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Old 10-22-2010, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BRAKE PAD WEAR LIGHT IS ON...HAVE QUESTION

I thought I would turn to my fellow MLers for some honest opinions and answers. My yellow brake wear indicator light has started blinking recently. I have a 2003 ML350 with 73,000 miles on it and I have been the owner for about 3 years. Is the light refering to my front pads or rear or both? What are the best pads to get? There is no noise coming from the brakes so far and no pulling.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Brake wear indicator touches the rotor after >50% of one of 2 pads is worn so there will not necessarily be any metal-on-metal noise for quite a while. There are sensors on front and rear brakes so it could be either causing the indicator. On my 430, the rears wear faster for some reason, so you might check them 1st unless they were the last ones repaired.

This is an easy repair if you are comfortable with jacking up the car and removing a wheel. If not, pay to have it done - brakes are important.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gwwaterman View Post
...On my 430, the rears wear faster for some reason, so you might check them 1st unless they were the last ones repaired....
You probably do more high speed braking or highway driving than low speed braking/city driving. Here's what I have squeezed out from various MB techs. During high speed braking, the ML applies more brake force to the rear brakes to minimize vehicle dive. During low speed braking, it does what most cars do, dump more load on the front brakes.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would suggest you have a MB indie, or competant shop look at it, with 73K you may or may not need disc replacement if they have worn down.

The good thing is ML brake parts from internet sources (yes, I understand about Hawaii freight) are not necessarily a high premium.

You have had good results from the OE MB pads (which are not Mintex like some internet houses claim ) but Textar which is better grade OE pad, then Pagid is best grade OE pad. Pagid ownes all three companies, but the pad quality is different.

You need to check the rears, to see if they have a sensor back there, or ask a MB dealer with your VIN #, since there are (2) types of rear pads for your year ML.

I use a semi-metallic pad made by Posi-Quiet, I have had good luck with them, same pad is made suplied by Centric.

Others have gone to ceramic with good result.

If you need discs, you might check autohausaz.com, and see their shipping policy or call them for shipping quote - they creidt the Continental freight, and you pay the difference cost for Hawaii.

Keep the beat !
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I just did my fronts this weekend and found it interesting that only the left front had a wear sensor. I honestly did not look over the right side to see if the connector existed, but I would assume not. Have no idea is there is a similar situation in the rear. I used OEM pads by the way.

If you do decide to do it yourself (it is very simple), the only pointer I have is to use a large screwdriver to pry the bottom of the pads off first and rotate the whole caliper off as if it were hinged at the top. I got the hint from the M-Class Outpost.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I just did my fronts this weekend and found it interesting that only the left front had a wear sensor. I honestly did not look over the right side to see if the connector existed, but I would assume not. Have no idea is there is a similar situation in the rear. I used OEM pads by the way.

If you do decide to do it yourself (it is very simple), the only pointer I have is to use a large screwdriver to pry the bottom of the pads off first and rotate the whole caliper off as if it were hinged at the top. I got the hint from the M-Class Outpost.
My 1999 ML320 have only one sensor on the FRT left side and one senser on the rear left side
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks for the great advice!
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My 1999 ML320 have only one sensor on the FRT left side and one senser on the rear left side
my ml55 has sensors on every wheel
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gwwaterman View Post
Brake wear indicator touches the rotor after >50% of one of 2 pads is worn
My ML320 (2 sensors) and ML500 (4 sensors) start indicating worn out pads at about 20 - 25% of remaining thickness.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah Mike - that sounds like more than 50%
Point being, if the wear sensor sets the brake light on, you don't have to run to your favorite indie or good buddy w/ tools to fix this one. You'll likely get more than a couple thousand miles before metal-to-metal. Plenty of time to mail order replacement pads.
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