How to Change Front Brakes on a 2005 BMW X5

Written by justin cupler Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

In 2000, BMW released an its first SUV, the X5. The X5 was a near immediate success, as it became BMW's second highest-selling model in only its second year of production. The 2005 X5 came in three different trim levels: the 3.0i, 4.4i and 4.8i. With each trim level came a different engine: the 3.0i had a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder, the 4.4i had a 4.4-litre V8 and the 4.8i had a 4.8-litre V8. All trim levels came standard with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Replacing the front brakes on the 2005 BMW X5 is slightly more complex than replacing brakes on a typical vehicle, but still only requires moderate automotive repair skill.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Turkey baster
  • Small container
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Hex-bit socket set
  • Bungee strap
  • BMW tool No. 34-1-050 (Front caliper piston adjustment tool)
  • Micrometer
  • New front brake hardware kit (if needed)
  • New brake rotors (if needed)
  • New brake pads
  • Disc brake grease
  • Torque wrench
  • 1 quart DOT 4 brake fluid

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Remove brake fluid from the brake master cylinder with a turkey baster until it is only half full. Transfer the removed fluid to a small container.

  2. 2

    Loosen the X5's front lug nuts with a ratchet and socket.

  3. 3

    Raise the front of the BMW with a floor jack and place jack stands beneath the frame rails. Lower the X5 until only the jack stands support its weight. Remove the lug nuts and pull the front wheels from the SUV.

  4. 4

    Unplug the wiring harness that pluggs into the rear of the brake caliper.

  5. 5

    Insert the blade of a flathead screwdriver under the retaining spring holding the outer brake pad to the caliper and pry it away from the pad and caliper. Inspect the retaining spring for visible wear or bending. Discard and replace the retaining spring if bending or wear exist.

  6. 6

    Pull the plastic plugs off the rear of the brake caliper, exposing the caliper bolts. Remove the caliper bolts with a ratchet and a hex-bit socket. Pull the caliper off the rotor and hang it from a nearby suspension component, using a bungee strap.

  7. 7

    Pull the outer brake pad from the caliper. Insert the blade of a flathead screwdriver under the inner brake pad and pry up until you can grab it. Pull the inner brake pad from the caliper -- notice that a metal clip goes into the caliper piston to hold the pad in place.

  8. 8

    Remove the rotor by removing the screw in the centre of the rotor with a ratchet and hex-bit socket and pulling the rotor off the X5.

  9. 9

    Measure the thickness of the rotor's disc in four places with a micrometer. Compare the thickness of the rotor with the minimum thickness specification of 1.35 inches on a 13.1-by-1.4-inch rotor and 1.1 inches on a 13.1-by-1.2-inch rotor.

  10. 10

    Discard the rotor and replace it with a new one if it is thinner than the minimum thickness or has any visual defects (grooves, hot spots or mirror-like shine), as you cannot machine the X5's rotors. Leave the rotor as is if it is thicker than the minimum thickness and no visual defects exist.

  11. 11

    Place the new or original rotor back on the X5 and tighten the centre screw to 12 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and a hex-bit socket.

  12. 12

    Place BMW tool No. 34-1-050 (front caliper piston adjustment tool) so that the paddles are inside the caliper, positioned just like brake pads. Tighten the hand crank on the end of the tool until the internal caliper piston presses fully into the caliper.

  13. 13

    Apply a thin coat of disc brake grease to the rear of the brake pads and the mating surfaces on the caliper and caliper bracket.

  14. 14

    Place the inner brake pad so that the clip on the rear of the pad lines up with the hole in the brake caliper. Press the inner brake pad until it fully seats inside the caliper piston. Insert the outer brake pad on the caliper. The brake pads have either an "L" or an "R" stamped on them. Make certain to mount pads with the "R" stamped on them on the passenger's side of the X5 and the "L" pads on the driver's side.

  15. 15

    Set the brake caliper back on the rotor and tighten the caliper bolts to 81 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and a hex-bit socket.

  16. 16

    Install the new or old outer brake pad retainer and press the tabs of the retainer into the holes on the brake caliper.

  17. 17

    Plug the wiring harness back into the rear of the brake caliper.

  18. 18

    Reinstall the X5's front wheels and hand-tighten the lug nuts. Raise the SUV from the jack stands with a floor jack and remove the jack stands from under the BMW. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

  19. 19

    Tighten the front wheels to 90 foot-pounds in a crisscross pattern, using a torque wrench and a socket.

  20. 20

    Press and release the brake pedal until it feels firm. Check the fluid level in the brake master cylinder and add DOT 4 brake fluid until the level reaches "Max" on the master cylinder.

  21. 21

    Insert the key in the X5's ignition and turn it to the "1" position. Leave the key in this position for at least 30 seconds to clear the brake pad lining light. Turn the ignition off and remove the key.

  22. 22

    Take the old brake fluid to a used automotive fluid recycling centre for proper disposal. Many auto parts stores perform this task free of charge.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.