Though often overlooked, brakes are perhaps the most important components on your Mercedes-Benz. After all, they enable you to stop on a dime and keep you and your family safe. CK Auto Exclusive knows that if treated properly, your brakes will be there when you absolutely need them. We’ve scoured the web and tapped into our own expertise to compile a list of things you can do to increase the longevity of your brakes along with maintenance you should do when it comes time to service your Mercedes-Benz.
Speed: Speed is the enemy of brakes. We’ll assume you’re a perfect driver that never exceeds 65 MPH, but just in case you aren’t, know that with more speed your car requires more friction to stop. All that energy burns off as heat and wears away at your rotors and pads. What we recommend is resisting the urge to make sudden stops, especially at high speeds. This can drastically lengthen the lifespan of your rotors and calipers, saving you money in the long run.
Coasting: Another habit you should get into is coasting more frequently. This prevents unnecessary wear on your brakes by simply using a bit of foresight. For example, if you drive the same workday commute through Santa Rosa, Petaluma, or Healdsburg, you know the notorious slow spots by heart and can coast up to them. Other cars may fly by, but what’s the big rush to get in traffic anyway? Besides, you’ll catch up to them in a few seconds and will have used less braking and gas.
Look Ahead: Along the same lines as memorizing the slow traffic areas, it’s always a good idea to look ahead so that you can plan your braking. In urban areas, you can often time the lights correctly and reduce excess braking. It’s also important to look ahead so that you don’t get into the trap of following the leader. This occurs when one car taps on the brakes far ahead, starting a chain of braking from one car to the next. By looking ahead, you can ease off the brakes when the first car taps on theirs and avoid having to brake when the car in front of you inevitably falls into the trap. Though it may seem like a small detail, looking ahead will make you a smoother (and more brake friendly) driver.
Replace and Bleed: We’re not talking about when your high school girlfriend took another guy to prom and ripped your heart out. In this case, we’re referring to your brake lines. Your Mercedes brake lines are filled with fluid that enables the calipers to clamp down on your rotors, thus enabling you to stop. Brake fluid can degrade over time and harm internal components within the brake system, so it’s a good idea to replace it and bleed the lines to ensure there are no air bubbles or impurities. All this technical jargon basically comes down to one thing: you need clean brake fluid to stop. CK Auto recommends replacing the fluid in your brake lines every couple years so it’s never an issue when you need to stop.
Don’t Ignore Warnings: Whether it’s a shrill squeak when you apply the brakes or our recommendation to perform maintenance on your braking system’s components regularly, you should never ignore the warnings. It’s good to be frugal, but when it comes to your brakes, you cannot deny the signs forever. If you’re a confident do-it-yourselfer, go ahead and inspect your rotor thickness and caliper condition the next time you have the wheels off. For the rest of you, have the trained professionals at CK Auto inspect your brake system to ensure longevity and safety into the future. We will never sell you anything we don’t think is necessary, so rest assured when we say something about your brakes it is important.