How to Change Front Brake Pads on a Fiesta MK6

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The MK6 is an adaptation of the Ford Fiesta that adds sporty styling and performance upgrades. Among the upgrades over the stock Ford Fiesta are all-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Ford recommends that you replace the Fiesta's brake pads every 50,000 miles, though driving habits and environmental influences can cause the pads to wear sooner. You can take your MK6 to a brake service station or you can replace the front brake pads yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Park the Fiesta on level ground and turn the engine off. Apply the parking brake and pull the bonnet release lever under the dashboard on the driver's side of the car. Move to the front of the MK6 and lift the bonnet. Remove the master cylinder cap (located in the back of the engine compartment to the right of the motor). Remove half of the brake fluid from the reservoir with a syringe and lay the cap loosely over the container.

Place tire blocks behind the Fiesta's rear tires. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels with the tire iron. Place the jack under the recommended lift points on the frame under the Ford's side skirts. Lift the front tires off the ground and rest the axles on jack stands.

Remove the lug nuts and take the front wheels off. Remove the caliper slide bolts on the right caliper with a 13mm wrench. Turn the right wheel to the left to gain better access to the two slide bolts located on the back side of the caliper. Lift the caliper from the caliper bracket and rest it on top of the rotor or steering arm above the wheel hub.

Pry the brake pads from the bracket slots on either side of the brake rotor. Inspect the rotor for damage. The brake pad wear indicators can scrape the surface of the rotor, leaving deep grooves that will wear new brake pads prematurely. Replace the rotors if gouging or warping is visible.

Apply anti-seize brake compound to the back side of the new pads and slide them into the caliper bracket slots.

Place a worn brake pad across the two caliper pistons that extend from the inside of the caliper. Clamp the pad against the pistons with a C-clamp or channel-lock pliers. Squeeze the clamp or locking pliers to force both pistons into the side of the caliper. Remove the clamp or pliers and the spent brake pad once the pistons are completely recessed within the side of the caliper.

Place the caliper over the new brake pads and caliper bracket. Screw in the caliper slide bolts by hand before tightening them both with the 13mm wrench. Turn the wheel to the right and move to the left-front brake assembly.

Repeat the process for replacing the left-front brake pads (steps 3 through 7). Turn the wheel to the neutral position (straight ahead) and replace the wheels onto the Fiesta's front wheel bolts. Screw on the lug nuts by hand. Lift the front of the car with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the front tires to the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron. Return to the driver's seat.

Start the Fiesta's engine. Press the brake pedal repeatedly until the pedal response stiffens. Move to the engine compartment.

Remove the master cylinder cap and place a funnel inside the reservoir. Fill the container with DOT-3 brake fluid as necessary. Remove the funnel once the reservoir reads "full" and replace the master cylinder cap. Close the MK6's bonnet.

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