How To: Replace Front Brake Discs & Pads On A Mk7 Ford Fiesta

Today we are changing the front brake discs and pads on a 2013 Ford Fiesta Mk7.5

You will need:

  • A jack
  • Two axle stands
  • A breaker bar with a 19mm socket
  • 12mm and 15mm spanners or sockets with ratchet
  • A brake caliper rewind tool
  • A small pry bar

In addition I also used:

  • Brake cleaner
  • A wire brush
  • Penetrating spray
  • Copper grease
  • A flat head screwdriver
  • Hammer

Start by jacking up the first corner of the car and removing the wheel.

Fiestas don’t have a typical jacking point. I tend to jack the car up from the seam where the side of the body shell meets the floor. This is double skinned and seems to be nice and strong. This is where I also place the axle stand.

Once the wheel is off I also pop that under the car just in case the jack stand somehow fails.

After soaking all the bolts in penetrating oil, the first thing you’re going to want to undo are these 12mm bolts holding the caliper onto the rubber sliders.

Once those bolts are removed, wedge a pry bar into one of the slots on the middle of the brake disc and pull the caliper backwards towards the centre of the car. This will push the piston back a little bit to take pressure off of the brake pads.

The caliper should now lift out of the way. However, on one side I found that the old brake pads had got stuck onto the caliper. Give them a poke with a screwdriver and they will fall away.

Pull your caliper out of the way and rest it on your second jack stand. Do this so the weight of the caliper isn’t dangling off of the rubber brake hose.

The old brake pads can be removed from the metal frame by backing them out away from the brake disc.

At this point you may as well rewind the caliper piston. Caliper rewind tools do come with a little metal plate that pushes the piston back in. For this car though, the little metal plate that came with mine was too small so I used the old brake pad to push the piston back in.

(The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that we switched sides for this pic. That’s because I forgot to photograph this step on the first side. You can always find professionalism here!)

Next, remove the two 15mm bolts on the back of the frame that holds the caliper in place. (Again, the eagle eyed amongst you might notice the top bolt is a little bit out. That’s because I started before taking the pic. Professionalism as always!)

Once the carrier frame is off you’ll probably see that it’s absolutely covered in brake dust. Try to get the worst of it off with your wire brush.

The brake disc isn’t actually held on with any bolts so IN THEORY will just pull off. In my experience of doing various cars the disc always fuses itself to the hub and a bit of “gentle persuasion” is required to get it off.

If it has, whack the back of the disc with a hammer, turn it 90 degrees and hit it again. I was really lucky with this car. On both sides it just took a couple of light taps and they came right off.

You’ll notice I put a wheel nut back on for this. If you really have to give it some force with the hammer, the wheel nut stop the disc flying across the driveway and nearly taking out the neighbour’s cat.

Spread a little copper grease around where the hub meets the disc to hopefully stop them from fusing together.

Your new brake discs will probably have a chemical film on them from where they were manufactured. Give them a spray on both sides with brake cleaner and wipe them off with a micro fibre cloth as you don’t really want that on your braking surface!

Slide it on!

Before fitting new pads I always like to compare the thickness to the old ones. I don’t know why – it’s just a Richard ritual.

Bolt the carrier frame back on and slide the new brake pads into place. I put a little copper grease under the little tabs that hold the pads in place. They weren’t hard to get out but hopefully it’ll make it even easier next time!

Bolt the caliper back on and that’s one side done!

Always, always, always replace brake components in pairs.

Once you’re done, before you start the car pump the brake pedal a couple of times until it goes hard. Once it’s hard the piston is pressing up right against the back of the pad as it should be.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully that helped!

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By Richard Francis


  1. Good job!!!
    Here in Canada uncoated rotors are a “no no”!!!!
    Every winter they dump tons of salt in a attempt to melt tons of snow. The snow melts all right but our cars get rusted to bones and the life in rivers and springs gets poisoned.
    Oh well…

    1. The rust is bad enough but surely they can find a way to grit the roads without harming the wildlife!

      1. It is a complicated situation. In the province of Manitoba they replaced road salt for a mix of sand and dirt, it is very very messy but at least it is not toxic to the environment. But here in Ontario the government just don’t care if the wildlife gets poisoned.

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