Home » Yes, A Brake Job On This Mercedes Really Does Cost $120,000

Yes, A Brake Job On This Mercedes Really Does Cost $120,000

Mercedes Benz Slr Mclaren Brake Job Ts
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It’s no secret that supercars come with super bills. From Audi R8 dampers with four-figure price tags to mid-five-figure front drive unit replacement on a Ferrari FF, the upper echelon of performance cars comes with maintenance costs that could make you wince. However, as wild as those examples may be, nothing will prepare you for just how much a set of discs and pads for a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren costs.

In case the SLR McLaren slipped your mind, this was Mercedes’ 2000s moonshot, a supercharged, carbon fiber-intensive rocketship that McLaren had the unenviable task of making actually work. The end result? A whopping 617 horsepower, zero-to-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 207 mph. Back in 2005, mid-way through the production run, this thing carried an MSRP of $455,000, and if you want to replace the discs and pads on one of these things today, expect to pay a pretty penny.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Just take a look at this quote at list price. I can’t tell what’s more astonishing, the list price of $112,320 before tax for all the parts, or that the cost of each individual brake disc is so great that it actually clips through the column.

This parts quote is going viral on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, but I was able to track down the original post to the Facebook group called “Parts Departments. Where the Magic Happens.” If you’re employed in auto parts, check this group out, it’s brilliant. The original poster was one Daniel Braddy, who explained the parts quote in the comments.

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I just was showing a newer employee the high price to get a laugh and decided to post it. I sold a set a long time ago under warranty. And they were stupid expensive 17 years ago so I knew they would be even more expensive now. They are collector cars. Even most of the used ones only have less than 10,000 miles. So most of them have not needed brakes yet.

Keep in mind, this quote’s for discs and pads alone, meaning no labor and none of the fiddly one-time-use stuff like pad wear sensors and clips. So why on earth do these discs and pads cost so much? Well, it turns out that if you build a special set of carbon ceramic brakes for a high-end car way back when that tech was in its infancy, the parts themselves are just excruciatingly expensive. We’re also talking about 14.6-inch front brake discs and 14.2-inch rear brake discs, so not tiny units either. Still, that sort of money buys a whole lot of other things.

Mercedes Benz Eqs 450 Us Version 2022 1600 0b

You know that funny-looking EQS flagship electric sedan Mercedes offers? Yeah, that thing starts at $105,550 including freight, which works out cheaper than a full set of discs and pads for an SLR McLaren. In this case, I think I’d have to go with the SLR McLaren brake pads over the EQS, although just think of the litany of cars you could buy for $112,320. You could buy a brand new Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0, a C8 Corvette, or two Toyota GR Supras for that sort of coin. Ouch.

Mercedes Benz Slr Mclaren 2004 1600 62

On the flip side, these brakes might give some Mercedes-Benz owners a feeling of shared lineage, making the SLR more relatable. Given that a standard Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is worth between $350,000 and $400,000, it has something in common with a 25-year-old fully-depreciated LeMons-spec C-Class — a brake job is worth about a quarter of the car.

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(Photo credits: Mercedes-Benz, Facebook/Daniel Braddy)

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Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
1 month ago

I thought carbon ceramic rotors were essentially a lifetime part? Basically only need replacement due to damage or maybe a few 100k miles.

MY LEG!
MY LEG!
1 month ago

Keep in mind we’re talking about someone who purchased a Merc supercar from 2005 when carbon-ceramic rotors were cutting edge. (“Goof” down the thread has better technical insight.)

Not hard to imagine that the keys were flung at the service front desk and told “take care of it,” only to find out “taking care of it” was a lot more than what was expected.

Last edited 1 month ago by MY LEG!
Alan Bradley
Alan Bradley
1 month ago

I have a 1-of-400 Toyota Yaris GRMN. The front brake discs come in, in the UK, at a smidge under $1,000 each including sales tax. That’s not a joke. That’s not fitted. That’s per disc over the counter.

The Modern Leper
The Modern Leper
1 month ago

I have an ’07 911 Turbo with ceramic brakes. I just checked Suncoast Parts and new rotors and pads are $34,000. Yikes. That’s about 40 to 45% of the cars value. And, like the parts quote in the article, that doesn’t include labor. When my brakes wear out…the car might be totaled! 😉

Goof
Goof
1 month ago

So the common swap for track rats who buy PCCB cars are Girodisc’s cast iron slotted rotors. There’s a few reason why they’re popular.

