Outrageous Brake Wear

caprice

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I have just had a call from my M-B dealer informing me that the brake discs need replacing after 50,000 miles. I have not authorised this work as I want an independent check on this as 50k is just way too low a mileage to need discs replacing - pads yes - discs no.

I have had several fast/heavy cars in the past (BMW/Saab etc) running to 100k plus miles and never had to have a single brake disc replaced - my miles are 30k annually and mostly on the motorways.

To be honest the car has been a money pit since day 1 - is this just another example of rip-off M-B?

The car is a 2007 C220 cdi Sport Edition Saloon. I don't tow anything and inevitably the car usually has me in it and nothing much else.

Have I a valid warranty issue here - cannot honestly believe that disc wear is an issue at this mileage. Any advice/comments would help me.

Thanks
 

television

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Hello and welcome, there is no such thing as a mile issue when it come to brakes as all driver brake differently.

You are what we call a "light braker" and that is why you got the super mileages from your previous cars. Many MB dealers tell you that the disc need replacing when they are only 50% worn, there thinking is so that they can be replaced on the next service.

Well Like you, this does not suit me. You have a minimum thickness stamped in the center of the disc, and best to read that and measure your self with an instrument that will clear the lip on the outer edge
 

Miffy

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I had my front disks changed at 61k, I was told by my indi that they say between 40 and 60k for fronts. Not sure how true this is tho
 
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caprice

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Thanks for fast responses. Not sure about being a light braker - but I am told the fronts are at 26.5mm with a wear limit of 25mm and hence should be done now. As I don't know what they start off as (30mm or 40mm??) I can't work out whether they are 60% worn or whatever.

This news came on top of asking £120+ for a fuel filter change (yeah, right!) and a £130 brake fluid change - bill on top of a £303 servicing bill ("A" service repeater at 50k).

Where do the dealers get these prices from? It'll soon be out of warranty (if I keep it that long) and I will go the independent route - but independents can't really affect premature brake wear like this even if their prices are cheaper. Would seem to be a manufacturers problem to me - but wider reading on the forum suggests some are having discs changed as early as 16k......! Surely this is ridiculous no matter how "heavy" you brake?
 

television

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The disc thickness is different across the line of 203 cars.
And the front disc vary from 25mm to 30 depending on the version.

MB say that the 25mm version can go down to 23mm and the 30mm version down to 28mm, and MB call this the service maintenance limit, the service limit is even smaller
 
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caprice

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Thanks Malcolm - seems the 26.5mm limit the dealer is referring to is a bit of a renegade...!

Oh well, probably a bit early to p/x this one but I will have to get something easier on the pocket and with better mpg. Sad really because I really like the car but the costs of maintenance and service have been appallingly high - even compared to previous BMWs. The brake disc replacement is the last straw really....
 

124coupe

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My method (I do a lot of miles in my second E-class V6 CDI with SBC) is this:

Always call all 3 local dealers for the base A or B service price - 1 is always doing some kind of offer so that's the base price for my chosen dealer. They are aware of each others' deals so getting this price (or less) is simple.

Then reveal I will be supplying the oil (my car is a DPF model so I always use the extended mileage high spec oil). Mobil 1 ESP from Costco or Ebay saves £75-80 versus the dealer price every service (I get it delivered 16 litres at a time so enough for 2 services). 5 mins to buy online and 2 mins to sling in the boot for 2 x £75 saving is good value to me....

I have read the maint book so I know when fuel, air con, air filters, brake fluid are needed and how much the parts/fluids retail for - so should they when they enter your reg and mileage!!

When the call comes in saying "now its on Star, we find it needs x, y and z" I always:

1. decline the easy filters (e.g. air con/combi, air) and fit those myself - 30 mins tops for both - and buy them at 10% discount when I pick the car up - keep receipts in the manual folder. I clean up under the bonnet while I'm there!

2. accept the fuel filter or brake fluid (SBC car) etc (as I can't be bothered to disrupt another work day to also go to Star indie) but always politely argue that there must be a deal on the combined labour as the car is already in mid air with the wheels off and connected to Star etc so the "book" value is over-inflated - they ALWAYS agree and change the quote significantly.

If you have non-dealer service you lose Mobilo so about £100 per year needs to be factored in for the top RAC or AA cover instead - i.e. with Homestart and Relay - (or £300-400 if you break down on the M1 and have to pay just once for recovery).

