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Marty, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 53014
Experience:  Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 35 years experience.
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Smoke and burning smell was coming from passenger side

Customer Question

Smoke and burning smell was coming from passenger side tire... now the car barely drives (very sluggish) and it appears the rotors are bad. A few weeks ago the ignition key system locked up and I had to have it towed. When they towed the car, they had to drag the car a short distance. Is this all related and could replacing the brakes and rotors cure the problem?
JA: How old are the brakes? How many miles on the car?
Customer: The brakes are a year old (cheap ones anyway) 150,000 miles on the car
JA: What is the model/year of your Mercedes?
Customer: E-320, 1996
JA: Are you fixing your E320 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, I have only taken the rear wheel off and looked at the rotors.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Marty replied 26 days ago.

Hi, if there is smoke coming from the passenger side tire the right rear brake caliper is most likely seized or the parking brake is stuck on. You will need to replace the pads and rotors due to overheating but you will also need to check the brake calipers to see if they are seized. A bad brake hose could also cause the problem. I doubt that dragging the car caused the problem but not having been there to see what was done I cannot say for sure.

Let me know if you have any questions.