DIY Brakes?

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
How hard is it to DIY front brakes? I've never done it before, but I feel like I overpayed when I had my rears done, and want to avoid that again for the fronts.

So I have a few questions:

1. Is there an easy way for me to see/measure what my brake pads are at? Last year my fronts were at 6mm, but I suspect they may be in the range of needing replacement now.
2. I've lately noticed some bumpy braking, so I suspect that may be due to uneven wear or warping of the rotors? Anything to be done with these, or should new rotors be put on?
3. How long would it take to do a brake job for the first time? I would probably have to rent a lift as I don't have room in my garage for anything but ramps.
4. Any kind of special tools needed?

Thanks all.
 

NelsonLewis

Banned
:
16.5 CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech BRMica
It's simple, 30 minutes or less. If you have room for ramps, you have room for jack stands, just if you wanna buy some or not. The pads will come out with a simple pull with your fingertips. I used to turn rotors back in the day, but I'd just assume replace them these days with the cost being so minimal compared to how long they last.

Good luck, you can do this fairly easily and will be glad you did it on your own once you're done...

There should be a simple 10-15 minute video on youtube for the CX-5 as a tutorial, and it should be all you need.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
Thanks all!

Sure there is room for jackstands under the car, but I have literally no room side to side in the garage to jack the car up, and having enough room to work on one side will mean I will not be able to fit between the car and the other side LOL! It's a very tiny garage.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Thanks all!

Sure there is room for jackstands under the car, but I have literally no room side to side in the garage to jack the car up, and having enough room to work on one side will mean I will not be able to fit between the car and the other side LOL! It's a very tiny garage.
Can you do this by the road side in front of your house or in a parking lot near by? ;)

Front brake is easier than the rear. A disk brake pad spreader would help for your job but not a necessary brake tool. Make sure to turn / resurface the rotors by a shop or auto parts store if they have enough thickness by specs and you want reuse them. Or get some aftermarket rotors which usually are cheaper than OEM. Most Euro vehicles such as my VW and BMW have very soft rotors and they becomes too thin you simply can*t reuse them. And their new OEM rotors usually are very expensive too.

 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
Can you do this by the road side in front of your house or in a parking lot near by? ;)

Front brake is easier than the rear. A disk brake pad spreader would help for your job but not a necessary brake tool. Make sure to turn / resurface the rotors by a shop or auto parts store if they have enough thickness by specs and you want reuse them. Or get some aftermarket rotors which usually are cheaper than OEM. Most Euro vehicles such as my VW and BMW have very soft rotors and they becomes too thin you simply can*t reuse them. And their new OEM rotors usually are very expensive too.


It's a condo, I doubt they'd allow me to do work outside of the garage.

I am by a big mall with a big parking lot with plenty of space. Problem is the parts that are pretty empty are not really flat, and lots of through traffic.

Since I use ramps, I also don't actually own a jack, so guess I need to get one. Alternatively, there is a rentable DIY garage with tools/lift for like $30 or $40 for an hour. But I'm going to see if I can find a flat parking lot first. Maybe Walmart even? How much is a quality jack?
 
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madar

Contributor
:
2016.5 CX 5 Touring AWD, 2015 SCION XB
If your rotors have never been off. it's a good bet they're rusted on. Might be the hardest part of the job getting them off.
 
:
13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
https://www.paulstravelpictures.com...Common-Problems-Repair-Maintenance-Guides.htm

PS if the dude's guides helps you please try to donate.


Now that I've mastered changing pads/rotors, and lubricating pins my next step is learning to bleed brakes. I recently purchased a brake bleeder bottle with check valve = I can do 1-man brake bleeding as opposed to needing someone help me.


Oh and warped rotors= its really hard to warp rotors. The work "warped" gets thrown around a lot. In reality you merely have brake deposits imbedded. Turning the rotor essentially gives you a new surface to work with again.
 
