Question about Mercedes S-class S500 S55 S430 Exterior Stainless Steel Chrome Pillar Posts Trim Set 2000 2001 2002

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Right rear brake rotor gets hot and smokes after wheel vibration over 65 mph,

When driving at 70 to 75 MPH, right rear wheel starts to vibrate and right rear brake caliper and rotor gets hot and smokes. And there is increased tire wear on that tire only. nothing that i can see or feel is loose. when i stop to check and then drive off again there is no vibration and the brakes stay cool. this ones got me stumpped.

Posted by N Bradley on


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Ralph Grassi

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Sounds like rear wheels bearings are failing, allowing the rotor to make contact with the brake pads. Remove the brake pads and caliper, and check for wheel bearing play. The caliper and pads can mask a bearing problem, by keeping the play down to a minimum. until higher speeds are reached. It is a dangerous situation, with a potential for a serious auto accident.

Posted on Apr 06, 2014



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You have a serious problem. Tire is going to heat up and blow. Have the wheel balanced and look for a dent in the rim or loose lug nuts. Don't wait, this is serious!

Posted on Oct 10, 2012


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2002 Ford Excursion 7.3 4x4 rear brakes getting smoking hot. Noticed it on driver side first. Assumed the rotor was sticking, replaced it and the hose. Relaxed pads and found the pads on passenger side...

There are a number of issues that can cause overheating disc brakes. Disc brakes, when released, separate from the disc by the action of the rotor moving between them (since no rotor is perfectly true, there is a small about of wobble and it pushes the pads away from the rotor surface). Things that can cause this to go wrong are:

  1. Caliper pistons that have rust rings that cause sticking. This most often will happen right after or shortly after replacing old, work out pads with new ones. Because the caliper piston was extended out farther with the worn pads, its surface may get rusty. This rust can cause sticking when the piston is pushed back into the bore with the new, thicker pads.
  2. Caliper slide bolts will rust and get sticky, not allowing the caliper to release properly and re-center itself on the rotor. What you often see here is that one pad (inner or outer) is totally worn out and the other seems normal.
  3. Rusty brake lines/caliper internals can cause restrictions in the flow of brake fluid and hold pressure after the brake pedal is released.
It is highly recommended that whenever you change your brake pads, you replace the caliper slide bolts use a new brake hardware kit when reinstalling. The additional cost is almost always saved in longer brake pad life, and fewer complications.

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My steering wheel shakes when braking over 40 mph

most likely a warped rotor, check front end components (tie rod ends, ball joints). if a caliper is sticking the rotor will get very hot, get black, or discolor, and bend (warp). drive around for10 min. and jab the brakes hard several times during the drive. stop and feel the temp (don't touch) of each wheel with your hand. they should be equally warm. hot or smoking is not a good caliper.

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Carefully,clamp off just one rear at a time and then try one front at a time,it should be just one of the wheels causing the shake.Once you get down to the one or two causing the problem don't forget to check hub runout,wheel runout and wheel balance too.Sounds like rear to me.

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Brakes are engaging while driving. brake pedal becomes very stiff and when let off gas car starts to slow dramatically

First find a new mechanic & expect a decent size repair bill

I will guess that the main cause is the ABS Braking System
I won't try & diagnose it without the car,but that may explain
the application or failure of the brakes to release when at speed

That said, the heat & smoke and your mechanics hap hazard
quess,may be lead to other issues,such as collapsed brake hose,
rusted caliper piston, from never changing the brake fluid,now you
have the pads cooked from the heat, as well as the rotors.

My concern is how things will be diagnosed & addressed as far as
the fix goes.

I will bet you will get many different stories, from different shops

I would check for ABS Codes & other Data & resolve that issue first
Then I would completely go through all 4 corners of the brakes.

Flush the system,inspect hoses,most likely due to age & heat,replace the calipers & unlike most people, may machine the rotors, as i have
never found any fact based reason a rotor would warp from heat.

I have to ask,why would you even drive one mile, the first time
you experienced such a brake or vibration problem, like that?

Then go 60 mph knowing full well you had serious problems
& could be involved in crash & hurt yourself or someone else.

Driving a 4000 lb vehicle, is a bigger responsiblity than anyone
cares about.

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It isn't a particularly expensive repair, but is something to have checked out!

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Certainly sounds like a partially, or seized caliper hanging up, which has warped rotor. What exactly did they replace at brake job, do you know? Either way they need to be rechecked.

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