  1. The most important part is they’re MEANT to work with the stock PCCB calipers. You don’t need new calipers. They designed to work with them.
  2. They’re a two piece rotor with a separate hat and disc. So when the rotors get worn, you just replace the “rings”, which further lowers cost.
  3. They work great, including for track duty, even for 30-40 minute sessions.
  4. They’re lighter than the OEM cast iron rotors. So on a new 992 GT3, PCCBs is about -40 pounds (full set) over cast irons. However the Girodiscs reduce that difference from 40 pounds to I think about 16-18 pounds. Not as light as carbon ceramics, obviously, but the weight penalty is much lower.

I’ve been doing the research as I’m looking at ordering a car, with PCCBs. Girodisc is what every track rat I know uses, and what the top mechanics recommend.

The Modern Leper
The Modern Leper
1 month ago
Reply to  Goof

Good to know. Thank you. I’ve read that a lot of owners of PCCB equipped 911s will swap to the metallic rotors and calipers when they track the car. Much cheaper to replace than the PCCBs. This GiroDisc solution sounds even better. Thanks. For now, even though I have 90k miles on my car, my PCCB setup still has a lot of life left in them. Cheers

Last edited 1 month ago by The Modern Leper
Goof
Goof
1 month ago

Yeah, though to be honest the caliper swaps usually are done more by the people doing tons of track days really trying to shave every bit of weight, as they’re usually done in combination with different wheels as well — usually 19″ diameters because they offer the most tire options. I think the preferred choice for wheels right now for the track crowd are BBS FI-Rs.

Back to the Girodiscs, if you were doing your brakes DIY, when you’re just replacing the “rings”, the cost of a full brake job (+pads & fluid) is roughly (+10%?) what you’d pay for a full brake service at a Subaru dealer for a WRX STi.

Last edited 1 month ago by Goof
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

I think if it were me I’d do the swap now and keep the fancy discs for when it’s time to sell. Chances are they will be even more unobtanium.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Goof

Wrong post

Last edited 1 month ago by Cheap Bastard
Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 month ago

Every part is universal. Just order some stock rotors and pads for a 1996 Cavalier. With some baling wire and a little welding, you are good.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

And that’s without a markup, I see a lot of parts departments trying up to 100% markups at my day job….

Hamish48
Hamish48
1 month ago

take it to Canadian Tire, Thomas

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago

Here’s a video of Bruce Weiner (who used to have a truly impressive collection of microcars, many restored to concours level, that was actually accessible to the public, just outside of Atlanta, GA, until about a decade or so ago) talking about the costs of maintaining his 1994 McLaren F1:
https://youtu.be/EsKDGdcb6BQ?si=gub2WhPeAjl8jDzr
Among the costs was some fifteen or fifty thousand dollars (the auto-generated captioning isn’t great, gah, so I’m not sure about the correct number) for changing a set of tires because in addition to the tires themselves being expensive the procedure for balancing the tires required the use of a racetrack which meant renting a racetrack, hiring mechanics, an ambulance, & other support services to be on hand at the racetrack that day. And some maintenance is done on a timed-out basis so without driving a single mile the average cost per year for maintenance was something like 25 thousand (again, thanks to the auto-generated captioning I’m not sure of the correct number.) But when a multi-millionaire kvetches about the cost of maintaining his seven- or eight-figure car you know it’s expensive, lol.

Nauthiz
Nauthiz
1 month ago

Per the story it was $50k, of which $7k was the tires, the rest was for transporting the car to the track, track rental, personnel (including a race driver to drive the car) to do the tire balance and suspension adjustments (because race car), and insurance to cover the car, track, etc.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago

So the reason they’re so expensive is “it just be like that”.

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
1 month ago

you don’t think it be like it is but it do

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 month ago

The hill I will stand atop in a flamesuit and proudly die on. This is one of, it not most beautiful Mercedes ever made. I would love to be able to afford one.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago

The dying hill is over there, several other of your colleagues have already perished on it. This is car is a badly proportioned, vainglorious, tawdry object exercise in two very different design and engineering philosophies pulling in two complete different directions.
i wonder if we’ll ever know the whole story.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adrian Clarke
Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Luckily we know a guy brave enough to go there.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I don’t always agree with Adrian Clarke on matters of design but I can agree that the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is both the ugliest Mercedes and the ugliest McLaren. I vaguely remember that its appearance is supposed to resemble something else, but whatever it is must be astoundingly ugly, perhaps a half used tube of toothpaste?

