Brakes & Tires - Wearing out Quickly?

al_2003al_2003 Member Posts: 26
edited March 2014 in Mercedes-Benz
Hi...I have a 2001 ML320. It has 32000 miles on it, and I am ready to put my SECOND set of front brakes, my first set of rear brakes, and 4 new tires! The car is usually on the freeways and is never abused. Is this normal for this car? Do others have similar experiences?



  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    are you sure you do not play the cat and mouse game i see everyday on the know,follow too close then apply the brakes speed up again apply the brakes.i see it its hard on brakes and tires.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    miles on an OEM set of tires on an SUV is actually outstanding - not what you wanted to hear, I know, but OEM tires are garbage, no matter the manufacturer.

    The brake pad wear frequency is about average for what I'm seeing on the MLs and average for most full-size SUVs.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    My OE brake pads were 80% worn before 25K and needed replacement. My tires were replaced at 28K. My attitude towards OE tires is different from Zues' but your numbers are not too far off from what I've seen and heard.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Did he mean by "second set" of brakes at 32K that the first set were replaced at 16K?
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Do you drive with both feet? I can tell you right now if you do that's where your brake wear is coming from. Left foot just barely resting on the brake pedal will apply enough pressure to have the brakes "drag." This not only dramatically reduces the life of your brakes, but your brake lights will also burn out quick, not to mention increases your likelihood of a rear end accident because people can't tell if you are or are not slowing down. Please don't take offense, I see this on a daily basis, and have worked in an auto repair shop and seen the havoc a two footed driver reek on the car's brakes.

    As far as tires go, if the alignment is kept in spec, and they are at the correct pressure and rotated on a regular basis they should last a good long time. Zueslewis is correct also, factory rubber is junk!! I only got 38K out of my factory meats, and trust me they were toasted when I replaced them.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Somehow, I just feel we have a driver who is harder then he/she thinks they are on their car.

    And, yes, a two foot driver will go through brakes like nothing else.

    Or..could there be a teenage driver?

    My dad used to wonder why his rear tires and brakes didn't last long...:)
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    How can some say "factory rubber is junk" when they base their opinion solely on mileage?

    I'm not saying EVERY OE tire is world-class but the direct opposite is just as false.

    I'd love to know what criteria is being used to judge whether an OE tire is "junk". I'd also like to know exactly how you guys determine what a "non-junk" tire is.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think what they mean is that the OEM tires are chosen for SUVS for two reasons: one, cost; two--the best ride possible. But I wouldn't call them "junk" ---a better word would be "under-tired".

    I also think that if brakes front AND rear, AND tires are wearing out quickly the driver is the most likely cause. This is exactly what happens to taxi cabs, for instance.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but lots of time in the car business and 3 years with Super Shops (West Coast Regional Manager), I had many opportunities to compare OEM and "aftermarket" tires by the same manufacturer side by side.

    Having also worked in service in the car business, I've seen more than my share of tire issues with OEM tires and never saw that level of problems with tires purchased as a consumer's second or third set.

    It's just my opinion, but knowing that specs are different for OEM vs "storebought" tires, there's enough of a difference to say there's a difference.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    My 99 V-6 Accord Coupe has 48,000 miles on the original Michelins that some people in these forums have called "junk".

    They still have half of their tread left.

    I have noticed just recently that wet weather traction has slipped a bit.

    Still, they are hardly junk!
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    if your car comes OEM with a model and size of tire that is also sold commercially (like many of the new Toyotas and Subarus come with Potenza RE92s, and the 4Runner comes new with Michelin Cross Terrains), are these tires made especially cheaply in a special batch just for the manufacturers to put on the brand new cars?

    If not, then surely some OEM tires are just as good as the successive sets of tires, for makes and models that bother to put decent tires on new cars.

    The SUV tire issue is a separate one - regardless of how off-pavement worthy an SUV may be, it is certainly true that most of the manufacturers choose tires for these vehicles based solely on cost and how smooth and comfy the ride will be, without a whit of concern for snow or off-pavement traction and use.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    So are BF Goodrich "Long Trial" T/As (staple for GM full sized SUVs for several years, and of course, the whole Firestone SUV debacle with the ATX, Wilderness, etc. The ATX is one of the sorriest tires ever made.

