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Pelican Technical Article:

Parking Brake Adjusting

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

***

Tools:

Long thin head flathead screwdriver, jack, 17mm socket, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

No parts required

Hot Tip:

Inspect cable for easy movement

Performance Gain:

Proper parking brake function

Complementary Modification:

Replace parking brake cables

BMW E60 models are equipped with a mechanical parking brake. This parking brake is used to hold the vehicle stationary when not in use. The parking brake is operated via a handle in the vehicle cabin, which pulls the parking brake cables that engage the parking brake shoes. It is a brake shoe and brake drum style parking brake system.

The system is compact and integrated into the rear brake rotor system. The rear rotor hub flange acts as the drum and the brake shoes are mounted to the backing plate. You can adjust your parking brake with the wheels raised off the ground. You do not have to remove the wheels. A quick check of the parking brake is to pull up the parking brake lever and listen to the number of clicks it makes until stopping. If your parking brake lever makes 10 clicks or more, it needs to be adjusted. Keep in mind that the parking brake is not strong enough to brake the vehicle when driven or when being moved by the engine.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Working in the vehicle interior, lever the top of the parking brake lever boot out using a plastic prying tool.
Figure 1

Working in the vehicle interior, lever the top of the parking brake lever boot out using a plastic prying tool. Then pull out the parking brake lever boot to detach it from the center console. Pull it up and over the handle.

Check that the parking brake lever is in the released position.
Figure 2

Check that the parking brake lever is in the released position. Release the cable tension by engaging the service lock. Press the spring (green arrow) with a flathead screwdriver until the hook locks (yellow arrow) the spring in a compressed position. If the parking brake lever is not fully released, you will not be able to engage the service lock.

Remove one wheel stud per rear wheel while the vehicle is on the ground.
Figure 3

Remove one wheel stud per rear wheel while the vehicle is on the ground. Lift and support the rear of the vehicle. See our tech article on jacking your vehicle. Rotate the rear wheel until the removed stud bore is on the bottom (green arrow). You should be able to see the parking brake adjuster (yellow arrow) when looking through the hole of the removed wheel stud.

Using a long, thin flathead screwdriver, rotate the adjuster to expand the parking brake shoes until the wheel cannot be turned and then back the adjustment off 8 notches.
Figure 4

Using a long, thin flathead screwdriver, rotate the adjuster to expand the parking brake shoes until the wheel cannot be turned and then back the adjustment off 8 notches. For the driver side wheel, lever the adjuster down to expand the brake shoes. For the passenger side wheel, lever the adjuster up to expand the brake shoes.

Once you adjust both rear parking brake shoe adjusters, release the service lock by pressing it using your flathead screwdriver (green arrow) and unhooking it from the hook (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

Once you adjust both rear parking brake shoe adjusters, release the service lock by pressing it using your flathead screwdriver (green arrow) and unhooking it from the hook (yellow arrow). Working in the vehicle interior, pull the parking brake lever multiple times. Release the lever and confirm that the wheels rotate freely. Release the lever and then pull up 3 notches. Check that the rear wheels do not rotate and the parking brake warning light is ON. When done, install the parking brake lever boot and rear wheels' studs.




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Comments and Suggestions:
Koenhen Comments: Thanks for this tutorial on how to adjust the parking brake.
On my e61 525d 2006-model the adjustment screw is adjustable on another position of the wheel stud holes. The adjustment screw was visible when a wheel stud hole was positioned in the middle of the brake caliper. In that hole you find the adjuster. Grtz
November 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jon Comments: Hi, this article needs looking at I think.

As TOM says, the article is correct for right hand drive cars, to expand tighten the brakes it is certainly DOWN on the drivers side and UP on the passengers side. This implies it is the opposite for LHD cars.
October 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The article covers US models, left hand drive. it is not opposite for RHD drive vehicles, it is the same. To double check I confirmed with BMWs info.

For example, to spread or expand the brake shoes, lever down, in direction of the yellow arrow. For the right side, direction of green arrow. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eddie Comments: My handbrake still need about 7 notches to make the wheels hold the car still. Is it about time to change the handbrake pads?
July 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Or a simple adjustment. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
TOM Comments: Driver and passenger sides are given for RHD, so for LHD cars you should adjust the lever in opposite direction. Driver side UP, passenger side DOWN.
March 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article covers US vehicles and the directions apply to left hand drive vehicles. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dean Comments: Thank you for posting this information!
My service lock engaged when I replaced a rear wheel bearing. Without this I would have kept chasing ghosts instead of a 10 minute fix!
December 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
AL Comments: Excellent step by step professional guide which makes this job very straight forward. Really most helpful.

Thank you
AL
October 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:40:21 AM