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Abstract: Resetting brake pad wear indicator

Applies to: BMW 5 Series: 2004-2009 (E60, E61)

To reset brake pad (lining) indicator:
1. Turn ignition to Terminal 15. Terminal 15 is ignition on engine off. (push start button so all warning lights illuminate on instrument panel).
2. Close all doors.
3. Press and hold the Instrument Cluster Set/Reset button
for 10 seconds.
4. The upper display in the Instrument Cluster will be
illuminated with a Service Item (example: An oil can is the
designation for Oil Service). The lower display in the
Instrument Cluster will indicate the remaining time or
mileage left for that Service Item.
Pressing the button repeatedly will allow the display to
scroll through all of the Condition Based Service Items.
5.When brake linning indiator appears in message center release trip reset button.

6.Reset message will appear, push once more.

System is now reset.

If system will not reset. Check all brake pad wear sensors. A slightly worn sensor may cause warning lamp to maintain service needed status. See this article for sensor testing: Brake pad wear sensor testing BMW 5 Series E60

Resetting brake pad wear indicator BMW 5 Series E60


  1. Anonymous

    1. Anonymous

      I am getting a negative value (-25000) when i do the reset . Help.

      1. First this check that both of your sensors are in good shape. If they are faulty the system will not reset.

        Try this article to help with testing the sensor. Brake pad wear sensor testing BMW 5 Series E60

      2. Anonymous

        did you fix negative value ?

  2. Anonymous

    I needed an oil change and this is my first Oil change since I had the car December 2009. I have got this done my local guy and now I tried to follow the steps above to reset the service display.

    However, when I press and hold the Instrument Cluster Set/Reset button for 10 seconds, I only get a triangle warning sign and nothing else. Then is disaapears.

    Tell me, do I have to have the engine switched on and running?

    1. You have to follow the directions above exactly. Do you have the driver door shut during the process?

      1. Anonymous

        I just tried again.

        I put the key in and pushed the start button, so the the engine started and the warning lights are lit. I get a red car sign saying "service" on the top panel and " - 390" on the bottom panel.

        Then I press and hold the Instrument Cluster Set/Reset button for 10 seconds, I get an orange warning triable sign.

        1. Anonymous

          I also slightly confused about Terminal 15. What does that mean?

          Push the key inside and not start the engine? or Start the start the engine?

  3. Anonymous

    Please ignore all of my replies. I have managed to reset it.

    However I have a question, The oil service light came on when the mileage was about 13400 as my car was brand new. Now i set the next oil by default 19000 miles. In my iDrive, it says its due in 19000 miles. Does this mean next oil change is required when the car is done 32400 or at 19000 on the clock?

    1. The mileage shown during oil life reset is the distance you travel until yor next oil service.

      If you odemeter eads 11,000 miles when you reset and you have 19,000 to go until next oil service you will be servicing at 30,000 miles.

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you for your explanation. Very helpful.

  4. Anonymous

    To all those with problems getting this to work:
    I followed same steps on my 2008 535i after changing rear pads/ rear break wear sensor.
    I observed that IMMEDIATELY after the "-----" was displayed showing the clear, it immediately showed the rear brake replacement error message, with "-3200" displayed, which was the same mileage as before I changed the pads.

    Upon further inspection, I saw that I inadvertently damaged one of the connector pins on the new sensor.

    I'm convinced that the pin must have been slightly bent at first, but when I tried to install it I must have crushed it.

    Using pliers I was able to bend the pin back into place... I broke half of it off, but the connection was still long enough to make contact, so I was good to go.

    Moral is: these sensor connections are fragile and delicate. Take care to connect the sensor with the proper orientation, (if you look closely, the two plastic parts are keyed). And don't apply too much force! If it takes so much force, you are probably not doing it right.

    After reconnecting, brake error cleared on first try following steps mentioned here.

    1. Thanks for the information about your problem1 This will be a huge help to someone in the future.

  5. Anonymous

    did you fix negative value (-25000)? I'm geeting -9000 value when i did the reset. i have replaced the brakepad without sensor(changed pads before the wear light).

    Can someone please put me the right direction?

