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Forum LockedE60 Brake Fluid Renewal

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Andrew Rolland View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01-May-2010 at 11:59

You need the following.

11 mm open end spanner for front caliper bleed nipples  
9 mm open end spanner for rear caliper bleed nipples   
8 mm allen key to remove pollen filters and tray located beneath.
T25 TX star key/screwdriver
trolley jack and tools to remove each wheel
brake bleed kit (a tube with a non return valve)
container to catch spent brake fluid
wire brush to clean nipples
and in my case my dad to help.

I bought two one litre bottles of BMW brake fluid for about �7.30 each.  My front calipers are rather large so held a lot of fluid so I was glad I had bought the two bottles of fluid.

Unplug the bonnet sensor wiring from the switch on the offside pollen filter housing.


Unclip the pollen filter housing at the inboard ends (photo above already shows unclipped) and then using a 8 mm allen key turn thru ~90deg to release clip and lift off housing with filter still inside.  This exposes the undertray.  Repeat for other side.  There are also two TX20 screws that need to be removed from the top of each of the suspension struts.


Again with the 8 mm allen key rotate all the fixings on the undertray thru ~90deg to free them.


There is a clip that connects both sides of the undertray together which sits in the middle, slid this to the nearside and lift off.  There are two water channel trays (they have the round holes in them that you can see in the picture 2 above) at either end of the undertray tucked under the bonnet struts/hinge area, these just lift out.  Now wiggle the undertray which is two parts now joined by the rear bonnet seal off from the rear of the engine bay and sit down out the way.  This reveals the brake fluid reservoir.


Jack up car and remove rear nearside wheel.  This is the furthest point from the reservoir so has the most fluid in it.  Starting with that one gets rid of the old fluid first.  Clean around the bleed nipple then crack open the bleed nipple by half a turn and place the bleed kit on to it and the other end into a container to catch the old fluid. 

I siphoned out as much of the old fluid from the reservoir first to save having to pump it thru the system.  I used a syringe for this.

Top up reservoir with new fluid.  Old fluid is much darker than the new stuff.

My dad then pumped the brake pedal to the floor and I held the non return valve in the container until I noticed a change in the fluid colour.  Make sure that you regularly keep topping up the reservoir with new fluid.  If you get air into it you need to start again!  Once new fluid (much lighter in colour) came out the non return valve tighten the bleed screw.  Check for leaks then put the wheel back on and then repeat for the other rear wheel.

Next was the front nearside wheel


I turned the steering lock so that the caliper was facing out to improve access.  When pumping the brake pedal on the front brakes,  keep a very close eye on the reservoir level as a much large quantity of fluid will come out with each pedal stroke compared to the rears.  I don't know that's more so the bigger engined stuff as the front brakes are so large.  Don't worry about the colour of the fluid in the bottle, there was some left over blackcurrent juice in it which made the whole lot go blood red and not Irn Bru colour!

Do the front offside last as this has the least amount of fluid in the system.

Final check of the brake fluid level


As Haynes would say, refitting is reversal of removal but I installed new pollen filters.  Make sure you get the air flow direction correct, there are markings on the filters.

I'll let you guess which one is the old and new one.  Yuk!


I then reset the iDrive for both pollen filter (35,000 miles till new ones) and brake fluid replacement (2 years) and logged this in my service book referencing the BMW invoice for the BMW parts.

Cost ~�70 for BMW brake fluid (2 litres) and BMW pollen filters and it took me and my dad about 2 hours.

Easy but most enjoyable.  BMW would charge ~�80 for a brake fluid change alone.


Edit 06.05.10 to add in reference to TX25 screws that need to be removed from the undertray prior to its removal.

Edit 27.02.12, should be a TX25 screw not TX20!

Edited by Andrew Rolland - 27-February-2012 at 08:20
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johnnydev View Drop Down

Joined: 25-December-2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnnydev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2010 at 10:40
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