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Hyundai promises brand new EV for US within three years

01/23/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Hyundai, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Washington DC Auto Show

Hyundai BuleOn

The big and official news from Hyundai at the Washington Auto Show this week was that a bunch of people went to the website for the Tucson Fuel Cell CUV. But as Michael O'Brien, the vice president of corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America, was announcing that bit of news, an off-hand mention of something more battery-powered caught our ear.

Hyundai calls the hydrogen Tucson the "next-generation EV," but in the US, that H2 vehicle will actually beat an EV to the company's showrooms. There have been hints about a Hyundai EV in the US before - and the Korean company has shown off the BlueOn EV (pictured), based on the i10 - but O'Brien was willing to give a little bit more information on the still-nebulous EV plans.

"It will be a new product, that's all we can say right now"

The i10 electric vehicles have been in service since they were used at the G20 summit in Seoul, Korea in 2010 O'Brien said, but the EV that's coming to the US will be completely different. It will be a compact-class EV wearing the Hyundai badge (so, not the Soul EV from sister brand Kia) that could, based on demand, be sold in more locations than the Tucson Fuel Cell, which is going to be limited to places like California where there are hydrogen fueling stations. "It will be a new product, that's all we can say right now," O'Brien said. "It will be within the next three years. Not a firm production date, but soon."

In general, Hyundai is still more confident in hydrogen as the preferred zero-emission solution, and O'Brien cited range anxiety as the number one obstacle to EV adoption, with the slow recharge rate in second place. Still, strict emissions regulations mean that automakers will need to look at many options, and Hyundai is more ready than ever to dip its toes in the plug-in side of the pool.

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GM Certified Used Vehicles get same powertrain warranty as new models

02/03/2007   [Original: GM via Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Buick, Chevrolet, GM, GMC, Pontiac

We reported just two days ago that General Motors would be making its entire Certified Used Vehicle inventory available for sale on Today the General announced that each of those vehicles will now be sold with the same 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty that's included with the purchase of a brand new 2007 model. The warranty for these vehicles that range in model year from 2002 to 2006 begins with their original in-service date and is fully transferable, as well. Just like the powertrain warranty on the new models, this one covers components in the engine, transmission, transfer case where applicable and the final drive assemblies. Today's announcement only covers vehicles from Buick, Chevy, GMC, Oldsmobile and Pontiac, however. The rest of GM's brands have their own certified used vehicle programs, though Saturn is expected to announce the same warranty for its used vehicles later this year. Cadillac, Saab and HUMMER certified used vehicles are already offered with a 6-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.

Continue reading GM Certified Used Vehicles get same powertrain warranty as new models

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RR Of The Day: Merkur XR4Ti

02/14/2007   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Ford, RR of the Day

Merkurs are some of our favorite cars. Flickr pool member sncollins has a nice '88 XR4Ti he's been wheeling around for the last 20,000 miles or so. Powered by the tough-as-nails 2.3 liter turbocharged four that also saw service under the hood of SVO Mustangs and other Fox-platform cars, even a stock XR4Ti is a hoot. Of course, with the owner being an engineering student and car guy, this XR4Ti didn't stay stock for long. The nice thing about the Merkurs is their chassis was far more modern than anything else Ford was offering at the time. The aforementioned Fox-based cars were live-axle deals that would get all crossed up trying to claw out of a bumpy corner. The XR4Ti would spank BMW E30s hard, and with a Garrett T3 bolted to the side of the engine, a quick trip underhood with an open-end wrench would turn up the wick that much more. Sncollins's car is currently huffing out 23 psi from a modified turbo (the stock T3 would be in serious surge territory at 23 psi). The pressurized charge courses through a SAAB intercooler and tweaked intake manifold. The Civics are wary of this car now, due to the past smartings it's dished out. The rorty custom 3" exhaust doesn't help you fly under the radar, either.

More info, pics and a short mod list can be found after the jump, as well as instructions on how to submit your own ride for our RR of the Day.

Continue reading RR Of The Day: Merkur XR4Ti

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Hyundai in trouble for overstating fuel economy numbers at home, too

06/28/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Government/Legal, Crossovers/CUVs, Hyundai, South Korea

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai is, understandably, "very confused by the fine and the different results."

The South Korean government is investigating Hyundai and Ssangyong, alleging that the two manufacturers overstated the fuel economy figures on some of their crossovers. But while the initial investigation is being carried out by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, a separate branch of government, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is supporting the manufacturers' estimates. See Americans, our government isn't the only dysfunctional one.

