The rear brakes of the 2004 Ford Freestar are styled as rotor brakes. When you hit the brakes, the rotors of the brake and the pads are aligned together to stop your vehicle the way you want it to. Now through wear and tear, these brake pads will soon lose its effectiveness thus, exposing your vehicle to higher vehicular accident risks. To avoid possible accidents, you will want to replace the pads as soon as possible. Assuming that you have basic working knowledge of automotive, you can actually purchase the replacement pads and change it yourself. Here are some of the steps you will need to enact in order to effectively change the rear brake pads of your minivan.
- Secure the front wheels. Place a stone or wedge on the front side of each of your front wheels. Since you will be jacking the rear of the minivan up, you will want the front wheels to stay in place.
- Loosen the nuts. Once the front wheels are secure, whip out your lug wrench and start applying elbow grease to loosen all of the lug nuts holding both of the rear tires in place. Do not remove the lug nuts yet, only loosen them.
- Jack the minivan. Get a hydraulic alligator jack and position it at the rear of the minivan along the frame at the back. Pump it to lift the minivan to the desirable height. At this point, you will want remove each of the rear wheels. Remove all the lug nuts using your hand and gently remove the wheels. Place the wheels and all the nuts in a safe area so you don’t lose them and so that it will not bother you while working on the brakes.
- Remove the brake pads. To do this, remove the bolt holding the brake caliper in place and gently pull out the pad with your hand. At this point, you will want to clean the caliper as it will probably be dusty and dirty through constant use.
- Lubricate. Find the caliper slide pins and apply grease to each pin. You should use white lithium grease as it is the type of grease recommended for these parts. Once that is done, start inserting the new brake pads into the position where the old pads were. Set the caliper back on the rotor and secure it with the bolt.
Repeat the same process with the other side. Once both brake pads have been replaced, reinstall the wheels and the lug nuts. Gently bring the jack down. Tighten all the lug nuts and pump the brakes to allow the brake fluid to enter into the picture and lubricate the entire brake system.
To test if the brakes were replaced correctly, remove the stone or wedge from both of the front wheels and take the car out for a spin. At this point, make sure that you are driving at a slow pace just in case the brakes don’t work.
If the process is too much for you to handle, consider the alternative of bringing the minivan to a shop and letting a mechanic do the dirty work for you. There is no shame in that anyway.