    You'll notice that with tires like the Long Trail T/A, regular stores don't have them in stock - you have to order to replace 1 or 2. BFG/Michelin knows they can't compete with the other brand's tires in that segment, so why market them as retail units?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    From the research I've done on tires there are some models that are developed strictly for the OEM business and others that are developed and sold as aftermarket replacement units. I think almost every OE tire is available as a replacement unit as well.

    Some tire models are developed in close concert with the automaker as they have specific tire needs for a particular car. For example, the Goodyear Eagle GA was developed for the Cadillac Allante and Buick Reatta. IIRC, the Eagle GA was the first speed rated touring tire.

    The Bridgestone RE92 is similar in that Bridgestone positions it as the tire they want to sell to the automakers. Look carefully and you will see the RE92 is sold in a huge variety of sizes and in multiple speed ratings to meet the various needs of the automaker.

    I find it extremely hard to believe that a tire maker like Michelin for example produces a cheapo price point tire model for the automakers and an expensive top quality tire model for the aftermarket. Tires like the Energy MXV4 Plus or the Cross Terrain are two of the best tires made in the industry in terms of quality and consistency. The notion that Michelin makes a cut rate version and a top notch version is very very hard to swallow.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I haven't seen the "OEM - garbage, tire store - good tire" trend with Michelin. I have seen this with BFG, Goodyear and especially Firestone.

    While OEM tires are available as replcements, they usually aren't in the limelight of the comapny's marketing strategy. The BFG Long Trail T/A, for instance, was never in a national ad. It was an OEM tire, and the All-Terrain T/A, the Trail T/A and Mud-Terrain T/A were the advertised models.
  • tbonertboner Member Posts: 402
    P5 I think the factory Dunlop SP5000's are rated at about a 180 or maybe 220 for treadwear. In fact, IIRC, they have a special designation called the SP Sport 5000M (probably M for Mazda)

    Then look at the same tire, and I believe you will find the one at the tire rack or your local Dunlop dealer has something like a 340 treadwear rating. (Of course you won't find the 5000M there, you just have to go with the standard 5000)

    I was looking at these, and IIRC, the factory rubber installed by Mazda had the lower treadwear ratings.

    Or I could just be too tired (no pun intended) to recall correctly.

  • mlsuvmlsuv Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 ML430 with 24000 miles. The break paddle pulses in/out and the steering also shakes violently. It gets worst when go faster. Has anyone experience anything similar? Is there any hidden recal for such? And will standard waranty cover?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • capriracercapriracer Member Posts: 906
    Guys, here's the scoop on OEM tires.

    Vehicle manufacturers TELL the tire manufacturers what they want. In one case the list of specs is 2 pages long.

    Among these specs is one for rolling resistance, and one of the ways to get rolling resistance is to sacrifice tread wear.

    Another way is to lighten the tire. Having a tire with the minimum of material can cause molding problems in the form of cracks and the mold not being properly filled out.

    Typically a vehicle manufacturer insists that the OE tire be available in the market place when the vehicle is introduced. What sometimes happens is that tires are shipped gratis to major tire dealers, and payment is due as they are sold. This means that an OE tire will be available , but not necessarily, readily available.

    Hope this helps.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I bought a brand new Nissan Pathfinder in late 1998 that came equipped with a set of Bridgestones. I admit I am not, and have never been a devotee to that brand, and when I had to buy new tires at 14,500 miles, my opinion was solidified. The dead carcasses sported a tread wear factor number of 180. At 45K I bought tire set 3, Cooper Discoverer H/T's. Set number 2 were BFG Radial TA's. Those were car tires and never really seemed proper. I think I'm happy now... RIDE ON! says Arnold Palmer.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Duh! Since magazine test cars and owners look at stopping distances and handling numbers. The factory wants to achieve the best results so they spec a soft fast wearing tire. Which optimizes both so their car looks good.
    Changing from a V rated 180 OEM tire to a 300-400 T rated tire can easily lengthen stopping distances by 20-30 feet [70 to zero]. Even Worse in rain, same with handling which might decline by 3-5% or more.

