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2007 C230 Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,

This morning the brake wear light came on. I'm a DIY kind of guy and would appreciate any help:


1 - If the rotor is thick enough, with no obvious grooves, is it acceptable to just replace the pads? The car doesn't vibrate under braking at any speed. The deceleration is smooth and controlled.

2 - I'm going to flush the brake fluid. What name brand brake fluid do you guys recommend? In my previous German cars I've use DOT 4 Pentosin or ATE. Can I use any of these fluids or should I buy the one the MB Dealer sells?

3 - How many brake wear sensors does this car have? My old Benz had 1 sensor on each of the front rotors.

4 - Any particular website with good prices/delivery for the parts needed for this job?

5 - As usual, any tips/recommendations are welcome!


Thank you for your help!
 

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2005 c230 Sport Sedan
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1 - If the rotor is thick enough, with no obvious grooves, is it acceptable to just replace the pads? The car doesn't vibrate under braking at any speed. The deceleration is smooth and controlled.
If you want to keep this a very low-cost job, then keeping the existing rotors should be fine, and the project will take you a lot less time. Aside from cleaning you should be able to change pads in a couple minutes per wheel once the rim is off the hub.

2 - I'm going to flush the brake fluid. What name brand brake fluid do you guys recommend? In my previous German cars I've use DOT 4 Pentosin or ATE. Can I use any of these fluids or should I buy the one the MB Dealer sells?
I thought DOT4+ is the only approved brake fluid, and pretty much the only place you can get that is from Mercedes. Everyone one these forums has always recommended spending the $16 for a quart of Mercedes-Benz brake fluid. I just bought mine from the local dealership.

3 - How many brake wear sensors does this car have? My old Benz had 1 sensor on each of the front rotors.
I can't confirm on the 2007, but on my 2005 there is one one sensor on the entire car, right front wheel.

4 - Any particular website with good prices/delivery for the parts needed for this job?
I bought through PartsGeek, used Pagid pads. I also bought Zimmerman coated rotors and those are reported to be a good match for each other. The Pagid pads are not dustless, though. You should search the forums for many recommendations here.

Gents,
5 - As usual, any tips/recommendations are welcome!
Buy and use the following:

* brake cleaner ... buy 1-2 cans, for $3-4 each. This is a "wonder drug" for working on brakes, it removes the brake dust and grime and leaves no residue. Spray liberally and often on anything you want to be clean. Use a drip pan underneath to catch the dirty fluid .. the fluid will evaporate after a few minutes leaving all of the dust residue to throw out.

* stiff toothbrush ... when you are cleaning out the caliper cavities with the brake cleaner, the toothbrush will allow you to gently remove the caked on dust and dirt without harming the rotor or rubber caliper dust boots.

* brake paste ... to coat the back and sides of the brake pad backing plate, which helps to prevent squealing. Mercedes has this in small packets ($2 each) or a tube ($15?). One packet per wheel should be enough.

* Latex gloves ... $2 for a 10-pak. Brake dust is really, really messy. If you don't want to have mechanics hands for two days following, I would wear a set of gloves and change them after you do each wheel.
 

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2013 E350 Sport sedan
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108 Posts
I paid $750 for a complete brake job yesterday. The small Asian shop replaced the front pads and front drilled rotors. They replaced the rear pads, rotors and the sensors (don't know how many). They used all OEM parts. My 2005 c230 sport has 77k miles. The parts alone were $510+. The job was done same day. The guy said you have to replace everything and if you just do the pads, they will squeak.
 

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at 67k miles, I would replace the rotors at the same time as they are probably close to the wear limit. the rears are inexpensive. the fronts are kind of expensive if you have the cross drilled.

I just replaced all 4 rotors/pads at 50k miles. it was second time for rotors/pads in front and first in back. My brakes wear fast because I have done some lapping days.

you can often find the MB brake fluid on ebay for cheap (I think I got 6 liters for $30 or something like that).

the number of wear sensors varies by year. some cars have 2 some have 1. you only need the sensor if it set off the brake service warning on dash.

autopartsaz.com is a good online store. I paid $377 free shipping for f/r rotors and pads and wear sensors.
 

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2005 C230 Kompressor Sedan
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Just replaced all of my pads and rotors. At 60K, my front rotors where toast. Only had one senser on the front passenger caliper. Easy to do yourself, just bring a Big Freaking Hammer (BFH) to get the rotors off. Got all my pads/rotors from rockauto. I used DOT 4. Don't worry about the brake sensorse, by Akebono pads and the sensors will come with.
 

