Does the brake light appear on your BMW dashboard, but the brakes are still working fine? Follow the procedures below to learn how to reset the light and replace the brake pad wear sensor.
The BMW brake wear sensor is nothing more than a wire that runs at the sensor’s tip. 12-volt typically feeds the sensor at all times. Once the brake pads wear out, the sensor’s tip where the wire runs is cut, opening the circuit.
The brake or DSC module will see high resistance now that an open circuit at the sensor triggers a fault code such as 5F12, 5F13, 5F14, 5F14, or 5F16.
The following message may remain on the instrument cluster even when you replace the brake pads. ” iDrive Message: Brake Pads are worn to the minimum depth. Have the pads replaced by the nearest BMW center”.
Brake Warning Light On Dashboard
Service Vehicle Symbol with a car on the lift.
- 5F12 DSC Brake pad wear, front axle, brake pads
- 5F15 DSC Brake pad wear, rear axle plausibility.
What you will need
- BMW Brake Pad Wear Sensor
- Flat Head Screwdriver
- Determine if you are replacing a front or rear brake pad wear sensor.
- Jack up the vehicle and remove the wheel. If replacing the front brake pad sensor, jack up the driver’s side wheel. If replacing the rear brake pad sensor, jack up the passenger side wheel. Remove the wheel from the vehicle.
- Locate the brake pad wear sensor on the brake pad.
- Use a flathead screwdriver to pry out the old sensor.
- Unhook the sensor from the brake caliper release valve.
- Unhook the sensor wire from the strut bracket by pulling it out of the bracket.
- Open the black box mounted on the wheel well. Inside you will find the connector.
- Pull the connector out of the box. Press the release tab on the connector and separate the wires.
- Install the new sensor in reverse order.
Reset BMW Brake Pad Wear Reminder
There are two methods to reset the BMW brake wear sensor.
Reset BMW Brake Pad Sensor via Instrument Cluster
This video shows how to reset the BMW brake light service reminder using the instrument cluster’s buttons.
- Turn the ignition on but do not start the car.
- Press and hold the reset button on the side of the dashboard.
- After a few seconds, you will see the service menu at the dashboard’s center.
- Press the reset button several times until you see the front or rear brakes symbol.
- With the brake symbol on a small LCD, press and hold the reset button until you see the words RESET.
- When RESET displays on the screen, release the button and press it again for about 5 seconds to reset the brake light.
If the reset procedure is carried out successfully, the brake symbol in the small LCD will turn from RED to ORANGE.
Reset BMW Brake Light with an OBD-II Scanner
Another method to reset the BMW brake warning is to use a scan tool.
Many OBD-II scanners allow you to access the Condition Based Serving (CBS) menu and reset the brake mileage limit.
If you have tried method 1 but have been unsuccessful, the next step is to use a scanner.
In addition to resetting the brake light, a good scanner allows you to read fault codes from the DSC module and determine why the brake light won’t reset.
In this case, we use Foxwell Scanner for BMW, but other scanners offer this functionality (YOUCANIC Full System Scanner).
Can I Bypass Brake Pad Wear Sensor?
Many BMW owners bypass (delete) the brake wear sensor by removing it and installing a clip or cutting the sensor wire, exposing the wires, and connecting them. This short-circuit wire emulates a “good” sensor but is not recommended.
It is not recommended to disable the BMW brake pad wear sensor permanently.
If you bypass the brake pad wear sensor, you will NOT know when your brakes are due for replacement. Your brake pads will wear completely until they reach the metal part, at which point you will have metal-on-metal contact.
Not only will your braking be reduced, but you will also hear a grinding noise, and your rotors will get damaged and require replacement.
How many brake pad sensors does a BMW have?
Typically two. One sensor is located on one front brake pad (left front). The second wear sensor is on the right rear brake pad.
What is BMW brake pad sensor resistance?
New Brake Pads: Zero resistance (or closed circuit).
Worn Pads: Infinity ohms ( open circuit) when the pads (sensor) wear out.
Where is the BMW brake pad sensor located?
Front left brake caliper. Mounted on the brake pad.
Rear right brake caliper. Mounted on the brake pad.
We hope you find the BMW Brake Pad Wear Sensor Replacement Guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your BMW vehicle.