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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In order the reduce the brake dust from the rear brakes on my 2012 R172, I replaced the rear pads with low dust metallic pads this morning.
Before any work can be done on the rear brakes the electronic parking brake must be put in 'Fitting Position' or 'Assembly Position' using the car's service menu. If this is not done, the rear brake cylinder piston cannot be pushed back in at all and new brake pads cannot be fitted.

To enable 'Fitting Position' mode you have to enter the service menu on the instrument panel. To do this follow these steps:
1. Make sure the hood (bonnet) is closed.
2. Release the Parking Brake if it is set (you will get an error later on in the process if this is not done).
3. Turn the key to position 1.
4. On the right side of the steering wheel, Press and Hold the right (End Call) telephone button, the left (Accept Call) telephone button AND the OK button on the left side of the steering wheel all at the same for around 5 seconds.
5. The workshop menu should appear.
6. Scroll down to 'Pad Replacement' using the arrow buttons on the steering wheel and press Ok.
7. The confirmation 'Move to Fitting Position' should appear.
8. Confirm again by using OK.
9. NOTE: do not try to enable the Parking Brake or press the brake pedal while completing this procedure.
10. A message should appear letting you know the procedure is complete and that the motor for the parking brake has been retracted.
11. Turn off the ignition and remove the key.

While in 'Fitting Position' the Parking Brake failure light will be displayed on the IP.

You can now change the rear brake pads in the normal manner (see attached PDF for details). Thanks to JudgeMing for providing this document!

After all the steps of the rear brake pad replacement or rear brake repair have been completed:
1. Turn the ignition back to position 1
2. The message Fitting Position reached. To Exit Fitting Position: OK' - should appear.
3. Press OK to exit the procedure and to reset the parking brake motor.

Changing the rear brakes is rather easy on this car. In order to push in the brake caliper piston so that it will clear the new brake pads, all you need is a standard brake cylinder piston compression tool (a big C-Clamp will work, too).

The last image is of the tool I used to compress the brake caliper piston.

BTW, I used Centric 104.16460 - Posi Quiet Premium Metallic Rear Brake Pads with Shims and Hardware. I wanted ceramic pads but had to settle for these. They were cheap, $35 including shipping. I'll post a follow up when I find if they really do reduce the brake dust.

Follow up (4/21/2015): The Centric 104.16460 - Posi Quiet Premium Metallic Rear Brake Pads did not reduce brake dust at all as compared to the original pads.

Follow up #2 (10/5/2015): I found the TRW TPC1646 Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set for the R172 on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S8D230G?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00.
After several hundred miles of city driving, my rear wheels are now just as brake dust free as the front wheels are. :smile:
Ont thing to note about the TRW set is that they did not come with any brake hardware at all except for the pads. The Amazon product description says that it includes the hardware but in my case it did not. Since I got the last set on Amazon and it would take 2 - 4 weeks before they were in stock again, I decided to just use the set I got. Plus my rear brakes hardware was almost new from the previous installation of the Centric pads just 1,500 miles ago.
But if your car has higher mileage this may be a problem for you.
 

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OMG! I can see MB really wants the DIY guys to work on the brakes.

BTW, you can avoid all of the rigmarole by replacing the pads before they have any wear on them or probably within a thousand miles or so. The pistons won't have moved allowing you to pull them straight out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I edited my original post to note that The Centric 104.16460 - Posi Quiet Premium Metallic Rear Brake Pads did not reduce brake dust at all as compared to the original pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just stumbled upon ceramic rear brake pads for the R172 on Amazon.
Amazon.com: TRW TPC1646 Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set: Automotive

You can also get them on eBay but for over twice the price!
Amazon even had a 'coupon' for an extra $10 off so I got them for $42.73 including Virginia sales tax. :wink:

After installation and having driven with them for several hundred miles I'll post an update on how they perform and how much dust they produce (if any).
 

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I am about to try the Centric Posi Metallic on my rears (SLK55 though) to try and match them up to EBC Yellowstuff I am using on the fronts. You say they are as dusty as OEM - all brake pads produce dust, are you saying that the dust is as black as OEM?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am about to try the Centric Posi Metallic on my rears (SLK55 though) to try and match them up to EBC Yellowstuff I am using on the fronts. You say they are as dusty as OEM - all brake pads produce dust, are you saying that the dust is as black as OEM?
Yes, the Centric Posi Metallic brake dust is just as black as the OEM pads.
The dust from the ceramic pads is not visible even after it rains. Whereas OEM pad bake dust leaves an unsightly mess as we all know.
 

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Thanks! That is going to be a waste of money then!
I normally use Redstuff ceramic which produces, as you say, a brown dust that is washed away with the rain. But lately I have been taken with Yellowstuff - dust is a little dark, but not as black as OEM, but it washes off relatively easily. Unfortunately EBC do not make a Yellowstuff pad for the 55 rears.
Have you ever tried Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks! That is going to be a waste of money then!
I normally use Redstuff ceramic which produces, as you say, a brown dust that is washed away with the rain. But lately I have been taken with Yellowstuff - dust is a little dark, but not as black as OEM, but it washes off relatively easily. Unfortunately EBC do not make a Yellowstuff pad for the 55 rears.
Have you ever tried Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic?
Last I checked Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic pads were not available for the R172 350.
The Akebono ceramic pads I have on the front of my 350 do not show any brake dust at all. I'm hoping the TRW pads will work the same.
 

