Taking the time to replace the brake pads on your BMW X3 will save you hundreds of dollars. Aside from the savings, you will also get the satisfaction of repairing your own vehicle. When replacing the brake pads, replace the rotors as well so the new pads have an even surface to push against during braking. Replacing the brake pads and rotors will increase the performance and longevity of the brakes.
Lift the X3 with the jack and place the vehicle on jack stands.
Remove the wheels with a lug nut wrench and set them aside. You can find the wrench in the hatch of your BMW X3.
Remove the caliper with a ratchet and use a bungee cord to hang the caliper. Do not let the caliper hang from the brake hose as the hose might break and cause fluid to leak.
Remove the brake rotor from the hub. The rotor might require force to be removed; if it does, use a hammer to hit the rotor in the centre where the lug studs are located. Take care not to hit the studs.
Remove the new rotor from its packaging and use brake cleaner to remove the grease from the rotor. Grease is applied on the rotor in the factory to inhibit rust during storage.
Install the new rotor onto the hub.
Install the caliper bracket with new brake pads onto the rotor and fasten it to the steering knuckle. Use a ratchet to tighten the bolts.
Open the master cylinder reservoir so you don't break a seal while compressing the brake caliper.
Compress the brake caliper with a C-clamp so that the caliper can fit over the new brake pads. Install the caliper by securing it to the brake caliper bracket with a ratchet.
A brake caliper compressor might work better than a C-clamp.
Wear safety glasses while working on your brakes.