I have used mobilo 3 times so far (failed resonance flap, stuck gearchange interlock, failed key). Interlock fixed there and then (the AA or RAC would not have fixed this roadside), the other 2 free recovery to Merc garage and then me to home.

This works for me and I find it straightforward and it doesn't get me wound up!

I also believe I get reasonable value......


I was first told I needed new pads and discs at the front at the second service (about 27,000 miles) - actually they said "we should do them now while the car is in the air as they MIGHT not last until the next service".

I declined and monitored them and then changed the pads myself (just under an hour including the chance to clean the alloys properly) when they neared the limit at 63,000 miles.

The discs are still well within spec at 78,000 miles and not warped at all.....and the rears (pads and discs) are still all original with loads left.

As television says, check yourself!
 

whitenemesis

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Front discs & pads (cross drilled sports pack) changed at 40k.
 
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caprice

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Thanks

Front discs & pads (cross drilled sports pack) changed at 40k.

Good advice and lots for me to think of if I keep this car...and continue with main dealer servicing route.

Brake discs issue is interesting - are we really saying that dealers are looking to leverage the service costs by reporting disc change early? Even 61,000 miles is just about acceptable if you drive really hard. I have run BMW 5 series estate to 110k on original discs and similarly a 3 series estate to 100k before selling and that was on the original discs too.

20 years of abusing company cars before this - never had a brake disc changed beacause of wear despite hard mileages up to 80k in some pretty flimsy and insubstantial rep-boxes.

I thought we paid all the extra to M-B for better quality engineering?
 

whitenemesis

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Well, my discs were replaced under service contract so no (direct) cost to me and MB would only sanction the work if it complied with their recommendations.

I drove a Seat before and got 110k out of the front discs and 90k from the pads!!

I heard from the service manager that modern discs do not survive as well as years ago. Something to do with the change in pad materials. Apparently BMW recommend changing the discs each pad change.

Discs are relatively cheap (~£80ea for MB Sports Pack & Pads ~£70 per axle set) and the time taken to fit is only 15min.
 

Enigma AMG

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50k miles on a set of front disks does not sound bad to me assuming you are happy with the braking performance of the vehicle. Clearly how you drive the vehicle will have a major effect on disk life, so will weight and transmission. However in my experience the pad compound and disk material are key. Car manufacturers will compromise between performance and longevity, just because a merc disk will only last half as long as a ford disk does not suggest to me that it is inferior quality rather that there is a different performance compromise.

To give an extreme pespective, I own a very heavily modified jap car that runs mintex f4r race brake pads, these pads offer phenomenal braking performance especially on track but I can only manage 3000 miles on a set of disks due to the extremely aggressive pad compound, you can see pad and disk material on the wheels and all down the sides of the car after extreme use. Clearly not the right compromise for your 220cdi.

If what you want is long disk life buy the softest pad that you can, you may need to change a softer pad more frequently but the disk will last much longer however breaking performance may suffer.

I do whole hartedly agree with the sentiments regarding mercedes dealers tho...........
 

Enigma AMG

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50k miles on a set of front disks does not sound bad to me assuming you are happy with the braking performance of the vehicle. Clearly how you drive the vehicle will have a major effect on disk life, so will weight and transmission. However in my experience the pad compound and disk material are key. Car manufacturers will compromise between performance and longevity, just because a merc disk will only last half as long as a ford disk does not suggest to me that it is inferior quality rather that there is a different performance compromise.

To give an extreme pespective, I own a very heavily modified jap car that runs mintex f4r race brake pads, these pads offer phenomenal braking performance especially on track but I can only manage 3000 miles on a set of disks due to the extremely aggressive pad compound, you can see pad and disk material on the wheels and all down the sides of the car after extreme use. Clearly not the right compromise for your 220cdi.

If what you want is long disk life buy the softest pad that you can, you may need to change a softer pad more frequently but the disk will last much longer however breaking performance may suffer.

I do whole hartedly agree with the sentiments regarding mercedes dealers tho...........
 

television

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50k miles on a set of front disks does not sound bad to me assuming you are happy with the braking performance of the vehicle. Clearly how you drive the vehicle will have a major effect on disk life, so will weight and transmission. However in my experience the pad compound and disk material are key. Car manufacturers will compromise between performance and longevity, just because a merc disk will only last half as long as a ford disk does not suggest to me that it is inferior quality rather that there is a different performance compromise.

