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Brake Pads

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Hi All,

Dealer says we need new brake pads for our 96 es300. They're not bad, but getting down there.

A mechanic friend of mine just asked if the rotors need to be changed too. I don't think so, but I thought I'd ask first -- does this tend to be a problem with these cars? He says that nowdays many MB and BWM routinely replace brake pads and the rotors.

Now, he's not doing the work :) so he's just trying to be helpful.




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I agree. Depends on how your rotors are. Are they grooved? Can you run your finger over them and feel grooves? If so, then they need to be addressed.

On my BMW, the spec is that you need to change out the rotors with the brake job if your rotors show wear because their rotors should not be 'turned' (meaning machining off a slight surface layer). I would agree if there were deep grooves, but a slight resurfacing shouldn't hurt them.

So, if you have nice smooth rotors, and you change out the pads, you might want to be careful to get the same pads. The reason is that all pads tend to 'glaze' into the rotor a bit, meaning leave behind a little bit of the pad material. When you switch pad types/vendors (they all have their own little recipe), you can often get squeals. I had this happen on my ride. A friend who is a master mechanic said to take off the rotors, and using an angle grinder and a fine grit sandpaper, lightly sand off the glazed surface of the rotor with quick, short strokes... sanding marks should from the center (hub) away out to the outer edge. I did just what he suggested... lightly, just enough that I could see the sanding marks, and put on new pads (ceramic)... no squeal, smooth stopping, and the new pads broke-in nicely... and that was with the original rotors. I've got about 10K miles on that brake job and they are working smooth and strong.

So, just check to see if those rotors have grooves. Sounds like your friend is just looking out for you. If you need new rotors, here's a good site: http://www.alloemautoparts.com/ ...they've got PBR rotors for both front and rear on sale for $32/each.

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