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favero
Just recently around the last week my focus 1.6 2001 started to smell when pulling up. I couldn't detect where the smell was actually coming from until today when I saw smoke coming from my right front wheel. I had noticed a lack of power which I kind of put down to its age, though it has only just done over 71,000 miles. I have been noticing a quick blackening of the front wheels in the last month or so. It is only today that the smell has worsened. What could this be - I am a complete dunce when it comes to car maintenance. Any ideas would be gratefully received however. I'm wary to drive it now.

Thanks.

Favero.
Dave the Dude
Sounds like its gotta be brake related and the blackening of your wheel sort of confirms it. I think you will find that the brake on that wheel has ceased ON.
Jack the car up and try turning the wheel by hand?

Good luck
Pitmonster
Sounds like a brake calliper has seized on, and the pads are constantly in contact with the disc.

This would slow the car down (giving the feeling of loss of power), create heat & smoke, give off a nasty smell of the brake pads wearing away, and cause the black dust on your wheels.

Get to a garage as soon as possible, your car may not be safe if you continue like this - your discs and pads will be wearing away very fast and you may not be able to stop properly in an emergency

If the calipers are seized, a garage may be able to free them off and lubricate them, but there's no guarantee that it'll work in the long term, so new calipers may be needed (second hand parts will be fine), and you will almost certainly need new discs & pads too.

Parts prices for the Focus are good, I got a full set of front & rear diss and pads for my Focus for 150 from Euro Car Parts, and if I'd gone for a cheaper brand the total costs would have been just 100. You may only need the fronts. Don't know the prices for calipers, but about 2 yrs ago I got a used one for a Laguna for 50 with a warranty, and a mechanic mate fitted it in an hour.

Spending money on brakes is an investment in your own safety, and it could even save somebody's life.

Sorry to sound so dramatic, but brakes are such a critical part of car safety, so please get them looked at immediately as the consequences of doing nothing could be very serious.
catch
[quote name='Pitmonster' timestamp='1349597482' post='210065']


Spending money on brakes is an investment in your own safety, and it could even save somebody's life.

Sorry to sound so dramatic, but brakes are such a critical part of car safety, so please get them looked at immediately as the consequences of doing nothing could be very serious.
[/quote]


Spot on, in the mind of any rational person the one area of a car that corners should not be cut, is the braking system and tyre maintenance. Anybody who thinks different, should not be contributing to the humane gene pool :rolleyes:
favero
Thanks so much for the advice. Funnily enough my MOT is due end of month so obviously it would fail. I will use the bus to work for now (sigh!) and slowly drive it in on Tuesday to a trusted garage I know. I thought it was serious - smoke's never a good sign. It was funny as I think it was something that has been developing in the last month as my alloys just seemed too black to be natural. Plus last week I couldn't get it over 55 on a level straight decent single carraige road. All pointing towards what has been stated above. Great shame as I'm constantly shelling out good money just to keep the rusting heap on the byways and highways. Cheers again.
stef123
Hopefully you haven't cooked the wheel bearing with the heat too
artscot79
thats a good point stef ide still jack it up and see how bad it is if you were not getting above 55mph the engine must have been working extremely hard to keep the car moving you may have warped the disks well its highly likely so budget for a tyre disks and pads at least
Pitmonster
Brake discs & pads are easily available from places like Euro Car parts.
A pair of front discs and a set of pads will cost around £50 for Eicher, or around £75 for Pagid

Fitting the discs and pads is something most home mechanics can do with a basic toolkit and a Haynes manual, it would take about 2 hrs max.


If you do need replacement front brake calipers, they are available of ebay secondhand:
[url="http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=front+calipers+ford+focus+1.6+mk1&_sacat=0&_from=R40"]http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=front+calipers+ford+focus+1.6+mk1&_sacat=0&_from=R40[/url]

You should easily get a pair for £30-£40.

Swapping the calipers is more complicated because you would have to disconnect the brake lines, and this would mean you'd have to bleed the brakes. If you know anyone who's a mechanic see if he'll do it at home - will be a lot cheaper than paying shop prices (and a LOT cheaper than Kwik Fit or the like).
stef123
depending on your budget though, if a new caliper is required i would rather spend the bit extra and buy a refurbished unit. atleast you know what you are getting

i use this company for any refurbished caliper i buy - http://www.brakeparts.co.uk/

very fast service and quick to refund surcharge.


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