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CLK 320 brakes work but no bite

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by Boofleman, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    Hello. This is my first MBO Forum item.
    I've recently bought a very nice CLK 320 Elegance Cabriolet (2003). So far very pleased with it. It only has 70,000 on the clock and, looking at the history, seems to have been hardly used at all by previous owner.

    Now the brakes work but they do not seem to have the bite I think they should have. I also have a Skoda Octavia and the brakes on that are amazingly good. So that is my comparison.

    Further, when I do hit the brakes hard at slow speed (to see how well they work) I get a front end clonk.

    Looking through the wheels the discs don't seem to be scored and, the side I can see, looks like even area wear. From what I can see of the pads I would say they are about half worn.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. rifiki

    rifiki Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    clk W209 Ponton 190
    Glazed pads, loose calliper? Had similar problem, disc on inside full of dents from rust spots(?). Car had been standing/little use.
     
  3. Wighty

    Wighty Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forum buddy . Have you checked the colour and level of the brake fluid , should look like champagne , if it's black that could be your culprit , because it absorbs water
     
  4. Oldspanners

    Oldspanners Senior Member

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    A change of brake fluid is a good idea to start with as if its contaminated or has air in it it will effect the braking.
    If it hasn't been used in a while or frequently the pistons in the caliper could be sticking slightly.
    You may need to "exercise" them by taking the pads out one at a time and using a lever to stop it and push it back in when the brake pedal is pushed.
    As for the clunk it could be one of the front control arm ball joints.
     
  5. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti MBO Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Yes, all of the above.
    Brake fluid that is very old gives a wooden feel, and caliper sliders that are stuck give poor braking feel too.
     
  6. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    Hi. Many thanks to all for quick and very helpful response. I will certainly get the fluid changed and the calipers checked.
    Concerning the fluid - where is the reservoir? Can't see it in engine bay or in the book !!

    Can't see a dip stick either - except when I look in the mirror !!!
     
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  7. Wighty

    Wighty Senior Member

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    Brake fluid reservoir will be under black plastic , on my E class it's back left of the engine bay as you face the engine from the front .
    yours "may" be in the same place ?
     
  8. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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  9. GordonTarling

    GordonTarling Senior Member

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    First thing I'd do is fit new OEM brake pads - someone may have fitted cheapies and best to start with known quality parts.
     
  10. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    Many thanks for your advice.
     
  11. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    Good advice. Just ordered a new set. Thanks
     
  12. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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  13. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    Found it !! You were spot on. However, at the far back of the engine there is a stubby little plastic dip stick in a tube. Any ideas?
     
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  14. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti MBO Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    If its red, that is just the cover.
     
  15. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    Many thanks indeed. I have ordered new brake pads and will do the fluid change when fitting them. Will also check for sticking calipers.

    If the control arm ball joint is worn how could I tell? Would there be any visual signs?
    Many thanks
     
  16. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Probably not. Lift the wheel off the ground & try to move the wheel left/right by hand, feeling for any clunks knocks etc
     
  17. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    No its not. Its black and when I pull it out it is about 8cm long. Fluid on the 'stick' is clear and light - hydraulic?
     
  18. OP
    Boofleman

    Boofleman Member

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    I'll try that. Many thanks for your help
     
  19. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Sorry ... I don't
     
  20. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Surely the ATF what’s never been changed?
     

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