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Very odd, because Centric show the ceramic for the R172 55s - IO think maybe because the 55 uses the M Class calipers at the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just updated my original post to indicate that the TRW ceramic rear pads are as good as the Akebono ceramic front pads brake dust-wise.
 

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Didn't see a thread on doing the front. Is it basically the same? Do you still have to put brakes in service mode to do the front or is that for rear only?
 

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The rears have the parking brake on them, the fronts don't. Standard procedure on the fronts!
I am curious as to where and how this information was obtained. Is it not copy righted (obviously not or it wouldn't be here right)? Being a registered DAS/STAR owner, does that also give you the benefit of having access to manufacturer information? I know that technical information on older model cars is always available on the internet but trying to research this information on newer models (2012 and up) always leads me to forums or signing up for access to all the information on manufacturer based sites. Are you registered to one of these sites (ex. repairsurge.com) and if so does it provide you with everything you need ? When I run into my first major pain in the ass problem I will probably most likely want to consider this kind of informational support you think? Or do you know of something better out there? As I see it now , the information is becoming increasingly protected and is offered at a price. I don't mind paying for access to the information, I just want to know the best comprehensive site for these vehicles and not some run of the mill bs site. Sorry for so many questions, but I see you have some experience in this realm and if you could be so kind to point me in the right direction for the best information platform I can quit coming in here and asking stupid questions and instead be a help for newer model hands on problem solving.:smile:
 

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Easy. Trial and terror!


But I also have access to WIS, the shopmanual in digital form. For this particular issue I've just looked at the electrical scheme.


Taking things apart yourself is making much more clear than WIS. For instance: taking the roll bar covers off. WIS just states to remove the cover where the roll covers are sticking out from and than 'remove covers'. It doesn't say how or where to start. Doing it ( I got a little help from @wja86 ) will reveal how it is really connected. A lot of MB parts are fixed at the car in the same way for every model, this may help in your search on the net (YouTube) how to remove a part. And not everybody has the same guts in taking things apart!
 

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If you join the (worldwide) Mercedes Benz owners club, you get free access to WIS and EPC. WIS theoretically tells you how and EPC tells you what parts you need.

As JudgeMing points out above, the WIS instructions are more aide memoire than detailed instructions. Part of what you pay for at a Mercedes dealer is the fact that the technicians have attended classes where they have stripped the cars down and put them back together, using the special Mercedes Benz tools and workshop equipment.

So much of it is reading guides published on forums like this and extrapolating, and sometimes you just have to pull something Off REALLY hard.
 

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Easy. Trial and terror!


But I also have access to WIS, the shopmanual in digital form. For this particular issue I've just looked at the electrical scheme.


Taking things apart yourself is making much more clear than WIS. For instance: taking the roll bar covers off. WIS just states to remove the cover where the roll covers are sticking out from and than 'remove covers'. It doesn't say how or where to start. Doing it ( I got a little help from @wja86 ) will reveal how it is really connected. A lot of MB parts are fixed at the car in the same way for every model, this may help in your search on the net (YouTube) how to remove a part. And not everybody has the same guts in taking things apart!
If you join the (worldwide) Mercedes Benz owners club, you get free access to WIS and EPC. WIS theoretically tells you how and EPC tells you what parts you need.

As JudgeMing points out above, the WIS instructions are more aide memoire than detailed instructions. Part of what you pay for at a Mercedes dealer is the fact that the technicians have attended classes where they have stripped the cars down and put them back together, using the special Mercedes Benz tools and workshop equipment.

So much of it is reading guides published on forums like this and extrapolating, and sometimes you just have to pull something Off REALLY hard.
This repairsurge.com site offers factory authorized access to detailed factory manuals for $19.99 a year. 100% money back guarantee, detailed everything, can download and print anything. Is this WIS and EPC the same thing or just general information? I am very mechanically inclined plus I have technical background but it does me no good if I don't have the right information or tools. What's you guys opinion on this verses Mercedes Benz owners club?
 

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This repairsurge.com site offers factory authorized access to detailed factory manuals for $19.99 a year. 100% money back guarantee, detailed everything, can download and print anything. Is this WIS and EPC the same thing or just general information? I am very mechanically inclined plus I have technical background but it does me no good if I don't have the right information or tools. What's you guys opinion on this verses Mercedes Benz owners club?
The entire Mercedes system is operated by Snap-on Tools on behalf of Mercedes. They charge a LOT more than $19.99 for access so I'd be surprised if it is access to WIS and EPC that Repairsurge is selling. But it could well be. Who knows what licensing deals can be done?

I joined the Mercedes Owners club specifically for the WIS and EPC access. It then took about 2 weeks to get issued with a password but after that I've had 100% access 24/7. It's very good. And you can go to all the MOC things they run and you have access to their forums as well. Most of the same people on here are also on the MB UK OC forums as well.

It's not crazy expensive (£35/$50 I think). It's well worth it in my opinion.
 
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