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E21, E30 General discussion and technical help for 1975-1991 3 series cars.

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Unread 03-25-2008, 05:29 PM   #1

Name: SaucyJoe
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E30 Brakes failing.

Hi all! My first post and I need help. I have a 1990 325i with 218K under it's belt. When I am coming near to a stop, the pressure on my brakes all of the sudden drops and I hear a clunk in the front brakes and then I have a bit of vibrations like the ABS is kicking on. The ABS light came on briefly yesterday and then went off after I went in the store and came back out. It also sounds like my pads are dragging against the rotor when I first start off in the morning. Any info would be appreciated.
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Unread 03-25-2008, 05:36 PM   #2
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do you have any brake pad left? Or is it worn down to the wear indicators(itll make a sound)

check your brake fluid level?
check the ABS fuse/relay(not sure which one the ABS runs on)
Are the brakes still working?
When you depress the pedal to stop does the pedal go farther then it used it?
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Unread 03-25-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
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does this happen EVERY time? sounds like something is severely broken, my only suggestion would be taking the front wheels off and having a look, thats the best way to find out

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Unread 03-25-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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I would check and do a few things without being able to see the car. 1st of all as xsperf said jack it up and take the wheels off and take a look, you might need pads/rotors and a brake bleeding. If you have not bleed the brakes in a while and the pads/rotors look alright I would do that, it almost sounds like you might have some air or moisture in the lines. One other thing you could try is pulling the ABS fuse and seeing if it happens then, if not then you have some issue with the abs. I would still suggest changing the brake fluid, it should be changed every year.

Here is a walkthrough for the front pad changing that I did:
Brake Pad Change
Here is another one by Amanda:
here is a brake bleeding procedure also by Amanda:

If any of that doesn't solve your problem it might be time for a new brake booster.
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Unread 03-26-2008, 11:33 AM   #5

Name: SaucyJoe
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I'll have to check!

Thank you for all of the responses. The problems happens almost when I am almost at a complete stop. Just that last few feet. A thunk in the front end and the brake pedal loses some of its pressure and there's a brake dragging sound on the drivers side wheel. It sounds and feels like the brake is slightly released and trying to engage the ABS.

There's no sound like I'm at the end of my brake pads, but I'll give them a look and see. I will check my brake fluid level at lunch and see if I need more. I'll be embarrassed and relieved if that's all it is.

I've had the car for four years and have never changed out the brake fluid, so I guess I am due!!

Thanks again for all of your input.
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