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Soft brakes after brake pads replacement

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Woohoo!
:
2006 Tungsten Grey Mazda6 GT I4
I just replaced my front brake pads. The procedure was to simply open the caliper without taking it off, take the old pads off, and put the new ones on, and put a layer of grease on the back of both pads, and reinstall everything in reverse order.

Now when I brake, the pedal is really soft and I have to go down pretty far to get decent braking power. However, if I let go and step on the pedal a second time, it feels firm and just fine. But then when I drive a little distance, it goes back to being soft on the first touch.

Does anyone know what's going on?

By the way, the brake fluid reservoir is now a lot more full than it was before installing the new pads. Even after pressing down hard on the brake, the fluid level doesn't go down. Not sure if this is normal or not.

Thanks, guys
 

Tasty

Rollin' on stock wheels.
:
2003 Protege5
ABS or not? I think I'll have to do pads before too long, and I'll definitely be bleeding the system and getting fresh fluid in there. Sounds like maybe you should too...
 

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Woohoo!
:
2006 Tungsten Grey Mazda6 GT I4
ABS. Yeah, I'm guessing I have to do a bleed. It's so hard to find a time when I'm not working and a garage near me is open, though.
 

AEMMAZDA5

Hoping for 7 psi!!
:
2002 Mazda Protege 5
I just replaced my front brake pads. The procedure was to simply open the caliper without taking it off, take the old pads off, and put the new ones on, and put a layer of grease on the back of both pads, and reinstall everything in reverse order.

Now when I brake, the pedal is really soft and I have to go down pretty far to get decent braking power. However, if I let go and step on the pedal a second time, it feels firm and just fine. But then when I drive a little distance, it goes back to being soft on the first touch.

Does anyone know what's going on?

By the way, the brake fluid reservoir is now a lot more full than it was before installing the new pads. Even after pressing down hard on the brake, the fluid level doesn't go down. Not sure if this is normal or not.

Thanks, guys
It definitely sounds like you've got some air bubbles that got into your system somehow. The same thing happened to me when I took the calipers off to paint them. You just need to bleed your whole system and run some fresh fluid through there.
 
:
2003 Mazda Protege5 - Pure White
I just replaced my front brake pads. The procedure was to simply open the caliper without taking it off, take the old pads off, and put the new ones on, and put a layer of grease on the back of both pads, and reinstall everything in reverse order.

Now when I brake, the pedal is really soft and I have to go down pretty far to get decent braking power. However, if I let go and step on the pedal a second time, it feels firm and just fine. But then when I drive a little distance, it goes back to being soft on the first touch.

Does anyone know what's going on?

By the way, the brake fluid reservoir is now a lot more full than it was before installing the new pads. Even after pressing down hard on the brake, the fluid level doesn't go down. Not sure if this is normal or not.

Thanks, guys
I'm pretty sure everything you describe is normal. If you didn't open the system there should be no reason to have air in the system after a pad replacement. I believe I had a softer feeling pedal after replacing my pads. I'm not so sure it was a soft pad as much as my getting used to a different coefficient of friction, and or my pads properly bedding into the rotor.
 
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Black Protege ES 2.0L
When you are at a stop while having the brake pressed firmly, does it slowly go down? Your problem sounds awefully like pedal fade. Maybe you haven't noticed it before until you placed the new pads beause you were expecting some improvement in braking, so you wouldn't notice it until you were looking for it. That happens sometimes....
 

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Woohoo!
:
2006 Tungsten Grey Mazda6 GT I4
When you are at a stop while having the brake pressed firmly, does it slowly go down? Your problem sounds awefully like pedal fade. Maybe you haven't noticed it before until you placed the new pads beause you were expecting some improvement in braking, so you wouldn't notice it until you were looking for it. That happens sometimes....
No, it doesn't slowly go down. It was a weird feeling when I put the new pads in because my pedal used to be firm and extremely responsive, but the first time I stepped on it, it felt like there was nothing there.
 

ChopstickHero

zoom zoom, eh?
Contributor
:
2003 Subaru WRX Wagon, 2000 Miata
well, new pads have to settle a little. the first few times braking, i pressed the brake pedal to the floor and it slowed down very little. try driving for a few days to see if it firms up. if not, i would suggest bleeding your brakes and adding new brake fluid (only takes like 15 mins if you do it fast).
 
:
Lancer Ralliart Sportback
If ti doesn't firm up after a good bleed - i would suspect the master cylinder.

'Sometimes' forcing the fluid back in can blow a seal.
 
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Black Protege ES 2.0L
i've personally never seen a seal get damaged by forcing the fluid back up. you'd think that when you push on the pedal thus forcing what tons of force would do the trick.

but if there is a seal damaged depending on where it is, could be an internal leak (no visible sign of leakage) or external. by the desription of your problem it doesnt seem to be the ring seals because if it was then you would have a problem like i described a couple posts up.
 
:
Lancer Ralliart Sportback
^I agree - it is rare BUT if the seals were old/worn... it is way more volume flowing in the reverse direction than driving/braking.
 

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Woohoo!
:
2006 Tungsten Grey Mazda6 GT I4
I got my fluid flushed, drove around a little, and now it's all good! Wow, I didn't know brake fluid came yellow. I guess it's probably not a good thing that the old stuff had turned more of a black/red.
 
:
2004 Mazda3 S Manual
flushing fluid worked, but my observation and theory...

I know this is an old thread, but perhaps my experience will reduce someone's confusion/stress/anxiety.

2004 Mazda3 S Manual transmission, but I had same symptom after replacing rear pads and pin sleeves.
Flushing brake fluid did the trick.
My best guess is that in the horrible process of trying to twist and compress the piston, (where it didn't seem to be working right and I smacked it, tried to compress with a c-clamp slightly, and backed it out by turning counterclockwise) some air got into the system. Just insanity.

FYI, there is another thread on another forum where the same symptom happened after changing pads or after hitting brakes hard and activating the ABS, and the resolution that worked for several people was slamming on brakes 4 to 8 times to activate the ABS.... That did not work for me, but I tried it first anyway because I couldn't conceive that changing pads would effect the fluid!
 

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