Mercedes Benz Brake Inspection & Repair
Keep your family and others safe with effective brakes.
Mercedes Brake Repair & Inspection
If you think you need to repair, which means, replace, the brakes on your Mercedes Benz you probably do. A failure of this part puts you, your family and your car at risk.
Additionally, this is a repair that can be completed by most do it yourselfers with basic tools and mechanical knowledge. For the most part a stubborn bolt, or a problem bigger than a brake job is about all you can encounter.
However there are a few tips you should know:
Most importantly is never resurface brake rotors for a Mercedes. You have probably had this done or heard this term before when dealing with other cars. However to save on the un-sprung weight of the car, that is the weight of the wheel, brakes, hub etc, which has no suspension, because it connects to the suspension, OEM rotors are not manufactured with an extra thickness that can be machined off with a brake lathe.
Either they are in good enough condition to use again, as is, or they must be replaced.
Now, whether or not to replace the rotors or disks is the main question you have to decide, based on the condition of the rotor, and if you want to chance doing the job a second time if you do not like the results.
There is a minimum thickness stamped in to the disk, if you disk is not at least that thick, at its thinnest point, it must be replaced.
If there are any deep grooves are scratches on the face of the disk, or any chips or nicks anywhere on the disk it must be replaced.
If the rotor is warped, that is you feel a shimmy, or hear noises that pulsate when you apply the brakes it must be replaced.
If the disk has discoloration from overheating, it must be replaced.
In short – its best to replace the rotor, but if it looks pristine, and does not have any of the problems above, then it is alright to reuse the disk though another set of pads.
This is pretty much what you are replacing when you repair the brakes; make sure to get a good quality OEM pad. They produce a little more dust, but something has to happen when you brake, dust is created, excess heat destroys the rotor, or you have an embarrassing, as well as annoying brake squeal.
Make sure to order and replace the brake wear indicator as well at this time, its already going to have some wear on it, costs only a few dollars, and you can be guaranteed the plastic clips that hold it in place are brittle from the heat and will break when you remove it.
Bearings & Hubs:
If you have a grease nipple on the wheel bearing using a grease gun, inject a few pumps of quality bearing grease. This will go a long way in preserving the life of your bearings. If you have sealed hubs, there is not much you can do, but visually inspect and make sure there is no leaking or damage to the seals.
While you are working the car, is a good time to check the calipers, and make sure the seals looks good and there is no scoring or pitting on the piston. Check the hoses to make sure they are in good condition and do not have any scuffing or heat damage.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, that is it will absorb water from the atmosphere. When the brakes and fluid heat up, this water will boil out as steam, and steam is compressible. This one of the causes of a soft brake pedal and reduced brake action when your brakes are hot. This is not the cause of brake fade when your brakes are very very hot, that is rather a layer of metallic vapor being generated by the pad or rotor.
However, the fade from wet brake fluid it easy to fix by “changing” the fluid. This requires a buddy in all cases, and ideally a vacuum extraction system that attaches to the brake bleed nipples on your calipers. If you do not have a system, nothing fancy, $20-$100, you can use the pump and dump method, where one person pumps up the brakes inside the car, and another using a small tube and collection cup/airlock, drains out the fluid from each of the cars caliper, while making sure to add new fluid to the reservoir up top.