Ford Motor Company based the brake design on the Ford Focus after technology developed in Germany by Ford business partners. This means the Focus brake system has more in common with a BMW 3 series than a Ford Taurus. Unfortunately, unlike the BMW, Ford does not warrant brake pads beyond the initial warranty period. With that in mind, you can expect to replace the pads on a Ford Focus more often than on other Ford vehicles.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Safety glasses
- Wheel chocks
- Lug wrench
- Floor jack
- 2 jack stands
- Catch pan
- 1 can brake cleaner
- Socket set
- White lithium grease
- Caliper piston tool
- Replacement pads
- Torque wrench
Put your safety glasses on. Set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels, but do not remove them.
Raise the front end by placing the floor jack under the front frame and jacking the Focus up. Position the jack stands under both sides of the front frame. Remove the floor jack.
Take the lug nuts and wheels off the front axles and set them out of the way.
Put the catch pan under the brake assembly on the left front and spray the brakes down thoroughly with brake cleaner. Remove as much brake dust as possible with the spray.
Unbolt the brake caliper with the socket set and pull the caliper off the brake rotor by hand.
Pull the retaining clip off the back of the brake caliper and take the old brake pads out of the caliper by hand. Spray the inside of the caliper with brake clean to remove any brake dust and then lubricate the caliper slide with the white lithium grease.
Retract the brake caliper piston with the caliper piston tool (you can purchase a caliper piston tool at your local auto parts store).
Insert the new brake pads, in the same direction and orientation as the old pads. Put the retaining clip back in position and then slide the caliper back over the brake rotor.
Bolt the caliper back down with the socket set.
Repeat steps four through nine on the right front. If your Focus is equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, repeat those steps on the rear brakes as well, once you lower the front end and jack up the rear.
Reinstall the wheels and lug nuts. Lower the Focus off the jack stands and tighten the front lug nuts to 34kg/ft with the torque wrench.
Tips and warnings
- Machine or replace the brake rotors when you replace the brake pads. Rough wear on the rotors can chew through a new set of pads in roughly half the time the pads should normally last.
- Always replace brake pads in sets (i.e. both front brakes, both rear brakes or all four), never for just one side.
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