Some of the most efficient and reliable vehicles made today are made in Japan. Japanese car manufacturers such as Mazda are known for making economical and reliable vehicles that match the performance of their German counterparts. However, reliability and efficiency aren’t the only two things you get by owning a Mazda. Mazdas are known to come with a lot of safety features. While maybe not as many as a Mercedes, they are not far from it.
The bigger Mazda models, such as the CX6, provide a luxurious cabin experience and most models provide sportscar-like handling. Even the smallest Mazda models, like the Mazda 2 give you sporty handling. Lastly, a Mazda will provide great mileage as they do not need much to operate at a top-level. But like just like any other vehicle, we must take care of it like it takes care of us. Keeping your Mazda in great shape involves performing maintenance and replacing worn-down parts, such as the brake pads. Brake pads may not come to mind as components you can upgrade by yourself, but believe it or not, their replacement process is not too complicated for the average Joe.
How to Change Brake Pads on a Mazda
What You Need
Like most economical vehicles on the market, Mazdas are considered low-maintenance and cheap-to-maintain vehicles. When replacing your Mazda front brake pads, however, you shouldn’t cheap out. Make sure you get a quality set of pads and all the tools you need such as a jack, breaker bar, mallet brake cleaner, brake calliper lubricant, c-clamp, flat head screwdriver, and socket set.
1. Before you start taking the old brake pads off, make sure you have your Mazda in gear and the parking brake off. The wheels should be chocked to keep your vehicle from rolling away. When that’s done, just jack up the side of your Mazda and secure it with jack stands. It is recommended that you use at least two jack stands rated for at least 3 tonnes each.
2. When that’s done, remove the wheel with a flat-head screwdriver by popping off a string clip. Be careful, as the spring clip really does pop off and can injure you. Next, locate the two plastic dust caps on the back of the calliper and take them off. This is done using a 7mm Allen or hex key.
3. Once you remove the dust caps, slide off the calliper and position it so it’s upright. Hang the calliper with a piece of string or wire onto the strut to keep it from straining the brake line.
4. Next, you need to take out the pads. The pad that is closest to you is only held by a calliper mounting bracket. The other one is usually clipped onto the calliper’s piston. All you need to do is take out the old pads and place the new Mazda front brake pads in the same place. The outer pad goes on the calliper mount bracket while the inner one clips to the calliper piston.
5. Then, slide the calliper over the outer brake pad and rotor and secure it. Put the wheel back on and tighten it at the adequate torque level. You’ll want the torque level for the front calliper pins to be between 2.62 and 3.04 kg-m and 7.8 to 10 kg-m for the front calliper bracket. The torque level for the wheel lug nuts needs to be between 11 and 12.4 kg-m.
6. When the old pad is in the piston, you need to use the c-clamp to push the piston back into the calliper. If you’re replacing the rotor as well as your Mazda brake pads then you don’t need to do this. Once done, just clean, lube and reinstall the calliper bolts, the dust cap and spring clip. Before you put everything back together make sure to remove the lugnut and spacer used to hold the rotor and you’re good.
7. Lastly, you need to lower down your vehicle from the jack and check the pads. This is done by applying pressure on the brake pedal, making sure it doesn’t feel spongy. If the pedal feels spongy you may need to either replace the fluid in the braking system or bleed the braking system. The latter is done before you replace your pads with the exception being this exact case.
How Long Do Mazda Brake Pads Last?
For the majority of Mazda models and makes, the pads usually last about 80,000km. This can vary depending on how you drive your car and the road conditions you drive it on. Sometimes, this can be sooner than 80,000km and the most common symptoms of brake pads wearing down are grinding, scraping, or squealing noises as well as vehicle vibration when you apply the brake pedal.