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Disabling the Brake Pad Sensors DIY Guide
Published by thenewrick
06-06-2013
Disabling the Brake Pad Sensors DIY Guide

Hello fellow travelers.

This is a DIY guide on how to disable your brake pad sensors.

I did a burnout and it triggered the service warning that I needed to do a full brake job. I knew my brakes and pads were fine and that I had somehow goofed up a sensor doing the burnout.

Lo and behold the sensor had broken off from the pad and was dangling:



So here's what you'll need:

Scissors, wire stripper, duct tape, zip tie.

*There are only two sensors, Driver's front and passenger's rear.

1: Remove wheel



2: Locate sensor in between caliper and attached to the pad



3: Pull out the sensor from the pad and cut off the sensor head



4: Strip the 2 small wires carefully then twist the two wires together





5: Duct tape the wires and ziptie them in a safe spot. I ziptied mine in the spot the sensor wire normally sits so shouldn't be an issue. *careful not to do anything extreme like clamp your brake line closed*



6: Repeat the same process for the rear passenger side



Then put the wheels back on, disable the service warnings in the car, drive it around and make sure the warnings went away and everything works, tighten the wheel lug bolts again and you're done!
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  #1  
By S.TX335i on 06-08-2013, 04:29 PM
+1 . This works! I had recently replace my break pads so I knew that wasn't the problem. It appears these sensors can break when you push the car.
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  #2  
By oucheese on 06-09-2013, 12:18 AM
Been meaning to do this, hopefully I will get around to it tomorrow
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  #3  
By Zero_09 on 06-09-2013, 10:56 PM
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Nice DIY with pictures.
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  #4  
By .fLip. on 06-10-2013, 08:46 AM
yea I did this on my last brake pad change since they broke when removing them.
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  #5  
By oucheese on 06-16-2013, 02:59 AM
Thanks for the DIY, it works!
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  #6  
By thenewrick on 06-16-2013, 02:38 PM
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I had a little quirk pop up. The other day I started up the car and the brake warning came back. So it may do a periodic check or something. It's like a zombie code; won't stay dead
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  #7  
By thenewrick on 07-09-2013, 02:58 PM
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The zombie-code went away after one drive and hasn't shown up for a month now so I think it was just a quirk.
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  #8  
By Surly73 on 07-10-2013, 07:31 AM
I don't understand why this DIY is in demand.... If you broke your sensor during brake service, buy another. All the service guides say they really should be replaced anyways. They're $10-$15. I don't see how sensors can be damaged from "pushing the car" or "burnouts" unless perhaps the sensor cable was misrouted around the suspension during the last brake job and extreme suspension travel yanked them out of place.

And in the pic for step #5, your pad sensor connector is clearly shown as disconnected but you didn't mention doing this on purpose in your steps. If you didn't do that, then that's why your sensor light was on. Step #1 in your writeup should be a full inspection to see if you can tell why the light came on in the first place.

Then, if you insist on cutting off the head and twisting the wires together just do it within a couple inches of the connector instead of zip tying the cable all over the place near the wheels.
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  #9  
By thenewrick on 07-10-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
I don't understand why this DIY is in demand.... If you broke your sensor during brake service, buy another. All the service guides say they really should be replaced anyways. They're $10-$15. I don't see how sensors can be damaged from "pushing the car" or "burnouts" unless perhaps the sensor cable was misrouted around the suspension during the last brake job and extreme suspension travel yanked them out of place.

And in the pic for step #5, your pad sensor connector is clearly shown as disconnected but you didn't mention doing this on purpose in your steps. If you didn't do that, then that's why your sensor light was on. Step #1 in your writeup should be a full inspection to see if you can tell why the light came on in the first place.

Then, if you insist on cutting off the head and twisting the wires together just do it within a couple inches of the connector instead of zip tying the cable all over the place near the wheels.
The sensors are flimsy and just break due to vibration and sudden movement. I personally don't like having extra electronic bits that can go wrong when they don't serve a purpose. I know when to change brake pads more than a sensor does. I don't like unnecessary nannies.

It turns out you don't need to disconnect the sensor. I did it once then realized it wasn't necessary so I didn't mention it. This is a DIY on how to disable your brake sensors not how to inspect your brakes.

