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By YOUCANIC on May 12, 2019

How to replace rear brake pads on a BMW

Learn how to change rear brake pads and disc rotors on BMW vehicles. 

In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions, with pictures and video clips to help you change rear brakes on BMWs yourself. 

What you notice

  • Grinding noise from the rear
  • Brake light on
  • Brake pad message
    • "Brake pads are worn to the minimum depth. Have the pads replaced by the nearest BMW center."

Before you begin

Keep these safety rules in mind before you get started. 

What you will need


Jack up vehicle

Loosen the lug nuts. Jack up the vehicle and support it with jack stands. If you need help with this step follow this guide on how to remove a car wheel.

remove car wheel

Remove retaining clip

The first step is to remove the retaining clip from the brake caliper. Use a flat head screwdriver to pry out the retaining clip. 

retaining clip


Remove plastic caps

Use a flat head screwdriver to pry out the black caps. This will allow you to get access to the guide pins.

bmw rear brake pads caliper pins


Loosen caliper guide pins

Unscrew two caliper hose guide pins. They don't need to come out completely, just enough so that they are no longer screwed into the caliper bracket.

bmw  brake pad caliper removal


Remove brake caliper

Secure the caliper to the strut. Make sure it is not hanging by brake hose.

secure brake caliper


Remove caliper bracket

Remove two 19mm bolts that mount the caliper bracket to the rear hub. You may need to use a breaker bar to get these two bolts loose. 

remove caliper brakcket


Remove set screw

Remove the 5mm Allen bolt that holds the rotor to the rear wheel hub. Spray penetrating oil on the bolt if it refuses to come off. Be careful with this bolt because it can easily strip.  

bmw remove disc rotor screw

Remove rotor

Next step is to remove the rotor. On older BMWs, the rotor will be rusted and it will be difficult to come off. Spray penetrating oil on the rotor.   Rember to have the car secured so that it does not roll.  Next, release the parking brakes. spray penetrating fluid to get bmw rotor offThis is very important. If you don't release the parking brakes you will damage the parking brake shoes. Use a rubber mallet to get the rotor off. 

remove bmw rear disc rotor disk 1 3 5 6 7 x1 x3 x5

Press brake piston

Use a brake caliper spreader to push the brake piston into the caliper. This will create enough space so that you can install the new BMW brake pads.

Install rotor

Use a wire brush to clean any rust on the wheel hub. Next, install the new BMW rotor and the set screw.install new bmw brake rotor



Install caliper bracket

Install rear caliper and torque the bracket bolts to 80 ft-lb.

bmw brake pad caliper bracket torque specifications

Place brake pads on the caliper

Install the brake pads on the caliper. Apply brake anti sieze  lube to the back of the pads.

apply lube grease to bmw brake pads

Install brake caliper

Next, install the caliper with the new brake pads. Torque caliper bolts to 25 lb-ft. 

install new bmw brake pads discs

Install brake wear sensor

The new BMW brake wear sensor will slide into the channel on the inner brake pad. Connect the sensor at the black box under the wheel well. install brake wear sensor


Inspect brakes 

Install the wheel and lower the vehicle. Start the car and pump the brake pedal until it gets hard. Next, check the brake fluid level and add brake fluid if the level is low. Follow this guide on how to check/add BMW brake fluid. 

check bmw brakes

Reset BMW Brake Wear Sensor

Use the buttons on the dashboard to reset the brake warning light on your BMW. This can be completed using the ODO Reset button on the instrument cluster. Complete instructions can be found here.   If you are not able to reset the brake light follow this guide for more help. BMW Brake Reset Unsuccessful 



Profile picture for user MBFanatic

Great DIY. One thing I would like to add is that it is a good idea to pull out the caliper bolts (they slide out one unscrewed) and apply some grease on the sliding section. This helps so that the caliper doesn't size up. Most people (and mechanics) don't do this.


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