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  #1  
Old 05-21-2002, 10:49 PM
jez
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Brakes & Rotors 'scam' on our S430

Our Benz S430 went in for a service yesterday. Apart from the fact that the sunshade is going down on it's own, the rear lights won't go off and the fuel gauge hasn't worked since we got it back, the service department in the dealership told us that the front brake rotors and the front and rear pads need to be replaced.

The car is leased. I read on another (separate make) forum that this is a common item that dealers use to pad the service bill, as it's not covered under warranty. All this after just 21,000 miles on a car that does mostly highway miles. On top of that, I got a brake inspection done by a local tire/wheel shop afterwards who told that me the rear pads were only 35% used. They weren't able to tell from the fronts as it's supposedly a very complex system and they were prepared to take it apart. I trust these guys and have been dealing with them for 12 years.

Does anyone agree that they're screwing us, or is it possible that these parts need to be changed? The car is not driven hard at all.
Also, the brake sensor light has not come on and the rotors look fine.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2002, 11:58 PM
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Checking the brakes on this car isnt hard if you have a mirror and a flashlight. Rotors can look ok but if they are below minumum in spec then they have to be replaced. A second opinion is normal but most tire shops are not the people to be trying to get a professional opinion on this type of car. If you dont trust your dealer bring it to a independent who is trained and knows the car well.
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2002, 12:03 AM
GermanStar's Avatar
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I would be skeptical, only because of the rear pads. It's not impossible, but it seems very unlikely that rear pads need replacing after only 21K.

Ron
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2002, 12:13 AM
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Front pads usually wear about twice as fast as the rear pads, so if the rear are 35% worn or so as indicated by the tire shop, the fronts may have a descent amount of wear on them already. Only way to know is to take a look and measure.
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:40 AM
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MB pads and rotors do wear out quicker than on most makes, but 21,000 miles is quite quick, even for a Mercedes.

I wouldn't get too excited yet, not until a second opinion is found.

On my MB cars, I've found the fronts and rears wear out at nearly the same time, mostly around the 60-70,000 kilometer (35-40K-miles) mark.

Also, the light comes on for the front pads only, and at about 10% remaining. There's nothing wrong with waiting until the light comes on, as there's still time before metal-metal happens.
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Old 05-22-2002, 01:30 PM
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Jez,

If the car is still braking fine why don't you wait?

When the rotors become too thin they will warp and the the car will shudder when you brake.
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Old 05-22-2002, 02:56 PM
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Min permissible thickess of the pads is 2 mm not including the backing plate. Wear sensor should activate with at least 3 mm remaining. You should be able to look through the wheel with a flashlight and see how thick the pads are.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2002, 03:15 PM
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Interesting. My S430 front pads were replaced at about 34K miles when the warning display came up on the dash. Contrary to most advice, the ind mechanic cut the rotors. So far so good. The ind. mechanic told me the rear pads were close to needing to be replaced and the warning just came on again at 36K miles. I assume the rear pads will need to be replaced.

I had read that the rear should last twice as long as the front but that does not seem to be the case on my car.

My servicing dealer who had the car a few weeks ago after the front brakes were done for a "B" service didn't even mention that the pads were getting low. BTW what did the dealer charge for the brake service?

I wonder what the issue is with the fuel gauge. Mine has been swapped out 2 or 3 times including at the last service visit.

Glenn
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2002, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PhillyS430
Interesting. My S430 front pads were replaced at about 34K miles when the warning display came up on the dash. Contrary to most advice, the ind mechanic cut the rotors.
Glenn
One reason I don't resurface the rotors on my cars is that the cost of turning them comes very close to the price of a new rotor, so why bother. This might be different on the W220. The rotors for my C230 are only $200 for a set of four.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2002, 06:02 PM
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Your S-430 has brake wear indicators that light up the brake light in the instrument cluster when the brakes need replacing. Don't worry about your brakes if they are braking fine until the light comes on. You have a little pad left after the light comes on to give you time to get an appointment and get it fixed.
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2002, 07:04 PM
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sounds like you need 1st hand info-

>take a look-see for yourself, or have the shop show you the pad material remaining (on top of the brake pad base) and the measured rotor thickness- - it's elementary to access wear & estimate the life remaining on these parts

as a safetly issue, it best to have the braking system 100% effective

...if your vehicle's lease is in the sunset, determine what items are wear and tear related (that you are not responsible to address/restore on sunset) and proceed to maintain/service the car w/ this, the sunset period, and safety in mind

hope this helps
-fad
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