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Vibration In Steering Wheel, Floor, Brake Pedal On Very Low Speed Braking


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I'm from Australia and thought as you chaps have had the new 2009, 2010 Fiesta available a lot longer in Britain it would be a good place to seek advice.

Here's the problem: The car was purchased new in Jan 2010. I was really impressed with it to say the least however... it's now done 3000km, I've followed the manual as far as the approach to 'braking in' the engine, tyres and brakes. About 4 weeks ago (2500km) I began to notice the following symptoms: When I slowed to turn into my drive or another street, from about 25km/hour or less, the steering wheel would shimmy...not every time, but a lot of the time. Now I'm noticing that the pedal also vibrates slightly at times. I tried just braking with the hand brake = fine, tried braking with the clutch depressed = same problem. Had the front alloys balanced = no vibration at any speed and no vibration when braking at speeds above about 25km/hour. The front pads will sometimes audibly 'gouge' at the lower speeds. I'm in the tropical part of OZ so you can imagine the rust that forms on the discs. They must have a very high iron content because all the cars I've ever owned never rusted like the ones on the Fiesta. (Mazda, Honda, Toyota). As I am a designer and work from home the car isn't used everyday which doesn't help with the rust accumulation issue. Nothing has happened (eg driving over a cliff, down deep pot holes or jumping curbs) or was done mechanically to the car that would link to the issue.

I hope the following makes sense..the pads seem to be vibrating (Grabbing) on the rotors at about 2 or 3 times / second...it's that fast! Brake dust quantity is extreme from both front wheels. Wheels are not hot after a trip. Stopping efficiency excellent.

Tried repeatedly reversing to about 20km/hour and applying the brakes fairly hard, varying tyre pressures. Haven't yet switched rear wheels to front.

I'm under warranty naturally but I want to be prepared for the Ford dealer's probable response of "That's normal with the Fiesta"...Well sir why the stuff has it only just presented????? I wonder if all the oxide from the rotors has embedded in the face of the really soft pads they use and this is causing the problem? Road surface texture doesn't seem to be related to the problem.

Really appreciate you listening to me whine and hope you can steer me (sorry about the pun) non-vibration-ally straight :unsure: .

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hi and welcome from a fellow newbie... :)

When you apply the brakes does it feel like the ABS is kicking in, brake pedal bounces when pressed and you may hear a knocking noise in sync with the bouncing.

i ask because on my last car i had very similar fault every year, especially in the winter after the snow, some grit mixed with brake dust and general corrosion messed up the ABS/Speed Sensors giving this fault until the ECU detected it, through up the ABS fault and automatically switched the ABS off. From what you described about the corrosion and brake dust it may have done the same.

Thats from previous experiance, like i say. It may be totally differant fault, im new to fords so im not sure on how things react on these cars.

Hope this may help somewhat.

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Thanks for replying John. I have never owned a car with ABS before. It's strange though that I've had this car for about 9 months and this shaking has just started. I was looking at another post and a couple of Fiesta owners were complaining of the same thing. http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9465&st=0&p=59023&hl=+fiesta%20+brake%20+problem&fromsearch=1entry59023


Bought a new fiesta 1.25zetec 5dr back in october [covered 3500miles so far]. Recently, I've noticed a grinding noise from the front brakes [can only really notice it after applying the brakes and pulling up to a junction or roundabout]. Are there any known brake problems with the new fiesta [misalignment of pads etc..]? I've booked it in at the local Ford dealer for next week as a warranty repair, so it should get sorted then.

One chap replied who seemed to know what he was on about:


This is a well-known problem with single-piston, floating caliper disk brakes. They don't bother lubricating the sliding parts, or the backs and edges of the pads. (Copaslip used to be the main brand of copper-based grease for brake parts, but keep it off disks and friction material.)

Within 2 months of me buying my new '58 reg Fiesta Mk 6.5, I could feel a wear step on the inside edge of both discs, and the outer faces were only getting a light buffing to clear rust off. My dealer is 110 miles away, so I paid a local Citroen specialist for 1 1/4 hrs labour for him to strip & clean & generally buff pads ( the outer ones were glazed ), and apply the lube.

I should have gone to him earlier, as the work would have been less time-consuming, with less de-glazing req., and the pins the calipers float on needed cleaning & lube.

The poor braking was highlighted when I took the car under complaint for the gear-shift to be checked, as cold-weather gearchanges were very notchy, but the temperature on that day was 13 deg C, so no problem showed up. The loan-car, however, was an absolute dream for braking, -- a 1.6 TDCi FOCUS ZETEC. Two hours with that reminded me of the floating-caliper endemic problem, so the job was done in my home town, at my own expense. (Another full day going to Inverness and back, to a dealer that skimps on a PDI, was too much to argue about, incompetent tw**s.)

In my part if the Highlands, brakes have to have this treatment every year, usually at servicing time.

P.S., now that the car has more than 5,000 miles on it, the winter gear-changes are less notchy, but my Wife's Jan. '09 Toyota Aygo has a vastly better gear-shift, and so did my last car, a Yaris D-4D, owned from new, in Sept. '03, until 30/09/08. Even my previous Rover 25 TD was better, and that 'box was a Rover-improved Peugeot 205 one, that Peugeot adopted themselves to cope with high power/torque applications, as Rover had made it strong enough for the VVTi MG F, and, I expect, the 2.0 and 2.5 V6 K series motors.

Your discs can get rusted overnight, enough to need some hard braking 4/5 times the next day, before they go silent. Leave them a week, and a trip out of town + tramping on the pedal may be needed, a few times, after a look in your mirrors.

( The Rover Dealer did the brake job annually, as a matter of course, but I had to tell the Toyota Foreman to do it, and about descaling discs or skimming them, rather than renewing them :-- there is a simple little lathe for skimming -- childs-play.)

One day this week it was faultless and I thought it had corrected itself but the following day the shaking and so forth was back again.

It does feel like the pedal is pulsating but why would the steering wheel shimmy... beats me?

How did you fix your problem or did it fix itself with use?


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