The two vehicles that have raised the ire of the transport authorities are the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ssangyong Korando Sports. Allegedly, the two vehicles overstate their mileage by as much as eight percent. Provided the claim proves true and the two manufacturers are found to have been exaggerating their vehicles' fuel efficiency, Hyundai could be open to fines of as much as one billion Korean won ($985,000 at today's rates). Ssangyong could be facing a smaller punishment of just 200 million won ($197K).

In its own testing, meanwhile, the Industry of Trade, Industry and Energy has found that the fuel economy stated by Hyundai and Ssangnyong and the results of internal testing were within the margin of error, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which cites government sources.

Hyundai is, understandably, "very confused by the fine and the different results," the company said in a statement acquired by WSJ. Hopefully, the South Korean government can get its ducks in a row and figure out just who is in the wrong here.

It's worth noting that this isn't Hyundai's first brush with fuel economy overstatement issues. Autoblog regulars will likely remember that Hyundai Motor America endured down a costly and embarrassing fuel economy scandal of its own back in late 2012, and in March of this year, the automaker had to restate efficiency figures on its Korean domestic market Sonata.

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$64M Ferrari 250 GTO could be a fake

08/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Ferrari

1965 Ferrari 250 GTO Evocazione

Remember that Ferrari 250 GTO that we reported on last week, supposedly listed on for $64 million? Well, don't go putting down your deposit just yet, because it might be a fake.

According to noted Ferrari expert Marcel Massini, the vehicle listed on the German used-car website is a replica. "I can tell you that with 100 percent certainty," Massini told CNBC. "I know where all of these cars are today. And this is not one of the original GTOs."

Of course "replica" is a relative term when it comes to 250 GTOs. Other authentic classic Ferraris are sometimes rebodied to look like a GTO, but while they're not real GTOs, they are real Ferraris. We reported on such an "Evocazione" example (pictured above) based on a '65 Ferrari 330 GT a few years ago, around the same time that Matt Farah came across one based on a 365 GTB/4 Daytona alongside a Ford GT as well.

Even if it is based on a real classic Prancing Horse, though, it still wouldn't be worth $64 million - not even the $54 million it's listed at before taxes, which would still be more than anyone has ever paid for a GTO. And for all we know, this one could be based on an MG like Ferris Bueller's joyride... we're trying to track down more information, and as soon as we know, so will you.

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Ridiculously low Russian bridge claims 150th truck, and counting

05/30/2018   [Original: Autoblog]

Filed under: Commercial Vehicles Those St. Petersburg internet trolls must live under this cursed bridge.Continue reading Ridiculously low Russian bridge claims 150th truck, and counting Ridiculously low Russian bridge claims 150th truck, and counting originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2018 17:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Jaguar XKR - the cat's out of the bag

06/29/2006   [Original: via Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Convertibles, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Jaguar, Misc. Auto Shows

Snap. Don't know who is getting canned over this rather large leak, but official pics of the Jaguar XKR that was supposed to make its world debut at the British Motor Show in July have made their way onto the world wide web. From what we know the XKR will come with a supercharged 4.2L V8 developing 416 horsepower. Available in both coupè and cabriolet versions, the hardtop will be able to reach 62 mph in 5.2 seconds with the droptop not far behind at 5.3 seconds. The ferocious cat's terminal velocity will be electronically limited to 155 mph.

Pricing for high-po XKR will be EUR 94,990 for the coupe and EUR 102,990 for the cabriolet. The visual changes lend a new look to this precocious cat that appears remarkably show worthy. From the hood scallops to the mesh grille and air intakes to the aluminum-trimmed air outlet aft of the front wheels, the XKR's got style aplenty.

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Aston Martin makes a profit!

07/04/2006   [Original: The Times via Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Sports/GTs, Aston Martin

For the first time in forty years (!), Aston Martin has booked a profit, although theFord Premier Automotive Group to which it belongs lost about $100 million in 2005.

Chief executive Dr. Ulrich Bez (smiling at right) attributes the company's good news to a global boom in millionaires, with about 70 percent of Aston Martins sold outside the U.K. Only five years ago, 80 percent of the marque's production was sold in England.

Bez, formerly with Porsche, says that Aston Martin has created its own market niche, appealing to wealthy buyers who want performance and exclusivity, but with "English understatement."

