2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - mustangman
My Mk2 Focus has disc front / drum rear brakes that I think perform poorly.
The pedal has a "wooden" feel such that I have to press really hard to achieve much braking effort. ( The pedal does not sink down when braking. )
The handbrake also needs to pulled hard when parking, and if tried whilst moving gives little real retardation.
The car has done 26k miles, and has the original pads & shoes.
I have checked that there is friction material on the shoes ( about 4 mm ) and have checked that the mechanism is free and that there is not excessive dust in the drums.
Would "glazed" shoes be the problem? I don't believe I have used the brakes excessively, more likely the reverse.
Can anyone suggest what other course of action may help.
Would replacing the pads & shoes help, or would the benefit be minimal I somewhat suspect that the brakes are simply poor having been value engineered to the minimum.
Any help from you "professionals" in the forum would be appreciated.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - MikeTorque
Glad you bought this one up as I have exactly the same problem with my 1.6 TDCi. It's especially noticable when changing from a car which has more early brake servo assistance and care is needed at first to ensure one doesn't do an emergency stop by accident when seemingly braking lightly. Going back to the Focus one has to apply a firm push to ensure adequate initial braking although there is plenty of braking force when it's needed but people with weaker legs would consider it a problem.

I noticed the hand brake problem when I first purchased the car. There is a problem concerning rear brake shoes not biting equally on each of the rear wheels and this needs carefully addressing by a mechanic, alas the problem has returned.

The initial foot braking bite is simply not sharp enough once the brakes have bedded in and I think Ford should address this issue. Bleeding the brakes doesn't seem to help.

In a couple of weeks time the service is due and I'm having the garage go over the whole of the brake system and new shoes will be fitted if necessary. I use to have a similar problem with an Astra but when all the brake shoes were changed to something with a less hard compound the problem went away.

I'd be very interested to know what other people have to say on this topic.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - mustangman
I agree with MikeTorque on this.
You can stop fairly quickly if like me you are a reasonably strong guy and press hard. Even then you must take a longer distance to stop than some with better brakes.
In terms of the handbrake, it would be easier if Ford could have been bothered to place it in the correct position for a RHD car. As it is it is easier for the passenger to operate.

Perhaps the problem really is poor design and Ford pennypinching. I've driven the Focus with disc rears and not been aware of a problem.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - mustangman
It would appear that so far there is no advice from the "forum sages" ?
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
To confirm that if the brakes really are poor - try using your left foot on the brake pedal.
Make sure that no one is behind you though! You may be surprised how quick you stop.

Otherwise a general clean up, checking that nothing is sticking and new pads all round should help.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - Old Navy
I am a light brake user and find that pressing the brake pedal hard with the car stationary and the engine running (traffic lights ideal) improves bite and feel.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - mustangman
Thanks for your comments.

It may be just a case of trying new shoes / pads. Perhaps aftermarket items will be "softer" and have a bit more bite. ( Since the existing items appear to be barely worn in 26k miles, perhaps they are very "hard" )

I have not heard of Old Navy's suggestion, it doesn't seem logical unless brake parts are perhaps seizing etc. but I'll give it a try.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - injection doc
I thiought there was a TSB about brakes on focus & I seemed to remember it was to do with servo or servo pipe. I may be wrong but I'm sure there was an issue.
2005 1.6 tdci Zetec Poor brakes - PantherBlack

My Fiesta 2007 is at the garage. I have a borrowed car a diahatsu surion 2. I was surprised that the breaks work better. I now the need to improve the breaks, but they are new. The discs and the shoes both new.

There is an option for "grooved"breaking discs. Has anyone got experience?


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