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Discussion Starter #1
I took my car to Pro Care (now Monroe) for an oil/filter change.
When I dropped it off, I told them to check the brakes quickly.

Surprise, surprise: I had a call later, saying I need new front brakes AND rotors.
$ 460.00. I almost had a stroke. Then they said they could give me a discount. And it would only be $ 300.00. They didn't anticipate dealing with someone who has a brain. It turned out that it wasn't a discount, but the price difference is between using Ford OEM brakes/rotors and using aftermarket parts.

They also told me about a valve cover leaking. $ 160.00. I always pop the bonnet when (hand) washing my car, checking the oil, filling up the wiper fluid, giving everything a quick look over, making sure nothing is loose and/or leaking. Nothing. And no oil on the garage floor.

Are they trying to rip me off? Because they think they are dealing with a woman?
Or do the front rotors do go bad? How about resurfacing the rotors? I had it done on my motorcycle.

What about this dodgy leak they are telling me about?

Gosh, you hear about these places ripping off customers, charging for work/parts they haven't done/replaced. And I hate shops/dealerships to begin with. Am I paranoid?
 

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vera said:
I took my car to Pro Care (now Monroe) for an oil/filter change.
When I dropped it off, I told them to check the brakes quickly.

Surprise, surprise: I had a call later, saying I need new front brakes AND rotors.
$ 460.00. I almost had a stroke. Then they said they could give me a discount. And it would only be $ 300.00. They didn't anticipate dealing with someone who has a brain. It turned out that it wasn't a discount, but the price difference is between using Ford OEM brakes/rotors and using aftermarket parts.

They also told me about a valve cover leaking. $ 160.00. I always pop the bonnet when (hand) washing my car, checking the oil, filling up the wiper fluid, giving everything a quick look over, making sure nothing is loose and/or leaking. Nothing. And no oil on the garage floor.

Are they trying to rip me off? Because they think they are dealing with a woman?
Or do the front rotors do go bad? How about resurfacing the rotors? I had it done on my motorcycle.

What about this dodgy leak they are telling me about?

Gosh, you hear about these places ripping off customers, charging for work/parts they haven't done/replaced. And I hate shops/dealerships to begin with. Am I paranoid?
You have a GOOD reason to be paranoid! I read maybe about once a month that joe smoe takes his car into a garage or dealer and all the sudden a simple problem becomes a catastrophy (bills over 500 and the car having to stay "overnight"). but unless we can see the rotors and pads its impossible to tell if they need to be replaced. My opinion is to get a second opinion at a differnt garage.
 

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Even if they do need to be replaced, if you just buy some OEM rotors and pads it will be about $120. Then just do it yourself. It takes about 1-2 hours. I know because I just did this about 2 months ago.

Dan
 

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you have a 2000 focus...the rotors wear more then the pads do. i highly suggest replacing the rotors.

with the age the valve cover is probably seeping fluid as many do. just have the tech show you where its leaking. theres no reason to lie about it. just because theres no fluid on the ground doesn't mean its not leaking oil.

i get people calling me a liar all the time...until i show them the leak "oh i didn't see that"

just have a look...that way you earn the trust or know its a flop of a dealer.
 

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Needing pads does not automatically mean that you need rotors too. Even if the wear sensors on the pads were squealling, the rotors are probably OK. Car rotors can be turned but if they're not turned to the proper micro inch surface they can have less stopping power than before they were turned. Also, since they are thiner after turning they may be more susceptible to warping. I've replaced pads on cars for years, since my '69 Camaro, and never turned any rotors. If the rotors smooth, it will just take the pads a little longer to bed in. Take one of the wheels off and look at the pads. The minimum pad thickness is 1.5 mm for both the inside and outside pads, they may be different. You can look at the rear caliper on your Z to see what the pad lining and support plate look like. The support plate that the lining is bonded to is probably about 4 mm thick and the rest is the lining material.

Richard
Z750s
 

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u can get great aftermarket pads and rotors for 200 dollars and do the intstall ureself..very easy...
 

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The only reason you would need new rotors is if they are within 0.030 from min. (So you either replace them, or DON'T machine) I allways machine rotors. The only time I don't, is when the rotor is in poor condidtion, such as hot spots, cracks, or LOTS of rust. Then you can replace.

I also dont allways machine rotors on full floating rear ends. Depends on the budget.

The "industry standard" of min pad thickness is 3/32" Sometimes, even at 50% life, the only way to tell is to remove the caliper and inspect the linings. look for pitting, glazing and heat cracking.

Have the tech show you the problem. And make sure the clean and lube your caliper slides and harware.
 

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I'd never pay $300 to have someone replace rotors and pads...its simply too easy to do. It'd be like paying someone $30 to replace a burned out tail light bulb.
 

