When do brake pads need to be replaced? on 2006 BMW 330i

Are brake pads / rotors on a distance- or time-based maintenance frequency? Is there a sensor that measures the pad thickness? Or do I just wait until I hear noises?

by in Houston, TX on June 20, 2011
1 answer 1 comment
ANSWER by on June 20, 2011
Brake pads wear at vastly varying frequencies mostly due to the type of driving a person may do. To my knowledge, there is no time or distance recommendations. I always suggest to my customers to routinely have the brakes inspected. I recommend a tire rotation and brake inspection every other oil change. This is done so there is no surprises or anticipated failures. My customers are provided with a written recommendation which warns them way ahead of time before maintenance is needed.
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COMMENT by on June 21, 2011
this BMW uses a system called Condition Based Service (CBS) and it will create a maintenance list at each service. only shops that have BMW software can access this system, that's why it is extremely important NEVER to have service done by anyone that does not have this software. it will calculate pad/rotor wear but you also have pad wear sensors on the left front and right rear pads that will act as a failsafe. BMW dealers will always try and sell brake work when you are down to 20% pad remaining and for that reason you need a good reputable independant BMW service center. They will save you 20% or more over the dealer and usually will not try to oversell. unfortunately, this is a very unfriendly car to do your own maintenance.