Ford Escort brakes

I have a 1998 Ford Escort sedan. It has had the same problem beofre and after a recent front brak job (pads and new rotors). The brakes do not ‘grab’ sufficiently. They heat up after even a little downhill (a mile or so of off and on braking) and get soft, which causes me to roll through stop signs even if I am standing on the brake pedal. I can smell the pads burning. Not good. Do I have the wrong brake pads installed? Are they glazed? What do I do?

Who did the brakes?

If the pads weren’t glazed before they probably are now.

Its not so easy to be able to say what is going on without being able to look but my first guess would be that your calipers are not releasing for one reason or another. This is keeping contact with the rotors so that the brakes are chronically overheated. The calipers would be stuck from a seized piston, seized slides, and/or internal breakdown of flexible brake hoses. They will need to be torn back down and inspected for these conditions. You might want to just do the brake lines, calipers, pads, and rotors all at once.

Thanks for your input. It is going into another shop. I think the car had the problem before the front brake job. The car has an antilock braking system and I stopped hard once and it didn’t engage, the car just rolled to a stop. My guess is its a hydraulic problem somewhere. The new guy says he’ll pressure test the system and tear down the calipers. Wish me luck!

Feel free to post back with whatever info you get from the new shop if you want any 2nd or 3rd or 4th opinions about any of it.

If you have a power brake booster, a Haynes manual will show you a picture of it. There will be a procedure for checking it. You don’t have to be a mechanic to do that. It says so in the manual.