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ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
:
2017 CX5 GT AWD Premium
Thanks, that looks like a good guide.

What does it mean to "turn" them? What does one need to do?

Turning rotors means basically having a shop machine a thin layer of the rotor surfaces off to give you a fresh flat braking surface on both sides of the rotor. Like NelsonLewis said, I would just get new quality aftermarket rotors. I am getting ready to do my 4Runner brakes and I will again be purchasing some aftermarket Brembo rotors. I replaced the original rotors with Brembos at about 90K miles and I now have 175K.
 
:
13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
I've good results from EBC Premium Rotors on my Mazda6. Made in UK and only cost $120 at autoanything.com for a pair of front rotors. 3-4lbs lighter than stock rotor but don't let the weight fool you, its made from high carbon virgin iron which is a higher quality metal. It also has high quality venting. I did some driving in a parking lot and touched both front EBC rotor and rear stock non-vented rotor and the rears were much hotter to the touch. Then again maybe its like that comparing vented with non-vented.

At any rate in hindsight I wished I kept the stock ones and turned them and reuse them until they got too thin. (26mm) at which I'd toss them.
 

NelsonLewis

Banned
:
16.5 CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech BRMica
I've good results from EBC Premium Rotors on my Mazda6. Made in UK and only cost $120 at autoanything.com for a pair of front rotors. 3-4lbs lighter than stock rotor but don't let the weight fool you, its made from high carbon virgin iron which is a higher quality metal. It also has high quality venting. I did some driving in a parking lot and touched both front EBC rotor and rear stock non-vented rotor and the rears were much hotter to the touch. Then again maybe its like that comparing vented with non-vented.

At any rate in hindsight I wished I kept the stock ones and turned them and reuse them until they got too thin. (26mm) at which I'd toss them.

No surprise there considering the car is harder on rear brakes than the front ones like the numerous amount of post here suggest...not opposed to better rotors, even with better venting, but this example isnt a very good one...
 

madar

Contributor
:
2016.5 CX 5 Touring AWD, 2015 SCION XB
My original rotors were rusted to hell after 60k miles.

 

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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I usually turn / resurface rotors when I need new pads. Its cheaper ($15~$25 per rotor) but more hassle as you need to have a second car taking rotors to a machine shop. In case the softer rotors which are cut too deep by harder pads from factory like my BMW 528i and VW Passat, I get new OEM rotors as I always like to use OEM parts. But those OEM rotors are expensive. $175 each for front rotors on BMW, plus $35 new brake pad thickness sensor which is cut open by the edge of the deeply cut old rotor. VW OEM rear rotors are not cheap either, $125 each. Considering those OEM rotors are only one-time use with OEM pads, may be I should consider some after-market pads and rotors.

ColoradoDriver, madars concern on rusted rotors which are very difficult to remove is legit. With many complaints on CX-5s rusted brake system, it could happen in your area with a lot of winter road salt. And dont forget to lub your caliper pins with proper grease when youre there.
 
:
'14 6 Touring, '16 CX-5 GT
How hard is it to DIY front brakes? I've never done it before, but I feel like I overpayed when I had my rears done, and want to avoid that again for the fronts.

So I have a few questions:

1. Is there an easy way for me to see/measure what my brake pads are at? Last year my fronts were at 6mm, but I suspect they may be in the range of needing replacement now.
2. I've lately noticed some bumpy braking, so I suspect that may be due to uneven wear or warping of the rotors? Anything to be done with these, or should new rotors be put on?
3. How long would it take to do a brake job for the first time? I would probably have to rent a lift as I don't have room in my garage for anything but ramps.
4. Any kind of special tools needed?

Thanks all.

