2011 C300 4MATIC - creaking noise when getting in/out of car after rain - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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2011 C300 4MATIC - creaking noise when getting in/out of car after rain

First of all thank you for taking time to read this post. I did search benzworld.org for answers before posting this. I found loads of post which deals with creaking noises but nothing specific to my problem.
I got my new 2011 C300 less than two weeks back.

Scenarioriven the car in light to moderate rain. Park the car in my garage and getting in/out of car causes it to squeak like a 18th century carriage.

Happened twice. Even opening the door (both driver and passenger side) causes this squeaking. Five minutes later in the garage the squeaking sound has completely disappeared. Literally jumping in and out of the car then doesn't reproduce the squeaking noise. The squeaking was fairly loud that if it happened outside my garage, I'd hear it over background noise.

I have less than 500km on the odometer and have driven on even surfaced roads with a few potholes. It never makes any squeaking noise driving on the road or when it went over a pothole.

So some of my theories include:
I didn't press the parking brake hard enough
The brakes are auto-drying (??? <- i sound stupid here)
My garage is somehow rejecting my Merc ()

I wanted to ask on this forum before asking my dealer who would undoubtedly want me to bring the car in for inspection (=$$$ & wasted time). For all I know it could just be the new car breaking in (and I hope so).

Any opinions shared will be greatly appreciated. BTW, I live in Vancouver, BC and we get plenty of rain all year round. I figured if this happens three times in a row starting now, I'll take it to the dealer for inspection and cook up a storm.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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The folks at BMW:

Creaking Noise From Suspension - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com

Seem to be discussing a similar problem to mine and reckon it is the parking brake. I'll test the car without the parking brake (don't need it in my flat garage). It'd be nice to just peg this on the parking brakes and move on with life.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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A MB service coordinator returned my call and I had a long chat with him regarding the problem. His explanation is as follows:

The MB has a dual brake system. One is the regular brakes and the second one is the parking/e-brake. The parking/e-brake is a simple cable pulled system which can be used to slow down the car and brake it in the event the main brake system fails. The parking/e-brake can also be used as a parking brake to prevent the car from rolling once parked. In auto-transmission cars he said that there is no need to apply the parking/e-brake when the car is parked on an even/flat surface. But it is a good idea to use the parking/e-brake because it ensures that the parking/e-brake is constantly used and won't rust from being left unused (very important during an actual emergency!!).

When I park the car after having driven in rain and apply the parking/e-brake because the parking/e-brake is hot & wet and if not applied properly it tends to creak. Especially when wet, the creaking sound becomes more pronounced; other times it happens but is not pronounced and hence ignored. The coordinator's explanation for the creaking was that when getting in/out of the car, the car tends to move ever so slightly and the creaking sound is the parking brake just doing its job preventing the car from moving. This is a common occurrence in disc brakes apparently and this particular complain is common with Benz owners apparently.

The coordinator suggested I do the following:

1. When it rains to park without applying the parking/e-brakes. If there is a creaking sound at this point then something else is wrong and I need to bring the car into the dealer.

2. Apply the parking brakes using the following strategy:
a) Park the car and put the gear in P mode pressing down on the brakes
b) Very importantly while pressing down on the brakes, I need to engage the parking/e-brake
c) Stop the engine

I asked him that at regular times if I don't use the parking/e-brake then wouldn't it put unnecessary stress on the transmission. Isn't it more efficient to use the parking/e-brake to hold the car in place. His opinion is that the additional stress on the transmission doesn't effect the life-span of the car too much. Irrespective of that I plan on using the parking/e-brake rain or shine. It's a good habit I picked up and not willing to give up. I can deal with the creaking I guess as long as it doesn't happen often. It's also a very difficult problem to demonstrate to MB because it is intermittent and lasts for a few minutes only (till the brakes dry up) and they might just think I'm just crying wolf.

If there's further developments on this then I shall update this thread to help anyone else having this same problem.
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