'02 C320 Brake Sensor issue - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 09:41 AM
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Question '02 C320 Brake Sensor issue

Replaced the rotors and pads up front about three months ago, and didn't replace the sensors. So naturally the diagnostic screen at startup is showing "1 Malfunction" - Brake Lining Wear.

Read online that replacing the sensors should be considered part of the job. Did that about two weeks ago. Still seeing the Brake Lining message...

Anyone have a thought about this? Similar experience and hopefully a solution?

If it were my car, I would ignore the stupid diagnostic message and rely on my eyes and flashlight to check the pads. But it is my GF's car, and this kind of thing bothers her...

Between the squeal from the rear brakes that apparently has no solution (pads replaced, caliper replaced, rotors cleaned, lines bled of course, etc) and this silly sensor problem, I am near the conclusion that Mercedes brakes just suck at everything aside from performance, and we should just accept it.

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#2 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 10:13 AM
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not true...all depends what kind of brake pads you get...if you get metallic those tend to be less noisy but you will get alot of abrasion...ceramic pads are usually a bit noisy, little to no abrasion and last you longer...
For the brakes not to squeal you need to lubricate the brake pad/caliper interaction either with the lubricant they give you at the store or high temp grease...works like a charm...i for once never have had my brakes squeal ever...
the sensor is very delicate...take them out and look for the break in the wire of the sensor...really, all it is, is a copper, i think, wire that when broken displays the message of a broken circiut... so technically you can just take the sensor wire and cross them to complete the circiut and the message shold go away...
but i would check the sensors for any breaks and/or go back to where you got those sensors and have them exchanged for the new once



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#3 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 11:04 AM
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still searching...

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Originally Posted by Eesjunin View Post
not true...all depends what kind of brake pads you get...if you get metallic those tend to be less noisy but you will get alot of abrasion...ceramic pads are usually a bit noisy, little to no abrasion and last you longer...
For the brakes not to squeal you need to lubricate the brake pad/caliper interaction either with the lubricant they give you at the store or high temp grease...works like a charm...i for once never have had my brakes squeal ever...
the sensor is very delicate...take them out and look for the break in the wire of the sensor...really, all it is, is a copper, i think, wire that when broken displays the message of a broken circiut... so technically you can just take the sensor wire and cross them to complete the circiut and the message shold go away...
but i would check the sensors for any breaks and/or go back to where you got those sensors and have them exchanged for the new once
Thanks for the ideas.

This is the second set of replacement sensors, and it is still throwing up the error. I did check the first set of replacement sensors when I put the second set in, and they were in perfect shape...no breaks or even sharp bends, etc.

The brake noise is a separate issue, but thanks for your ideas. I did use the grease they provided, and that didn't do it. I used the second to best pads available for this car, which should by all indications be squeal free. I think this issue has more to do with the braking system itself. It makes noise when not braking at all. Oddly enough the noise is worst when backing up. Anyone think this is related to the parking brake shoes?

Here's an interesting note about the noise from the back brakes: after driving on the highway for about 10-15 minutes, I stopped, and felt the back rotors. The back passenger's side rotor was fairly cool, and the back driver's side rotor was absolutely scorching hot. I hadn't been braking much, so I came to the conclusion that the pads were dragging...which would make you think that perhaps the caliper is bad right? Wrong. That caliper is brand new and actuates smoothly by hand.

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 05:19 PM
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Re: the sensors, they actually work by grounding. Just remove them. If you still have a light, then you have a problem in the circuit somewhere else. I can't imagine your car would store those but try the reboot (disconnect battery, step on brake for 30 secs, reconnect battery -- all with the key out of the ignition of course) and see if that clears it.

