Had my 1997 Ford Ka for 2 months now and I love it. Great little car for the money I got it for.
One of the things I noticed when I got the car is that the brakes on it are no where near as good as any car I've driven as a learner. They're quite soft feeling, and you have to push the pedal a relatively good distance to get effective braking out of it, and then they seem to get just about strong enough for "emergency" braking if you push harder. I assumed this was just slightly worn brakes. I have also heard that the brakes use the same system as the 1980 Ford Fiesta, so I guess this could be a reason (as brakes back then weren't up to modern standards). The car passed its MOT with no advisories relating to brakes in October, so I assumed they were fine. Also the brakes still manage to lock up without a problem under really heavy braking, so I'd have thought this'd mean they're perfectly strong enough.
However, this morning my step-dad drove it around the corner and now he's telling me that my brakes are "dangerous" and they need replacing. He says they shouldn't be anywhere near that bad. I told him you do have to push them harder than he's used to (as until recently he drove a 6 year old Hyundai Accent, and now drives my mum's brand new Hyundai i30) but he was having none of it. He says I need them done ASAP, preferably by the weekend otherwise it's an accident waiting to happen.
I'm only 17 and barely have the money for my monthly insurance payments, let alone new brakes, so I don't really want to go spending out on them if I don't need them. From the way the car feels, the MOT and what I've heard I'd say that new brakes would only make the car marginly better, as the brakes don't sequel or rub under braking so I don't think the pads need doing. The only thing I can think of is adjustment, but again I don't think it'll do much for it.
Basically I'd like it if somebody could just tell me if my brakes are normal or not? And if they're perfectly fine bearing in mind this is a 1997 car with 70,000 miles. I imagine there must be someone out there that can tell me what they think of Ford brakes
Cheers for your help guys, and thanks for reading through all this