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2000 Black E320 4Matic
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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine took his E320 to the dealership for his regular maintenance. The mechanic told him that his brake pads/rotors had around 30-40% life left and that his rotors were "cracking" (some vertical lines were becoming visible on the rotors).

Anyway he got priced at around 1k for everything being replaced and he asked me what would parts would be damaged if he didn't replace them right away? (brakes pads/rotors/wear indicators/calipers the more info the better)

When I test drove his car the brakes seemed fine, no squeaking or squealing of the pads nor did the car have any vibration when braking... Any other symptoms I might be missing?

Thanks in advance guys.
 

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2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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Not to be a smarty pants, but the parts that could be broken if you do not replace defective brakes pretty much encompass the whole car, since stopping is vital to surviving.

I would get a second opinion. I have seen a lot of issues in my 20+ years of owning Mercedes, but never have seen a cracked rotor. Not saying it doesn't happen, just haven't seen it. Might even be worth removing a rotor and taking it to a good indy mechanic for their thoughts.
 

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30-40% life left and that his rotors were "cracking" (some vertical lines were becoming visible on the rotors).
Well you did not miss any symptoms and if you did not have any cracking on the rotors, I would have probebly driven it till brake indicators come on.

However, I do not like cracking on my rotors and once its been detected it is highly recommended that you do the brake work for safty purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Srry guys i should have been more careful with my use of words there. The rotors aren't actually cracked - that was just the term the mechanic used. When I took off his wheels and ran my hands through them they are vertical lines that are only visible and can't even be felt.
 

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Srry guys i should have been more careful with my use of words there. The rotors aren't actually cracked - that was just the term the mechanic used. When I took off his wheels and ran my hands through them they are vertical lines that are only visible and can't even be felt.
What do you mean by "vertical" lines? Are those lines that run along the radii? It is rather normal for rotors to develop lines/grooves/etc. that are basically progressive concentric circles on the face of the rotor. But I'm not sure what you mean by vertical lines.

I would take the car to an indy for a second opinion. Speaking of which, there is precious little that I'd go to the dealer for anyway, get a quote from the indy while you're there, but let him make the call on what's "needed."

This is also not a particularly difficult job to do. (Read through the DIY in the stickies.) Even if you own nothing, you could buy the parts and tools, including a decent jack and stands, and still be out of pocket for substantially less than the 1K quote.
 

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What do you mean by "vertical" lines? Are those lines that run along the radii? It is rather normal for rotors to develop lines/grooves/etc. that are basically progressive concentric circles on the face of the rotor. But I'm not sure what you mean by vertical lines.

I would take the car to an indy for a second opinion. Speaking of which, there is precious little that I'd go to the dealer for anyway, get a quote from the indy while you're there, but let him make the call on what's "needed."

This is also not a particularly difficult job to do. (Read through the DIY in the stickies.) Even if you own nothing, you could buy the parts and tools, including a decent jack and stands, and still be out of pocket for substantially less than the 1K quote.
I know what you mean by concentric circles etc, but I've also seen the lines across the disc as related by the OP...they are nothing to worry about.

As he says they can be seen but not felt and as such are more akin to a mark left by the edge of the pads at rest than anything else.
 

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Check the stickies on the brake job. Excellent DIY posted there by Check Codes and that is what I used.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Buy aftermarket (better) brake components, set aside 3-4 hours if he has never done this, and thank Check Codes after it is done. I am a very very very very novice diyer, actually a douche and even I did this job so easily a couple of years back. Brakes are perfect, not one squeak. I bought Zimmerman rotors and Akebono brake pads. Excellent stopping power with almost nonexistent brake dust. Even if you have never done this, you CAN do this. If he still feels uncomfortable, take the parts to an indie. He can get this done for 1/3-1/2 the price dealer has quoted
 

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I know what you mean by concentric circles etc, but I've also seen the lines across the disc as related by the OP...they are nothing to worry about.

As he says they can be seen but not felt and as such are more akin to a mark left by the edge of the pads at rest than anything else.
I'm always hesitant to assume anything on the forum. Especially when it starts off by talking about cracks and goes to vertical lines. ;)

In any event, I'd still suggest he get a second opinion, particularly since he seems unsure about exactly what he's seeing and not feeling. It's probably nothing, and I'd hardly be surprised if the dealer drew lines on them. :p:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I would have never suggested him to get the work done by the dealer. He's just paranoid of what he heard from the mechanic, I figured it wasn't a big issue and nothing was wrong but I wanted to post it on here so I could hear what you guys had to say.
 

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Rotors do wear out with round lines, so without a picture (?) it is hard to determinate what we are talking about.
Than per my experience over 75% of rotors are replaced still having over 50% of life in them, so spending 4 digits on mechanic feeling would not be my high priority.
 

