business. If you start trying to bring your own parts, you will not only be put on the bottom of the list but the "agrevation Surcharge" in your pricing will rise along with your warranty dissappearing. Don't bring your own eggs to the diner and don't bring your own parts to your mechanic.

 
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10-29-03, 07:31 PM   #13  
ddbensinger
As long as you go OEM on parts, you're fine. It's the exact same part without the Roundel stamped on (and the accompanying 2x price factor).

 
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10-30-03, 06:53 AM   #14  
Joe_F
Ya, that is right.

There are plenty of OEM parts available for these without the dealer markup.

You can buy the Bosch OEM fuel injector for a lot less through Bosch than buying the same thing through a BMW dealer as an example. Takes a little research, but you can save SOME money this way .

 
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10-30-03, 06:59 AM   #15  
thanks

Thanks guys.........

 
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10-30-03, 07:01 AM   #16  
ualdriver, having run BMWs for some 20 odd years I find the best bang for my buck was joining the BMWCCA. They have tech advisors, reasonable part sources, meetings, especially in large metro areas like Chicago and tons of other benifits. Best $35 a year I ever spent.

 
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10-30-03, 07:05 AM   #17  
BMWCCA

Easywind-


Do you have a website address?

Steve

 
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10-30-03, 07:42 AM   #18  
Joe_F
www.bmwcca.org

 
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10-30-03, 09:51 AM   #19  
thanks

thanks

 
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10-30-03, 10:50 AM   #20  
Joe_F
No problem.

 
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10-30-03, 03:51 PM   #21  
I got back a little late to answer but I got into the site for the first time in a number of years. The club looks better than ever. I loved my tii.

 
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