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By YOUCANIC on May 7, 2019

BMW Brake Reset Unsuccessful

After replacing your BMW brake pads, you need to perform BMW brake service reset.

When the procedure is carried out, you may not be able to reset the brake light for various reasons.

BMW brake light will stay on even after replacing the brakes along with a message on your BMW instrument cluster or iDrive screen.

  • BMW Brake Reset Unsuccessful
  • BMW Brake Reset Not Possible
  • BMW Brake Reset Impossible

Below we take a look at some reasons why you can not perform BMW brake reset. 

Reset BMW Brake Wear via Menu

If resetting BMW brake pad wear using the normal reset procedure fails, try resetting using the hidden menu. 

  1. Turn on the ignition.
  2. Press and hold reset button until the hidden menu comes up. You should see FGSTNR on the cluster.
  3. Scroll to item 19 to unlock. It will display Lock:ON.
  4. Locate the VIN number on the door jamb or lower left corner of the windshield. Add the last 5 digits of your VIN
  5. Below item 19 you will see Code:00. Change Code to the sum of the last 5 digits of your VIN using the trip reset button.
  6. Once the hidden menu is unlocked, you will be able to reset impossible values to the factory setting.
  7. Turn off the ignition and wait 10 seconds. 

Troubleshooting BMW Brake Light won't reset

Let's say you replaced your BMW brake pads but are not able to reset the brake light. You have checked all fuses, but still can't reset BMW brake light.

First, make sure to carry out the brake reset procedure via the instrument cluster.

Note that when you replace the front brakes and reset the message for the front brakes the brake light may stay on because the rear brakes are low as well or rear brake wear sensor is damaged. 

Damaged Sensor

bmw brake reset unsuccessful not possible impossible due to bad brake pad wear

Every time you replace yoru BMW brakes, you should also replace the brake pad wear sensor.

If you keep the old brake sensor, it will be impossible to reset BMW brake light. 

In some cases, the brake light and error message stay on even though you have replaced the sensor.

When you carry out the procedure to reset the brake light a message will display on the instrument cluster stating "reset impossible".

Front / Rear Brakes Worn

bmw brake wear sensor location

You replace the brake pads on the front but not your rear brakes. If your rear BMW brakes are low, you will not be able to reset BMW brake light. 

Check Voltage

If you have reset the brake service reminder for both the front and rear brake pads and the light remains on, the next step is to check the voltage going to brake pad wear sensor and read the fault codes. 

check voltage brake sensor

Use a digital multimeter to check the DC voltage at the wires coming from the car. You should get between 10 to 12 volts.

The negative value within 10 to 12 volt indicates the probes are connected backward. 

Rember you are checking the line coming to the brake sensor.

Not the brake sensor itself. Ignition should be on when you measure the voltage.

Read ABS/DSC Fault Codes 

Use an OBD-II scanner that can read BMW DSC fault codes to read Diagnostic Trouble Codes stored in the memory. 


In this case, we are using ArtiDiag 100 multi-system scanner. There are many scanners that offer the capability to read and clear BMW DSC module fault codes. 

Bypass BMW brake sensor

If your scan points to the brake wear sensor, replace the worn sensor.

If you have replaced the sensor but the light remains on, the next step is to bypass it and trying the reset procedure again. 

bypass bmw brake sensor

Temporarily use a paper clip to short the wire that connects to the brake sensor.

Once you have shorted the circuit, carry out brake reset and read codes again. 

If you are not able to reset the brake light at this point, you should troubleshoot the ABS module as it could be the culprit as well. Use a BMW scanner to read code from the DSC module.

You should check the wiring and ensure that the DSC module is working properly and can communicate with your scanner.


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