Rust on 4 year old car - break calliper

Hi all,

I didn’t know where to ask about this as I’m not a car person by any means but I could do with some general advice.

I leased a car for the first time in 2019 after always previously buying cars (Mercedes A Class, 69 reg, brand new) and my lease is due to end next month.

The issue is - when reading the fair wear and tear policy for handing the vehicle back it says the car should be free from corrosion. The issue I have is that there is a slight bit of surface rust on the break callipers. There is absolutely no rust anywhere else on the wheels or body work.

I am having trouble understanding if this is my fault or not - everything I have read online tells me this is subject to weather conditions and there isn’t much I can really do about this happening. The car didn’t get used as often as I wanted given when I received the car in late 2019 and March 2020 was COVID lockdown in the UK where I worked from home for the next year and a half.

Should I try get this repaired before handing the car back? I’m wondering if anyone on here as had a similar experience with a lease car?

The car has always been kept clean inside and out and I am at a loss to understand how I could have prevented this. The policy stipulated I wasn’t allowed to modify the car in anyway.

If it’s because I have not used the car enough - on 8k miles a year then to me the car isn’t fit for purpose under that mileage.

Any help would be great and I do apologise if this basic / stupid question.



All cars have that, it’s expected, and should not result in any problem when you turn in the car.


More than likely, the surface rust that you see is on the brake rotors.
As texases stated, that is a normal situation and should not be a problem for you when you turn the car in.

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Hi - thank you for the reassurance. I presume the policy for handing the car back maybe means just the actual body and not the callipers.

I do however think it is definitely the calliper, see pictures attached.

It;s normal for rust to form in that area.

The brake calipers are cast iron exposed to the elements. So rust is going to form.

The only way to prevent the rust is to paint the calipers.

But this is only a temporary fix.



Thank you for the replies - you’ve put my mind at ease.

And so it is!
While this doesn’t say much for the quality of MB’s materials, I seriously doubt that this will be a problem for you.


It doesn’t look like the caliper was scraped, causing any paint removal. Like others above, I think this is normal wear and tear. Is it all four calipers or just this one?

They all have a little bit of rusting - the front two more so but that maybe because it’s front wheel drive?

The back two are have a very small amount - nearly non noticeable.

I lost in court on wear and tear issues on a lease return, but I wouldn’t hesitate to fight a charge for caliper rust on a return. It’s normal.

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I just came back from a nature hike, and I did an informal visual survey of the cars’ calipers in the park’s parking lot–or, to be more clear I took a look at the calipers of the cars whose wheels were “open” enough for me to view the calipers. The vehicles that I looked at included Jeep, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai, all of which appeared to be a few years old. None of them had visible rust on the caliper.

Perhaps you’d want to clean this up a bit on the morning that you turn in the car, using the finest grade of steel wool that works.


The style of alloy allow me quite abit of room to scrub to be honest - so I might give this ago. Thanks.

Interesting you say this, because as I was leaving work yesterday I did the same sort of informal check through the car park, scanning calipers on newer model cars and the only car I found with rust on the caliper was a Mercedes E class 2019 reg.

Many vehicles have aluminum brake calipers, those don’t rust.

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Hmmm… As I previously stated, this doesn’t speak well for the quality of MB’s parts.
I hate it when I’m right!

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I’d be afraid of getting arrested going around the parking lots checking brakes, but hey if you are worried, pull them wheels off and clean the ole surface rust off.

I would try a small (toothbrush style) wire brush and see what happens, if it looks better then the morning of the lease turn in hit them again with the wire brush… (as already mentioned)

I agree with VDCdriver, kind of crappy to pay that much for a “quality built” vehicle and see rust… I would take it in to the dealers service department and be like WTF is up with this??? And when they say it is normal, walk out to the used car lot and look for other newish vehicles for rusty calipers… Get them before they get you… lol


You can have an inspection done now that will tell you if it’s considered normal wear or something that should be addressed under warranty. I’m not seeing any on at all of the calipers in the guide available online, but you’d think they’d notice when looking at the tires and wheels which are a bigger focus.

I couldn’t find anything mentioning specific calipers either - if anyone finds themselves in need of some light reading material today - below is the link to the specific fair wear and tear policy guide.