Check Brake Pads See Owner’s Manual: What Does It Mean? Explained

The Check Brake Pads See Owner’s Manual message on the instrument cluster can be frustrating, especially if you are on a long trip. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean an expensive fault in your Mercedes. It tells you that the brake pads are worn out and should be replaced.

This is a brake pad wear message, meaning the sensors mounted on the brakes have determined that the brake pads are too thin. This relatively new addition to the cars helps prevent damaging the disc by driving your car with no brake pads.

Read on for more information about Check Brake Pads See Owner’s Manual message, including the cost of replacing the brake pads on your Mercedes.

Why Does My Mercedes Say Check Brake Pads?

Simply put, the brake pad wear message means either the front or rear brake pads are worn out and should be replaced as soon as possible. You will get this error message on the information cluster if the pad material has reduced to its minimum thickness. After you replace the brake pads and wear sensors, the message should disappear.

Check Brake Pads See Owner’s Manual Warning

Brake pad thickness monitoring thickness is a new addition to Mercedes cars. The system uses sensors mounted on the wheels to monitor the pad material thickness and display the warning message when maximum allowable wear is reached. The feature prevents accidental driving with worn-out brake pads, which protect the disc from damage.

This system prevents disc damage and reduces the chance of brake failure. It is one of the systems that keep you safe on the road.

Related content: Do Brake Pads Come In Pairs? (Answered)

How Do I Get Rid of the Warning Message on the Instrument Cluster?

Have you replaced your brake pads, but the message won’t disappear? You should be aware that the task is not finished by replacing the brake pads alone. You need to also get new brake pad wear sensors and replace the old ones.

check brake pad wear mercedes

Another scenario where the warning will remain on your instrument cluster is when you do just the vehicle’s front or back. You should check the brake pads on both axles and replace them accordingly. Some owners prefer to do just one axle to save money.

Unfortunately, there are cases when the message won’t go away on its own, and you need to clear it manually. After everything is complete, it is time to grab a diagnostic tool compatible with your car that is able to clear Mercedes trouble codes. You can also try and restart the car several times to see if that helps.

How Long Can I Drive with Brake Pad Warning Light?

It is safe to drive your car when this warning message light appears, but not for long. The system is designed to alert you when there is still some brake pad material left to avoid damaging the disc rotors. It also gives you time to drive to an auto repair shop to replace the worn-out brake pads.

However, it would be best if you don’t drive for long because you will likely finish the thin brake pad material left. After receiving the warning message on the instrument cluster, you have about 200-400 miles of brake pad life.

Check Brake Fluid level warning light may also come on if you take too long to replace the brake pads. That means you are getting to a dangerous zone where the brakes will take too long to stop the car. You are risking collisions because the brakes can fail at any time.

Related content: Will Walmart replace your brake pads and rotors?

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Mercedes Brake Pads?

Replacing brake pads costs about $150-$450 per axle, depending on the quality of brake pads you need. This is much cheaper than replacing rotor discs if damaged because you didn’t change them on time.

The Mercedes-Benz brake rotor replacement will cost about $300-$750 for all four rotors. That tells you how vital the Check Brake Pads See Owner’s Manual is. It saves you the expensive repair cost and enhances your safety.

What other signs tell you to change your Mercedes brake pads besides the check brake warning message? Be keen on the following:

  • Grinding, squeaking, or squealing sound from the brakes.
  • Vibrations, shaking, or unfamiliar noise in the cabin when braking.
  • The brake pedal moves further to the floor than it usually does. It may also seem loose or require more force to stop the car.
  • A brake warning light may appear on the dashboard.
  • The car becomes unstable at highway speeds – it begins to wobble or rock.
  • Vehicle pulling in one direction when braking – non-uniform braking.
  • The vehicle takes longer to stop than usual.

The warning message or brake light should turn off after replacing the brake pads. You can use an OBD2 scanner to clear the error code and force the dashboard warning light off if it stays on.

How Often Should Brake Pads Be Replaced?

How often you replace your brake pads depends on the usage and other factors. Mercedes Benz brake pads have a lifespan of about 30,000-35,000 miles, after which they should be replaced. However, you may do that sooner if you frequently use your machine.

Generally, the lifespan of brake pads depends on different factors. The most apparent one is your trip’s frequency and the pad material’s quality. Some wear out faster than others. Another overlooked factor is your driving habit, which is more significant when driving a car with manual transmission. If you don’t rely on engine braking when going downhill, your brake pads will wear out faster.

