• Welcome to Mazdas247, the 24/7 Mazda Community and Resource. Learn about the benefits of becoming a Member here.
  • We're an Amazon Associate and eBay Partner. We earn from qualifying purchases.

Brake fluid level

Hello.
I bought mazda5 2014 with 54K miles 20 days ago. Previous owner did scheduled maintenance at the dealer (I can tell the dealer was lazy as a few simple things were not fixed). So, all in all it looks good, but, the brake pedal feels kind of soft compared to other cars I used to drive.
When I'm driving, I push it lightly, but it doesn't brake hard, it's more like the effort I have to apply is not linear.
Checked the brake fluid, it was on low at the moment of purchase. Topped to full and now it's in the middle of the reservoir already.
Does it mean I have a leak somewhere? Should I also check the pads for excessive wear?
 
:
2010 Mazda 5 Sport
I would top it off 1 more time. If it doesn't stay at the high mark, you or a mechanic need to look for a brake leak.
 
:
2008 Mazda5 GT
Hello.
I bought mazda5 2014 with 54K miles 20 days ago. Previous owner did scheduled maintenance at the dealer (I can tell the dealer was lazy as a few simple things were not fixed). So, all in all it looks good, but, the brake pedal feels kind of soft compared to other cars I used to drive.
When I'm driving, I push it lightly, but it doesn't brake hard, it's more like the effort I have to apply is not linear.
Checked the brake fluid, it was on low at the moment of purchase. Topped to full and now it's in the middle of the reservoir already.
Does it mean I have a leak somewhere? Should I also check the pads for excessive wear?
That's not a good sign but not the end. I had a car with leaky brakes -once. Topped off and ignored it b/c it was a very slow leak then one day, unbeknownst to me, it leaked more than usual and emptied the reservoir resulting in NO brakes -scary as hell... thankfully it was a manual and I could engine brake and use hand brakes.

The whole braking system is pretty much self contained and easily repaired. How much life is left in the pads? Give the year and mileage, if not done already, the whole braking system needs a complete flush, not just topping off or bleeding (BTW, your ABS module will thank you and make sure to bleed that too). Brake fluid is hygroscopic and primarily brakes down due to age. It has ~3 year effective life span unless it is in a sealed container and start to degrade and accelerated wear by how hard you brake b/c pads/rotors/pistons generate heat which cooks/wears out the effectiveness of the brake fluid - this fluid is stuck primarily in/around the caliper body piston, which is why you need to bleed brakes periodically -only way to get it out. Worn fluid will not work effectively. FWIW, folks with sticky slider pins (pads do not release from the rotors result in drag) create excess heat that is transfer to the fluid.

Top it off again and with the car on (need vacuum), pump the brakes a good hard 4-5 times and hold it down for 10 sec, release. Did the fluid level change? If not, go for a spirited drive with aggressive stopping (just don't cook the pads as in braking too hard for too long, give it some time to cool, it's not a race). Should not take more than a few mins of a spirited drive but you do want to go hard on the brakes. Check the fluid reservoir, did it changes? If no change, you are good but should get the whole system flushed. If it does leak, there are only a handful of usual suspects.
 
:
2010 Mazda 5 Sport
Fluid only good for 3 years? I have to chuckle as my daily driver has 20 year old fluid. I'll admit that might pushing it. But it is a Toyota. :)
 
:
2008 Mazda5 GT
I hear ya and felt the same way before my no-brakes incident, which lead me to have a new found respect for having the ability to stop. There are lots of technical articles out there that explains various DOT fluids. Towards the end of fluids’ life the brakes will get soft/spongy/weak/non linear, even with new pads and rotors b/c the line cannot apply hydraulic pressure correctly. And you will have air in the system overtime. However, because the degradation is gradual, the driver accepts the current state as the norm (just need to push a pedal a little harder to compensate). Hey if it ain’t broke and gets you from point A to B, don't mess with it. This is all good until you need to pull a panic stop.

Technically, DOT3 and 4 fluid is recommended to be flushed 18-24 months! I personally advocate 3 years b/c 2 yr seems really short. A lot of this depends on variable conditions such as where you live and how you drive (hard stop and go braking in Phoenix heat vs hwy cruiser who rarely touches the brakes). You can of course use old fluid for much longer (I know lots of people who don’t flush and only top off as they go). It’s just not at optimal efficiently but it is debatable if you ‘need’ the max efficiency b/c it can ‘get by’. Much like why spend $90 for fancy compound pads when the $16 pads will stop the car just fine in everyday driving?

FWIW it takes 1 bottle (12oz) of DOT3 or 4, which cost <$5, to flush the system; labor cost is a different debate. Also, Toyota does not make fluids but I agree Japanese manufacturers of yester-years used/sourced high quality vendors/components, which contributed to them lasting but 20 year old fluid is ridiculous old.

And there’s also keeping the ABS module fluid fresh and clean. Not your old Toyotas anymore.
https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/index.php?threads/mushy-brake-pedal.123858826/page-2
 
I can't agree more, safety is a top priority when it comes to hauling little hogs.
Did a brake flush yesterday, it cost me about $100 here.
Brakes feel more firm now, took it for a spin on an empty highway - I think flushing was due, after all.
Thanks again, everyone!
 
Top