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How do you change the front brake pads on a 2001 Ford Focus?


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2015-07-15 21:49:38
2015-07-15 21:49:38

I'm not an expert, but I have changed my front brake pads on my 2000 Ford Focus Wagon. I strongly recommend getting a manual for your car which has instructions on how to replace...

Minimum tools you need: a jack, a car stand (don't rely on the jack to hold the car up while you work on it), a tire iron (comes with the car), a Philips and a standard screwdriver, a c-clamp at least six inches in width, and either an Allen wrench or a star shaped wrench (my car takes an 8mm Allen).

  • ** *** Note: you should always use the side you are NOT working on as reference. This is very helpful.

1. Make sure you are on level ground. Loosen the lug nuts, then jack up the car. Put the stand under the body of the car, then lower the car onto the stand.

2. Remove lug nuts, then tire.

3. Behind the brake assembly there are two holding screws, one on top and one on bottom of the brake assembly. These are either Allen bolts or a star shaped bolt. You can't see them, but they are in a rubber sleeve with a little cap over it to protect it from corrosion. Remove the cap from the rubber sleeve and fit the wrench to the screw. You can use a mirror and a flashlight or lamp to help you see the bolt head, but it's hard to get at no matter what... You don't have to remove the bolts, just unscrew them enough so that they no longer hold the brake assembly.

4. Slide the brake assembly from the rotar. Inspect the rotar. If it is grooved or has a lip on it's edge, it may need to be resurfaced or replaced. Resurfacing can be done by any mechanic and if you are in doubt about whether to replace or resurface, they can give you an educated opinion.

5. Remove the brake pads from the brake assembly. They are sometimes held on with a Philips screw, as well as a metal clip. Once the srew (if you have one) and the clip are released pull the brake pad away from the brake assembly.

6. Go to an auto parts store. Make sure to bring your old parts with you, AND, before you leave the store, compare the new parts with the old to make sure they gave you the right parts. This will save you an extra trip to the auto parts store. Apparently they often mislabel parts.

7. Back at your car... look at the brake assembly. You will see a round piston in the middle of the assembly (this is where a manual comes in handy). Compress the piston with the C-clamp until it is flush with the rest of the metal on the brake assembly.

8. Replace the brake pads. MAKE SURE not to bend the clips on the brake pads!!! They don't look like they do much, but in fact, they are an important part of keeping the brake pads attached to the brake assembly. My stupid brother was helping me with my brake replacement and he bent the crap out of my brake pad which totally messed up my brake replacement... Make sure you are kind to these clips or you will have to go to the auto parts store to get another set like I had to do.....

9. If your rotars are fine, put them back on, if not, get new ones or have the old ones resurfaced.

10. Slide the brake assembly back onto the rotar. Align the assembly with the holding screws. Tighten the holding screws and replace the caps on the rubber sleeves.

11. Put the wheel back on, put the lug nuts back on, but wait until you lower the car to really tighten them up. If you don't, you wrench your wheels out of alignment.

12. Do the other side.

13. With your car on the ground, with all the lug nuts completely tightened, start your car up. Pump the brakes a few times to compress the pistons onto the rotars. When you feel the brakes grabbing, you can try using them.

14. There is smoke and bad smells at first, then everything goes back to normal.

  • ** *** **** I didn't mention are grease for the pads that should be applied to the OUTSIDE of the pads because I didn't learn of it until after I fixed my brakes. Apparently this helps with the friction that causes smoke and bad smells... I didn't do this, so I can't tell you how. ALSO, I don't know anything about leaching (?) the brake fluid, aparently this is helpful, but again, I don't really know anything about it except that it prevents air bubbles in the brake fluid. Air bubbles in the brake fluid make your brakes periodically fail to work. This didn't happen to me when I replaced my brakes, but it is apparently a common occurance.

as well just make sure you pop open the brake fluid resvoir. its at the back right of the engine bay. once u open your hook its at top right and has a caution sign on it.. already remember to put it back when done@


after you do first side, pump the brakes few times, it will put piston into proper position and prevent overflowing brake fluid when you compress second piston, also "the grease" mentioned in previous answer is actually glue to prevent brake squeaking, it use to be included with every brake set


Glue on brakes are you insane? You put copper grease on the back of the pads and sides where it comes into contact with the calipers, DO NOT get any on the friction surface or the disk. You must use copper grease as it has a high temperature resistance. When pushing the piston back into the calliper you should, clamp off the brake line, open the bleed nipple, attach a pipe leading to a tub to collect the pushed out break fluid. This protects the ABS unit if you have one fitted and also on GM and some other cars if you do not do this you will turn the master cylinder seals inside out, meaning you will need to replace that. Remember to close the brake nipple and wipe on any fluid. Torque all bolts and wheel nuts to manufacturers specified torque..... or LUGS as known in the USA. .


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i suggest you buy the manual book at auto parts store like autozone or kragen.

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