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If your friend is not a DIY's - respectable components OE equivalent or better - can be found all the way around rotors/pads affordably... oft mentioned autohausaz.com or any other credible source ... any competant brake/tire shot can do the job in 2 genuine shop hrs..make sure they handtighten lugs and don't thrash those out..
 

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I would get a second opinion from a trusted indy.
Four things I never ignore:

Brakes
Steering
Suspension
Tires

A failure in any of these may cause loss of control and serious harm (accident).

It is worth the time to have the rotors checked out and corrected if indeed the cracks exist. Easy DIY or inexpensive @ non MB dealer shop.
Maybe the prevuious owner used cheap aftermarket rotors?.
 

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A friend of mine took his E320 to the dealership for his regular maintenance. The mechanic told him that his brake pads/rotors had around 30-40% life left and that his rotors were "cracking" (some vertical lines were becoming visible on the rotors).

Anyway he got priced at around 1k for everything being replaced and he asked me what would parts would be damaged if he didn't replace them right away? (brakes pads/rotors/wear indicators/calipers the more info the better)

When I test drove his car the brakes seemed fine, no squeaking or squealing of the pads nor did the car have any vibration when braking... Any other symptoms I might be missing?

Thanks in advance guys.
The photo below (btw not mine) is obviously a fractured rotor and will hopefully scare the hell out of your friend. Before the rotor experienced failure, stress cracks started in that location - most likely barely visable to the inexperienced observer. Metallic cracks will propagate with continued stresses (such as heat and torsion). Eventually, the cracks grow in size to be noticable in brake pulsations and/or noise.

My vote is your friend was lucky to have this diagnosed before symptoms became manifest.

$1k is excessive for a pair of rotors and pads. A good indie can do a pair for less. Don't know why the calipers would need to be replaced. If the price is everything on all four wheels plus calipers, then it is not a bad price. Ask them to throw in brake fluid exchange.

A quick turnaround time for this repair is a matter of personal safety for the driver, passengers, and anyone else on the road.
 

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The picture above shows slotted rotor with signs of high temperatures on it, meaning somebody was braking very hard and likely using metallic pads. Those things don't happen to normal users and I can only guess how the slots participated in the crack development.
 

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The photo below (btw not mine) is obviously a fractured rotor and will hopefully scare the hell out of your friend. Before the rotor experienced failure, stress cracks started in that location - most likely barely visable to the inexperienced observer. Metallic cracks will propagate with continued stresses (such as heat and torsion). Eventually, the cracks grow in size to be noticable in brake pulsations and/or noise.

My vote is your friend was lucky to have this diagnosed before symptoms became manifest.

$1k is excessive for a pair of rotors and pads. A good indie can do a pair for less. Don't know why the calipers would need to be replaced. If the price is everything on all four wheels plus calipers, then it is not a bad price. Ask them to throw in brake fluid exchange.

A quick turnaround time for this repair is a matter of personal safety for the driver, passengers, and anyone else on the road.
No reason to instill the fear of God in him, and you're assuming that there are actual cracks, when it seems he may have misspoken.

As far as luck goes, I think the rest of us consider that the friend's "luck" is that he now knows that dealership, or at least that mechanic, is willing to stretch the truth to make a few bucks. ;)

OP: Whatever else you glean from this thread, this point has been repeated by more than just me, and I think it is the single most salient thing in here:

GET A SECOND OPINION.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The photo below (btw not mine) is obviously a fractured rotor and will hopefully scare the hell out of your friend. Before the rotor experienced failure, stress cracks started in that location - most likely barely visable to the inexperienced observer. Metallic cracks will propagate with continued stresses (such as heat and torsion). Eventually, the cracks grow in size to be noticable in brake pulsations and/or noise.

My vote is your friend was lucky to have this diagnosed before symptoms became manifest.

$1k is excessive for a pair of rotors and pads. A good indie can do a pair for less. Don't know why the calipers would need to be replaced. If the price is everything on all four wheels plus calipers, then it is not a bad price. Ask them to throw in brake fluid exchange.

A quick turnaround time for this repair is a matter of personal safety for the driver, passengers, and anyone else on the road.

That's a nice photo and if I saw that on his rotors I would have sent him to an auto parts store to buy pads/rotors and switch them right then.

He went to another mechanic and the mechanic just told him that it was nothing to worry about, just signs that the rotors are needing to be changed when he changes his pads next but will still last him at least 6 months of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah the guy measured it and checked :p
I told him to make sure the guy actually checks it out and not just look at it.

Thanks for all the responses and replies guys, really appreciate how quick you all were to give advice and opinions on the matter!
 
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