The BMW brake pad warning light is a helpful feature that alerts you to the state of your BMW brake pads. However, the question remains if you can drive with it on, and what it might mean if this light appears? In this article, I am going to answer exactly that. read on!
In short, the brake pad warning light on a BMW can indicate 3 things which are worn brake pads, low brake pad fluid, and can also be triggered by bad/malfunctioning brake sensors.
BMW Brake Pad Warning Light Meaning
The BMW brake pad warning light is a common safety feature found in many BMWs. The main cause is the wear of your brake pads on your BMW this causes the vibration sensor to trigger and activate the brake pad indicator and as a result, you get the warning light on your dash, let’s take a look at the common causes of the brake pad warning light on your BMW.
What Causes Brake Pad Warning Light in a BMW?
Worn Brake Pads
The most common cause of a brake pad warning light on a BMW is worn brake pads. The minimum thickness of the brake pads is set by BMW and once they have reached this point the brake pad warning light will illuminate.
In some cases, you may only get the yellow warning light but in others, you will get both the yellow and red lights. If the red light comes on it means that the brake pads are now below their critical thickness and should be replaced as soon as possible.
If you don’t replace your brakes when the warning lights come on, you will start to hear a loud squealing sound from your brakes as your BMWs wear sensors start to make contact with the brake disc.
For aftermarket reliable brake pads I recommend Bosch QuietCast Premium Semi-Metallic Disc Brake Pad Set (Check Current price on Amazon)
Low Brake Fluid
The reservoir could be empty, or the brake fluid is too low. If it’s just low, topping it off should resolve the issue. If it’s empty, you’ll need to add new fluid. If it’s empty often, there may be a leak somewhere that needs to be repaired.
Bad/Malfunctioning Brake Pad Sensor
If the sensor is bad or broken, then even if you have good pads, you will still get an error light. To resolve this, simply replace the sensor. You can check if the sensor is bad by using an OBDII scan tool to inspect your vehicle’s computer system.
Can You Drive with a BMW Brak Pad Light on?
It is a warning light to let you know that the brake pads will soon need replacement. Fortunately, you can drive a few miles with the brake pad light on.
BMW brake pad light comes on when your brake pads are nearly worn out. Normally, you can drive a few miles with the brake pad light on. If the wear sensor is damaged when you replace the pads, it will not be replaced in this process.
You should replace the sensor at the same time as changing the pads. Otherwise, if the wire is broken, your brake warning light may be permanently on, until you replace the sensors and pads.
How Long Can You Drive With Your Brake Pad Light On?
This varies from BMW to BMW but in general, you can drive 300-800 miles, it is important that you have your pads replaced as soon as possible.
The reason for this is that brake pads are designed to wear evenly on both sides. If you continue driving after the light comes on, the pads will wear unevenly and eventually damage other components like rotors which will cost much more in repairs, and ignoring the warning brake pad warning light will lead to your BMW not braking when needed and could result in crashing into other cars or objects.
What to Do if a Brake Pad Light Comes On in Your BMW?
When your car’s brake pad light comes on, you’re going to have to think about getting the pads replaced. If the pads are low, your car will beep at you, and the dashboard may display a warning that says “Brake Pad Wear.”
If the brake pad wear indicator has illuminated, it means that the pads are very low—if you drive like that for too long, the metal discs in your wheels will actually grind against the rotors, which is not good for your car. The first step is to take your car to a mechanic or dealer.
In addition to knowing how much it’s going to cost, they can tell you exactly what needs replacing and they’ll know exactly how to do it—they’ll have experience doing this sort of work and they know what they’re doing. They’ll also replace your brake fluid at this time as well as check your front and rear brakes.