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Many years ago, I read a synopsis in a publication that I cannot recall, written by someone whos name I cannot remember; in which the SLR Mclarens exhaust note was described as being that of “Gods own ski boat” and I have wanted one ever since on that basis alone. Also it’s just beautiful.

Roofless
Roofless
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Layshio

I can’t remember if it was the SLR or a different Mercedes, but I saw a description of the exhaust note as sounding “like a crocodile eating the devil.”

MrAcoustics
MrAcoustics
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Layshio

Can confirm, many years ago I was riding my bike to work in Chicago and came upon a parked SLR. Sure enough as I approached the owner fired it up and pulled away. The grumble that car made will forever live in my head, truly a unique sound. That is the only one I have ever seen in person.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I have seen your disdain for many cars, this almost sounds like a compliment coming from you.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

As usual, when you agree with me, you come up with a correct take. Keep it up, champ.

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
1 month ago

Found Paris Hilton’s burner account.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 month ago

The Gullwing would like to enter the chat…

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
1 month ago

25-year-old fully-depreciated LeMons-spec C-Class — a brake job is worth about a quarter of the car.

You sure? On our Class C winning Lemons car a new set of pads and rotors cost roughly 140% the cost of our car…

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago

Go custom if you REALLY want that carbon ceramic fun. Wilwood makes a universal carbon ceramic rotor for about $3800 (not sure if single or pair). https://www.wilwood.com/Rotors/RotorList1?mcat=312

A $1000 for custom hats to fit the rotor to the car and in the right place, and you’re done. All the carbon fun for 1/10th the price!

Or realize no one drives these hard enough to merit the brakes, take your nice factory ones off, put them on the shelf, and drive the car around on the sweet $10 brakes from rock auto.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

Rock Auto has brake pads for $15 a set 😛

Someone else on here said that E55 brakes fit too, and those rotors are “only” $50-100 each

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

Meh, Rock Auto has Chinesium equivalents for thirty bucks each.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

“Oh good, there’s ‘Economy’ section options…wonderful. Oh and they’re on manufacturer closeout!”

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

“how lucky can I be to get this deal?”

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
1 month ago

Ngl, I ran the VIN through our Mercedes EPC and looked around at stuff for funsies.

Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
1 month ago

I have a feeling these may be discontinued and the price is Mercedes make to order program or whatever they call it. Where they make any part for any car they ever made as long as you pay the cost.

Chris Popovic
Chris Popovic
1 month ago

And I was upset when the dealer quoted me $650 for rear brakes and drums on my 2019 Ram 1500.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Popovic

Brake pads and rotors? Does it have the towing package?

Actually, never mind, that’s still absurd. I just did a front set for a friend’s F-150 at my shop and it was like $350 for rotors, pads, and all labor.

Stealerships, indeed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Box Rocket
Chris Popovic
Chris Popovic
1 month ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

Yep and the long bed. I thought it was equally absurd. Had a buddy of mine do them for a little under $400. Funny thing is it’s got 38K on it and the fronts are still fine.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Popovic

That sounds better.

Does your truck have Lane Keep Assist? I’ve noticed vehicles with that equipped seem to go through rear brakes more than expected (mostly Nissan/Infiniti but not exclusively), especially for those who rely more on that system.

Chris Popovic
Chris Popovic
1 month ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

Not the assist, thankfully. I hate that stuff. It does have the lane warning system which I like. Althought the audio tones will pierce your eardrums. No way to turn it down, only off. Otherwise, very happy with the truck. It’s been great.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

Out of curiosity I priced a front and back kit on Amazon for my Accord.

Front kit with ceramic pads, iron rotors, hardware and fluids is $88, rear with ceramic pads, hardware and iron rotors is $50. In my experience it’s an easy, straightforward job too, as long as nothing has rusted too badly.

But I’m sure that extra dough buys all manner of weight savings and MB expertise.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Popovic

$50 for parts, $500 for having to deal with fucking drum brakes, $100 extra for replacing the bloody springs which pinged off into a corner of the workshop.
Replacing shoes on drum brakes is my least favourite “easy” maintenance 🙁

JumboG
JumboG
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Popovic

Drums? On a 2019 Ram 1500? My 14 has disc brakes.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago
Reply to  JumboG

The parking brake is a drum inside the rear rotor, at least on mine. It also likes to rust to literal pieces, which is why I have personal experience with this part of the truck.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago

If your looking to save some money on your SLR, all the E55 stuff will drop right in.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

I knew it 😀

In most of these cases, they share with other cars. I looked up the pads on Rock Auto, and other models were listed, so that means other rotors usually fit too 🙂

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

All the SLR stuff is more exotic material and marketing wise. But if you were ever in the situation were you needed your SLR to get to work and low on cash, its all the E55 stuff fits and it will work. SLR is mainly just E55 stuff in a cool body with sidepipes.

