Meat grinder noise, choppy ride, and too much brake dust - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
Vehicle: W124 (E280) model 1994
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Meat grinder noise, choppy ride, and too much brake dust

Dear all,

I have these three issues with my car (W124, E280 model 1994) that I would like to sort out myself over the next couple of weeks, they have been with the car since I bought it so I am not really aware of any background:

1- There is an intermitent but repeating noise that comes out from the engine bay, right underneath the windshield on the right side (the brakes master vicinity area). The sound is very similar to a meat grinder or some machine like that, but is completely independent from the engine. One time it came on while I only had the key in contact position (number 2 position), the engine wasn't running. Is there any experience with what that could be?

2- The ride is quite choppy and hard, and while it was lifted I noticed that the shock absorbers were Bilstein and yellow. Now I checked on their website and yellow means that the shocks are sport, which would explain the hard ride. But what it doesn't explain is the crashing noise that I get with the smallest potholes. Is this a shock absorber problem that will be solved with a swap to original valving shocks, or is there another problem I have to address?

3- I am getting way too much brake dust on my alloys, specifically the front. It doesn't wash easy, it needs that special cleaner which is ok, but then it is clearly visible again in about two weeks. I am concerned however it is indicating a problem I need to address, or perhaps is my driving too aggressive (the dust is mainly on the front alloys, much more than the back)?

Any input would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2011, 02:12 PM
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1. Is your fuel pump running continuously or intermittently?
2. I haven't used those shocks but it is certainly possible that sport shocks would have a harsh impact on potholes, that's not uncommon of a complaint at all. BUT, it could be other things, can you have an expert check your suspension for play, movement, rotten rubber, etc.?
3. Brake dust, especially on the fronts (which get a bigger workout as the weight pitches forward in a stop) is not only common, but the easiest way to identify a Mercedes. I'm joking, but yes, it happens to us all. There are other pads to buy with less dust but there seems to always be some tradeoff. I figure Mercedes engineers know what works best and if they could manage the same braking power with no dust they would do it. All that dust actually means your brakes are working incredibly well, the speed is scrubbed and that energy is turned into friction and heat, hence the dust. The best thing to do is wax the wheels themselves (but not your tires of course) which will make removal of the dust very easy in the future., I clean mine about once a week, and just take the hose out with a brush and rinse them off, no soap is even needed. The specialty wheel cleaners you should be careful with and use only the sort that it is made for, ie: alloys, clear coated alloys, painted wheels, chrome, etc. Some use stringer acids than others to clean, but most can cause damage to the finish if left on for more than a minute, or less. Try to look at this one as part of the Mercedes ownership experience.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2011, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Hi DirectLA, thanks for the input.

1- My fuel pump is working fine, I have no hiccups while driving or delayed starting. But shouldn't the fuel pump be located in front of the gas tank? Or is the noise something you suspect is caused indirectly by the fuel pump?
2- Thanks, I'll keep it in mind then for a full checkup.
3- I had a string of BMW's before and the brake dust was a clean up every few months, it is a surprise for me to know this amount is normal for Mercedes. But you are indeed right, the braking strength is actually very impressive. I only thought the extra dust might be meaning irregular friction that is eroding away the pads too quickly. Great tip on the wax layer, that should work perfectly.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 04:47 AM
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Do you have ABS?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flyboyike View Post
Do you have ABS?
Yes, I do.
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