October 16

2011 BMW M3 V8, Brakes



Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing fantastic today.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a BMW M3 which is the V8 model from 2011, so what was happening to this ultimate ticket machine?

Bernie:  So the brakes were, the client came in and the brakes were worn out so we did some brake repairs on the vehicle.

Mark: Ok, so brake wear is pretty normal in all cars, what’s unique about these ones?

Bernie: Well, I’d say what’s unique about this being an M3, it’s a sports model of a 3 Series BMW, the brakes are big. They’re meant to stop fast. The car’s got a V8 in it whereas most have 6 cylinders, some even have 4, so it’s meant to stop the car fast. The car accelerates fast, stops fast, it’s all part of the performance expectation of having a car like this. And a lot better than a lot of old American cars used to be where they’d have a lot of horsepower but not a lot of stopping power.  Anyway, so let’s have a look at these brakes because they’re pretty, large is kind of the key thing here, let’s have a look at a few photos. We’ll start here, this is the rear brake. This is the old system, this is before we removed anything from the vehicle. So you can see I mean, there’s nothing here for comparison, but it’s pretty large, if you see the calliper here but the brake rotor disc is large, they are all cross drilled rotors which allows for more airflow. Get onto our next picture here. This is a front brake rotor, again a view with, before the rotor was removed, you can see the shiny area and the original thickness of the brakes and this is typical of a lot of European vehicles, the rotors wear quite heavily in the inner areas, the pads are hard, the rotors are a little softer and they tend to wear the rotors pretty hard. So you’ll get some people in European vehicles, they stick just pads in, not a good idea because you’re putting it on a surface that’s not even, it’s a very uneven surface so it takes a while for the brakes to wear in and they work quite as well as it could if you did them the other way around. One more view we have here, this is our, this is a brand new rotor, you can see again the cross drilling and the inside via the rotary. There’s a lot of interesting technology here for airflow through the rotor, again it’s kind of part and parcel you get with one of these cars.

Mark: Ok, even though we don’t have something to compare with, this components are pretty large, so and yeah this is a pretty expensive service

Bernie: Yeah, there’s a variety of pricing. I mean once you start getting into the higher performance cars, especially European vehicles, there’s certainly a big price jump in rotors. These are not the craziest priced rotors but you know, the brake job on this was definitely more than you’d spend on a 3 Series BMW but not as much as some cars are. 

Mark: So you didn’t really mention any pricing, I guess there’s, how much, how expensive can rotors get?

Bernie: Well there are some AMG Mercedes, the rotors are $1200 bucks apiece, like an SL55 a SLK55, some of them, depends on which brake package you have, they have, the brake rotors are $1200 bucks apiece which is a crazy amount of money but they have different brake packages, some have them and some don’t. Also when you get into certain cars like Aston Martin, some high end Porsches again, they have really expensive brake rotors. You can usually tell by looking at them, the way their built, the actual rotors, there’s also bolts around the edge of the hub, a number of them, those are usually the expensive type of rotor. 

Mark: So why would rotors, some rotors cover over $1000, each?

Bernie: Yeah, each, that’s the key word. Some of it is exclusivity, but the other is the metal they’re made out of, they some of them use carbon composites. I’m not sure the, all the exact metallurgy but they’re pretty high tech materials where they resist fade, they can dissipate the heat extremely fast and that’s what you’re paying for with these kind of brake rotors. They don’t necessarily last any longer but they can handle the hear better so if you’re going a hundred miles an hour and you nail the brakes over and over you’re going keep stopping and that’s really the advantage of that. But how many people really do that, you know it’s a bit overkill, but having a good braking is important. 

Mark: So these M3’s have a pretty awesome reputation, how are they for reliability?

Bernie: I’d say really good, you know, if you want to get a nice high performance sports car, they’re excellent vehicles. You’ll certainly spend more money than you would on an average type of car, I always say this European you’ll generally spend more money than you will on a Japanese car, but for a performance machine, that’s a fantastic car, really nice especially with the V8 engine. 

Mark: So there you go if you’re looking for service for your BMW M3 in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or check out our YouTube channel, we’ve got hundreds of video on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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