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Ford bringing Gurney, GT40 to Goodwood

07/05/2006   [Original: Ford via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Time Warp, Sports/GTs, Etc., Hatchbacks, Supercars, Ford

With less than a week to go before the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the announcements from participating marques continue to roll in. Ford will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans and its 4-year win streak at Circuit de la Sarthe by sending one of its original GT40 racing cars prepared for Goodwood in the 1966 winning livery.

Le Mans winners Dan Gurney (1966) and Jackie Oliver (1969) will drive the black #2 GT40 up the hill next weekend. To reiterate, attendees at Goodwood will get to see Dan Gurney, American motorsports icon of the first order, drive a GT40 up the Goodwood hill. Really, the only way it could be better is if he was driving a Mk IV from 1967, but that's probably being greedy.

While the GT40 is the star attraction from the Blue Oval, they're also sending a modern Ford GT for the hillclimb and a 2006 BP Ford Focus RS WRC (currently second in the WRC manufacturer standings). The Focus will be driven on both the hillclimb and the forest rally stage at Goodwood by its regular pilots, Marcus Gronholm and Mikko Hirvonen.

A number of privately-owned Fords and Ford-powered cars are also entered in the festival.

(Press releases, photos after the jump)


Ford GT40

Ford GT40Ford GT40

Ford GT

Ford GT

2006 BP Ford Focus RS WRC

Focus RS WRC

Focus RS WRCFocus RS WRC

Press Releases:


GOODWOOD, UK, 7-9 July, 2006 - On the afternoon of the 19 June, 1966, as the hands on the famous clock at the end of the Le Mans pit wall crept towards 4pm, three Ford GT40s swept through the circuit's final corner towards the finish. With their headlamp beams reflecting off the rain-soaked tarmac, they closed ranks to complete the race only feet apart.

The crowd roared, the chequered flag waved and in the stand above the pits Henry Ford II savoured the most famous motor racing victory in the history of the company his grandfather had started 63 years earlier. The mighty Ferrari team with its great Le Mans record had been comprehensively beaten. It was one of the proudest moments in Ford's long motor sport history.

The route to victory

It had been a long, hard journey to victory - much longer than the mere 24 hours of the race. Three years earlier, Enzo Ferrari had quietly investigated selling his business to Ford, which had wanted to add high performance lustre to its public image. The deal fell through and Ford's response was to set up a special vehicles department to develop its own high performance cars for road and racetrack.

British engineer Eric Broadley was appointed to design and build a GT car to take on Ferrari. John Wyer, formerly Aston Martin's racing manager, was recruited to run the team, and Carroll Shelby, creator of the charismatic Ford-powered AC Cobra, would race and promote the car.

The team moved fast: by late summer 1963 the chassis was under development and shake-down tests had been held at Goodwood, Brands Hatch and Monza, and by the autumn enough data had been gathered to build the new car.

The first performance tests were at the Le Mans spring practice in April 1964, where the car's highly impressive top speed took it into new aerodynamic realms, though it quickly became apparent that some form of spoiler would be necessary. The GT40, complete with spoiler, made its race debut the following month at the Nürburgring in the hands of Graham Hill and Bruce McLaren. It retired early but the signs were promising.

The 1965 season saw some team changes, with Carroll Shelby running the racing and John Wyer starting work on building cars for private customers. It also saw the introduction of a 7-litre version known as the Mark 1. The team headed for Daytona, where they netted an almost perfect result - GT40s finished first and third, with a Ford-powered Cobra separating them in second place.

Next came the Mark II, regarded by many as the purest of the GT40 breed. All the experience of the previous two seasons was contained in this car, and in 1966 it started to pay off. First, second, third, and fifth at Daytona. First and second at Sebring. Second at the Spa 1000 KM.

The historic 1966 race

Thus the stage was set for the 1966 24 hours of Le Mans. For Ford this was a major operation involving three teams. In the Shelby-American cars were Dan Gurney/Jerry Grant, Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon, and Ken Miles/Denis Hulme. The Holman and Moody team included Mark Donohue/Paul Hawkins, Mario Andretti/Lucien Bianchi, and Ronnie Bucknum/Dick Hutcherson, while a car for Graham Hill/Dick Thompson/Brian Muir ran under the Alan Mann banner.

