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2002 ML500
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is it common for the rear brakes to last only 20,000 miles? I installed premium pads and they are already to the indicators.
The brake lights came on in the dash and sure enough the rear brakes are shot.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. My wife is the only driver and she drives like a snail.

Wayne
 

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Premium Member
2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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301 Posts
Did you change the rotors too, or just the pads. If you install the pads on bad rotors, the pads will wear out quickly.

I have read issues with brakes wearing out quickly on the ML, but I have 30,000 on mine and they still look fine.
 

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99 ML430 - 13 328i
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1,112 Posts
I think i changed all of my pads and rotors last year, maybe around the same time. sometimes when i turn off the car i see the brake wear light flash for a sec. plus, my front pads are starting to squeak. next time i change the pads and rotors in the front i'll get vented rotors.
 

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Premium Member
02 ML320 06 ML500
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17,044 Posts
I think i changed all of my pads and rotors last year, maybe around the same time. sometimes when i turn off the car i see the brake wear light flash for a sec. plus, my front pads are starting to squeak. next time i change the pads and rotors in the front i'll get vented rotors.
The front rotors call for vented ones. Why did you install anything but?
 

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Black 2005 ML 500
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1,662 Posts
On the ML 500's, the rear brakes tend to wear faster than the front brakes. They are pretty small, too, for the job they have to do.

Depending on your brake pattern, the ML 500 will apply more braking emphasis on the rear brake system in order to maintain the ML leveled and not nose dive when you brake, which is why the ML 500's have a smooth braking feel/pattern. Though that causes the small rear brake pads to wear very fast. i.e. ~20,000 miles.

On my former 2001 ML 320, the rear brake pads lasted around twice the life of the front brake pads. On the 108,000 miles that I drove my former 2001 ML 320, I changed 3 times the front brake pads and once the rear brake pads. At the time I traded it, it still had good brake pads left on both.

In my opinion, it was a bad design choice to have small pads on the rear, which of course wear very fast. It does not help that on the ML 500's, the brake pads are very noisy or randomly noisy. Other vehcile brands that are about the same weight have about the same braking distance, but their brake pads last a decent amount of time, more than double that of the ML's.

There are some good brake posts from Wolfgang which are appended below..

Wolfgang's ML Page: ABS to ESP

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163-m-class/1277659-brake-pads-ones-go-first-fron-rear.html?highlight=wolfgang+brakes

AC
 

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2001 ML430, 1983 300SD, 2008 GL450
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904 Posts
Personal driving conditions/habits appear to have a substantial influence on brake wear. I have approximately 20k miles on my front brakes right now and about 30k on the rear. Front appear to be a little over half worn. Rear looks like they will need changing soon.

About half the mileage is highway. About 1/6 is towing an average of 2 tons.
 

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2004 SL500; 2003 E320; 2001 ML430 Sport; 1999 E320 Wagon
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404 Posts
I do about 70 / 30 - [rural / highway] and find the rears go 1st on the 430.

This is odd in comparison to other cars maybe, but the rear pads are a lot smaller than the front ones on the 430/500, and traction control may be more active than you think.
 

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2005 ML500
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40 Posts
According to the Dealer this morning my brakes are going at the rear (5% left), but like you guys I will attempt to do it myself. He quoted me $700+ for the rear rotors, pads, and to replace the fluid.

Did anyone try also to change the fluid? Is there a link showing how to do it?
 

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2002 ML500
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies everyone. Replaced the rear pads today. At least it only takes about 10 minutes.

Wayne
 

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2002 ML500 1998 S500
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13 Posts
I have had the same experience with my ML 500... I get about 20K out of the rear pads, as mentioned above, at least it is a quick job to replace them! What annoys me more is the front brakes squeeling.. I have tried everything from genuine MB pads to several aftermarket pads, with little to no difference... Still love this vehicle though!
 
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