DIY Brake Replacement on a Ford Focus

Updated March 23, 2017

The brakes on the Ford Focus are responsible for stopping the car. The Ford Focus model cars come equipped with front and rear disc brakes. When the brake pedal is applied, the brake fluid travels through the brake lines. Once the brake fluid reaches the brake calipers, the cylinder inside of the caliper compresses the brake pads to the brake rotors. When the brake pads have been fully compressed to both sides of the brake rotors, the vehicle comes to a safe stop. It's a wise precaution to replace or have the brake rotors machine turned each time the brake pads are replaced.

Park the Ford Focus on a hard, level surface.

Loosen all of the lug nuts from the front wheels. Position the jack under the front of the Focus and jack the car up from the front cross member that is located under the engine.

Place the car stands under the proper jack points on both sides of the Focus. Lower the jack so that the front of the car is sitting securely on the stands. Leave the jack in place.

Remove both front wheels and place the wheels flat down. Move to the front driver-side wheel and locate the two mounting bolts on the back side of the caliper. There will be two plastic caps covering the two mounting bolts. Pull the plastic caps out and place them on the ground.

Insert the tip of the flathead screwdriver behind the outer brake pad. Pry the outer brake pad back and forth until the brake caliper is loose. Then, loosen and remove the two Allen-head bolts from the rear of the brake caliper with an Allen wrench.

Pull the brake caliper off the side of the brake rotor with your hand. Hang the brake caliper to the front strut or to the frame rail with a small piece of rope.

Remove the two Phillips-head screws from the brake pads. Then, pull the inner brake pad out of the caliper. Slide the C-clamp into the caliper, facing the outer brake pad. Compress the outer brake pad against the caliper cylinder with the C-clamp until the cylinder has fully retracted inside the brake caliper.

Remove the C-clamp from the brake caliper. Pull the outer brake pad out of the brake caliper along with any other brake pad accessories. Put the new brake pads along with any new brake pad accessories into the brake caliper. Remove the rope from the caliper and position the caliper back onto the brake rotor. Put the two Allen-head bolts back in and tighten down tight. Put the wheel back on and tighten with the tire tool.

Follow the same steps above for replacing the brake pads on the front passenger side, rear passenger side and the rear driver side. When all of the brake pads have been changed, put the wheels back on and tighten down.

Crank the Focus and push the brake pedal in and out five or six times. This will remove any air from the brake system and match the new brake pads to the brake rotors. Turn the engine off and jack the Focus back up. Pull the stands out from under the car. Lower the Ford Focus to the ground and pull the jack out.


The brake rotors should be either replaced or machine turned when replacing the brake pads to prevent dangerous uneven braking.


Keep arms and legs out from under the vehicle when it is on jack stands.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire tool
  • Floor jack
  • Car stands
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Allen wrenches
  • Rope
  • C-clamp
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About the Author

Grace Mclain has been writing professionally since 1998. Her articles have appeared on, and LIVESTRONG.COM, and she specializes in automotive and business topics. McIain has a professional writing certificate from JB Hunt in Little Rock, Ark.