Zip tying them in their original location is fine. It was there like that from factory so good enough for me.
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  #10  
By Zero_09 on 08-21-2013, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewrick View Post
The sensors are flimsy and just break due to vibration and sudden movement. I personally don't like having extra electronic bits that can go wrong when they don't serve a purpose. I know when to change brake pads more than a sensor does. I don't like unnecessary nannies.

It turns out you don't need to disconnect the sensor. I did it once then realized it wasn't necessary so I didn't mention it. This is a DIY on how to disable your brake sensors not how to inspect your brakes.

Zip tying them in their original location is fine. It was there like that from factory so good enough for me.
I changed both my brake sensors with new OEM BMW ones like 4,000kms ago and I had a the code pop up because the sensor also broke off. Thanks for the DIY as this was exactly what I was looking for. I don't want to bother spending $50 every time my brake sensors brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
I don't understand why this DIY is in demand.... If you broke your sensor during brake service, buy another. All the service guides say they really should be replaced anyways. They're $10-$15. I don't see how sensors can be damaged from "pushing the car" or "burnouts" unless perhaps the sensor cable was misrouted around the suspension during the last brake job and extreme suspension travel yanked them out of place.

And in the pic for step #5, your pad sensor connector is clearly shown as disconnected but you didn't mention doing this on purpose in your steps. If you didn't do that, then that's why your sensor light was on. Step #1 in your writeup should be a full inspection to see if you can tell why the light came on in the first place.

Then, if you insist on cutting off the head and twisting the wires together just do it within a couple inches of the connector instead of zip tying the cable all over the place near the wheels.
I'm pretty sure this guide is for people that know their brakes are good but don't want to deal with changing it every 4-5000 kms if the sensors brake off.
And yes I already got the brakes checked by Ivo the other day and he said I have plenty of meat left on the pads. He said they will probably last another 2-3 years.

Thank you thenewrick for the great write up.
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  #11  
By thenewrick on 08-22-2013, 01:46 AM
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Np. Lots of people are just scared of things they don't understand.
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  #12  
By Zero_09 on 08-23-2013, 01:49 PM
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Just got it done while I had the vehicle up to change out the differential fluid. Everything looks good now. Thanks again
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  #13  
By subbie79 on 08-27-2013, 03:31 PM
You can bridge the connector by plugging a "u" shape wire. Sensor and wiring can be removed and you can always plug it back in if you wish down the load.

You must do front and rear together to avoid brake warning light. If you only do either front or rear, the warning light won't go away even after reset.
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  #14  
By thenewrick on 08-27-2013, 03:43 PM
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You can but when you replace the sensors it comes with new wiring anyways so easier to cut n twist
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  #15  
By PHXE90 on 08-29-2013, 03:50 PM
Very nice DIY, will be doing this very soon.
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  #16  
By LocDawgg on 08-29-2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
I don't understand why this DIY is in demand.... If you broke your sensor during brake service, buy another. All the service guides say they really should be replaced anyways. They're $10-$15. I don't see how sensors can be damaged from "pushing the car" or "burnouts" unless perhaps the sensor cable was misrouted around the suspension during the last brake job and extreme suspension travel yanked them out of place.

And in the pic for step #5, your pad sensor connector is clearly shown as disconnected but you didn't mention doing this on purpose in your steps. If you didn't do that, then that's why your sensor light was on. Step #1 in your writeup should be a full inspection to see if you can tell why the light came on in the first place.

Then, if you insist on cutting off the head and twisting the wires together just do it within a couple inches of the connector instead of zip tying the cable all over the place near the wheels.




when you find genuine brake pad sensors for 10-15 dollars, please share. ive been looking.
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  #17  
By Slow_335i on 09-14-2013, 02:14 PM
Thanks for this!
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  #18  
By ptwol on 10-31-2013, 01:10 AM
Thanks for your share!
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  #19  
By bula on 10-31-2013, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LocDawgg View Post
when you find genuine brake pad sensors for 10-15 dollars, please share. ive been looking.
Here you go:
http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...7&cid=14@Brake %26 Wheel Hub&gid=1920@Brake Pad Wear Sensor
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