Can You Visually Inspect Brake Pads?

Yes. You can visually inspect the brake pads if you are a hands-on Mercedes Benz owner. Inspect them through the tire spoke, and ensure you can see the brake pads pressing against the brake rotor. If the pad material is thinner than ¼ of an inch, replace the brake pads.

mechanic inspecting brake pads visually

However, it may not be possible to see the inner brake pads. These often wear out before the outer one, meaning visual inspection may give you a different picture of the brake pad’s condition.

How Do You Check Brake Pads Without Removing the Tires?

Your Mercedes Benz will warn you when the brake pads are nearing the end of service life. But it needs to be more intelligent to specify the affected wheels. The error message can be triggered by worn-out front or rear brake pads. Does that mean you should remove all the tires to inspect them?

You don’t have to remove the tires to inspect the brake pads. Automakers have made it easy to diagnose thin brake pads without the hurdles of unscrewing the wheels. You can accomplish it in the following ways:

Use a Mercedes Benz OBD2 scanner and read the fault codes. Some scanning tools can tell you if it is the front or rear brake pad. You can replace it yourself or contact a mechanic to help you.

You can also rely on the sensor light if the brake pads have it. Some brake pad manufacturers embed a thin sensor into the pad material. The sensor turns on an indicator light if the pad material wears out and it gets into contact with the brake rotor.

A position sensor can also help you determine if the brake pads are worn out. It measures the distance the brake pads move when you press the brake pedal and alerts you if the pad material is worn out.

How to Change Brake Pads on Mercedes Benz

If you are a hands-on guy, you replace brake pads on your Mercedes in your garage. The process is straightforward if you have the tools required in the steps. We will highlight the procedure for replacing brake pads on the Mercedes C-Class Saloon (W205). Still, it can also apply to other MERCEDES-BENZ models.

You will need the following tools and materials to accomplish this task:

  • Wire brush
  • Nylon cleaning brush
  • WD-40 spray
  • Electronic spray
  • Brake cleaner
  • Anti-squeal paste
  • Ceramic grease
  • Torque wrench
  • Combination spanner #17
  • Drive socket # 13
  • Wheel impact socket #17
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Long nose pliers
  • Brake caliper wind back tool
  • Crowbar
  • Wheel chock

Replace the components in the list according to the Mercedes model you will work on. And let’s get dusty if you have everything ready. It is worth knowing that some drivers like to bleed their brakes too when doing their pads, but this is not necessary.

  1. Open the hood and unscrew the brake fluid reservoir cap.
  2. Secure the wheels with chocks and loosen them before jacking them up. Ensure the vehicle is on a flat surface and the jack is supported with stands for improved safety.
  3. Use the will impact socket number 17 to unscrew the wheel bolts. Hold the wheel when doing this step to avoid injuries, and carefully remove the wheel.
  4. Use long nose pliers to detach the brake pad wear sensor connector and spread the brake pads using a crowbar.
  5. Use a wire brush and WD-40 spray to clean the brake caliper fasteners. Unscrew them using appropriate tools and remove the fastener bolts.
  6. Remove the brake caliper and tie it to the suspension with a wire without disconnecting it from the brake hose to avoid depressurizing the brake system. Caution, do not step on the brake pedal after removing the brake caliper.
  7. Remove the brake pads and use the chance to measure the brake disc thickness. Replace this part, too, if it has reached the wear limit.
  8. Use a wire brush and a brake cleaner to clean the brake caliper bracket and piston. Apply an anti-squeal paste to treat the brake pads where they come into contact with the caliper bracket and install them.
  9. Apply pressure on the brake caliper piston using the brake caliper wind back tool and install it.
  10. Install the fastening bolts and tighten them to 34 nm torque using a torque wrench.
  11. Apply dielectric grease on the brake pad wear sensor plug, and reattach the connector.
  12. Clean the rim mounting seat and apply ceramic grease on the surface that will come into contact with the brake disc.
  13. Use brake cleaner to clean the brake disk and install the wheel.
  14. Lower the car, and tighten the wheel bolts in a cross order using a torque wrench to 130 Nm.
  15. Remove the jacks and chocks and tighten the brake fluid reservoir cap. Close the hood, and you are ready to hit the road again.

As you can see, replacing your brake pads is not difficult as long as you document the procedure and have the necessary tools. Doing your brake pads can be tedious work; hence many drivers would rather pay a mechanic to do it. If ever in doubt, ask a professional car mechanic for help! The money are well worth it!