To give an extreme pespective, I own a very heavily modified jap car that runs mintex f4r race brake pads, these pads offer phenomenal braking performance especially on track but I can only manage 3000 miles on a set of disks due to the extremely aggressive pad compound, you can see pad and disk material on the wheels and all down the sides of the car after extreme use. Clearly not the right compromise for your 220cdi.

If what you want is long disk life buy the softest pad that you can, you may need to change a softer pad more frequently but the disk will last much longer however breaking performance may suffer.

I do whole hartedly agree with the sentiments regarding mercedes dealers tho...........

Surely a soft pad will wear the disc more, I put EBC black pads in my V70 and there was no disc wear after 25k miles, it is the same thing where a brass bush will wear the steel shaft down before the bush wears
 

whitenemesis

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Surely a soft pad will wear the disc more, I put EBC black pads in my V70 and there was no disc wear after 25k miles, it is the same thing where a brass bush will wear the steel shaft down before the bush wears

Soft and hard are relative terms. Both are, I would suggest, soft compared with the disc material. So, it must be abrasiveness that determines pad and disc life.

Considering the surface areas of pads versus discs I think discs always wear more quickly than pads?

I would stick with the manufacturer's combination, unless the vehicle's usage is dramtically changed, i.e. track use, competion driving.

These things are not arrived at 'willy-nilly' :)
 

television

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Soft and hard are relative terms. Both are, I would suggest, soft compared with the disc material. So, it must be abrasiveness that determines pad and disc life.

Considering the surface areas of pads versus discs I think discs always wear more quickly than pads?

I would stick with the manufacturer's combination, unless the vehicle's usage is dramtically changed, i.e. track use, competion driving.

These things are not arrived at 'willy-nilly' :)

Agreed,, the pads is no more than a sanding block if you think about it
 

jberks

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Bottom line is that its only recently that disks started to need changing. Since the EU banned asbestos pads became harder on the disks. I generally work on the 2 sets of pads to 1 set of disks, hence I know when the pads next wear out, the disks will want swapping too. I also had a recommendation at the last service. My answer was no too.

Mileage is irrelevant as it depends totally on where and how you drive. 50k on the motoway in Scotland for example is unlikely to wear the brakes at all, 50k on the M25 will wipe them out and only 10k in city traffic can have the same effect. Switching from a manual to an auto will also make a massive difference. Also different cars, e.g. A manual Mondeo is light with good engine braking so easy on the brakes, an auto merc on the other hand....

As for dealer prices, negotiate and never take the first price. Some initial prices are plain silly but argue and you'll be suprised how quickly the bill falls.
 

LYNALL

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Serviced an 08 Sprinter last night 20k miles and the discs have a large lip on each side already, pads still 8mm thick.
Bet owner will need discs to go with the pads when they are done.


Lynall
 

S.Speed

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One of the reasons I like the EBC green stuff pads is that they rely on Kevlar for the friction and not chunks of metal embedded in the pads..
When I used them I noticed the disc's take on a very shiny (almost mirror like) appearance due to no metal particles..
My last car a Golf GT Tdi had the EBC Red stuff ceramic pads in and the brakes on that were very, very good.. Probably the best brakes I have ever used but the disc's were wearing in a more conventional way, as if with the usual pads in.
The other aspect with the green stuff pads is that there is not as much dust and what there is seems to be easier to clean off..
I don't know if I am correct in this but normal pads seem to create a acidic dust judging by the way the calipers and alloy wheels get eaten into if you don't keep on top of the cleaning.
 

television

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One of the reasons I like the EBC green stuff pads is that they rely on Kevlar for the friction and not chunks of metal embedded in the pads..
When I used them I noticed the disc's take on a very shiny (almost mirror like) appearance due to no metal particles..
My last car a Golf GT Tdi had the EBC Red stuff ceramic pads in and the brakes on that were very, very good.. Probably the best brakes I have ever used but the disc's were wearing in a more conventional way, as if with the usual pads in.
The other aspect with the green stuff pads is that there is not as much dust and what there is seems to be easier to clean off..
I don't know if I am correct in this but normal pads seem to create a acidic dust judging by the way the calipers and alloy wheels get eaten into if you don't keep on top of the cleaning.

I think that you are spot on about the green Pads, and your findings are exactly the same as mine, the disc wear qualities are good, the dust does not eat into the paint on the wheels, the stopping power is excellent.

Yes the Red do wear the disc more but outstading stopping power, I have used them all over the past 12 years, and would never go back to OE
 
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