When the flag dropped and the drivers sprinted to their cars for the start, it was Graham Hill who took an early lead. Ken Miles had to make an early stop, but was soon slashing seconds off the lap record in an effort to catch up. After the first hour, Ford held five of the first eight places. By early evening Miles had fought through to the front, but by this stage of the race the result was definitely still up for grabs. After six hours and several pit stops, Ferrari moved into first and second spots, but not for long. Miles retook the lead before midnight, and over the next few hours the furious pace set by the Mark II started to tell on its competitors.

By four o'clock in the morning Ford occupied the first six places, and with most of the Ferraris having dropped out due to mechanical failure or accidents, the second half of the race looked to be more about durability than speed.

It looked good for Ford, but with seven hours to go, Jerry Grant came into the pits in the car he had taken over from Gurney. It was out of water and overheating badly, and within an hour Grant and a disconsolate Gurney were out of the race.

The final hours were extremely tense, both in the pits and in the cars. Ford had hoped to arrange for Miles and McLaren to cross the line together and record the first dead-heat in Le Mans history, but this plan was scotched by race officials who said that as the Le Mans staggered start meant the cars did not start at the same point, a dead heat was impossible to organise.

It was decided that McLaren would take the chequered flag and as the race drew to an end, he and Miles bunched up with Dick Hutcherson, who was several laps behind, to provide the most dramatic and memorable finish ever seen at Le Mans.

At Le Mans in 1966 the company proved that the lessons of two hard years of development had been well learned, and that 12 cylinders and scarlet bodywork were not essential ingredients for victory.

The victories mount up

The legend was just beginning. In 1967 Dan Gurney made up for his 1966 disappointment by winning with AJ Foyt in the new Mk IV version and in 1968 Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi won by five laps in the legendary GT40 that bore the chassis number 1075. This car also won at Brands Hatch, Spa and Watkins Glen that year and it took Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver to yet another stirring Le Mans win in 1969.

In just six years of international competition, the GT40 established itself in the hearts and minds of motor sport fans across the world in a way that no other GT car had done before or has achieved since. Of all its victories, however, the one that registered its image most firmly was undoubtedly that fabulous 1-2-3 in 1966.

As a tribute to the drivers and teams responsible for the GT40s successes at Le Mans, Ford has refurbished its own car in the 1966-winning livery. At Goodwood this weekend, almost exactly 40 years after that first great victory, spectators will be treated to the stirring sight and sound of Dan Gurney and Jack Oliver taking it up the famous hillclimb, just a short distance from the track that played a significant part in this legendary car's development.

# # #


GOODWOOD, UK, 7-9 July, 2006 - Ford's world rally stars Marcus Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen will drive the new 2006 Ford Focus RS World Rally Car publicly for the first time in Britain at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (7-9 July). They will demonstrate the car, which has already won three times this season in the FIA World Rally Championship, on both the famous hillclimb and the forest special stage at the prestigious historic motorsport event.

Hirvonen will be behind the wheel on both Friday and Saturday while Grönholm will take over for the final day on Sunday. It will be the first time that either has appeared at the festival.

"I have heard so many good things about the Goodwood Festival of Speed that I'm really looking forward to driving there," said Grönholm. "The event has a wonderful reputation and you only have to look at the calibre of drivers in attendance to see how highly it is regarded. I hope the crowd will enjoy their first view of the new Focus RS WRC car in action in the UK."

The Finnish duo has made an impressive start to the BP-Ford World Rally Team's world championship campaign. At the midpoint of the season, with eight of the 16 events held, the team lies second in the manufacturers' standings. Double world champion Grönholm has won three rallies and lies second in the drivers' table with Hirvonen in fourth.

Ford has also extended its record-breaking run of consecutive points finishes in the WRC to 68 - a feat unmatched by any other manufacturer in the sport's history. The run began on the Monte Carlo Rally in 2002 and all 68 have been achieved with the Focus RS World Rally Car.

The newest version of the Focus RS WRC made its full championship debut on the opening round of the 2006 championship in Monte Carlo - the most famous rally in the series. Grönholm claimed a remarkable debut victory and followed that with a second success amid the hostile snow and ice of the Swedish Rally in February.

Thirty-eight-year-old Grönholm continued to set a strong pace as the series moved onto asphalt, leading in Spain and taking a fine second place in Corsica. The Finn also led on the rougher gravel roads of Argentina and Sardinia before dominating the toughest event of all, the Acropolis Rally of Greece, to take a start to finish victory. Such has been the impact of the new Focus RS WRC that it has led six of the eight rounds to date.