First off, good on you taking the initiative to do your own maintenance. You'll find doing stuff like changing out your own brakes, oil changes, transmission fluid changes or radiator swaps, etc. really aren't as intimidating as you might think. Just have a good forum to bounce questions off of, start gathering the right tools and get a factory service manual and you're good. You'll save a ton of money and (hopefully) know it was done right :)

My answers to your questions:
1. How many miles are on your CX now (is the 73k in your signature current)? Have the fronts ever been replaced before? If they're original I would plan on replacing the pads.
2. You can turn them like others have suggested, but I would just figure on replacing them as well.
3. Give yourself plenty of time for the first time. No need to feel pressured to do a job as important as brakes because somebody else more experienced can do it in XX minutes. In fact, it'll probably take you 30 minutes just to figure out the best way to jack the car up and get the wheels off. That's not a dig, just saying take your time.
4. 1/2" ratchet and socket set up to 19mm, 21mm socket for lug nuts, 1/2" torque wrench, c-clamp large enough to compress the piston (or disc spreader already mentioned), rubber mallet to bang your rusted-on rotors off, can't hurt to have a 1/2" breaker bar (useful to have in your toolbox regardless), zip ties, steel cable or something you can suspend the caliper up without putting stress on the rubber brake line, hydraulic jack, jack stands, caliper grease, can of brake cleaner, rags... beer?

Reference the FSM for torque values. Although the brake manufacturers don't always require it, I would recommend bedding in the brakes after you're done. You can find a good deal on a front Centric pad and rotor package at RockAuto for about $145 shipped somewhere in the greater Denver area.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
First off, good on you taking the initiative to do your own maintenance. You'll find doing stuff like changing out your own brakes, oil changes, transmission fluid changes or radiator swaps, etc. really aren't as intimidating as you might think. Just have a good forum to bounce questions off of, start gathering the right tools and get a factory service manual and you're good. You'll save a ton of money and (hopefully) know it was done right :)

My answers to your questions:
1. How many miles are on your CX now (is the 73k in your signature current)? Have the fronts ever been replaced before? If they're original I would plan on replacing the pads.
2. You can turn them like others have suggested, but I would just figure on replacing them as well.
3. Give yourself plenty of time for the first time. No need to feel pressured to do a job as important as brakes because somebody else more experienced can do it in XX minutes. In fact, it'll probably take you 30 minutes just to figure out the best way to jack the car up and get the wheels off. That's not a dig, just saying take your time.
4. 1/2" ratchet and socket set up to 19mm, 21mm socket for lug nuts, 1/2" torque wrench, c-clamp large enough to compress the piston (or disc spreader already mentioned), rubber mallet to bang your rusted-on rotors off, can't hurt to have a 1/2" breaker bar (useful to have in your toolbox regardless), zip ties, steel cable or something you can suspend the caliper up without putting stress on the rubber brake line, hydraulic jack, jack stands, caliper grease, can of brake cleaner, rags... beer?

Reference the FSM for torque values. Although the brake manufacturers don't always require it, I would recommend bedding in the brakes after you're done. You can find a good deal on a front Centric pad and rotor package at RockAuto for about $145 shipped somewhere in the greater Denver area.

Thanks for this post!

I have started to do a lot of my own maintenance including oil changes, filters, spark plugs, and transmission fluid drain and fills. I also tore into the interior to replace my faulty AT shifter switch, a $50 part that with labor probably would have cost $200+ to have a shop do it.

Brakes seemed like the next thing to learn. :)

Anyway, I live in a condo complex with a very small detached garage. Assuming you can jack from the front of the car, I just don't have room to work on both sides of the vehicle. There's no way I'd have enough room on both sides to even get both tires off. In fact passengers have to get out of the car before I pull in. Condo won't let me do the work outside the garage, so out of luck there. Thought it might be better to find another place to do the work, not sure where though. I also don't own a jack as I've been using ramps for ease of use in my tiny garage. Obviously ramps no good for brakes though.

I have most of those tools, again, minus the jack/jackstands, and the C-clamp.

EDIT: What do you mean by "bedding the brakes"? Not sure what that means.
 
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