The sudden squeal as you pull up to an intersection, in your Mazda 3, echoes the sound of your heart dropping into your stomach, as this is probably means your front brakes need replaced. With all the everyday pressures in life, and the constant use and need of your vehicle, finding the time and money to replace your front brakes would be the last thing you want to do. Fortunately, we have the perfect guide for you, that will allow you to replace your Mazda 3’s brakes yourself. That way, you can do it on your own time and only have to pay the price of the brakes themselves. Simply follow this guide’s easy-to-follow process, and you will be well on your way to stopping on a dime, in silence. As this is a guide for Mazda 3s’ in general, you may need to look up specific specs for your model.
- To start, go ahead and grab the necessary tools for the project. The tools for replacing your Mazda 3’s front brakes include: a jack and jack stands; a socket set; a flathead screwdriver; a breaker bar; a 7mm Allen key; a mallet; a brake pad spreader, or if you don’t have that a c-clamp will work; blue Loctite; a torque wrench; brake caliper lubricant; and brake cleaner. You will also need to pick up the brake pads, and rotors if necessary, before you get into the project.
- To begin the actual work, you want to make sure you have all the safety features in place. This involves putting the car into gear, engaging the parking brake, and chocking the wheels. You will then want to jack up the side of your Mazda 3 that you will be replacing the front brakes on first and then install jack stands underneath.
- Now that your car is ready for you be working on it safely, you can start the removal portion of the process. To do this, remove the wheel first.
- Next, go ahead and pop off the spring clip. The clip will actually pop, so make sure you are protecting your eyes when you do this step.
- Look at the back of the brake caliper and find the two dust caps that are on back and remove them. You should see the brake caliper pin as well, that you can remove with your 7mm Allen key.
- Slide the caliper off and hang it with a piece of wire so there will be no strain on the brake line. You should see the brake pads now, one attached to the caliper piston and the other held in place by the mounting bracket. When replacing the brake pads and rotors, you will need to remove the brake caliper mounting bracket. If you are just replacing the pads, it isn’t necessary.
- In order to remove the brake caliper mount bracket, find the bolts on the back part of the mount, just next to the strut assembly. You will need to use 17mm socket and a breaker bar to snap the bolts off.
- You should now be able to remove the brake rotor if it hasn’t been frozen or rusted on. If it has, then simply tap the rotor center with a mallet, to break it free.
- To begin the installation portion of the process, simply slide the new rotor on. You can keep it in place with one of the lug nuts in order to reinstall the caliper mount bracket more easily. When reinstalling the bracket, add some Loctite to the bolts.
- Next, add the brake pads themselves. Follow the removal process backward by placing the one pad back onto the caliper mount and by clipping the other on the caliper piston.
- Finally, reinstall the caliper by sliding over the brake pad and rotor.
Changing the front brakes on your Mazda 3 can be a satisfying project, and even a fun one, as long as you have the right tools and guide. If you follow the steps provided above and use safe jacking and working techniques, you will be back to driving without a squeal and with a safe car.