How to Care for and Maintain the Ford Focus Brake Disc: 3 Tips to Remember
It's easy to take for granted the brake discs on your Ford Focus, but once they break down, you'll soon realize how important these parts are in your car. Contrary to its tough appearance, the Ford Focus brake disc is actually highly susceptible to extreme heat and pressure, and will crack and warp in the long run. And this is the reason why it is important that these parts are maintained. As a Ford Focus owner, here are some tips you can use to keep the Ford Focus brake disc in good condition:
- Change the brake fluid on a regular basis.
The brake fluid has the tendency to absorb moisture from the air, lowering its boiling point over time. This is the reason why once the brake fluid passes its expiration date, the fluid will become easier to overheat when braking. And this, in turn, will lead to potentially damaging overheating of both the brake pads and the brake discs.
Ideally, the brake fluid must be replaced at least once every two years, regardless of whether you use your car a lot or not. However, if you notice signs that the brake fluid may have already gone bad, such as rust particles in the reservoir or longer travel when braking, have it replaced immediately.
- Coat the disc's sliding surfaces with brake grease.
Although it is widely advised not to apply grease on the brake disc, it is actually beneficial to apply high temp brake grease of all the sliding parts of the brake disc including that of the pins and bolts in the caliper. Greasing these parts up will help cut down on noise when braking as well as providing an effective insulation to deter overheating.
When applying brake grease, make sure to apply thin coats and avoid the brake disc surface. But if any gets on the disc, clean it immediately with a brake cleaner spray.
- Remove rust spots through sanding.
Corrosion is among the common enemies of the brake disc, but if the rust is only superficial you might still be able to fix it by sanding. Take fine-grain sandpaper or a file and gently sand off the rust until it clears. Rinse off the residue with brake cleaner and let it dry.
How to Do the Ford Focus Brake Disc Installation Right
Installing a new set of brake discs on the Ford Focus is quite easy compared to other parts of your car, but to a beginner, it may be very taxing and time consuming, plus risky if you fail to do it right. But if you have all the tools for the job, it is quite possible to install the brake disc on your own. Check out these tips on how to install the Ford Focus brake disc:
Tip #1: Make sure that the vehicle is stable and secured.
Removing the brake disc entails raising the car and detaching the wheels from the hub, so make sure that the vehicle is on a flat, level surface. Use a hydraulic or scissor jack to raise the car and, once it's off the ground, place jack stands on the designated lift points on the Focus. Don't use a block of wood or even the jack to prop up the car, as these may not be able to hold the substantial weight of the vehicle and crash to the ground.
Tip #2: Pry off any stuck caliper bolts using a pry bar or a C-clamp.
The brake disc is attached to the brake caliper, which in turn is secured by a pair of caliper bolts. These bolts should slide right out of the caliper and the disc will immediately come loose. However, if the bolts refuse to budge, use a pry bar to nudge the bolt off its mounting. If you have a C-clamp you can also use that too by compressing the bolts until it comes free.
Tip #3: Clean the new disc.
Your new brake disc may have gained some impurities such as dust and grease during shipping, so it's best to have it cleaned first before mounting. With the disc over a clean oil pan, spray the entire disc surface with commercial brake cleaner and let it soak until it dries. Keep in mind that brake cleaner is toxic when inhaled or touched, so make sure to wear protective clothing such as gloves, a respirator, and some goggles before spraying.