FAQs—Mercedes Benz Brake Pad Set
- What’s the difference between semi-metallic brake pads, ceramic brake pads, and organic brake pads?
The most common type of brake pad in cars today, semi-metallic brake pads contain metal fibers embedded into pad compound. They’re relatively cheap, resistant to cold, and are much more forgiving on the brake rotors. Ceramic brake pads, on the other hand, are made from a blend of heavy-duty ceramic and copper fiber embedded into the pad compound. They are far more expensive than their semi-metallic counterparts, but they are quieter, last longer, and generate less brake dust. Meanwhile, organic brake pads, or NAO, are more recent technology and are made from more natural fibers like glass, rubber, carbon and Kevlar. Higher-end models also contain a small amount of copper or steel to transfer heat more efficiently. These pads are softer and generate less noise than ceramic and semi-metallic pads, but they also wear faster and generate a lot more brake dust.
- Can I use racing brake pads in my car?
While they might seem cool to have, it is strongly recommended not to install racing brake pads for your car. This is because racing pads are designed to work at the very high temperature range that is only achieved through racing cars, and thus these will not slow down conventional passenger cars. Racing pads are also made of a harder compound that conventional pads and can wear out the brake rotors easily. So unless you intend to race your Mercedes through a track, stick to a conventional set of brake pads.
- What is brake dust and how do I prevent it?
The unsightly brake dust you see in wheels is not dust at all, but it is actually a combination of dust particles abraded from the brake rotor and metallic fibers and carbon from the brake pad. Ninety-nine percent of brake pads made today have metallic compounds, so brake dust is impossible to eliminate completely. However, it can be minimized by getting high quality brake pads, installing brake shields, and washing the wheels on a regular basis.
- What is brake pad glazing?
Brake pad glazing is caused by overheating of the friction material in the pad, which in turn is due to the pad operating at a temperature above its specified range or non-compliance with the ‘bedding-in’ guidelines specified by the manufacturer. The high temperature creates crystallized friction material on the pad’s surface and brake disc, leading to decreased stopping performance, vibrations, and cracks or fissures in the brake pad material itself. To prevent brake pad glazing in your Mercedes Benz, make sure to follow the bedding-in instructions for brake pad and use a pad that has a temperature range that matches its intended use.
- Why are my brake pads squealing?
The high-pitched squeals coming from your car’s brake pads are actually high-frequency vibrations between the pad and the brake rotor. These vibrations in turn are caused by a variety of factors, including the stiffness of the brake discs, the density and composition of the metallic compounds of the pads, rapid changes in temperature, and excessive humidity. Loud, excessive squealing can signal a problem in your car’s brake pads or brake discs, so when this occurs make sure to have these checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
- What type of brake pad should I get for my car?
There are a couple of factors that you need to consider when getting a new set of brake pads for Mercedes vehicles. First, you need to make sure that the brake pads are compatible with the type of vehicle you have. Brake pads meant for pickup trucks, for example, may not perform well or even fit properly in a sedan. One should also consider where and how often the vehicle is used. High performance pads may generate more noise and have a harder pedal feel when installed in cars used for daily driving, for example, while ceramic pads are best suited for use in urban driving conditions. If you are not sure of what type of brake pad is suitable for your Mercedes Benz, don’t hesitate to ask a mechanic about it. An incompatible brake pad may lead to inefficient braking performance and make your driving experience a less comfortable one.
Handy Guidelines When Replacing Your Mercedes Benz Brake Pad Set
The brake pad is an essential element in the brake system. To ensure a safe and enjoyable ride, your Mercedes Benz brake pad set must always be in top condition. Proper installation must be followed to achieve this.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Tools and materials needed
- Jack and jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Wrench (socket, open end or adjustable wrench)
- Turkey baster
- Plastic tie, bungee cord or piece of string
- New brake pads
- Brake fluid (check for the correct type)
Preparing for removal of worn pads
With a lug wrench, work loose the lug nuts on the wheel. Then, jack up your vehicle to a jack stand. Completely take out the lug nuts and detach the wheel. You can now easily reach under the vehicle and the brake assembly. Find the slider bolts or pins, which secure the caliper in position. Usually, only the lower pin is necessary to take out. Although the pin is quite long, when thoroughly loose, it will slip out easily. Once the bottom pin is taken out, the caliper swivels up. Make sure not to disconnect any hydraulic lines as these will stretch anyway.
Removing the worn brake pads
By now, it is easy to check the brake pads' thickness to verify that they need to be replaced. Most Mercedes Benz brake pads include wear indicators that look like little metal tabs, which screech every time they touch the disc. After confirming they need to be changed, slide the worn-out brake pads from the retaining clips that secure them in place.
Mounting on the new brake pads
Usually, new retaining clips come together with the new pads. The clips let the brake pad to slip back and forth effortlessly. Carefully snap the clips into place. Make sure to change one clip at a time to make certain it fit precisely as clips usually come in either right-handed or left-handed. You can apply the small sachet of graphite-based grease that is usually included with the Mercedes Benz brake pad set to the retaining clips of the new pads to prevent them from screeching during contact with the rotors. There are brake pads that have riveted-on shims. However, if you have brake pads that have unattached shims, you have to briefly hold them in place until you secure the brake pads in position. The metal tabs on the end of the pad are fitted into the niches in the clips. You may also apply some grease to the metal tabs and between the loose metal shims. Slide the new brake pad in place.
Finishing the installation
Before lowering the caliper back into position, the pistons, which press on the pads and then the rotor to halt the vehicle, must be pushed back so that they will free the new pads. You may use a C-clamp to push back the pistons at the same time. Make sure to regularly check the master cylinder tank to prevent overflowing of the brake fluid. Use a turkey baster if it seems to overflow. Lower back the caliper in place. Put back and tighten the slider bolts. Align the wheels. Mount the tires and tighten the lug nuts. Do a test drive and pay special attention to the first few brakes.