How to Buy Brake Pads for a BMW 320

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How to Buy Brake Pads for a BMW 320

While some BMW 320 owners prefer to have professionals service their vehicles and perform repairs, others take pleasure in maintaining the vehicles themselves. Those who do maintain the vehicles themselves take the time to choose the right parts to improve vehicle performance and install them correctly. Some routine maintenance procedures, such as changing engine oil, installing a new battery, or replacing brake pads, are fairly simple to carry out, once an individual has learned how to do it properly. A great aspect about learning how to perform these basic maintenance tasks is that it can save the vehicle owner quite a bit of money over the years.

When shopping for brake pads for a specific vehicle, such as the BMW 320 sedan, there are several factors prospective buyers should consider, such as the type of brake pads to purchase as well as where to buy them. Once a BMW 320 owner knows which type of brake pads is needed, he or she can begin to review the selection of BMW 320 brake pads available in the marketplace.

Brief History of BMW

BMW got its start shortly after the turn of the 20th century in Munich, Germany, as an aircraft engine manufacturer. The company was so successful that other companies, including Austro-Daimler, soon began to purchase aircraft engines from BMW when they could not keep up with the demand for V12 airplane engines. Following the company’s success, the founder decided to hire a financial backer for the expansion of his company, so in 1916 Rapp Motoren Werke became Bayerische Motoren Werke, and BMW was born.

BMW Breaks into the Auto Industry

In 1928, the company began building automobiles and introduced the BMW’s first automobile, the Dixi. The automobile was so popular that it maintained the company through the Depression. Prior to World War II, BMW became a winner on the racing circuit; the company’s winning streak continued after the war as well.

BMW was banned from manufacturing vehicles as a punishment following WWII but introduced a new model, the BMW 501, in the 1950s. This model became an instant success and helped propel BMW into the luxury vehicle market.

About the BMW 320

The entry-level BMW 320 is a popular car because of its sporty look and affordability. The car features a turbocharged I-4 2.0-liter direct-injection engine. The 320 contains the same engine as the 328i; however, it is slightly less powerful than the 328i. For example, the 328i is rated at 240 horsepower, while the 320 is only rated at 180 horsepower. The four-door sedan offers an Eco Pro setting, which can improve petrol usage. The 320 features front and rear disc brakes, which require replacement as the brake pads wear out.

There are different 320 models to choose from, such as the 320i, the 320d, and the 320d with xDrive. The models vary slightly in terms of features, power, or both. For example, the 320d with xDrive offers four-wheel drive, whereas the other two models do not. There are also different types of vehicles, including a 4-door sedan, a 2-door coupe, a touring edition with hatchback, and a convertible. When looking for replacement brake pads for a 320 series BMW, prospective buyers should make sure that the replacement pads are compatible with the specific model so there are no safety concerns.

Types of Brake Pads

When shopping for brake pads, individuals should realise that there are several types of brake pads. They all serve the same purpose, to stop a vehicle, however, not all brake pads are created equal. Four types of brake pads are available, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Prospective buyers should know the differences among the types so they know which type of brakes are ideal for their driving needs.

Low-Metallic Non-Asbestos Organic Brake Pads

Low-Metallic Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) brake pads contain a mix of organic materials and copper or steel. The copper or steel helps the brake pads transfer heat effectively and improve braking. The added metal increases the noise emitted by the brakes. The organic materials generate a fair amount of dust.

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

As the name suggests, semi-metallic brake pads are made of metal and other materials. These brakes are commonly found on vehicles. Typically, semi-metallic brakes contain between 30 and 65 percent metal in the form of steel wool, wire, or copper. While these brake pads are fairly durable, they may cause the rotors to wear out faster and are not recommended for extremely low temperatures.

Non-Asbestos Organic Brake Pads

These brake pads are made from organic materials, including fibre, glass, and rubber. These brake pads are softer than metallic brake pads, so they do not create a lot of noise, but they do wear faster. This means frequent replacements. They also create quite a bit of dust.

Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are comprised of ceramic fibres combined with filler materials. These brake pads are cleaner than the other types which produce a considerable amount of dust. Ceramic brake pads are also quieter than metallic brake pads. They cause less wear on the brake rotors but tend to be more expensive than other types of brake pads.

The chart below provides a quick summary of the types of brake pads, listing their advantages and disadvantages.

Type of Brake Pads




Inexpensive, durable

Cause rotor wear, not recommended for low temperatures

Non-asbestos organic

Quieter than semi-metallic

Wear out faster, create a lot of dust

Low-metallic NAO

Provide improved braking, noisier than NAO brakes

Create a lot of dust


Cleaner, produces less dust, durable, quiet

More expensive than other types of brake pads

When determining which type of brake pads to purchase, prospective buyers must first consider which types are compatible with the vehicle’s existing brake system. Once they know which types are potential candidates for use in the vehicle, prospective buyers can weigh the pros and cons of each type to choose the right option.

What to Look for in a Brake Pad for a BMW 320

When looking for replacement brake pads, vehicle owners must first decide which of the four types of brakes they want to install in the vehicle. While many people simply replace semi-metallic brake pads with new semi-metallic brake pads, it is possible to install a different type of brake pad, and some individuals may find that a different type of brake pad can improve a vehicle’s stopping power.

Once a motorist chooses the type of brake pad to install on his or her BMW 320, the next step is to determine which brake quality to go with. While BMW owners may not even notice the difference between regular brake pads and heavy-duty pads, drivers who frequently drive on steep inclines or use their vehicles for towing may want to go for upgraded pads, as these tasks place extra strain on a vehicle’s brake pads.

Shopping for Brake Pads for a BMW 320

Vehicle owners may be able to find brake pads for a BMW 320 at local auto parts stores or through the local BMW dealership; however, buyers can find a better selection and lower prices by shopping online. For example, many auto parts stores carry a variety of semi-metallic brake pads, but many do not carry all possible brake pad sizes. Other types of brake pads are also typically not carried in large quantities.

When shopping for brake pads online, prospective buyers need to know the make, model, and year of the vehicle as well as which type of brake pads they wish to purchase. While there are plenty of auto parts websites that sell a variety of brake pads of all types, prospective buyers should be sure to look at the listings for BMW 320 brake pads on eBay as well. This site offers products from thousands of sellers at low prices.

Buying Brake Pads for a BMW 320 on eBay

If you want to see the available listings for brake pads on eBay, go the eBay home page and type "brake pads" into the search box. You can browse through the listings or narrow down the results using the filters on the search results page, which include vehicle make and model and price. If you want to find brake pads for a specific vehicle, you can enter that information into the search box. For example, typing in "BMW 320 brake pads" shows only results for brake pads that are compatible with that specific type of vehicle.

Before making a purchasing decision, buyers should read through each listing carefully to confirm the type of brake pads being sold and determine if the pads are compatible with the vehicle in question. Prospective buyers should also want to review each seller’s return policy so that if the brake pads are not compatible with the BMW 320 they were purchased for, the buyer can return the brake pads.


Installing a new pair of brake pads on the BMW 320 takes some tools that many vehicle owners already have on hand. Car owners also need some knowledge about how to remove the vehicle’s wheels to access the brake pads and rotors behind them. Though this repair should not be performed by a novice, because the brakes are crucial for making a vehicle stop, it is possible for individuals to learn how to change the brake pads.

When shopping for replacement brake pads, prospective buyers need to determine which type of brake pads they want to purchase to replace worn brakes and confirm that they do not require any additional parts. Before making a purchasing decision on brake pads for the BMW 320, motorists should take the time to compare brake pad quality and pricing both online and at local auto parts stores. Typically, prospective buyers can find a great selection of BMW 320 brake pads at low prices by shopping on eBay.

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