Here Come the Big Brakes - 2002 BMW M3 Long-Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3: Here Come the Big Brakes

July 21, 2008

You might remember Chris Walton's post early last month about our M3's brake pad wear warning lamp appearing on the instrument panel. Turns out, this problem hasn't fixed itself. In fact, we knew long before the lamp came on that the M3's pads (and probably rotors) were on their last legs. The first signs of wear began to show when we compared the M3 to its newer cousins at a racetrack earlier this year. As the day progressed and the laps piled up, the M3's middle pedal became less and less confidence inspiring. But driving the car on the street doesn't seem to create any drama. Still, the light has been on for too long and we've decided to act.

We're getting nuts. Ok, maybe not nuts, but we're going to install big brakes on our M3. After visiting a local dealer for unrelated service several months ago, we know that simply replacing the M3's front pads and rotors is a $1,041 job. Stoptech's 332mm four-piston brake kit for the E46 M3 cost $2,195 and comes with bitchin' red calipers and two-piece rotors which use aluminum hats. Also included in the kit are Axxis Ultimate pads, stainless steel lines and fluid. It's an investment, but the more capable brake system should keep us from having to worry about brakes at the track (or anywhere else) again.

Look for a test of the Stoptech system in this space later this week or early next week.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor

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