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How to Change the Front Rotors in an Escape

by Jule Pamplin

The brake rotors on the Ford Escape are key components to the anti-lock braking system. During braking, the brake pedal is depressed, which forces brake fluid through the brake lines. The fluid pushes the caliper pistons, which press the brake pads against the rotors, causing the Escape to slow to a stop. If the surface of the rotors is damaged by excessive or prolonged scoring by the brake pads' wear indicators, or if the rotors are damaged in any other way; the rotors need to be replaced to ensure proper function of the braking system.

1

Apply the parking brake on the Ford Escape. Put the transmission in park. Loosen the lug nuts with the socket of the tire iron.

2

Lift the vehicle with the lifting jack. Place jack stands beneath the frame of the Ford. Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheels from the wheel bolts.

3

Turn the steering wheel to the left to access the caliper bolts on the right caliper.

4

Remove the caliper bolts with a 13-millimeter wrench. The caliper is the metal bracket that surrounds the rotor. It contains the brake pads and is connected to the Escape by the brake line. Once the caliper bolts are removed, pull the caliper from the rotor.

5

Pull the rotor from the wheel bolts. If the rotor is rusted to the steering knuckle (the part of the vehicle directly contacted by the back side of the rotor) you will have to use force to remove the rotor. If you are not going to be using the rotor again, you can use a hammer to pound the rotor free from the vehicle. Be sure to strike the rotor and not the other parts of the braking system.

If you plan to use the rotor, tap the rotor, with a hammer, on the top hat surface (the smaller ring of the rotor that protrudes from the larger plane of the rotor). The tapping will break the bond of the rust and allow you to pull the rotor from the bolts.

6

Remove the new rotor from its packaging. Spray all sides of the rotor with brake cleaner. The rotors are shipped with packing oil on them, to preserve the rotor's surfaces. The oil must be removed before the rotors can be installed. Once the surfaces are sprayed, wipe the rotors to get rid of excess cleaner and dissolved oil.

7

Place the rotor onto the wheel bolts, with the top hat surface side facing out. Replace the caliper around the new rotor and screw in the caliper bolts with the wrench.

8

Turn the steering wheel to the right to replace the left rotor. Remove the caliper bolts, remove the caliper, remove the rotor, spray and wipe the new rotor, and place it onto the wheel bolts.

9

Replace the caliper to the left rotor and tighten the bolts with the 13-millimeter wrench.

10

Turn the steering wheel so the wheels are pointed forward.

11

Put the wheels back on the Escape's wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts by hand.

12

Lift the Ford with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

13

Tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron.

Tip

  • The surface of the rotors can be repaired by a professional brake service person, but if the brake rotor is warped, replacement is the only remedy.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jule Pamplin has been a copywriter for more than seven years. As a financial sales consultant, Pamplin produced sales copy for two of the largest banks in the United States. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University, winning a meritorious scholarship for the Careers in Applied Science and Technology program, and later served in the 1st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps.

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