When Should BMW Brake Pads Be Replaced?

You may be wondering if your BMW’s brake pads are due for changing if you feel they are wearing thin. Brake pads play a vital role in your car’s performance, and their deterioration is a huge safety threat that can cost you significant cash due to secondary damage.

This article will discuss why you should change your brake pads and how often this replacement should occur. Additionally, it will highlight the key signs of worn-out brake pads that show that replacement is due.

How Your BMW Brake Pads Work

Your vehicle’s brake pads help bring it to a stop by causing friction when pressed against the brake disc. This disc and the brake pads rub against each other, and the friction between them results in high temperatures.

There are eight brake pads in your BMW vehicle, two at each rotor. These pads are made of ceramic, metallic, or composite materials. You activate a cylinder that transports brake fluid through hoses down to your car’s callipers each time you step on the brake pedal. The callipers then grip your brake pads. Next, your brake pads put pressure on the rotor, which is connected to each wheel. The pressure applied produces the necessary friction to slow down or stop your vehicle. However, a tiny bit of your brake pad’s material comes off any time you stop.

WhyYou Must Replace Your BMW’s Brake Pads

The friction material starts at 10-12 mm and will wear down over time till you replace your brake pads. If you continue driving when there is no friction material left, you become vulnerable to a lot of danger.

Driving like this will cause the friction to be unequally distributed, and metals would start to rub against each other. As a result, temperatures could become very high, and your BMW’s entire braking system can get destroyed.

Furthermore, the metal that grips the brake pad will also start rubbing against the rotor, potentially distorting and damaging it. The rotor’s surface may become so deformed that driving can be very dangerous. It can cost up to $350 to resurface your brake rotors, so you are better off outrightly replacing your worn-out brake pads instead. 

Time Between Replacements

You can replace your brake pads every 50,000 miles as a general rule. However, many factors may cause you to change your brake pads sooner. Your brake pads’ brand, material, and quality can significantly influence how often you should change them. Also, your driving habits can change the recommended period between replacement. You can speak to a trusted mechanic concerning the best mileage for your BMW vehicle.

Signs That Your Brake Pads Need Changing

  • Low Pad Thickness

New brake pads are about 10-12mm thick, and the minimum thickness to guarantee safe braking ability is just 1 millimetre. However, this doesn’t mean you should wait till your brake pad is only a millimetre thick before replacing it. Many experts advise that it would be best to replace your pads around the 3 mm mark.

  • Scraping And Grinding Sounds

Your brake pads will alert you when replacement is due, even if you don’t check them visually. These pads have tiny metal hairs in the base, so the metals will grind against the brake disc to produce a nasty screech each time you slow to a stop. If you don’t replace the pads immediately, you might even hear the pad’s base scraping against the disc.

  • Poor Brake Performance

You can also feel when your brake pads need changing because your brakes’ performance will lessen. The brake pedal might quiver or feel jittery when you bring your car to a halt, and your foot may also sink to the floor anytime you apply the brakes. Additionally, it may take you longer to come to a total stop when braking.

Brake Pad Replacement

Your mechanic can inspect your brake during each visit, but you should still consult your BMW maintenance schedule to know when to replace brake pads. It is vital to get authentic BMW brake pads as a replacement since they are designed precisely for your vehicle. These brake pads are manufactured under the highest standards, just like those installed on your vehicle when it left the factory. You will likely need to replace your rear brake pads first because they wear down faster.


Your BMW vehicle needs brake pads to slow down and stop, so it is crucial to replace these key components when they are damaged. You will know that it’s time to replace your brake pads when you hear screeching and your break performs poorly.

However, it is always best to follow BMW’s recommended brake pad replacement schedule instead of changing your brake pads only after they are completely worn down.


I'm Scott, a BMW enthusiast and many time owner of these wonderful machines. I'm here to document my experiences with BMW's over the years and hopefully help people out along the way.

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