How to change your Ford Focus brake pads and rotors?

How to change your Ford Focus brake pads and rotors?

If your Ford Focus has disc brakes, replacing the brake pads and rotors is an essential part of your regular maintenance. The contact of the brake pad and rotor when you press down on the brake pedal helps your automobile slow down. As time progresses, this contact leads to gradual erosion causing a decrease in their reactivity.

To determine the appropriate timing for replacing these components and to execute the process adeptly, here is a professional guide on recognizing the signs for replacement and effectively swapping out your brake pads and rotors in Ford Focus.

Key Takeaways:

1. Replacing brake pads and rotors on a Ford Focus is crucial for regular maintenance and safety.
2. Driving with excessively worn brake components can lead to safety hazards and increased repair costs.
3. The lifespan of brake pads and rotors varies, and the vehicle owner's handbook provides specific guidance.
4. Properly bedding new brakes ensures smoother, quieter braking and optimal performance.

What happens if you do not replace your brake pads and rotors

Brake pads and rotors are engineered to naturally wear over time. However, persisting in driving with heavily worn brake components can potentially lead to severe safety hazards. In the worst-case scenario, apart from the critical safety issue, delaying the replacement of brake pads and rotors can also lead to harm or excessive deterioration of other vital brake system parts, ultimately escalating the overall cost of the brake repair.

How often do brake pads and rotors need to be replaced?

The average lifespan of brake pads is between 30,000 and 50,000 miles, but rotors can go through at least two sets of brake pads before needing to be replaced. The actual lifespan of your brake pads and rotors, however, depends on a number of variables including the weight of your vehicle, the kind of roads (such as flat or steep terrain), your driving style, the possibility of towing, and more.

Consult your vehicle owner's handbook for specific instructions on when and how to change your brake pads and rotors since it contains thorough maintenance schedules. Understanding the expected replacement costs for brake pads and rotors can assist you in deciding between a DIY repair or seeking a professional assistance. Notably, given that this ranks among the ten simplest DIY automotive repair tasks, even a novice can undertake it and achieve substantial cost savings.

Common signs that your brake pads and rotors need to be replaced

  • Emission of a high-pitched squeak or grinding sound upon applying the brake pedal.
  • Sensation of pedal vibration when brakes are engaged.
  • Visual examination reveals brake pads and/or rotors worn beyond a serviceable condition.

How to change brake pads and rotors

Performing a DIY replacement of your brake pads and rotors typically consumes around an hour and a half of your time. This duration may extend a bit if you lack reliable jacks and jack stands. Before commencing the process, it is crucial to remove your wheels and tires.

Required tools

Replacing your front brake pads and rotors

Begin by removing the brake caliper. Carefully slide out the existing brake pads. Take off the caliper bracket from the spindle. Remove the retainer, which can be stubborn. You may need needle nose pliers or a pry bar. Extract the rotor. If it's stuck, gently tap it with a hammer. Position the new rotor properly. Remember, your new rotors should be marked right and left. Use brake cleaner to thoroughly clean the slides before applying new grease. Grease the slides with fresh grease. Reinstall the caliper bracket. Reinsert the bolts with some thread locker applied. Install your new brake pads. Apply grease to the backing plate of the new brake pad to reduce noise, ensuring that any grease on the friction surface. Return the caliper to its position and secure it by reinserting the bolts.

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Replacing your rear pads and rotors

Remove the caliper bolts. Lift the caliper off its bracket, ensuring the emergency brake is disengaged before doing so. Take out the caliper bracket bolts. Slide off the caliper bracket. Remove the old rotor. Place your new rotor correctly. Just like with the front rotors, the rear rotors will be labeled right and left. Reattach the caliper bracket. Tighten the caliper bolts. Use a caliper tool to screw in the piston. Ensure the piston notches face up and down once it is screwed in. Apply grease to the back of the brake pads. Insert the new brake pads into the bracket. Slide the caliper back into position. Bolt the caliper back on, exerting pressure on the caliper while reinserting the screws.

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The best way to bed in new brakes

Once you have had your brake pads installed, it is essential to initiate a bedding process. Bedding your brake pads entails transferring a uniform layer of friction material onto the brake rotor. This not only results in smoother, quieter braking but also enhances your braking effectiveness. Failure to properly bed in the brake pads can lead to uneven spots on the rotor, potentially causing vibrations and subpar braking performance.

Bedding in your brake pads is a straightforward procedure:

  1. Pick a safe place to drive, preferably one with less traffic, such as a parking lot that is empty after hours.
  2. Accelerate your vehicle to 35 mph, then gently slow down to about 5 mph.
  3. Repeat the braking process approximately 6-8 times.
  4. Next, accelerate to 55 mph and then decelerate sharply to about 5 mph. You will need to apply firm braking force during this step.
  5. Repeat this high-speed braking process 6-8 times.
  6. Finally, drive for a few miles while lightly tapping the brake pedal to facilitate even cooling.

Following these steps will ensure that your brakes are correctly bedded in and ready for optimal performance.

Ford focus brake pads price

Merely replacing the brake pads on your Ford Focus can incur a cost ranging from $252 to $308.

Mechanics breakdown of costs

  • Parts: $105 to $123
  • Labor: $157 to $185

While brake pad replacement is typically scheduled based on mileage intervals, it is essential to prioritize immediate replacement if you experience any unusual noises or vibrations in the brake pedal.

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