By YOUCANIC on May 12, 2019
In this guide, we focus on how to replace BMW brake pad wear sensor operation, how to reset brake warning light & message, the pros, and cons of bypassing the sensor and more.
This guide focuses only on the brake wear sensor and assumes you have already replaced the brake pads.
All 2000 and newer BMW including 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, Z3, Z4, i8 and M series have at least two brake wear sensors. Most BMWs have one sensor for the front brakes (installed on driver side pads) and one sensor for the rear brakes (installed on passenger side brake pad).
The following message may remain on the instrument cluster even when you replace the brake pads.
Brake Warning Light On Dashboard
iDrive Message: Brake Pads are worn to the minimum depth. Have the pads replaced by the nearest BMW center.
Service Vehicle Symbol with car on lift .
The average price to replace BMW wear brake sensor ranges between $6 and $30 when you replace the sensor yourself.
The typical cost to change BMW brake sensor at the dealer or mechanic ranges between $65 and $120.
Replacing BMW brake wear sensor is a very easy procedure and takes less than 30 minutes.
Follow the instructions in the next section to learn how to replace the sensor yourself.
There are two methods to reset BMW brake wear sensor.
This video shows you how to reset BMW brake light service reminder using the buttons on the instrument cluster.
If the reset procedure is carried out successfully, the brake symbol in the small LCD will turn from RED to ORANGE.
Another method to reset 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 DSC module and determine why the brake light won't reset.
In this case, we are using Foxwell Scanner for BMW but other scanners offer this functionality. Learn more about OBD-II scanners that access multiple systems on BMW cars.
BMW brake wear sensor is nothing more than a wire that runs at the tip of the sensor. 12-volt typically feeds the sensor at all times.
Once the brake pads wear out, the tip of the sensor where the wire runs is cut as well which open the circuit.
The brake or DSC module will see that from no resistance now there is an open circuit at the sensor triggering a fault code such as 5F12, 5F13, 5F14, 5F14, 5F16.
Many owners wonder what is the sensor resistance for the brake pad sensor.
The brake system simply checks is there brake sensor is an open circuit (worn brake pad) or closed circuit (good brakes).
Many BMW owners choose to bypass (delete) the brake wear sensor by removing the sensor and installing a clip or cutting the sensor wire, exposing the wires and connecting them together.
This is known as short-circuiting the wire and emulates a "good" sensor but is not recommended.
It is not recommended to permanently disable BMW brake pad wear sensor. 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, you will also hear a grinding noise and your rotors will get damaged and require replacement as well.
How many BMW brake pad sensor?
What is BMW brake pad sensor resistance?
Where is the BMW brake pad sensor located?