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2007 C230 Sport
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Discussion Starter #6
Prices...

Just to have a baseline for comparison purposes I called the dealer (MB Greenway in Houston):

Rotor: $145.30 each
Pads: $115.00 set
Sensor: $ 8.00
Brake Fluid: $ 16.00 for 1 liter

Total (tax inclusive): $ 465.64 (all in stock)

rmeruopean provides the same genuine mercedes parts for $402 (zero tax, zero shipping) but it will take 4 days or so to get them.


I'll follow up with any decision...
 

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2010 C200 CGI /W203/SLK230/W202/230E/280SE
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Check tirerack.com for pads and rotors - about $65 for Akebono dustless and about $65 each for rotors last time I looked

Rotors - if there is a big ridge on the outer circumference, it would be a good idea to check to see if getting close to min. thickness

If using the old rotors, scuff them savagely to get rid of the glaze

Recommend using dustless pads - whatever brand.

Oberoi
 

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1 - If the rotor is thick enough, with no obvious grooves, is it acceptable to just replace the pads? The car doesn't vibrate under braking at any speed. The deceleration is smooth and controlled.
Yes, but the key is "thick enough". You need to check them. If they are still within spec, you can keep the rotors and just replace the pads. However, when doing this, I highly recommend that you remove the rotors from the car and "knock them down" - this is the process of sanding them down to remove the shine. The bijective is not to smooth grooves, but just get rid of the shine so the new pads will properly seat. Oh, and I also recommend using the "heat" method for breaking in the pads, that is, you drive slowly while dragging the brakes to warm them up, then do a dozen hard 60-0 stops just short of ABS, but don't leave the pads touching the hot rotors after the stop. This means you need to find a good venue for this where you won't have to sit still at the end of each run.


2 - I'm going to flush the brake fluid. What name brand brake fluid do you guys recommend? In my previous German cars I've use DOT 4 Pentosin or ATE. Can I use any of these fluids or should I buy the one the MB Dealer sells?
I like ATE. It exceeds MB specs and I alternate between the blue and gold at each change, making it easier to see when it's fully flushed.


3 - How many brake wear sensors does this car have? My old Benz had 1 sensor on each of the front rotors.
Usually one front and one rear. But not always. Some have only one front sensor.

4 - Any particular website with good prices/delivery for the parts needed for this job?
I actually bought Centric D+S rotors and Posi-Quiet ceramic pads on eBay. I've had them for about two years. The slots make them a bit noisy, but they stop very well - much better than OEM and no dust.
 

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2007 C230 Sport
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Discussion Starter #9
Fluid

Rodney,

"I like ATE. It exceeds MB specs and I alternate between the blue and gold at each change, making it easier to see when it's fully flushed."

That is very clever!!
 

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Yes, it is clever. I wish I could claim that, but the good folks at ATE came up with it. There is one small caveat, though. For some reason, according to Tire Rack, it's not street legal in Florida to have blue brake fluid. Go figure!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thickness

Tonight I measured the rotor thickness: 26.34 mm; the spec engraved states a minimum thickness of 26 mm. I decided to keep the rotors and just remove the glaze with sand paper. I will measure the thickness periodically and will replace them when the 26 mm is reached.

I'm also going to flush the brake fluid. The Haynes manual states that the proper sequence for bleeding is:

RR 1st; LR 2nd; RF 3rd and LF last. Is this the right sequence?
 

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If you plan to use a one-man suction bleeder (that's what I have), be prepared - it takes a lot of pumping! The top-side pressure bleeders are much easier to use. Or, just have a friend press the brake pedal. Oh, and before changing, fully compress the caliper pistons with the bleeder open to get all the old fluid out (but you probably already knew that).
 

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the non street legal thing is because DOT regulations require fluids to be certain colors (so you don't accidentally mix hydraulic equipment fluid with brake fluid or something). it has no effect on safety or performance. the blue dye in the super blue I found was so ridiculously strong that tiny amount of residue in the m/c would dye the amber replacement fluid blue, making the blue color useless for knowing when the old fluid is out.

Yes, it is clever. I wish I could claim that, but the good folks at ATE came up with it. There is one small caveat, though. For some reason, according to Tire Rack, it's not street legal in Florida to have blue brake fluid. Go figure!
 

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Nanny State. I'm surprised it's Florida and not California, though. :) I have not had any problems changing from blue to gold. The blue dye does still hang in there bit and slightly tin the new gold fluid, but the color change is obvious enough to see when the old is flushed out.
 

