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Mk7 Brakes


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#1 MartynS

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:57 PM

My brake pedal seems to have a fair bit of movement before anything much happens - feels like at least 2-3 centimetres - during which they have very little impact. For instance, just rolling down my drive at 1-2 mph I have to press the pedal a fair way to actually stop before going into the road (and I'm barely even on a slope). Also, I have to use a fair bit of pressure (and further movement) to achieve any braking force that can really be felt. I was kind of expecting more efficiency from a new car (thinking back and comparing to my old 2001 Fiesta, there's not a huge difference unless pressing really hard).

The zetec-s demo model I test drove before buying was similar; the pedal on that seemed to move a fair bit without anything happening, then you press it slightly more and they come on heavily almost throwing you forwards. In contrast, the zetec I had as a courtesy car a few weeks back had a much stiffer pedal that wouldn't move without a bit of pressure, and brakes that came on as soon as the pedal did move.

I'm also comparing this to an S reg peugeot I had as a courtesy car when my old one was being serviced a few years back - they were very light to press, even for hard braking (for gentle braking I couldn't even feel the pedal moving!). I guess this was my mental benchmark for what to expect from a new car, but none of the 3 I've driven seem anywhere near this efficient/light...

How do yours compare - is there a difference between the zetec and zetec-s at all? And sorry for the long post!

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#2 grin factor

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 07:28 PM

The brakes are what I call progressive. There will always be some movement in the pedal before anything happens as the pressure in the fluid has to build up to operate the brakes, so the pedal movement is normal. Have you braked hard? Do the brakes come on when you do?
If the car is new, take it back and have ot checked over.

#3 MartynS

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 08:27 PM

I've tried reasonably hard braking (not slammed them on though), and they do come on with some force - nose dives suddenly as would be expected. It's just that more pressure is required on the pedal than I thought would be necessary. The car is due its 3 month courtesy check in about a fortnight (wow that time's gone quick, was warm and snow free back then!) so I'll be mentioning it to the garage. Was just enquiring about other people's cars to see how they compare.

#4 Gruff

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:21 PM

I've tried reasonably hard braking (not slammed them on though), and they do come on with some force - nose dives suddenly as would be expected. It's just that more pressure is required on the pedal than I thought would be necessary. The car is due its 3 month courtesy check in about a fortnight (wow that time's gone quick, was warm and snow free back then!) so I'll be mentioning it to the garage. Was just enquiring about other people's cars to see how they compare.


I have driven many cars / hires / etc and my 59 Mk7 brakes just cannot be moderated in a linear manner - the point at which the brake goes from virtually nothing to bang on is like a switch. The odd thing is the company hack is a 1.4TdCi and I bought my 1.6TdCi because it drove well and the brake issue does not exist in the hack. Reading mags and other posts seems that Ford quality tolerances seem pretty wide. I brought at 3K and its now at 8k.

#5 Early-1800

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 07:45 AM

Yes I think there is a bit of slack in the braking system on new festers. When I drive Mrs Earlys Golf for the 1st time in a while I nearly always end up doing an embarrassing emergency stop when I 1st use the breaks after giving them a good fester style prod.

#6 Densa

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:57 PM

My brake pedal seems to have a fair bit of movement before anything much happens - feels like at least 2-3 centimetres - during which they have very little impact. For instance, just rolling down my drive at 1-2 mph I have to press the pedal a fair way to actually stop before going into the road (and I'm barely even on a slope). Also, I have to use a fair bit of pressure (and further movement) to achieve any braking force that can really be felt. I was kind of expecting more efficiency from a new car (thinking back and comparing to my old 2001 Fiesta, there's not a huge difference unless pressing really hard).

The zetec-s demo model I test drove before buying was similar; the pedal on that seemed to move a fair bit without anything happening, then you press it slightly more and they come on heavily almost throwing you forwards. In contrast, the zetec I had as a courtesy car a few weeks back had a much stiffer pedal that wouldn't move without a bit of pressure, and brakes that came on as soon as the pedal did move.

I'm also comparing this to an S reg peugeot I had as a courtesy car when my old one was being serviced a few years back - they were very light to press, even for hard braking (for gentle braking I couldn't even feel the pedal moving!). I guess this was my mental benchmark for what to expect from a new car, but none of the 3 I've driven seem anywhere near this efficient/light...

How do yours compare - is there a difference between the zetec and zetec-s at all? And sorry for the long post!



#7 Densa

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:10 PM

Hi I got a Fiesta 1600 titanium 60 plate in November and have taken it to my local Ford dealer twice with this issue. The first occasion I was experiencing what you mention - the pedal was soft and a bit of travel - on this occasion the brakes were bled (1200 miles) and there was a very slight improvement. My brother asked another dealer about this as when he drove the car his first thought was brake failure (one of his cars in a 1979 2 litre Capri so would imagine a very loose brake pedal) and he was told that when the engine is first switched on, you should depress the brake pedal to reduce the build up of hydraulic pressure as this could otherwise blow the seals. I must admit this does seem to help. This however is not mentioned in the handbook. Last week, a month and a further 800miles down the line,I took my car back in with this info as I wasnt sure whether this did indicate a fault. The workshop foreman had never heard of this and had no explaination. On this occasion the rear drums were taken a part and reassembled and they noted on the worksheet that the brake pedal is now firmer - firmer, its so hard it hurts the sole of my foot and I am not convinced it has helped the braking effiency at all.

