Footbrake and Handbrake Question on my 190E 2.0 Auto

tupelov154

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Joined
Aug 10, 2015
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6
Car
1992 190E 2.0 Auto
Good morning!


So I have just purchased my first car - a lovely 1992 190E 2.0 auto I have saved for for two whole years and at the ripe age of 23 I am still getting used to everything, and have a couple of questions to ask (they might sound basic but I just want to be sure I won't damage the car in any way):

1, When turning the ignition on this automatic 190E, does my foot have to be pressing the footbrake, or is this only when I want to move the gear lever out of 'P'? It says in the manual that you should; is this just a safety measure to prevent the car from moving forward (although I don't see how if the handbrake is up and the gear lever is in 'P' on start-up), or does the manual tell you this because it will somehow damage the car if I don't do this procedure every time I turn the engine on?

2, I have accidentally forgotten to depress the handbrake when moving out of a space (both times the car rolled no more than half a metre, and was really groaning, but I knew what had happened so quickly corrected the problem. Will this damage the car/brakes for having the handbrake still up for this short distance/time of maybe 2-3 seconds? Obviously this wasn't intentional; I just simply forgot to depress the handbrake.

The car itself is a wonderful burgundy red and was sold to me for £2000 (asking price £2250) by an elderly gentleman who cared very much for it (garaged too), and had owned it since 2008 (prior to this the car had one lady owner). It has the luxury pack, has FSH, original manual with its case and an inch-thick pile of receipts/invoives/MOTs detailing numerous parts replaced/jobs done to the car since it was acquired by its former owner. I was also supplied with a brand new tyre to go on the spare wheel, all four tyres are relatively new too, everything works in the car and the radio has been replaced with a Sony radio, but the original Blaupunkt radio/cassette was supplied also. The car has 100k miles and passed its MOT last week with no advisories. The paintwork is near immaculate for its age and two years ago the car was taken in for a wax and polish for £380 (which, when I was going through the receipts, thought it to be an accident repair, phoned the place that provided the invoice and it turns out that it had been treated to waxing/polishing)!

Much of the servicing has been carried out at Mercedes, and also the owner supplied me with a brand new official Mercedes part to be fitted to the rocker cover (I can't remember what it's called but it's in the boot, which itself closes very nicely, and the engine and around it appears clean and presentable. The car also has the headlight wipers too!

I just really want to care for this car (still have a year left of university), and sort of feel it's my duty too, considering how I feel it has been looked after previously, which is why I'm asking these pedantic questions because I really want to be sure!

Thanks

Tom
 
Last edited:

erisaman

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
53
Location
Neath
Car
Audi
Welcome to your first Merc, I hope you enjoy it. Your questions are not pedantic - they show your appreciation of what you have.

I'll leave question 1 to someone else as there are safety issues which are implemented in stages as they become deemed necessary - but on question 2, I can assure you that you will not have done any damage to the brakes, the car - nor even your pride, as we have all done that at some stage in our driving experience.

Good luck and, repeating myself, enjoy your motor.
 

190

MB Enthusiast
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Mar 4, 2015
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3,239
Location
Cheshire
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2009 W204 C180K
I ran a 190e auto for 21 years, it's a very reliable car. Sounds like you have found a nice one.

1. You don't need to apply the brakes while starting as is won't start unless the gearbox is in park or neutral.

2. The parking brake is applied by a small brake shoes inside the rear disc hubs. To be honest it's not the most efficient feature of the car and you may find it struggles to hold you from creeping forward so best not to abuse it too much. A few secs won't have done it any harm though. Adjustment of brake shoe clearance inside the hub is critical to get the best out of the parking brake.
 

chilsta

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
103
Car
'94 S124 E300D
Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of MB motoring :)

As an ex-190 owner, I agree with what the others have said.

One thing on the handbrake- when I had a 190, I often found that it was very ineffective at holding the car on even a gentle incline. I was of the impression that not using the brake would save it for when it was needed. Mine was a manual and I got used to leaving it in gear and rarely using the handbrake.
Years after purchasing the car I was talking to a mechanic about how bad the handbrake was and he said that the best thing to do was use it all the time- that by not being used it would become less effective with time (I think this is most likely a cumulative effect of mechanical & shoe surface issues). The brake wasn't great after I started using it all the time, but it did improve.

I've found that these really do require at least an annual adjustment to remain in good working order. It's a pretty easy job to adjust it yourself once you get used to it- have a read of this (which covers your car) and see if it's something you'd be comfortable doing: http://w124-zone.com/downloads/MB CD/W124/w124CD1/Program/Maintenance/My81/4261.pdf

If anything, you driving a short distance with the handbrake on will have improved its performance- it's likely to have worn some glazing from the pads and/or cleaned up the drums a bit, so treat it as a happy accident :)
 

190

MB Enthusiast
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Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,239
Location
Cheshire
Car
2009 W204 C180K
I also found an annual adjustment was necessary. The part of the procedure that didn't work for me was backing off the star wheel adjuster 5 or 6 clicks. I found that the brake worked better when the adjuster was backed off just enough to let the wheel spin freely which was more like 2 or 3 clicks. I think the first 10 years of ownership had gone by before I figured that one out.
 

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