Are you getting the yellow "Parking Brake Failure" warning on the dashboard? 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.
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.
- 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.
BMW iDrive Parking Brake Malfunction messages
- Parking brake failed. To park, engage transmission position P. If necessary, carry out emergency release of 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 parking brake. Emerg. braking function ok.
- Only transmission range D is available. P engages automatically when engine is switched off.
The most common problem that causes the yellow BMW PARK light is the parking brake actuator.
- 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.
- 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.
Troubleshooting BMW Parking Brake Malfunction
First, try a soft reset of BMW Parking Brake.
Press and hold the parking pedal. Turn on ignition. 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
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 and may be fuse number 10, 94, 129.
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 presets, seat memory positions, etc may need to be reset.
Parking Brake Actuator
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.
To fix this problem, you have two options.
You can have the dealer or an auto mechanic fix BMW parking brake problem. At the dealer, BMW electronic parking brake actuator repair costs over $1000.
It is possible to fix BMW parking brake problem yourself. You can easily open your old parking brake actuator and install an upgraded metal gear in less than two hours.
Continue reading to learn what you will need and the steps required to perform this repair yourself.
What you will need
Before you begin
- Disconnect the battery - Battery will be located in the trunk.
- Don't operate the parking brakes if you have BMW Parking Brake Actuator module removed for repair.
- Remove the parking brake actuator from the trunk.
- Open the parking brake actuator housing and replace the broken gear. Use a metal gear that includes the shaft. If you buy a kit that has only the plastic gear, you will need to use the old shaft. The procedure is slightly more difficult and requires a press. See these instructions if you are installing a plastic gear.
- Install the parking brake actuator and use a BMW scanner to reset BMW Parking Brake Fault Codes.
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 specific scanner that is able to read the Parking Brake / Electromechanical module.
Another common problem is a defective ABS module. Read the codes from the ABS, DSC module or perform a full system scan.
Follow instructions on this guide to learn how to read BMW fault codes.
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 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. Learn how to read BMW fault codes.
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 BMW parking brake unit located?
- In the trunk. Lift the carpet in the trunk. 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 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 BMW parking brake malfunction after changing the brake pads?
- If you replaced the rear brake pads, you may get 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.
Which BMW models are affected by this problem?
Any BMW equipped with electronic parking brakes. Here is a list of BMW vehicles equipped with electronic brakes.
- GT F07 550i N63N 2013-2013
- GT F07 550iX 2011-2012
- GT F07 550iX N63N 2013-2013
- GT F07 550i Up to-03/2010
- GT F07 550i 2011-2012
- GT F07 535iX 2011-2013
- GT F07 535i Up to-03/2010
- GT F07 535i 2011-2013
- SAC E71 X6 50iX 2008-2014
- SAC E71 X6 50iX 2008-04/2010
- SAC E71 X6 35iX N54 2008-2010
- SAC E71 X6 35iX N55 2011-2014
- SAC E71 X6 M 2009-04/2010
- SAV/SUV E70N X5 35dX 2011-2013
- SAV/SUV E70 X5 M 2010-04/2010
- SAV/SUV E84 X1 35iX 2013-2015
- SAV/SUV E70 X5 3.0si 2007-2010
- SAV/SUV E70 X5 3.5d 2009-2010
- SAV/SUV E70N X5 50iX 2011-2013
- SAV/SUV E84 X1 28iX 2013-2015
- SAV/SUV E70N X5 35iX 2011-2013
- SAV/SUV E70 X5 4.8i 2007-2010
- F01 ALPINA B7X 2011-2012
- F02N 740Li 2013-2015
- F01 750i 2009-03/2010
- F01 750i 2009-2012
- F02 760Li 2010-09/2010
- F02 760Li 2010-2012
- F10 550i 2011-2013
- F10 550i Up to-06/2010
- F01 740i 2010-2012
- F02 740Li 2010-2012
- F10 528i 2012-2013
- F10 M5 2011-2016
- F01N 740i 2013-2015
- F02N 740LiX 2013-2015
- F02N 750LiX 2013-2015
- F02 750LiX 2010-2012
- F02 750LiX 2010-03/2010
- F02 ALPINA B7L 2011-2012
- F10 550iX 2011-2013
- F01N ALPINA B7X 2013-2015
- F02N ALPINA B7LX 2013-2015
- F02N Hybrid 7L 2013-2015
- F01N 750iX 2013-2015
- F10 535i 2011-2013
- F10 535i Up to-06/2010
- F10 528i 2011-2011
- F02 ALPINA 2011-2012
- F10 535iX 2011-2013
- F01N ALPINA B7 2013-2015
- F02N ALPINA B7L 2013-2015
- F02 750Li 2009-03/2010
- F02 750Li 2009-2012
- F10 528iX 2012-2013
- F10 Hybrid 5 2011-2013
- F04 Hybrid 7L 2011-2012
- F04 Hybrid 7L Up to-09/2010
- F02N 750Li 2013-2015
- F01 ALPINA B7 2011-2012
- F04 Hybrid 7 Up to-09/2010
- F04 Hybrid 7 2011-2012
- F01N 750i 2013-2015
- F02N 760Li 2013-2015
- F01 750iX 2010-03/2010
- F01 750iX 2010-2012