While Grönholm has chased outright victory, team-mate Hirvonen has concentrated on developing his experience on events of which he has little knowledge, while continuing to rack up manufacturers' points for Ford. He has excelled, taking a career-best second in Sardinia and third in Greece.

# # #


Full programme of competition car entries and logistics support for 2006 Festival

GOODWOOD, UK, 7-9 July, 2006 - Ford Motor Company's sponsorship of the Goodwood Festival of Speed continues this year with a major programme of support to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Ford GT40 victory at Le Mans.

Ford has entered several cars on the historic hillclimb. In the Supercar category, a Ford GT will be piloted by several selected drivers including Roelant de Waard, Ford of Britain's Chairman and Managing Director, and Jost Capito, Director of Ford Team RS.

De Waard, an enthusiastic amateur racing driver, said: "This is my first opportunity to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which has always been a very important event for Ford, and one in which the company plays a leading role. The chance to drive the new GT up the hill, almost exactly 40 years after the original GT40 achieved that legendary Le Mans victory, is extremely exciting."

Tribute to 1966 Ford 1-2-3 at Le Mans

An original GT40, reconfigured by Ford to represent the 1966 Le Mans-winning machine, is also entered. It has been prepared as a tribute to the drivers and teams that took the GT40 to four successive Le Mans victories, and will be seen in its black and silver livery for the first time at the Festival. It was in 1996 that Ford scored its historic 1-2-3 victory with the three GT40s crossing the finishing line in formation at the end of the race.

Two of the victorious drivers will be at the Festival to take it up the hill - Dan Gurney, whose victory came in 1967 when he partnered AJ Foyt in a Mk. IV version, and Jackie Oliver, who partnered Jacky Ickx for the GT40's fourth consecutive win in 1969.

Marcus Grönholm and the Ford Focus RS WRC

Goodwood's Forest Rally Stage has been substantially revised this year. Ford will be represented by a 2006 World Rally Championship Focus for Marcus Grönholm, who has scored three WRC victories in the Focus this year, and his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen. The Ford Focus RS WRC will also be driven on the Goodwood hillclimb.

Puma Motorsport, the Ford team's racewear supplier, has generously donated five pairs of Puma overalls to be provided for lucky passengers in the Focus at Goodwood. During the Festival the overalls will be signed by as many rallying and racing stars as possible and auctioned in aid of the Richard Burns Foundation, formed to raise money for and awareness of the fight against illness and injury, particularly in the areas of cancer and road injury.

As usual, there will be many privately entered Ford and Ford-powered competition cars at the Festival, including Roush Technologies' 1999 Trans-Am Mustang, a 1981 Zakspeed Capri, an RS 200, Escort RS 1600 & 1800, a Sierra Cosworth - even a Ford Transit! In the Grand Prix classes, Ford-Cosworth engines will power more cars than engines from any other manufacturer.

Ford Transit in support and on show

As in previous years, Ford is supplying the Festival organisers with a large number of Transit and Ranger vehicles for use by marshals and officials around the Festival site. A new long wheelbase Transit will also be provided for a special feature in the highly popular Junior Festival of Speed. Over the weekend, a team of skilled graffiti artists from the Brighton-based "Rare Kind" company will decorate the Transit with iconic images from the Festival - the cars, the stars, the bridges, Goodwood House, the entertainment, and so on.

The Earl of March, on whose Goodwood Estate the Festival of Speed takes place each year, said: "Our work in putting on the Festival is made easier by the assistance of our sponsors who provide logistical support. Ford has always been particularly helpful with the loan of Transit Minibuses, Rangers, and four-wheel drive vehicles. I'm delighted that this year they are also providing a brand new Transit as a 'canvas' for the imaginative work of the Rare Kind artists - I'm sure the results will be fascinating and spectacular!"

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Autoblog Maintenance 201: Brake pad replacement, Part II

07/07/2006   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Ask Auto Specialists, Maintenance, Tech

In the first half of this particular write-up, we showed the basic process of replacing the front rotors and pads on a VW Jetta. Now we'll go ahead and hit the rear brakes, since the car is already up in the air and we're already covered up to our elbows in grease and brake fluid. We'll also go through the process of flushing out the old fluid and bleeding the brakes, since this car was far overdue for that task.

