Brake Safety

 

Brakes are one of the main safety items in your car and should be treated with respect.

Here is how it goes…

When you apply your brake pedal, the brake pads press down on the brake discs located on your wheels and slow down or stop your car.

The friction action caused by applying the brakes results in minute shavings being shed from the brake pads.  The more frequently or aggressively you apply the brakes, the sooner they will need to be replaced.

It comes down your braking habits and whether you ride the brakes, stomp on the brakes or you are a gentle pedal pusher.

From 1976 brake wear warning indicators were standard on the front brakes in Mercedes Benz vehicles, so we will be talking about these vehicles.

The brake warning light comes on when there is about 3mm left on the brake pad.  As soon as you see your brake warning light on that does not mean that you have run out of brakes.  It is a warning to be aware before the brakes go metal to metal and destroy the discs which could have been perfectly ok.  
If your discs are still within the correct thickness or specification, you will avoid having to replace the brake discs also.
The warning gives you plenty of notice of your brake wear. Conservatively speaking, if you are a really hard driver, you could expect up to 800 to 1000 kilometers more from your brake pads. If you are a gentle driver, up to 2000 kms quite easily, before they damage the brake discs.

Theo’s question to a lot of our customers is.  What kind of driving do you do? Is it city stop and start driving?If so then you will probably get a further 800 kms out of your brakes. If you are driving down the Gold Coast from Brisbane every day, you will probably get up to 2000 plus kms more from your brake pads

What will happen if you ignore the warning light and hope it goes away?  The brake pads will wear out and grind metal to metal and then it is too late and you will have to replace both the brake pads and discs.

It is not critical, but please don’t ignore the brake warning light or message.   We are very happy for anyone with a warning light or message (brake or otherwise) to pass by here at AustStar Motors.  Theo or Andrew will have a look and tell you exactly what your safe distance would be.   We will ask the question… are you travelling up Mt Tamborine everyday or just doing local driving ?  If you do 500 kms a week doing your local driving then you have approximately 3 weeks up your sleeve before it’s imperative that we replace the pads.  Some customers, for peace of mind, book their car in straight away, to have the brake pads replaced as that is okay also.

Average cost for front brake pad replacement for most C Class sedans, is approximately $340.  Rear brake pads are a little bit less.   SUVs, MLs, GLs,  are approximately $70 more expensive.  AMG cars are totally different. It os best to call us or email us with your Model, Year and Vin number and we will be happy to give you an estimate on the replacement.

Normally, the wear ratio for brake pads and brake discs, is 2 sets of pads to 1 set of discs.  This again depends on the way the vehicle is driven. In our experience, most A, B and C Class models will need brake discs replaced at approximately 40000 kms.

Mercedes Benz vehicles have superior safety systems such as distronic which senses the car in front of you and automatically slows your car to avoid a collision. You might be distracted and the car senses that you are not reducing your speed to that of the speed of the car in front of you with better reaction time that is humanly possible.

It is a great feature but compromises the brakes because it brakes for you.

As a side note, you can set the distronic, for one car space or say 3 car spaces if you would like to have it slow the car with more space between. It is set similar to how cruise control is set.  If you would like more information,  have a chat with Theo.

By all means, please do not hesitate to call us and speak to Theo or Andrew if you have any questions in relation to your brakes.  We are always here to help.

Rats Feasting on Engine Wires - AustStar Blog

Theo gives his thoughts on the subject….

Lately we have had customers coming in with electrical faults and we have discovered that the engine bay harness has been eaten by rats. When we questioned where they are living, two out of three are living in riverside apartments.

The rats living around the river edge are looking for a lovely warm environment which is your nice cosy engine bay.

We have advised our customers, after we have repaired the wiring, to go to Bunnings or your local hardware and buy some rat bait. Just one or two baits would be sufficient and place them around your engine bay. That will stop them from continuing into the next area of your car which is probably the cabin and you don’t want them in there because they can do some very expensive and destructive damage in that area.

When questioned whether customer’s have claimed this damage on insurance, Theo has said that at this stage the extent of damage hasn’t been expensive enough to worry about insurance. Some of the electrical repairs have been caught early enough, so that we can repair them at a reasonable cost. Some of the costs, to date have been around the $700 or $800 mark.

Luckily, the complaints from the customers have come in early enough where they have brought on engine lights and irregular running of the engine ect. and we discovered the problem straight away.

The second customer with the similar complaint was a lot easier because it was around two weeks later and we said it was probably just another rat attack, as a joke, and sure enough, it was. This one was not as severe .

We asked Theo what to do to avoid this sort of rodent feast altogether, before it happens and he suggests that if you are living in that type of environment, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be near a river, is to check your engine bay and the first telltale sign is the pungent urine odour, and the beginning of leaves and twigs being visible which the rats use to construct their nests.

Buy your rat baits and put them in your engine bay if you have a suspicion that your car is parked in a vulnerable area.

This is the first time that we have seen this sort of damage, in the last few months, in a long time. A few years ago, we had a real bad case where it was an insurance claim and it was thousands of dollars to repair. This one was on the other side of the coin, with these customers living on an acreage property and they would have been the field rats and not the inner city water rats that we are seeing from the river.

Any size rat will do the damage, for whatever reason, they are attracted to whatever is in the wiring looms of cars, not just Mercedes Benz. They eat through the wiring and into the insulation and so on.

Please check with your insurance company if you would like any further information or to see if you are covered for this sort of rodent damage, especially if you are living in those riverside suburbs.

Have you had an issue like this and need it checked?