[e39] OEM brake rotor life expectancy?

I'm at 44k miles on my 530i. Brake warning came on. The shop is telling me I need pads (that's a given), but also new front rotors. There is a visible
groove on the edge of the rotor, so I know they're not lying. They must be very close to being done even if not totally done just yet. They'd probably not make it through the next set of pads.
I know brake wear is very conditions-dependent, but assuming one does fairly decent amount of city-type driving with good amount of stop and go (many traffic lights), is it normal for the OEM rotors to be done in 44k miles?
I'm not complaining by any means. Just curious what your experience has been.
Thanks, Pete
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Pete wrote:

Mine has been every 40-45k miles, my E39 needs pads and rotors. Since the rotors are relatively inexpensive it's not a big deal. You generally can get by with two sets of pads for one set of rear rotors. Usually. Not always.
BMW does not recommend turning rotors.
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Sounds about normal. Rather better than I get. ;-)
Luckily the discs are cheap and very easy to change at the same time as the pads.
--
*How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he is lost? *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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"Dave Plowman (News)" wrote

Are any special tools required? Honestly, I don't have any tools.
When I looked on line, I could get the parts for about $340 (OEM discs, pads, sensor). At the same time, my local indy shop wants $500 for parts (OEM) and labor.
Pete
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You will eventually need an entire set of metric box wrenches. You will eventually need an entire set of metric sockets etc. You will need a set of jack stands. It is extremely dangerous to get under a car or tug on recalcitrant wheels if the car is not mounted on the stands. And, it would not hurt to have the Bentley manual handy. Jim
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Try RockAuto for your parts. $238 total as follows: Axxis Organic pads (FR) $40, Axxis Organic pads (RR) $30 Brembo Rotors (FR) $42ea=$84, Brembo Rotors (RR) $37ea=$74 Didn't price sensors.
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"Bob Smitter" wrote

Good prices. Thanks.
Although I think you may be looking at a different car. It shows the brembo front rotors for my car are $84 each. The OEM rotors are $113.
All in all, I'm not saving much on parts by getting them on-line vs. my shop. It's the labor charge that I'd have to swallow.
Pete
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Are you nuts? Tell me, if you had a problem with your gas main, electricity, etc. would you repair it yourself without knowing what the hell you are you are doing?
Sorry, you hit a soft spot. You should NOT be working on your brakes when you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.

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I am a moderate fumblethumbs and even I can assure you that brakes are easy to change. Are you saying that a motivated DIY'er shouldn't learn?
FWIW, almost all of the things that can go wrong with a brake job will either produce a horrible noise or keep a wheel from turning. Either one is a sign to take it apart again to do it right. Frankly, the most dangerous part about doing a brake job is forgetting to torque your wheel bolts. DAMHIK.
Given that Pete can buy all the tools he needs to do this job for the money he'll save on parts alone, I think he should make that investment. Once he gets a gander at those tools sitting idle between brake jobs, maybe he'll do something more productive - like taking out the transmission. =8^O -- C.R. Krieger Been there; learned that
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There are enough DIY articles on the net on the subject so that I know what I'd be doing. It's just a matter of having the right tools and willing to spend some time with the car and get your hands dirty.
I replaced the final stage unit, spark plugs, installed an iPod integration kit, among other things on this car. All by using DIY articles on the net.
I'm a bit on the fence about the brakes... my shop's labor rates are a bit steep, but on the other hand, I don't really have the time to play with it on my own, so I think I'll let the show do it.
Pete
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wrote

You (okay, I) can easily change the pads and rotors on one axle in about an hour, two at the most. Somebody that knows what they are doing, and has the right tools and equipment, can do the job in 15 or 20 minutes. The hardest part for the home-mechanic is putting the car on jack stands and taking the tires off.
You need a lug wrench, a couple of allen wrenches, and a hefty screw driver to use as a pry bar, and a wrench to remove the bolts holding the caliper to the strut.
Remove the tire -- after setting the car on jackstands -- and use the prybar to GENTLY open the caliper. (You can remove the caliper without prying it open, but you will need a C-clamp to depress the piston. I like to gently open the caliper while it is in place.) Remove the allen screws holding caliper, lift the caliper out of the way and hang it from the suspension with a coat hanger. Take the caliper mount off, and remove the set screw holding the rotor to the hub.
Put the new rotor on, install the caliper mount. Fit the new pads and set the caliper, install the bolts. Put the tire back on. There are torque specs for all of this stuff. You want to tighten the bolts properly.
Somewhere in there you will discover the Brake Wear Sensor fitted to the left front brake.
As you go about gathering tools, visit Barnes&Noble or Amazon, and buy yourself a Robert Bentley Publishers Service Manual that covers your car. If you are going to do anything on this car, the Bentley manual is going to prove itself to be the most useful manual you can find.
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Wouldn't surprise me. If you're within your 4yr "free" maintenance (doubtful), the pads and rotors would be no cost. Stop & go, auto trans all play to shorter brake system life.
R / John
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Yes. It's reasonably normal. Rotors cost about $50 each. I suggest you have the new ones checked for true, and machined if needed.
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"Jeff Strickland" wrote

What kind of rotors? The cheapest I was able to find genuine BMW rotors for my car on line is $113 each.
Pete
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No doubt, but IME there is no reason for not fitting pattern rotors made by a reputable manufacturer. I've fitted pattern ones to many of my cars over the years. I have Brembo front rotors on my E39 528i. There's no noticeable difference between them, and the OE ones they replaced, and they're only about half the price. Mike in the UK.
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