I would be interested to hear further from you, especially if you do press the pedal in hard when you switch the engine on and also please raise this with Ford as my garage have contacted the technical dept to make them aware and at the moment they are saying nobody else has raised this. If anyone else on hear has this problem please contact me as I thought I was going mad. To be honest this is why I have joined this forum to see if anyone else had an issue.

Due to my experience with this car, I dont think I will ever buy a new car - I want to test drive the actual car I am buying, not be in the position again. I am already of thinking of selling it and buying a Mazda 2 but I think I am going to lose so much money and I will the heated windscreen.

Cheers

#8 Hen Pecked

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:18 PM

We must be lucky. My wife's Fiesta Titanium brakes are superb. Very sensitive and just right for the car.

Mind you, not nearly as good as the brakes on my other transport, 6 pistoned discs on my Thunderbird (Triumph Thinderbird that is and not Ford B) )

#9 AndrewL

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:29 PM

My brakes are fine, just take some getting used to as there's a bit of empty travel before they actually bite.

Stopping quickly from high speeds could be better though - the front discs have to cope with a lot.

#10 MartynS

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:59 PM

Since using them more and experimenting a bit, I'd say AndrewL's comments sum it up perfectly. The initial travel is still slightly annoying as I can roll slowly with the pedal depressed a bit, but I've got used to how they work now. For general braking not too much pressure is needed, it's only when stopping quickly from higher speeds that they seem a little bit weak. I also notice a difference when the fuel tank is full, especially at slower speeds!

My overall feeling though is that they are good, it's just the extremeties I feel could be better (but probably not a problem with my car, just how they are on the Fiesta).

Densa - perhaps what the dealer did with the rear drums put it into the same 'state' as the Zetec I drove which had a harder pedal but not much difference in performance? It does sound like yours are worse than mine; could/have you tried driving any other new Fiestas such as the dealer demo model? It's always good to have something to compare to! Also, did anyone at the dealers make any comment about how they felt when they drove yours?

#11 andrew43

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:33 AM

mine are fine but i am going to get the mountune brake upgrade

#12 GT_Racer

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:42 AM

On a side note - I really can't understand why Ford opted to use drum brakes on the rear of the Fiesta right from base model to Titanium and ZS.

For a car that appears to be a luke-warm hatch (ZS) the rear drum brakes grinning through the 17" wheels avec low profile tyres makes it look a little meek in my opinion.
Perhaps it was cost saving, maybe it was deemed unnecessary due to the overall weight and how it's spread over the car.

Anyway, despite the rear drum brakes I find the braking capability surprisingly good.
Progressive with plenty of feel, with no excessive pedal travel.
I'm not long on my second set of discs and pads since they were changed at the 37,500 mile service interval.
No problems to report here.

:)

#13 Magenta

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:40 AM

I have no problem generally with the actual operation of the brakes on my Mk7. I have always depressed both the clutch and footbrake on starting cars as a matter of course for a good many years. Pressing the clutch relieves some of the load on the starter motor turning the gearbox oil on very cold days and also if you leave cars in first gear as I do, prevents nasty accidents ! Yes, I do have a handbrake but as far as I am concerned, I would rather use the gears to secure the car than rely solely on the friction of a handbrake. I know driving instructors will 'profess' to disagree with this practice. My current car, being an auto, although it will not start in anything except 'park' or 'neutral', it is natural to press the brake on starting because as soon as you put the car into drive or reverse, it will want to move. Some autos will not start at all without the footbrake deperessed.

The only problem I have with my brakes is the noise when releasing them, a horrible creaking noise. Being an auto, you have to use the brakes a bit more. The dealer says he can do nothing about it. Any ideas on this ?

#14 Hen Pecked

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:40 AM

I have no problem generally with the actual operation of the brakes on my Mk7. I have always depressed both the clutch and footbrake on starting cars as a matter of course for a good many years. Pressing the clutch relieves some of the load on the starter motor turning the gearbox oil on very cold days and also if you leave cars in first gear as I do, prevents nasty accidents ! Yes, I do have a handbrake but as far as I am concerned, I would rather use the gears to secure the car than rely solely on the friction of a handbrake. I know driving instructors will 'profess' to disagree with this practice. My current car, being an auto, although it will not start in anything except 'park' or 'neutral', it is natural to press the brake on starting because as soon as you put the car into drive or reverse, it will want to move. Some autos will not start at all without the footbrake deperessed.

The only problem I have with my brakes is the noise when releasing them, a horrible creaking noise. Being an auto, you have to use the brakes a bit more. The dealer says he can do nothing about it. Any ideas on this ?

Not sure how old your car is, but as you have the same model as ours, it may make you feel better to say we had the same problem until about the 5000 mile mark when the brakes stopped creaking. We also use the bake when starting to prevent creep back. A no start without pressure on the brake would have been a good idea.

As a preference, I use the sequential to slow the car down instead of the brake. My wife is confused by this action but I find it the best method.

#15 Magenta

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:34 PM

Not sure how old your car is, but as you have the same model as ours, it may make you feel better to say we had the same problem until about the 5000 mile mark when the brakes stopped creaking. We also use the bake when starting to prevent creep back. A no start without pressure on the brake would have been a good idea.

As a preference, I use the sequential to slow the car down instead of the brake. My wife is confused by this action but I find it the best method.


Thanks for that. Although my car is 16 months old it has only done just over 3000 miles so perhaps the noise will fade. My previous manual box mk 7 didn't do it,in fact that car, an early 09 1.6 TDCI seemed better build quality. I rarely use the sequential shift but I might try using the braking effect as you do. The brakes don't squeal at all, as I say it is only on release when moving off I get the creaking.

(Incidentally, we had some nice holidays in sunny Bridlington years ago !).

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