    Many Thanks


  6. Anonymous

    Great advice worked a treat..many thanks

  7. Anonymous

    Hi all, i have tried changing a new brake sensor but i still cant reset my front brake setting.. Anyone here keen enough to help me..

    1. See if this resonates: Brake pad wear sensor testing BMW 5 Series E60

      System will not reset with a partially worn or faulty sensor.

      Also, what is distance remaining and what color is the indicator?

  8. Anonymous

    I had my car serviced at a non-BMW dealer and they did not reset the service intervals.  I went in and reset the oil interval myself, the mechanic also said the brakes were fine and didn't need to be changed.  I saw that the rear brake pads were going to be due for inspection in 900 miles so I reset the rear and front.  Now the mileage says "----" and the red image of the car on a lift is there when I start the car.  Even when I reset the service due for this image it stays on.  Do I need to lift the car to reset this?  The lights were off until I reset the interval so it can't be the brake sensor or pads as these were not touched.

    1. Image of the car on the lift means your service is due. This is a separate item to reset. These will be similar to your messages: Check Control Message Definitions BMW 3-Series E90 E91 E92 E93

      This is for 3 Series but may help you also: Service indicator info and resetting

  9. Anonymous

    My vehicle check is not due for another 7,000, but I just had it done and the dealer did not reset.  I tried to access the service menu as described, but when I held the reset button, I got a very small 1.00 number with some strange code underneath.  I tried to scroll through and I just got additional numbers...1.01, 1.02, etc. Any idea of what that is and how I get to the service menu to reset the mileage number?

  10. Anonymous

    The information was a big help as I had the negative mileage on my 530XI and replaced the brakes/rotors and the rear brake sensor, followed the reset procedure using the odometer button and selecting the rear brakes and the service light went out. To replace 4 rotors and pads with the rear sensor was a 2.5 hour job. The note for the sensor was the best

  11. Anonymous

    I have a 645CI and it was at -200mls for the front brake pads, and I tried to reset it without changing the pads and it became -9000mls, Is this because the sensors have been worn and need to replace pad and sensor?

    1. Anonymous

      Sure sounds like your pad wear sensor(s) is bad.

  12. Anonymous

    worked fine for my 2005 535d..though was little fiddly, and i nearly gave up..untill i pressed the buttons and kept em pressed etc...was not a simple press once and let go for me...

  13. Anonymous

    What about they red brake light above the steering wheel in the instrument panel, how do you get that off

    1. The Red brake warning light indicates a fault in the brake system. You will need to use a BMW scan tool to determine the cause of the fault, remedy fault, then clear the fault code to shut light off.

  14. Anonymous

    I just replaced the front pads and rotors and a new wear sensor.  is it supposed to reset to a life remaining of 25000 miles?   i thought it would be much higher.



  15. Anonymous

    This definitely worked on my 2005 BMW E61 - initially reset the system only to get -15000 miles with the message returning on the iDrive.  Then I re-read the instructions and noticed that the doors need to be shut (!).  I opened the driver's door, switched the iginition on as instructed, then shut the door, followed through the reset process and it worked.

    So, lesson learned - follow the instructions (smile)

    1. Anonymous

      Definitely follow all instructions step by step (I got it right 3rd time of trying):

      Leave door open, insert key, press start, close door and then go through reset process.

      Worked on 2007 E61 after replacing rear discs, pads and sensors with quality parts at 50% of main dealer quote. Reset to 31,000m. 

  16. Anonymous


    '06 530xi (E61?) with iDrive. Just had new pads and rotors  and new sensor redone but brake guys didn't know how to reset warning. Tried this process several times to clear Break Pads worn message. Will not work! I wondering if I am pushing the correct button to  set/reset the pad warning light. Which is the instrument cluster set/reset button? One instrument cluster has a "Check" and "BC" button. Does it change if I have the IDrive system? Please help, am so frustrated that I'm feeling rather dumb about what seems to be so easy for everyone. Thanks!


    1. Anonymous

      Ok, so the instrument panel reset IS the odometer reset. When I did this I started getting 1.01, 1.02 etc codes with various German words and numbers following them. Can someone help clarify or help me get beyond this to reset my Pad Warnings? Thanks!


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