Re: the noise, it sure sounds like you have something dragging. Did you pull the rotor and inspect the parking brake? They can be damaged by people putting the wrong size lug in, might have something rubbing in there.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 08:26 PM
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Hot wheel = dragging brake. A caliper can feel smooth and still be bad, if you exchange it and the brake stays hot you might have a bad brake line to that corner.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gregs210 View Post
Re: the sensors, they actually work by grounding. Just remove them. If you still have a light, then you have a problem in the circuit somewhere else. I can't imagine your car would store those but try the reboot (disconnect battery, step on brake for 30 secs, reconnect battery -- all with the key out of the ignition of course) and see if that clears it.

Re: the noise, it sure sounds like you have something dragging. Did you pull the rotor and inspect the parking brake? They can be damaged by people putting the wrong size lug in, might have something rubbing in there.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
Greg - Thanks for the info on doing a reset - I have been wondering about that. Thanks also for the info about removing the sensor - since I always check the pads and rotors by hand, I really don't need them!

I am thinking the parking brake is the issue with the noise/heat. I haven't removed the back rotors so I may do that and see if there is an obvious problem with the brake shoes/cable/etc. I suspect there is an issue with the cable, as when I set the brake, then release it, the release feels "mushy" (i.e. there is no positive clunk as with most cars that have foot actuated parking brakes).

Do you happen to know if there is a return spring or something similar that is responsible for releasing the parking brake shoes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by zeet View Post
Hot wheel = dragging brake. A caliper can feel smooth and still be bad, if you exchange it and the brake stays hot you might have a bad brake line to that corner.
Zeet - right. That is what I concluded, but the caliper actuates well by hand, and by pedal if you watch it with the wheel off. Bleeding the line to that corner went well (no junk, no excessive discoloration of the fluid), so I don't think that the line is a problem. I think I am going to take that rotor off this weekend and check out the parking brake shoes.


Thanks for your thoughts and ideas - I love this site!

When is a spring compressor not just a spring compressor? When it is a MERCEDES spring compressor
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 08:20 AM
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I am NEW to the Benz world. I just purchased a 2001 C320, reading several threads on here I am a bit worried I have made a bad purchase. I have already delt with the seat issues and now my brake lining light has come on. Is it as easy as jsut replacing the pads and sensors? How much should that cost me, labor not included?
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Houston315 View Post
I am NEW to the Benz world. I just purchased a 2001 C320, reading several threads on here I am a bit worried I have made a bad purchase. I have already delt with the seat issues and now my brake lining light has come on. Is it as easy as jsut replacing the pads and sensors? How much should that cost me, labor not included?
Welcome Houston!

Hope you are at least enjoying driving your C320, because as you may find with owning that car, performance will cost you some time, energy and $. Performance cars in general have never been made to preserve their replaceable parts (ie brake pads, suspension components, etc).

Your '01 C320 is certainly not a Honda or Toyota in terms of parts replacement. But then, it should drive a hell of a lot better than most Honda and Toyota cars...

I have done a fair amount of work on my GF's C320 wagon, but I have to say that with a few small exceptions, the car is a pleasure to work on. Well built components, sturdy hardware, etc. make doing something like working on the suspension much more pleasant.

Before diving into this work - are you comfortable and confident working on a brake system? Remember this is quite possibly the most critical system in your car to your safety and the safety of other drivers.

Depending on your mileage, you likely need to replace your front rotors with your pads. OEM Mercedes rotors CANNOT be turned/resurfaced. I definitely had to replace the front rotors on mine - they were cupped really badly, and the new pads would not have made contact except for at the outside edges.

Plan on $200-250 for the whole front job - depends on where you buy your rotors, and what grade/type of pads you buy. I recommend you buy your rotors locally so that you can return them easily if they aren't exactly right. Check your rear pads too while you are at it. They don't wear as fast but may still be due.

Make sure you have all the tools you need to do this job before you begin. Also, something that is often overlooked in this job - crack the bleeder screw valve before you press your calipers in to set the new pads. You don't want to push that old fluid back up into the system. Also, you should bleed the brake system fully when you are done with this job (search this forum for the procedure), and again every 2 years.

Good luck!

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