How to Change Brakes in a 2000 Mercury Cougar

by Grace Mclain

The brake system components on the 2000 Mercury Cougar includes the brake calipers, brake pads and the brake rotors. The brake pads are applied to the brake rotors by the brake caliper. When the brake pads are compressed against the sides of the brake rotors, the friction from the pads against the turning rotors slows and stops the Cougar. Replace the brake pads before the pads wear down to the wear indicators inside of each pad. Also, replace the rotors or have the rotors machine turned each time the brake pads are replaced.


Park the 2000 Mercury Cougar and apply the emergency brake.


Open the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir under the brake master cylinder. Remove the lid from the reservoir and insert the basting syringe. Pull enough brake fluid out of the reservoir to fill the syringe. Place the syringe of brake fluid in a safe area. Lower the hood.


Loosen all of the lug nuts from the front tires with a tire tool. Then, jack the front of the Cougar up in the air. Once the car is high enough, position the car stands under the proper jacking points, located on both sides of the Cougar. Lower the Cougar to the car stands and leave the jack in the up position.


Pull both front tires off and place them near the front of the Cougar. Move back to the front driver-side wheel hub and locate the brake caliper mounted to the side of the brake rotor.


Pry the outer brake pad against the brake rotor with the flat-head screwdriver until the caliper has enough slack in it to remove.


Locate the two upper and lower mounting pin bolts on the back of the caliper. Remove the two pin bolts with the 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a socket.


Pull the brake caliper from the brake rotor. Then, hang the brake caliper to the front shock with a piece of small rope.


Pry the inner brake pad out of the brake caliper with the flat-head screwdriver. Insert the C-clamp into the caliper and position the C-clamp so that the adjustment bolt is facing the caliper cylinder. Turn the C-clamp clockwise to compress the outer brake pad against the caliper cylinder. Continue to compress the caliper cylinder until it is fully inside of the caliper.


Unscrew and remove the C-clamp. Pry the outer brake pad out of the caliper with the flat-head screwdriver. Then, remove any other brake pad accessories from the brake caliper.


Position the new brake pads and any brake pad accessories into the brake caliper. Make sure that the new pads are behind the locking clips inside of the brake caliper. Remove the rope from the caliper and position the brake caliper back on the side of the brake rotor.


Screw the two pin bolts back into the rear of the brake caliper. Tighten the pin bolts tight with the ratchet and a socket. Slide the wheel onto the wheel studs and screw the lug nuts in place. Tighten the lug nuts with the tire tool.


Move to the passenger-side front wheel hub assembly and follow the same outline above for replacing the brake pads. Once the brake replacement is complete, open the hood back up and pull the lid back off the brake fluid reservoir. Squirt the brake fluid back into the reservoir and reinstall the lid. Then, close the hood.


Crank the engine and pump the brake pedal a couple of times to seat the new brake pads to the brake rotors. Then, turn the engine off.


Jack the Cougar back up and remove the car stands. Lower the Cougar and remove the jack.


  • check Most vehicle manufacturers and auto-repair shops do not recommend changing the brake pads without also replacing the brake rotors or having the brake rotors machine turned.


  • close Keep arms, hands and legs out from under the 2000 Mercury Cougar when it is on jack stands.

Items you will need


About the Author

Grace Mclain has been writing professionally since 1998. Her articles have appeared on, and LIVESTRONG.COM, and she specializes in automotive and business topics. McIain has a professional writing certificate from JB Hunt in Little Rock, Ark.

Photo Credits

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