As we stated in our previous post, this task isn't mechanically difficult, but it does require attention to detail and an eye towards safety. If in doubt, seek the services of a qualified professional.

The rear brakes are similar to the front in terms of outward appearance, but with smaller components (the rear brakes simply don't play a huge role in high-effort stops). In this case, the slider hardware is also somewhat different. Due to the parking brake, there's also something unique about how we deal with pushing back the caliper pistons, but that's not yet visible.

As we suggested before, it's a good idea to make an attempt at opening the bleeder valve before any other work is done. Hopefully, it cracks open easily; if not, a contingency plan will need to be developed to either extract the bleeder, or to obtain a new or rebuilt caliper.

Instead of stationary slider pins that screw directly into the bracket, here we have pins that float in the spindle assembly. The caliper is then fixed to these pins via a bolt. In order to remove the bolts, the pin must be kept from rotating via its hex. This requires the use of a particularly thin open-end wrench.

As I was scrounging through my toolbox to find a spare 15mm open-end to sacrifice for this job (such a wrench could also be purchased, but not in a small town on a Saturday afternoon), the car's owner simply attacked it with a pair of slip-joint pliers and got all of the hardware removed before I even had a chance to spin up the bench grinder. It's not the technique that we recommend, and of course it's always best to use the proper tool and save some potential hassle now or the next time that the brakes are done. However, as long as the jaws of the pliers aren't allowed to slip on the surface of the pin, it's unlikely that damage will occur, and as you can see here things worked out just fine.

With two bolts on each side removed, simply slide the caliper off the spindle, and support it using wire or a nylon "zip tie". Remove the old brake pads and discard them. Remove any hardware retaining the disc, remove the disc, and set it aside for recycling.

At this point, inspect the slide pins. Gently roll back the rubber boots and verify that there is an ample supply of fresh grease. They should move back-and-forth in the caliper bracket with minimal force; if they're hanging up slightly, it probably means that they're dry and should be removed, cleaned, lubricated, and re-installed. If they don't slide at all, you can attempt to remove the old pins using locking pliers and install new hardware, but depending on one's mechanical competency it may be easier - but not cheaper - to purchase a new caliper bracket assembly (in a future Autoblog Project Garage installment, we'll demonstrate how to save a bracket that would otherwise be heading for the trash heap).

Since the rear brake calipers contain provisions for applying the mechanical parking brake, they have a self-adjust feature built into them that requires a special tool to rotate the caliper piston as it's being pushed back in its bore. This tool, shown above, can be purchased at most auto parts stores, or obtained through Auto Zone's "tool loan" system (you basically pay the full price of the tool as a deposit, and that money is returned if you return it in good condition). You can also attempt to do the rotate-and-push chore with the tips of needlenose pliers or one of the inexpensive cube-shaped "universal" tools, but such efforts usually just lead to frustration. Buy, rent, or borrow the right tool, and this part of the job will take just a few minutes for both sides.

As also done on the front brakes, we opened the bleeder valve to allow the old fluid to escape while we pushed back the piston. This is done to prevent contaminated fluid from being forced upstream into the delicate (and expensive!) ABS module.

Note that the caliper is just hanging by the parking brake cable in this shot - it shouldn't be doing that (especially not with the pushback tool attached). Make sure that the calipers are properly supported at all times to prevent any possible damage to the brake hoses or cables.

Clean the new rotors with brake cleaner and fresh rags or towels. After cleaning any loose corrosion from the hub, apply a thin coat of grease or anti-seize compound, and slide the disc into place. Hit it again with the brake cleaner and towels just to make sure that it's free of contamination.

Clean the pads, set them into place on the rotor and caliper bracket, and then slide the caliper into place. Install the bolts using anti-seize compound on the threads, and torque them to specification.

Now, before the wheels go back on, we're going to bleed the brakes. A patient helper is required for this method, and while both vacuum and pressure bleeding can be done single-handedly, the tried-and-true manual method produces excellent results with no additional investment in tools.

We're doing this for two very good reasons - first, the fluid in this car was long overdue for a change. While those in drier, more consistent climates can go many years without worrying about the fluid, humid and often-changing conditions such as those here in the Midwest allow the fluid to "pull" moisture into the system. Left long enough, this forms corrosion in the system, and loose particles will float around and cause all sorts of problems. Considering the minimal cost of bleeding one's own brakes, it's not a bad idea to consider it a yearly maintenance task. At the very least, do it every time a brake job is performed. While some vehicles allow access to the bleeders while the wheels are on the vehicle, it's certainly much easier to do the job while the wheels are off. Combine this with a tire rotation for maximum effectiveness.

