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Old 07-28-2004, 08:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Linden,NJ
Posts: 6
2003 sl55 amg brakes

Every time I wash my car and park it in the garage for a week I'll go to use it and the right front brake is locked up and I have to put car in foward and reverse to break it free. One time I spun both rear tires and dragged the front wheel 3 feet before it broke free. Anyway the Dealer said its normal that the brake pad is rusting to the rotor this dont sound right to me as theres no rust and why only the right front. Service manager said to drive the car a few blocks after a wash before putting it away as this will dry the pads and rotors.Does this sound right to you guys?

Thanks John
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 701
uh oh

I have washed my car many times and put it away, When I see it in the garage I can actually see the rust on the rotors. They are bare metal and when water hits them, they will rust up. When you drive the pads will rub the rust right away. I have never heard of any clearances to be so small that a slight coat of rust to cause locking of the wheel. I do not think this is normal at all. The braking system in that car is one that keeps aware of moisture and applies the brakes occasionally while driving to keep them dry, I think it begins this process if the wiper is on? but still something of this nature should never happen, there is a malfunction or you might have air in your hydralic lines causing this. You should call MBUSA. Good Luck!
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 197
A 2003 SL55 has SBC brakes which means that each wheel can be individually braked without you applying the brakes yourself.

I'd leave the car with your dealer and get them to eperience the fault or have the manager visit your home and see the problem where you are experiencing it.

That shouldn't happen to any vehicle and especially to that extent (I can leave my 1970's volvo in the same spot for 12months and the brakes are free enough to push it out of the garage)

You SL is under have a fault, make sure they fix it.

MB Tech
Sydney, Australia
Volvo 122S
W201 190D 2.5 manual
W202 C240
W203 C32
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 362
It's normal to see surface rust on the rotors after washing, however, I have never heard of the rust causes the wheels to lock up The solution of drying the brake to prevent lock-up by driving around the block is laughable You have an AMG for crying out loud and you have to dry your brakes like that to prevent wheels locking up after a car wash? The service manager suggested that should go back to school for basics.

You definitely have a problem and the situation is NOT normal. No surface rust beween the rotor and the pads can make you wheels drag three feet before breaking free. See another dealer for solution
Flash Gordon

2003 E500 BlackOpal/Charcoal

2004 Infiniti G35X
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:30 PM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
I'll Go Upside Your Head!
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3,378
Maybe one of the sensors is bad? I don't know exactly what they use to detect water, but I'll bet it's the system itself applying the brakes. They aren't rusting solid.

2000 Honda Accord V6 137k miles

1972 300SEL 4.5 98k miles

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Old 07-29-2004, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 2,969
John, I second the recommendation of taking your SL55 AMG to the dealer and having them sort out the problem. Have them supply you a MB loaner and keep your car as long as it takes to resolve the problem. Something is definitely wrong. A rust buildup should not lock up one of the wheels, and you shouldn't have to drive the car after washing it to dry the rotors and brake pads. Certainly the dealer doesn't do that when they wash the pre-owned cars on their lot.
Fred Hoelzle
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