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Brakes and Foot brake query

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by Communitykev, May 17, 2018.

  1. Communitykev

    Communitykev New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    CLS320 CDI (2009)
    Hi Folks,
    I have just (reluctantly) traded-in my CLS for a manual C220 (2014). Got it home and parked on our drive which is on a reasonable slope. Switched-off, put the car in 1st gear and put the foot brake on. Before I could get out the car very slowly crept forward, and then lurched forward, this repeated 4- 5 times before I put my foot on the brake pedal. Reversed-up and tried again, making sure the car was in gear - same pattern of events. Even tried parking the car in reverse gear - same thing. My 'other car(Skoda Octavia) has no problem holding in 1st gear with the hand brake applied.
    Went back to the dealer, got them to find a relatively steep hill and try same. Discovered that the footbrake applies a firmer 'brake' with the engine running, than when applied with engine -off.
    The car still would not hold with engine off and put in 1st gear. With the footbrake applied with engine running, and then selecting 1st gear, then switching off - it holds.
    Surely any decent car should hold a moderate gradient in 1st gear (let alone reverse) with or without foot brake applied. In the interim I have been running around with a half brick in the rear footwell to wedge against the front tyre.! The dealer has initially offered to get the car in and re-adjust the footbrake - but the tightness of footbrakes will reduce over time. Surely I should expect the Merc to hold position whilst in 1st gear or reverse. No other car I have ever owned has had this issue.
    Has anyone else come across this problem ? Is this a fault with the gearbox or brakes?
    Other than this worrying issue, the car runs really well.
    Please advise !!
     
  2. steveq

    steveq Senior Member

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    Location:
    Dublin
    Your Mercedes:
    2011 Merc S212 E220CDI Estate; 2011 Merc W204 C220 CDI; 1965 W113 Merc 230SL Pagoda
    Hi,

    I have a manual 2011 W204 C220 CDI. My driveway is on a slope too. The footbrake on its own will hold the car. I also put it in gear just to be sure.
    A couple of things:- a) the foot brake has to be pressed quite firmly to operate. b) The foot brake is mechanical so I don't think that it matters if the engine is on or off.
    The slope on my drive is not that steep. Steep enough that the car would definitely roll if the brake wasn't applied but certainly not a 1 in 3 hill.
    I believe that the adjustment will only effect how much travel the pedal needs before the foot brake grips (unless it is at the very end of its travel).
    There is a hill hold facility but that works on the hydraulic brakes not foot brake (I think).
    Is your a W205 -- that might have a different foot brake operation?
     
  3. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    R320 2007
    You say foot brake ..... do you mean the foot operated parking brake? It seem that Merc's parking brake is generally poor, though not sure why you're putting it in 1st :confused:
     
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  4. steveq

    steveq Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2011 Merc S212 E220CDI Estate; 2011 Merc W204 C220 CDI; 1965 W113 Merc 230SL Pagoda
    EmilysDad raises a good point.
    I was assuming that the OP meant the foot operated parking brake -- i.e. the smaller pedal to the left of the clutch in the footwell.
     
  5. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    '93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
    Also affects the brake efficiency as it adjusts the amount of shoe in contact with the drum.
     
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  6. OP
    Communitykev

    Communitykev New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    CLS320 CDI (2009)
    Yes - I am applying the footbrake, (parking brake - to the left of clutch),and engaging it as far as I can. I park the car in 1st gear because most manufacturers would advise this - Mercedes do, in the owners manual. Otherwise you are relying solely on the footbrake (parking brake) to stop your car from moving forward or backward.
    My real point is that the issue of the footbrake is a 'distraction'. No car should creep forwards or backwards when parked in 1st gear - it should 'stay put'. If the car was parked in 5th or 6th gear I might expect the car to move, but not in 1st. The gradient on my driveway is by no means excessive. Even a tight handbrake will loosen over time - if you rely on it (solely) to secure your car, on a gradient you will eventually be running the risk of the car starting to move. By putting the car 'in gear' you pretty much guarantee that the car is not going to move - not the case with my 'new' C220.! This is the first car in my 35 year driving history that behaves in this manner......
     
  7. OP
    Communitykev

    Communitykev New Member

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    My driveway has a slope which is not excessive so I don't think that I am being unreasonable in expecting the parking brake AND 1st gear to hold the car. (I haven't a clue whether my car is W204 or W205 - sorry). I believe there is something 'not quite right' in the set-up of the car which is allowing this to happen. This is why I wanted the view of other C220 owners - I can't believe the symptoms I have described are 'normal' for this car. Thanks.
     
  8. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    I understand now. I wouldn't expect a car left in gear to move with or without the parking brake either. I've never read that manufactures suggest leaving in gear though I've not had a 3 pedal car in a long long while.
     
  9. steveq

    steveq Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2011 Merc S212 E220CDI Estate; 2011 Merc W204 C220 CDI; 1965 W113 Merc 230SL Pagoda
    I suspect that there is something amiss with your parking brake.
    Mine will hold perfectly on the driveway or any other slope with the parking brake. I do have to push the foot pedal firmly for it to hold. It never feels very positive but works well enough -- I also leave it in gear to be sure.

    I must try just leaving it in gear without the parking brake on and see if that holds it -- I would be amazed if it didn't.

    2014 saw the introduction of the new model C Class (W205) which I thought might have a different parking brake to my model (W204).
     
  10. OP
    Communitykev

    Communitykev New Member

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    My car must be one of the last W204 models as it isn't one of the 'face lift' models introduced in 2014 (later). Appreciate your input - thanks.
     
  11. McDonald

    McDonald Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    SL500 2004
    It's always been good practice to park a manual car in gear, on any slope. I also can't understand why it might roll when parked in gear. There are better engineering minds on this forum, so I'll watch for new information. Like Kevin, I've been driving a long time but it's never too late to learn.
     
  12. steveq

    steveq Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2011 Merc S212 E220CDI Estate; 2011 Merc W204 C220 CDI; 1965 W113 Merc 230SL Pagoda
    My car was parked on a slope where it would roll backwards.
    I put it in reverse and released the parking brake. It didn't roll at all.

    I also tried the same but with the car in second gear so that it would try to turn the engine backwards -- definitely not a good practice. The car did move a few inches in slightly jerky movements. I stopped it with the brakes as I didn't want to do an damage to the engine.
    Turning the engine backwards doesn't get to use the engine compression.

    Maybe that is your issue with the car rolling when it is in gear?

    Make sure that if the slope is backwards (i.e. the car would roll backwards) that the car is in reverse and if the slope is forward that the car is in first or second.
     

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