Last post on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
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Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG, SUV
Feb 17, 2004 (10:15 pm)
thor8 has got it right. We're now driving 5K lb SUVs around with double the power of cars of ten years ago and brakes are one of the weak links.
$600 is about normal for a both axle brake job at the dealer. A good indepedent shop will be about 2/3rds this.
BTW, in all probability, you didn't need both front/rear done. There is a wear sensor on one of the front wheels and one of the back and the light will go on if either makes contact. Typically, the fronts wear the most, so it is likely your rears might have only been 1/2 or 2/3rds as worn as the fronts.
Further, I've discovered that the Mercedes wear sensors are incredibly conservative. On my 2000 ML, the front sensor went off at 28K and I had the fronts replaced. The rear sensor went off at 38K and I had them replaced. The light came on again at 55K, and I decided to change the front pads myself. Low and behold, when I inspected the pads, there were about 60% worn with easily another 10K miles or more before hitting the wear limits. I've been driving and monitoring them for the last 5K and they're still well within limits.
If you just take it to the dealer when the light goes on, you could be throwing away near half your brake life. And I suspect the dealer is just doing the rears for good measure, when they easily might go another 25K. Between these two factors, more than half your brake life probably went out in the dealer's trash bin.
#7351 of 8199 Brake job replies...
Feb 18, 2004 (6:10 am)
Thanks for the insight! I certainly realize that pad longevity is in question with these heavy vehicles. I specifically asked for the wear percentages on front and rear and they indicated that we were down to 0% and 10% (F/R) remaining.
No way to doubt them... just seems that $600+ is high for the job. Regardless, my wife and I enjoy this vehicle and it has proven to be very reliable and versatile. Love the solid feeling on the road - she feels safe in Atlanta traffic.
One interesting note, My 2003 BMW 530 SP maintenance program will cover brake pads. Will come in handy based on the "spirited" manner in which I drive it
#7352 of 8199 Brakes/Reliability
Feb 18, 2004 (6:49 am)
My 02 ML320 needed pads around 30k then again at 38,000. It needed them all around and rotor too. I questioned how I needed pads in 8,000 miles. They 're-examined' the fronts and said I don't need those. The estimate went from $1000 to around $200. Big change knocking off front pads and rotors. $1000 every 8000 miles, to me, is more than excessive. And no sensors came on, ever. This doesn't mention the fact that I've had quite a few warranty claims including leaking oil, leaking coolant, among other things. Thankfully, I traded the vehicle.
#7353 of 8199 Brake pads
Feb 18, 2004 (12:53 pm)
My suggestion is to get the pads from on-line stores. Got both front and rear for a total of around $150 (on sale). Both were MB factory pads. Took the ML to a very experienced local shop and the labor was $60 x 2 (front and rear).
#7354 of 8199 Brake pads.
Feb 18, 2004 (1:22 pm)
I wanted to add my 99, 430ML has over 60,000 miles on it and never had a brake job yet and still a good bit of pads left, I attribute this to two factors, lots of HWY miles and a life time habit of anticipating braking at all situations.
I would also add that the proper description for the ML would be several bugs rather than unreliable, but since new I never had an issue, I know of many who never had any and then I read here of several owner complaining, it is my understanding once the initial ML issues are resolved the vehicle goes on problem free.
From my personal use I would not trade my ML for any other SUV other than a Touareg V10 diesel since I use my ML a lot for towing, mostly a pair of jet skies (about 3,500lbs) or a 5,500lbs 24ft fishing boat on tandem axles, many times on steep and slippery boat landings or deep sand conditions at the beach, the low range is a plus from heaven when you really need to strain a load out of a hole or a hump. Both as medium size SUVís are rated at 7,500lbs and I for sure donít want large SUV or truck.
#7355 of 8199 No pad/rotor problems here . . .
Feb 18, 2004 (7:45 pm)
85% left on our first "A" service about a month ago (i.e., about 12K mi.); and, two rear pad jobs and one front pad job on our '00 ML430--it never did need new rotors during the 78K miles we drove it before trading it in.
Feb 19, 2004 (5:01 pm)
I have a 2002 ML500 and had the rear brakes replaced at 18,000 miles and the fronts currently have 30% left at 27,500 miles. The light didn't come on for the rears but the dealer said that I only had 10% left. Since I was getting ready to go out of town and on a 4,000 mile trip, I didn't want to worry about brakes. I think the bill was around $250.
Michml320.... my OEM tires have been great. They currently look barely worn at 27K. When I was driving across country when the ML was new, I ran into a heavy snowstorm in Oklahoma. My ML was as sure-footed as a tiger! I was absolutely amazed at the handling and "NON" slippage. Other cars/trucks were off on the side of the interstate while I was just trucking along.
If the Michelin cross tires are better than my Dunlops, then I must be able to climb up a side of a building! LOL! My OEM's have been great.
#7357 of 8199 No more '02 ML 500!
Feb 22, 2004 (8:07 am)
Thanks, Kiiwii for the suggestions on a new car- those were too pricey for me to get into as I am taking a bath on the Mercedes- cannot get any kind of trade on it because too many are being sold. I purchased an '04 Acura MDX yesterday and will take possession this week. I owned the used '02 ML 500 less than one year.
As I filled my tank up this morning and drove away from the gas station (more than $30 in the tank), the gauge read about a quarter full! How am I supposed to know when I am running out of gas? Last week, when my coffee cup holder broke off for the second time, the part said "Made in Mexico."
I loved driving the ML, but there were too many trips to the repair shop for my schedule to accommodate. I didn't have too much wrong, mostly little things, but for this kind of expenditure, more than one trip a year is too many.
So, good luck to you guys left on this board. The Acura isn't quite the vehicle the Mercedes is, but it might be a whole lot less hassle.
The ML has one of the finest engines out there, is a magnificently engineered and designed vehicle. It is like driving a rocket ship. The engine will go forever- the fundamental construction is awesome, and I felt like I would be safe if I wrecked it. But, MB outsourced the construction too much without regard to QC. Unfortunately, its quality on the minor stuff is very poor, so I won't be bothered with Mercedes ever again. I will never buy a GM any more, and now Mercedes is off my list forever, too. Hockeymom
Feb 24, 2004 (10:25 am)
Just a quick question for you Hockeymom, why wouldn't you buy a GM again?
#7359 of 8199 LCD TV
Feb 25, 2004 (11:33 am)
I have a '01 ML320 in which I would like to install a roof mounted entertainment unit (LCD screen that flips down). I was told that this may be an issue because of the moonroof. Has anyone had any experience trying to do this?