Most vehicles with ABS can be bled in this manner, but you should verify with your service manual that no additional steps are required before proceeding.

Start by locating the brake master cylinder and reservoir. It will be on the left side of the firewall, and in this case, it was mounted rather low and behind some plumbing. Wipe off the cap and surrounding area with a clean rag before removing the cap, and if you set it down somewhere, make sure to place a rag underneath it.

This would be a good time to note that brake fluid is an excellent paint remover, so do not allow it to contact your car's finish. If a spill does occur, immediately clean it up with water and a clean rag, being careful not to wipe it across a wider area.

Start by removing the old fluid from the reservoir using a vacuum pump (shown here) or a turkey baster. Whatever you use, don't return it to the kitchen drawer when you're done.

When the old fluid has been removed, top off the reservoir with fresh clean fluid of the appropriate type, and secure the cap before continuing. Selecting a fluid to use can be a confusing topic; start with your manufacturer's recommendation of either DOT3 or DOT4, and if you want to get passionate about it, here's some additional reading on the topic. High-performance brake fluids are great, but simply bleeding the brakes with any fluid on a regular basis already puts you in the top 1% or so of car owners.

Starting at the corner of the car furthest from the brakes (usually either of the rear wheels), we loosen the bleeder with a box wrench, and then gently snug it back up.

Keeping the wrench on the bleeder, we then run a hose from the bleeder down to the appropriate catch canister. A quart-sized Gatorade bottle works much better than a 20oz soda bottle for this task, and the use of clear tubing makes it much easier to see bubbles.

With the bleeder closed (gently tightened), have your helper stand on the brake pedal. When they indicate that pressure has been applied, open the bleeder just enough for fluid to start flowing. Once your helper indicates that the pedal has reached the floor, have him or her hold it there while you tighten the bleeder. Shout back to the helper that they can now release the pedal.

Repeat the process until clean fluid is observed to be flowing from the bleeder, and that no bubbles are present. Then do the same at the remaining three wheels.

Keep a very close eye on the fluid level in the reservoir, as it must be kept at least partially filled at all times. If it runs dry, the bleeding process must be started all over again, so please check it on a very regular basis. Also make sure that the reservoir cap is secured before anyone touches the brake pedal, or else you may observe a glycol geyser.

If you haven't serviced your brakes recently, you may note that the fluid comes out looking more like muddy water or even motor oil. That discoloration is the result of internal corrosion, so it's extremely important to bleed the brakes and flush out the old fluid before it starts turning nasty colors.

After all four corners have been bled and the reservoir is topped off, put the vehicle in Park or Neutral and start the engine. It may be necessary to pump the pedal once or twice to bring the pads into contact with the rotor, and after that a solid pedal feel should be observed. If not, air remains somewhere in the system, so it's time to repeat the process. Do not place the car into service until the pedal feel is solid. Top off the fluid one last time if required.

Once the wheels and tires have been re-installed and the car lowered to the ground, it's time to "bed" the pads as soon as possible (like, before making a beer run). The goal is to transfer a thin and uniform layer of brake pad material to the brake rotors. The procedure should be provided by the pad manufacturer; if not, the following has worked for us:

1) Perform six moderate near-stops from 35 MPH to 5 MPH. Do these in quick succession. Try not to come to a complete stop.

2) Perform two additional hard near-stops from 45 MPH to 5 MPH or so. Some brake fade, burning smells, and even a bit of smoke may be experienced.

3) Cruise around for 5-10 minutes with minimal use of the brakes. Whatever you do, try to keep rolling at all times until the brakes have cooled. This is to prevent "imprinting" the rotors with the pad material, which can result in brake pulsation.

If the brakes have gotten hot enough to properly bed the pads, one should see a hazy grey appearance where the pads contact the rotor. There will be a bit of a blue-purple color on the rotor surface, right along the edge of the swept area.

There are some nearby backcountry roads that we use for bedding brakes, where we can perform these near-stops and roll through some uncontrolled intersections afterwards without creating a hazard. You will certainly not want to do this in a populated area. Vehicles with higher-performance brake systems may require more or harder stops to bring the system up to maximum operating temperature. For those interested, StopTech provides additional reading fun on this exciting topic.

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