General braking system information - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Tires, Wheels, Brakes & Suspension Discussion and information regarding tires, wheels, brakes and suspension.

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#1 Old 04-08-2019
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General braking system information

Welcome all!

This is my first post on the forum so please be patient with me if I'm not up-to-speed on proper forum protocol, in the wrong forum altogether; or this appears to be too much of an epistle.

Here is a quick run-down on my vehicle; 2005 SLK350.
It has 11 K miles currently (had 8K when purchased), yes, that's no typo; bought it from high ranking Air Force individual that spent most of his time in other parts of the World and didn't have time to drive the vehicle.
Absolutely new and perfect from what I can see; only changed fluids and purchased new battery.

Now comes my only problem I have had with the vehicle and this just appeared about a week ago.
After sitting for several months we decided to go for a short cruise when I noticed a brake system error appeared. I opened the hood and sure enough the MC reservoir was low; had not noticed it being low before. Well, I promptly filled the reservoir with new DOT 4 between the lines of min & max. and took it for a spin.
Yes, you guessed it, all of you experts out there probably know exactly what happened; just like the manual plainly spells out. Apparently you can't just fill the reservoir like most vehicles in the Western World. When I stopped to check things in my driveway, yep, all of the fluid that I had put in the reservoir had over-flowed or somehow leaked out.
Quickly got the water hose and rinsed everything out really good; no paint damage.

So now my question is two-fold.

First why do you think this happened out-of-the blue?

And the second question is how does one go about remedying the problem without taking it to MB.

I'm pretty handy with automobiles as my profile indicates, but of course I've been used to working on cars that are 50 to 60 years old.
Not sure if there is some type of special valving in my SLK that prevents replenishing fluid at the reservoir.
Once again, forgive me if this exact issue has already been addressed a hundred times before; being new to the forum, I'm just not sure where I need to be looking. I'm thanking all of you in advance for any help on this matter. . . . and I promise to be more brief next time around.
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Last edited by Avel Du; 04-09-2019 at 09:57 AM.
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#2 Old 04-08-2019
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#3 Old 04-08-2019
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There's no reason not to fill your reservoir - you must have a leak somewhere (and keep in mind it may be internal to the booster or above the driver's toes).


If you've worked on any car with power brakes, you should be on good footing with your brakes. ABS experience too would be helpful, but not required.
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#4 Old 04-08-2019
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@warm&fuzzy,

Having a long history of working on cars is a great starting point. MB can be different than some of your other cars in that it will want you to use special engine oil, coolant, and even brake fluid. The spec for it is DOT4 Plus.

Start with a very good read through your owner's manual and then read through this site as most every issue has come up here.

I'm not sure why your brake fluid puked out of the reservior, possibley an air bubble (it can get lodged in the ABS module) that came backup through the reservior. How low was the fluid when you added and what was left after the puking situation.

If it were my car, I would do a full and thorough flush of the fluid with fresh DOT4 Plus. You would be best to use a pressure bleeding system and if you have any concern of air in the ABS module then you should use the MB Star system to activate the ABS solenoids to force the air out during the bleeding process.

Let us kow what you find and welcome to the group.
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#5 Old 04-08-2019
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Thanks so much for the quick response and good advice. Yes, I think to do this right I need to do a complete and thorough brake system servicing. I have a whole library on British MG vehicles, but nothing on my SLK350; can you recommend a reasonably priced manual or CD/DVD manual that can be purchased?
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#6 Old 04-08-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warm&fuzzy View Post
Thanks so much for the quick response and good advice. Yes, I think to do this right I need to do a complete and thorough brake system servicing. I have a whole library on British MG vehicles, but nothing on my SLK350; can you recommend a reasonably priced manual or CD/DVD manual that can be purchased?
Mercedes does not have service manuals except on line that one could buy a yearly subscription to. All that info is copyrighted for them
no chiltons, haines, etc...


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Last edited by Avel Du; 04-09-2019 at 09:59 AM. Reason: small c ok JB
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#7 Old 04-08-2019
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Thanks so much for the quick response and good advice. Yes, I think to do this right I need to do a complete and thorough brake system servicing. Also, could you tell me whether the DOT4 Plus is straight synthetic or a blend?
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#9 Old 04-08-2019
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Buying a low millage car out of warranty has its own set of risks due to factory defects never been corrected and maintenance being deferred.
Make sure all time based items are up to date.
Now with your current problem it should be easy to locate the leak, corrosion and lack of movement might have compromised master cylinder.
We might be able to provide a few tips after you locate the source of the leak.
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#10 Old 04-09-2019
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Yes, getting too low of a mileage vehicle can actually be a bad thing. You can get your own set of peculiar problems from things not being used often enough. Gaskets and rubber pieces tend to go bad from no use.

I agree it sounds like an air bubble in your system. I would also be checking to see if you can see a leak(likely a hose) or if there is a stuck piston in a brake caliper.
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#11 Old 04-09-2019
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@frogfoot see post 1. Ever happened to you?

@warm&fuzzy take head on the lack of use and effects on rubber (and joints/hinges).
Give the roof system some tlc.
See https://www.slkworld.com/general-dis...ts-hinges.html

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#12 Old 04-09-2019
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Manual,or auto box ?

If manual and been sat not in use maybe clutch cylinder in the gearbox bell housing has started to leak , takes its fluid feed out the bottom of brakes fluid reservoir.

I take it the brake warning light has gone off now you topped fluid off ? If your pour fluid in too fast sometimes the air in the reservoir can blow fluid back out as the air is forced out .

Scan the car for abs/esp fault codes , I had a brake pedal pressure switch changed a few years back after it put light on you had.

The car had sat over winter and after pressing the pedal hard for the first time the switch stuck open causing the light to come on ( cause lack of use )

Think it cost me Ł115 ish fitted.
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