    The other item is manufactures know that the majority of inexpensive tires are less than safe after 20,000 miles [they assume worst case heating and driver abuse], so they want the ones they supplied to be worn and off the car they built to shift the burden to the owner.

    This is not necessarily the case with a premium material tire like oem Michelin especially in V rated and above.

    Ever notice that some 2002 cars take 215 feet to stop from 70 mph and some stop in 153 feet.....tire compound and weight on tires is the primary most brakes will lock the wheels without ABS on a single stop. TIRES!
  • tbonertboner Member Posts: 402
    I've never felt it was wise to get 80K mile tires. You usually must sacrifice handling and braking to get a tire to last that long. I admit I have a set of 60K Michelins for my Buick, but then they'll be worn out in two years.

    FWIW, I got 30K from a set of Dunlop SP5000's on that Buick. I retired them at 3/32nds of pretty even tread left.

  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Just because a tire has half the tread left doesn't mean that it functions anywhere near like a new one!
    Heat and ozone attack the rubber compound turning it progressively harder and harder [the vulcanization continues].......You should buy a tire that will last 24 months with your type of driving.......for maximum safety and performance.

    Generally if 2/32" is legal limit something like 4-5/32" would the the point where a prudent owner would change.

    Since tires are the most critical component on the car!

    By the way tires are only tested for 8,000 miles then the life is extrapolated based on what happens in the test period.

    Many tires on heavy cars are marginally overloaded due to low inflation....internal damage is checkable by xraying them or a sudden change in the amount/position of balance weighs but most owners don't get them precision balanced every 90 days so by the time you feel a problem it is too late!

    Whenever you see a rearend wreck think what a better tire with just 5%-10% better friction would have saved.......5,10,15 foot better stopping distance soft vs hard.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    somehow, consumers became of the opinion that a longer lasting tire was somehow a "better" tire - and it is, as long as handling, braking distances and dry weather traction aren't concerns of yours.

    Unless you pony up for mega-dollar 80,000 miles Michelins, I wouldn't consider any cheaper 80,000 mile tire as being more safe or handling better.

    If you're an old dude with a Park Avenue who never drives over 40, then the 80,000 milers are for you.

    Me, I want a tire that will help me brake when I want and won't let go when I make it turn.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    the OEM tire on my old Subaru was a white-letter Potenza RE92, and when it came time to replace them, I would always get the OEM because I liked the look. Managed to get more than 40K miles from each set - they weren't too bad, although snow traction was terrible, and the car was an outback.

    Apart from that, I have always replaced OEM with Michelins - I am a believer. They are usually quieter and always have better traction, in my experience. Of course, they also cost more, so I guess you still can't have your cake AND eat it too.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I have found that one of the best investments you can make when buying tires is the road hazard warranty. Tires are so susceptible to unexpected damage and "driveability" problems, that having the warranty gives the buyer real leverage over thieving or dismissive tire merchants.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Superior tire are more resistive to road hazards!
    Cheapo single ply sidewalls [designed for low rolling resistance- better fuel economy] are accidents waiting to happen as are the newer 44 and 51 psi designs......these ballon like tires have little or no reserve in sidewall impacts.

    Thank goodness Michelin uses a 77% stronger polyester material [for its thickness] than do cheaper brands.

    Michelin trades off a little [not too much]traction for strength, roundness, and quietness!
  • email77email77 Member Posts: 27
    I bought my ML320 at 1998, it had 65.000KM on it, I think it is time to replace it. any suggestion on brand and models, I need it to use in the SNOW in winter beside that just daily use from home to work. I know the size is hard to find, I also own a Nissan Murano a 18" tire, but I worrie about it when I need it.
    Thank you
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    go check out the Tires topic in Aftermarket - report your question for bretfraz or capriracer - they're the real tire guys.
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