BMW manufactures a quality car, and they own MINI. Both of these car brands are known for being quick and sporty performance vehicles. The brakes in your BMW or MINI help to ensure performance handling, but they also keep you safe while on the road. For obvious reasons, a malfunctioning brake system is dangerous, and you should take your vehicle to a qualified service professional if you suspect brake problems. However, there are things that you can do to fix brake issues. In this article, we will discuss tips to repair a malfunctioning brake system in your BMW or MINI.
When the brake warning light is illuminated in your dashboard, it is serious and should concern you. However, sometimes this is easily fixed. For example, it could be that your brake fluid is low and simply needs to be topped off, or you might not have completely lowered the parking brake handle. As easy as these fixes may seem, though, don’t neglect taking your vehicle to a service technician to diagnose the issue.
There are 3 warning lights on your dashboard that, when illuminated, can indicate brake system failures in your vehicle. These are the anti-lock braking system (ABS) light, the dynamic stability control (DSC) light, and the brake warning light.
The ABS system of your car keeps the brakes from seizing to ensure traction between the wheels and the road. Each wheel has ABS sensors that send information to the ABS module to regulate hydraulic pressure. These sensors can fail or get dirty, which can cause the ABS system to fail and the corresponding indicator light to illuminate. Alternatively, the ABS could be low on fluid or have an electrical malfunction.
The DSC feature works with the ABS to ensure traction and optimal brake function. This function can be manually disabled via a button on the dashboard, and sometimes the brake warning light or the ABS indicator light can illuminate simply because of a minor malfunction in the DSC system.
The brake warning light is the more concerning indicator of the list. It could be telling you that the ABS system has failed or that the brake pads are worn out. It could also be indicating that the brake fluid level is low. You can check your brake fluid and try turning off the DSC feature just in case the brake warning light is illuminated for a benign reason.
Sometimes brake system issues not due to anything serious. Here are a few tips to help you diagnose and repair a malfunctioning brake system:
In the event that there is a leak in your brake lines, there could be a fluid shortage. Without the proper lubrication, your brakes will not function properly and they will wear out at an accelerated rate. Check your brake fluid levels if your brake warning light comes on.
Sometimes the indicator lights for the brake system can be triggered by a lack of electrical power from the battery. You can check your battery’s voltage with a digital multimeter. If you don’t have one, you could also check the battery terminals for corrosion or loose connection.
Burnt out brake light bulbs can trigger the brake warning light to illuminate. This is one of the easiest fixes, but you should still bring your BMW or MINI to a service professional, just to be safe.
If the parking brake is left on, or if the lever is not lowered completely, it can trigger the brake warning lights. Not to mention, it wears down your parking brake while you drive with it engaged!
If you’re seeing any warning lights or experiencing brake problems, it’s possible that your brake pads are due for replacement. Check them out to see if they are worn.
Here at Bavarian Motor Repairs, our ASE, BMW, and MINI certified technicians use the latest factory grade tools and materials to ensure superior service for your vehicle. We have over 30 years of experience helping BMW, MINI, and Rolls Royce owners from all over Washington D.C., Largo, North East, Upper Marlboro, College Park, and Capitol Heights, MD. To schedule an appointment for your brake system repairs, or to learn about our five-star reviewed shop, call us today at 240-552-9988.