Why Every Brake Job on Your BMW Will Require New Rotors
If your BMW was made after 1982, you should replace all pads and rotors as soon as the indicator light goes off on your BMW brakes. It sounds expensive, but there is benefits to this approach in the long run.
The brake light sensor comes on when one of the two sensors in your BMW braking system has been activated. The pad wears down enough to set off the sensor in the pad. There is no sensor in the rotor. The rotors have a specified minimum thickness in order to properly dissipate the heat, provide great braking performance, prevent warping in the rotor. Most often, the rotor will be below this thickness and have to be replaced for you to have the best braking power possible.
The more weight you have near the wheels, the more it can vastly affect performance. Brake rotors are heavy by their nature. BMW uses a thinner rotor for better performance, and you can definitely feel it when on a tight curve. The rub is you can usually only use them once. But this is the cost of having a high performance machine.
It’s Not Your Fault or the Mechanic’s
Don’t hold it against the mechanic that he’s charging you for new rotors. And don’t feel that you put off the brakes too long that it’s going to cost you in rotors. That’s just the nature of BMW and brakes. It’s the intrinsic cost of having such a supreme machine.
Consider Having Your Brake Fluid Checked
In addition to your brakes and your rotors, you might also want to get your brake fluid checked. BMW recommends having your brakes flushed every 60,000 miles. The reality is that ideally your brakes are an enclosed system. Assuming there are no leaky parts, you should be able to run on the same fluid indefinitely. But the brake components naturally wear down overtime, which can cause water, debris and other contaminants to leak into the fluid and gunk up your brake infrastructure.
Instead of getting your brakes flushed regularly, our BMW mechanics recommend you just have the fluid checked periodically. It should be a nice translucent color. If it’s dark brown, you might consider flushing the fluid.