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
1 month ago

Hoovie’s f****d.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 month ago

I’ll get you a set of Brembo brand brake pads, front and rear, through my NAPA store for $171.98 plus tax, and have them by Wednesday. Mention Autopian and I’ll give you a 10% discount.

Part numbers P50062 (front) and P50061 (rear).

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

RockAuto has “economy” pads as low as $9.65 on closeout.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/mercedes-benz,2005,slr+mclaren,5.5l+v8+supercharged,1431552,brake+&+wheel+hub,brake+pad,1684

I think this guy just needs to shop around a bit.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

I would say. Even the Brembo brand ceramics I have access to are less, $137.98 for both ends.

The pads are shared with many other AMG models; I assume the carbon rotors are unique, but $26K each is ridiculous.

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt Sexton
Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago

The invoice shows 2 at $6840 how does that equal $53680 ?

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Sklooner

The leading 2 is cut off.

2x $26840 = $53680

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

Sweet Jeebus, they might as well add “plus one kick in the junk per corner.” One must be able to buy OEM on the aftermarket and come in under $90k.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I need to buy a 3D printer and make some knockoffs

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago

Oof, and I though the $4200 the dealer quoted my brother for brakes on his RS3 was bad.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
1 month ago

No thats still bad lol

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

oh yeah, even for a low production Audi sports sedan I was a little shocked when he told me that. But I did try to talk him into “just” getting an S3.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Kind of the difference between getting kicked in your nuts by your girlfriend and getting kicked in the nuts by a horse. They are both bad.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Well, one may be on purpose. Some guys are into that sort of thing, or so the Internet tells me.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Why am I lolling so hard at that?

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago

That sounds about right. Are they Brembo-branded?

Sc00t3r
Sc00t3r
1 month ago

Officer: “Why did you blow through 3 red lights in a row?”

SLR Owner: “The ticket costs less than stopping this thing!”

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Sc00t3r

Best comment

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

It was funny but how did cop catch a guy driving a McLaren that refused to use his brakes?

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Coasted to a stop?

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

The cop was driving a Chiron, duh

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

As the old as time cop joke goes:

You may be fast but not faster than a Motorola.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 month ago

This is as good as the one about David not plugging his phone into his Nissan Leaf, for fear of range exhaustion.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 month ago
Reply to  Sc00t3r

COTD

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago

Wow, and I thought I was getting ripped off for $120 on my front brakes

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago

That’s a pretty good deal, actually, if they replaced the pads, cleaned and lubed the hardware, and resurfaced the rotors.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Yeah but with Mercedes you offset the $120,000 with free coffee and croissants in the lounge.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 month ago

There’s a reason why people who track cars with carbon brakes take them off and replace them with conventional units. Then keep the factory units in a box for when it’s time to sell the car.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
1 month ago

I was thinking, why not just put brakes on that are good enough for the speeds you actually use the car at.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

The whole thing reminds me of back when Porsche starting regularly putting leather in its cars b/c people had come to expect it when they paid that kinda money. Performance alone was no longer enough.

Now, with the sums for stuff like this, people expect racing team level stuff. Not matter the livability factor.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jack Trade
PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Leather seats are great in a performance car. I don’t like synthetics for that. I can’t remember ever hearing about the leather seat fabric stuck to the driver’s firesuit after an accident.

Goof
Goof
1 month ago

Yep. With earlier generations of carbon ceramics, what tended to happen is you’d have uneven wear where you’re basically “beveling” the rotor” under repeated high loads like a track day with lots of long sessions. So the thickness on one side would end up significantly different than the thickness of the other, so you basically threw them out.

For those that aren’t aware, they’re expensive because of how long the production time is. It takes WEEKS to produce a complete rotor, and that’s far faster than it used to take. Also, Brembo bought another supplier (SGI Carbon), and combined they’re most of the market. That’s how even “cheaper” rotors like Porsche PCCBs can be between $5K and $9K per rotor depending on what model you’re putting them on. Even something like a C8 Z06, where they’re considered “cheap” you’re still in it for around $4K per rotor.

W124
W124
1 month ago

Ouch, that would definitely brake the bank, I’d be very brake after that.

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