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Tonight I measured the rotor thickness: 26.34 mm; the spec engraved states a minimum thickness of 26 mm. I decided to keep the rotors and just remove the glaze
26.34 is pretty close to minimum - better to change now?

Oberoi
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Changed the pads

26.34 is pretty close to minimum - better to change now?

Oberoi
I normally would change rotors. I'm hesitant to spend more than strictly necessary at this time: I've had the car for a month and I've changed the MAF, brakes and now I know my engine is part of the "balance shaft" affected group.

To top it all of, while flushing the brake fluid I removed the RR tire and found the inside edge completely bald while the outer edge in good shape. The other 3 tires are wearing evenly.

What am I looking at here? Is this just a matter of a simple alignment? Is this the "normal" wear patter on these cars? Am I looking at some mistery suspension damage? I checked all the bushings and suspension components and it everything seems to be in order.

The car is due for a transmission service, spark plugs, differential.
 

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I assume the minimum spec isn't the minimum thickness before a rotor will break ... there should be plenty of engineering margin of safety built in. This should be the spec you measure against at the time you change pads, which means that thickness should accomodate furtehr wear to the disk for an entire new set of pads.

Regarding rear tire wear -- isn't that a toe-in problem? These cars have a cam bolt in the rear suspension ... here's a URL covering the location and adjustment:

Adjusting rear toe W203

And if you want to do a poor man's alignment check, here is what I do:

For Camber: park the car on a level surface and then hold a 24" level (or smaller level fastened to a 24" piece of wood) against the rear tires vertically, and then pull the straightedge away from the top of the tire until it's perfectly vertical to see how much they angle in.

For Toe-In: Make sure the front wheels are pointing straight ahead. Take a long string and stretch it taught from the rear of the rear tire to the front of the front tire, at axle height. Assuming there is a bit of toe-in, and because the front track is a little over an inch wider than the rear, the string should not touch the front of the rear tire -- mine have a gap of around 1/8 - 3/16 " on both sides.

In both cases you may not get a very precise camber or toe-in measure, but you should be able to tell pretty quickly if there is a difference between the left and right side rear tire alignment.
 

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I normally would change rotors. I'm hesitant to spend more than strictly necessary at this time: I've had the car for a month and I've changed the MAF, brakes and now I know my engine is part of the "balance shaft" affected group.
Remember, the balance shaft problem is that it was made from material that is too soft, causing the main drive timing gear to wear prematurely. Premature could be 30K or 300K miles too early. While I recommend most people avoid buying a car within the affected range, just because you have one doesn't mean it's the end. If you're going to lose sleep over it, then trade it. If not, then don't ignore other needed maintenance just because you think the balance shaft might fail.

To top it all of, while flushing the brake fluid I removed the RR tire and found the inside edge completely bald while the outer edge in good shape. The other 3 tires are wearing evenly.

What am I looking at here? Is this just a matter of a simple alignment? Is this the "normal" wear patter on these cars? Am I looking at some mistery suspension damage? I checked all the bushings and suspension components and it everything seems to be in order.
The exact same tire did the same thing on our C240. A 4-wheel alignment solved it. I went ahead and paid for the lifetime alignment at Big 10 (this car is driven by a teenager, so I figure it's going to get abused).


The car is due for a transmission service, spark plugs, differential.
I would get the transmission serviced ASAP. It's way overdue. If you want to DIY, it's really not that hard. You can but a very nice pump for under $200 or you can "build one" with a cheap fluid transfer pump and a $40 threaded filler adapter. Oil, filter, gasket and "consumable" parts will cost about $100.

It's not time for spark plugs - they come at 91K miles. And the differential, there is no official interval for that, but I wouldn't touch it until at least 120K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Maintenance

Rodney,

I've been considering paying for the Firestone lifetime alignment. This car will need frequent alignments and that seems like a cost-effective, viable option. The question is...can Firestone (or other generic chain like Sears, Goodyear, etc) properly align this car (tools, parts and know-how)? I have my 2 Hondas with the lifetime Firestone alignment and they seem to do a good job....but heck...those are plain vanilla type of cars.

The transmission service is next in the list. The MB dealer wants $385...I need to verify if it's a complete flush (+filter)...or just a quick drain and fill.

The service advisor (cute redhaired girl) said the spark plugs need to be changed at 91k miles or 5 years ($260; no thanks...I'll do that for $65). She also recommended changing the differential fluid at this time for $139....could be true or bs.


Thanks for any recommendation!
 
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