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Old 04-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
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2002 Ford Focus brakes shaking

I think my right front caliper is sticking. I push on the brakes and the steering wheel shakes and the for a few miles the car slightly shakes as you drive, it seems to smooth out the farther you drive. Then when you hit the brakes the cycle starts again. I also notice when I let my hands off the steering wheel during the period while it's doing the slight shaking the car tends to pull to the right. I pulled over and I thought the passenger side wheel felt warmer then then the driver side. I am planning on going ahead and changing the pads and rotors, but is there a way to diagnose/repair the caliper possibly sticking?


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Old 04-30-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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Easy as Pie!

Just jack up that side and spin the wheel, it should spin quite freely. Then hit the brakes & try it again - if it doesn't want to spin easy then, the caliper is hanging up.

The way the pads hang in the holder they shouldn't hang up themselves, but you should scrape any rust off that area before installing new ones 'cause they will be sitting in a different area than the old ones, and you want the whole surface smooth so they can move easily.

luck!
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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One other thing, what generally causes the caliper to stick is the caliper guide pins seizing, they should be well greased and allow easy caliper movement. They're the two 7mm allen bolts that are hidden behind dust caps at the top and bottom of the inboard caliper. This will make more sense once you actually get to dissasembly.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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^^^^ Excellent addition, often forgotten since they're usually either just fine or really bad.

FWIW - replacement calipers seem to be the way to go if you're having an issue with one, parts to rebuild it yourself are harder to get these days & replacements are much more avail. & cheaper than ever. Doing both sides would be advisable given the age of the car. You're doing both sides with the pads/rotors and it'd be a waste of that if the other one starts sticking B4 you need new brakes again...

luck!
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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Dead tie rods will produce those exact same symptoms also.
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