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Rotors on FWD cars basically fall off once the caliper is removed. Have a coat hanger handy to hold up the caliper on the spring so you don't stress the flexible brake line. I haven't done the brakes on my Focus yet, so there might be some place you can lay the caliper (like on the control arm) where it won't be pulling on the brake line.

Disc brakes are fairly simple. I can't tell you the exact tools you'll need, but I'm sure someone else can fill you in. First off, break the lugs loose on the first wheel, put on the E-brake, and jack the car with an appropriate jack in the appropriate position. A wheel chock for safety's sake is a good idea also. Remove the wheel, and take the top off the master cylinder under the hood. If you forget this step, you will need a new master cylinder after you've finished- so don't forget to take the top off the master cylinder. Remove the caliper, remove the old pads, and using one pad position a C-clamp in the center of the caliper piston. Make sure you are applying force straight back on the piston with the clamp, do not allow it force the piston in at an angle. Press the piston in, and apply anti-squeal to the back of the pads. Now wiggle the rotor off, or smack it very lightly on the back with a hammer to remove. Install new rotor in place of old, and install the new pads on the caliper. Install the caliper, wheel, drop the car, and tighten the lug nuts. Repeat on the other side. Once you've finished the other side, replace the master cylinder cap, and pump the brake pedal until it is solid again. Drive.

That's all there is to it, I'm sorry I can't tell you the exact sizes of sockets you'll need. It would also help if you have someone who has done it before help you or watch while you're doing it for the first time. Here's a short list minus socket/ratchet/wrenches.

rotors
pads
disc brake quiet/anti-squeal
C-clamp or large channel lock pliers (harder to apply centered force)
coat hanger
lug wrench
jack (the supplied jack is ok if the surface is level and the jack is put in the right place on the pinch weld under the car where the bolt goes through the pinch weld- see owner's manual)

Don't forget the e-brake before jacking, don't forget about the master cylinder cap, and don't force the caliper piston at an angle and you should be a brake repair specialist in no time [thumb]
 

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whynotthinkwhynot said:
I haven't done the brakes on my Focus yet, so there might be some place you can lay the caliper (like on the control arm) where it won't be pulling on the brake line.
If you look above and to the left of the axle there is a hole in the frame that is perfect for hanging calipers from with a zip tie or a hooked piece of coat hanger...almost as if it was designed for such use [thumb]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DomestikZx3 said:
another local foci [wave]

id recommend changing them yourself. if they need it.
I can work on my bike, but I have never worked on my car. And somehow I can't see me jacking it up and taking a wheel off.
May be I find someone helping me the first time.
 

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once teh wheel is off all you need is a 7mm hex to do it all
I did that last summer, and just a week ago I put my svt brake kit on
and guess what it uses the same 7mm hex
do it yourself plenty of good how to's to follow
 

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"DO NOT PUSH THE PISTON BACK WITH THE BLEADER SCREW CLOSED!!!"

Good advice.

Some of the ABS systems do not react kindly to a reverse flow of brake fluid. And some are of the opinion that the "most contaminated" bit of the brake fluid is the stuff in the lower brake lines. No sense pushing this stuff back into the ABS unit. In any case, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have the bleeder screws open when doing this. Why take chances?
 

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If you want to make the drive to Detroit area, I'll do the brakes and your valve cover gasket for you for free if you buy the parts.

Otherwise you could just show up at FITF... i'm sure that there are people there who would help out, and it's closer than Detroit :).

Or just find a friend or someone on the forum who is closer to cinci. Brakes are easy to do.

BTW, the only hard part might be that the rotor may be seized to your axle... especially if it's a 2000 focus and they haven't been replaced before. Use a rubber mallet and tap around the edges of the rotor until it brakes loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Black&Tan said:


Otherwise you could just show up at FITF... i'm sure that there are people there who would help out, and it's closer than Detroit :).

Or just find a friend or someone on the forum who is closer to cinci. Brakes are easy to do.


What is FITF?

[???:)]

I assume some sort of Focus owner meeting/rally. Right?
When and where are they?
I am more into motorcycles, but I wouldn't mind attending a Focus gathering. I think that would be fun and I could learn a lot! Gosh, it could also be very dangerous (= expensive) should I find out what you can do to a Focus to make it faster, better looking etc. etc.
My motorcyling is already time consuming enough <G>


I already made contact with a co-worker who knows someone who knows someone.
May be I can get a mechanic to have a look at it WITH ME.
 

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Focus in the Field.

A bunch of focus owners are meeting up in Elkhart IN I think in a couple weekends. Do a search and you should get the info, or ask CrazyMatt or CKA about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Black&Tan said:
Focus in the Field.

A bunch of focus owners are meeting up in Elkhart IN I think in a couple weekends.
That's 300 miles one way for me. [mad]

But may be if there is one closer to Cincinnati in the future, I will see if I can make time.
 
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