Brake feel normal? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Brake feel normal?

My newly purchased 2003 SL55 just had a new ABS system changed by the Mercedes dealer the week before I bought it. It was covered under warranty, I have the paperwork. The pads look nice and thick, the rotors nice and shiny smooth with no grooves.

But the pedal seems like it takes too much pressure to stop. Perhaps this is normal for this car. It stops great, I can even activate the antilock If I press real hard.

Maybe I'm just used to over boosted brakes. Today I drove my Corvette, and the pedal requires very little pressure to stop. I had to use it very carefully not to over brake after driving the SL55 for a week.

Having no reference point for this car, what do you think?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Oops

I just realized the ABC system that was replaced is not the brake system but the hydraulic shock system. But my question remains the same, is this a normal brake feel for these cars.
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:51 PM
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MBZ brakes often feel different from other cars. They tend to be less grabby, and require more pedal to operate. The R230 actually has great brake pedal feel compared to other MBZ's because it uses an electro-hydraulic system called SBC. I find that it's a great combination of feel and fine control. I hate the brakes on most Asian and American makes that are just plain grabby. It's like turning a switch on and off as opposed to a nice analog control.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Grabby

Now that you mention the word grabby, that does describe the brakes on my Corvette. Funny, they felt normal to me until I drove the SL for a week.
I read up on SBC, and it is quite different from other brake systems. The article also mentions that in 2018 MB has extended the warranty on this system to 25 years, so that's good to know.
My SLK 320 didn't have this system, just 2001 to 2011 SL models (and other sedans) and it's been discontinued.
I did notice that the speed sensor tells the system how fast you depressed the pedal. I had to stop suddenly in a parking lot at 5 mph or so when a truck backed out blocking me a few days ago, and it was instant.
I also now see why a slow gentle push on the pedal gives very light braking force. Just a little more push stops the car fine, but it felt strange at first. Now it feels normal, and the Corvette feels grabby.
Thanks, you've set my mind at ease.
Learning all these crazy acronyms takes some time.
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Aside

I just had to mention that my wife, who is normally very car smart, told me to try backing up several times to adjust the brakes, her Dad showed her how to do this, but that was over 50 years ago! Drum brakes are long gone on cars. My how time flies. We did get a good laugh about it though. A good relationship requires a sense of humor.
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I just had to mention that my wife, who is normally very car smart, told me to try backing up several times to adjust the brakes, her Dad showed her how to do this, but that was over 50 years ago! Drum brakes are long gone on cars.
What your wife may know, is that the rear emergency/parking brakes on the R230 ARE drum brakes. Unfortunately, they require manual adjustment, not the backup and brake kind of adjustment.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Really!

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Originally Posted by kbob999 View Post
What your wife may know, is that the rear emergency/parking brakes on the R230 ARE drum brakes. Unfortunately, they require manual adjustment, not the backup and brake kind of adjustment.
I'll be darned. Well, at least I was half right.
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:08 AM
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"Brake by wire" is not dead. It is making a comeback on the Audi E-Tron (though in conjunction with regenerative motor braking) and the Alfa Giulia and Stelvio as well as other cars. It's all the rage now.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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I wonder

I was looking at another SL55 right before I found this one, and I passed because the Carfax showed the pads and rotors had both been changed four times in the space of 40K miles. I wondered if this was from track use and now I wonder if the owner thought the brakes were defective because he/she didn't understand SBC "normal". It takes a bit of reading to understand all the features of this system like in town and traffic jam. A skeptical person might think this was BS from a service writer if they didn't look it up.
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 07:49 AM
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So you got new pads and rotors?
The dealer should have done whatever other problems were detected. Flush fluid?
That would all be done at the same time.
I would go back and have them go over everything they did and ask them to drive and demonstrate what you are complaining about. The car should through you thru the windshield when you hit the brakes. SBC is a super braking system designed to super actuate the brakes
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