In this guide, you learn how to troubleshoot BMW parking brake malfunction on BMW equipped with electronic parking brakes such as 745, 750, 760, X5, X6 series. This problem also affects the 2002-2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom.

bmw parking light

Are you getting the yellow " Parking Brake Failure " warning on the dashboard? If your BMW electronic parking brakes are not working, in most cases the problem lies in the BMW parking brake actuator (also referred to as the EMF module).

The module is mounted by the trunk. When it fails the yellow PARK light to stay on.

Symptoms

  • BMW parking brake malfunction
  • Yellow PARK light stays on all the time
  • Fault code 600D or 600E in ECU EEPROM DATA
  • Park brake light will not go off, even when the car is moving
  • Can't turn off the automatic brake
  • Orange Brake Light ON when starting the car.
  • Manual release of parking brake not working.

These symptoms can affect many BMW models equipped with electronic parking brakes. Including models such as 5-series, 7-series, Z4, X5, i3; chassis such as E70, E65, F10, E66.

How to Reset BMW Parking Brake

bmw parking switch

First, try a soft reset of the BMW Parking Brake. 

  1. Press and hold the parking pedal.
  2. Turn on ignition. 
  3. Press and hold the Parting Brake (P) button for 5 seconds.

If this doesn't work reset the parking brake module using one of these methods. 

Remove Parking Brake Fuse 

bmw fuses

Remove the Parking brake fuse for at least 5 minutes. The parking brake fuse is located in the fuse box in the trunk.

In your fuse chart, it will be marked as P. In most cases, it is fuse number 10, 94, 129 but it can be any fuse. Check the fuse chart. 

Disconnect Battery

bmw battery

Alternatively, you can disconnect the negative battery terminal for at least 15 minutes.

If you disconnect the battery, you do not need to register the battery but your comfort memory settings such as radio preset, seat memory positions, etc may need to be reset. 

If none of the solutions mentioned above worked, the next step is to read the fault codes from the Electronic Parking module. A generic OBD2 scanner will not allow you to read fault codes related to the parking brake.

You will need a BMW scanner that can read the Parking Brake / Electromechanical module. Read the codes from the ABS, DSC module, or perform a full system scan.

Common Problems

bmw

The most common problem that causes the yellow BMW PARK light is the parking brake actuator.

  • Software issue - BMW parking brake problem in some cases can be fixed by performing a software update at the dealer.
  • Loose connector - Examine the connector to the parking brake module actuator. A corroded wire can trigger intermittent parking brake errors.
  • Weak battery - A weak battery can prevent the parking brake from releasing. You most likely experience other electrical problems as well if your BMW is not holding a charge. Follow this guide to learn how to replace a BMW battery.
  • Parking Brake Actuator - Gear inside the parking brake actuator can break. A common problem on BMW with electronic brakes that triggers the yellow PARK light to stay on.

The parking brake actuator can fail and is one of the most common failures. The gear inside the parking brake actuator that engages and disengages the parking brakes can break. 

 

It is possible to fix the BMW parking brake problem yourself. You can open your old parking brake actuator and install an upgraded BMW Parking Brake Gear Actuator in about two hours.

You can have the dealer or an auto mechanic fix the BMW parking brake problem. At the dealer, BMW electronic parking brake actuator repair costs over $700. 

BMW iDrive Parking Brake Malfunction messages

  • The parking brake failed. To park, engage transmission position P. If necessary, carry out emergency release of the parking brake.
  • Parking Brake Malfunction Service Now Visit a BMW Dealer for inspection.
  • PARKING FAULT ERROR
  • Parking Brake Failed Please contact your BMW center.
  • Parking brake malfunction. Engage pos. P for park. If req. use emerg. release of the parking brake. Emerg. braking function ok.
  • Only transmission range D is available. P engages automatically when the engine is switched off.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I checked the gear inside the parking brake module and it is not damaged, what could be wrong?
    • If the gear is not the problem, check the power going to the parking module motor as well. The problem could be the ABS module as well located in the engine bay, passenger side. To further troubleshoot this problem, we recommend read fault codes from the DSC module. 
  • Why does my OBD2 scanner show no fault code for the parking brake?
    • Many BMW owners try to read parking brake faults, using generic OBD2 scanners. These basic scanners can only read Engine Control Unit codes. Parking brake fault codes are not stored in the ECU they are stored in the EMF module. To read BMW parking brake codes, you will need a BMW specific scanner.
  • Where is the BMW parking brake unit located?
    • In the trunk. Lift the carpet in the trunk. The parking module is towards the front, behind the rear seat. On some models, it is located under the trunk, next to the rear differential. 
  • Does the BMW parking module need to be programmed?
    • No. But fault codes will need to be cleared with a BMW scanner to reset the yellow brake light on the BMW dashboard. 
  • Why am I getting a BMW parking brake malfunction after changing the brake pads?
    • If you replaced the rear brake pads, you may get a parking light warning on the dashboard. Start the car and pump the brake pedal a few times. Next check the brake fluid level. Once you have completed these two tasks, operate the parking brakes a few times. That would normally rest your BMW parking brakes. If not, check the sensor at the rear wheels and the cable for the parking brakes. 

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Thank you! 

Visitor
Member since 2020-07

the fuse #10 is located in the cabin under the glove box and the other two fuses(94,129)are located in the rear fuse box. 129)are located in the rear fuse box.

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Visitor
Member since 2020-07

2008 750LI light stays on. AutoP does not work nor will parking brake function. Can hear acuator running sometimes when people brake switch is pushed

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Visitor
Member since 2020-07

Do you know if the gear repair kit that is linked to above (shows compatibility with 7 series and Rolls Royce) is compatible with E70 X5?

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