Every Mazda 3 produced, either hatchback or wagon, is engineered to exceed the safety standards for braking distance, as set by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To ensure that those standards are upheld, Mazda recommends that Mazda 3 owners exercise proper usage of, and provide prescribed maintenance to their vehicle's anti-lock braking system. Replacing the brake pads is a task that can be performed by an auto mechanic at a service station or by an owner with little automotive repair experience.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Vise-Grip pliers
- Tire iron
- Tire blocks
- Lifting jack
- Jack stands
- Adjustable wrench
- 13-millimeter socket
Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels using the tire iron.
Lift the Mazda 3 with the lifting jack and place jack stands under the frame, near the rear corners of the vehicle.
Remove the lug nuts and the wheels.
Remove the two bolts on the outside of the caliper. The bolts are located near either ends of the caliper, on the side closest to the wheel well. Use a 13-millimeter socket and a ratchet to remove the bolts.
Put a dripping pan on the ground, below the caliper.
Open the brake fluid bleed valve with an adjustable wrench. The valve is located near the top caliper bolt. Turn the valve until fluid begins to flow from the valve into the dripping pan.
Rotate the caliper away from the brake rotor. Slide the brake pads from the caliper walls (the two sides of the caliper). The pads are connected to the caliper by metal clips. Spray chain lubricant on the clips if the brakes are rusted.
Press the caliper piston against the wall from which it protrudes, using the vise-grip pliers. The piston is a metal ring on one side of the caliper.
Slide the new brake pads onto the caliper. The pads will be facing each other once properly mounted.
Replace the caliper over the rotor. Replace the caliper bolts, using the 13-millimeter socket and ratchet. Close the bleed valve, using the adjustable wrench.
Replace the wheel onto the lug nut bolts and screw on the lug nuts.
Lift the Mazda 3 with the lifting jack and remove the jack stands. Return the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts using the tire iron.
Press the brake pedal continually to force brake fluid back into the caliper.
Tips and warnings
- The brake fluid will be returned to the caliper by pressing the brake pedal 4 or 5 times after the brake pads have been changed.
- Before you lift the vehicle, make sure that it is parked in an area that allows you to safely work on both sides of the car. Place tire blocks in front of the front tires to prevent the car from rolling. Apply the parking brake.
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