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Mazda CX-9 Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 2nd generation 2016 to 2021 Mazda CX-9 (with the EPB system).

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2019 CX-9 Front Wheel
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EPB On/Off Switch
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Parking Brake Released
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Mazda CX-9 SUV in changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins. Plus directions for replacing the rotors if necessary.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the CX-5, CX-3, CX-30, MX-30, CX-8, Mazda8 (MPV), MX-5 Miata, Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Mazda6 (Atenza) and Mazda5 (Premacy) may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new rear brake pads for this 2019 CX-9 AWD model with their part numbers include the following: ACDelco 14D1934CH, Power Stop Z23-1934, Raybestos EHT1934H and Callahan CPK01183.

Please confirm the correct replacement brake pad part numbers for your CX-9 before making a purchase by using the Amazon Part Finder website. The part numbers might vary depending on the model year, trim level, your location in the world and the transmission type (FWD - front wheel drive or AWD - all wheel drive).

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, an "F" clamp and a tube of brake caliper grease.

The first few steps are to drive the SUV on to a level surface, shift the gear selector into "Park" and turn off the ignition.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

Attention: If your CX-9 is equipped with the "EPB" (electric or electronic parking brake) system, it must be placed into "service" or "maintenance" mode before you can continue with this procedure.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

Release the electric parking brake by pushing down on the brake pedal and then push down on the EPB switch located at the rear left (driver) corner of the gear selector assembly.

When the parking brake is released, you will hear the two rear EPB actuator motors make some noise for about a second or two. You will also see the red "(!) BRAKE" symbol on the speedometer turn off.

On some vehicles, I'm able to use my Foxwell NT680 OBD2 scanner (also known as an "OBDII scan tool") to easily place the electric parking brake system into service mode.

Luckily, Mazda has provided an easy DIY method for vehicle owners to place the EPB system into service mode with just a few steps.



 

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Depress Gas Pedal
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Electric Brake Switch
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Pressing "Start" Button
Complete the following steps to place the EPB system into service or "maintenance" mode to fully retract (wind back) the parking brake actuator motors so that the rear caliper pistons can be easily compressed.

Make sure the front wheels are blocked on both sides and the transmission is in "Park" to prevent the car from moving unexpectedly.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

1. Switch the ignition to "ON" but do NOT start the engine.  Keep your foot off the brake pedal. You will need to press the "START" button a total of two times. Once to turn on "accessory power" and then again to turn the ignition system on.

2. If you haven't already done so, release the parking brake by placing your foot on the brake pedal and then pushing down on the EPB switch near the gear selector.

3. Release the brake pedal.

4. Press the accelerator (gas) pedal all the way down and at the same time push down the EPB switch and hold them both in that position. Continue to hold down the gas pedal and press down the EPB switch during the next step.

5. With your free hand, press the "START" button three times rapidly in a row.

6. Turn the ignition to "OFF".

If you completed the procedure correctly, you will hear the EPB actuator motors make noise while they wind all the way back away from the piston for about a few seconds.

You will also see the yellow "(P!)" symbol with on the tachometer (RPM gauge) as shown in Picture # 7 in the row of pictures below.

I will detail the procedure for ending / exiting maintenance mode at the end of the guide.


Alternative EPB Maintenance Mode Instructions In CX-5 Service Manual

The shop manual for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Mazda CX-5 has slightly different instructions for placing the electric parking brake system into maintenance mode. I'm including those directions just in case the above steps do not work for your CX-9. Be sure to place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires and keep the transmission in "Park" to prevent the vehicle from moving.

1. Switch the ignition ON (engine off).

2. Release the electric parking brake.

3. Switch the ignition to OFF and then switch the ignition to ON within 5 seconds while maintaining the following conditions:

Press down the EPB switch and fully depress the accelerator pedal at the same time.

4. Verify that the (P!) warning light is illuminated in an amber color and the mode is switched to maintenance mode.

5. Switch the ignition to OFF.

I will provide the instructions from the 2016-2019 CX-5 service manual for exiting / ending maintenance mode at the end of the guide.

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"P!" Maintenance Mode
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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Rear of SUV
Once the EPB system is in maintenance mode, you can move to the rear wheel.

I prefer to only work on one side of the car at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the rear wheel by turning them about 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction.

Carefully raise the rear corner of the vehicle with the included scissor style floor jack until the rear tire is off the ground.

If you have a trolley style floor jack, the lifting arm should be placed under the frame rail.

If you have a rubber or plastic jack pad adapter, you can lift at the pinch weld jack point.

Securely support the vehicle with at least two jacks stands.

If you have plastic jack stand pad adapters, you can use them to safely place the jack stands under the pinch weld. If not, the jack stands should be placed under the frame rail to prevent from crushing or damaging the pinch weld.

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Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully remove the rear wheel and tire.

Some home mechanics choose to place the wheel under the vehicle just in case the jack stands fail.

Once the wheel has been removed, you'll be able to see the caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

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Rear Brake Caliper
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Electric Parking Brake
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
The rear brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts situated on the back side of the caliper with the bolt heads facing in towards the cargo area.

Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

If you have trouble fitting your socket and ratchet over the bolt due to the shock being in the way, you can use a standard 14mm wrench.

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Loosen Bottom Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Remove Upper Bolt
Then loosen the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the SUV) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Note - If you were to slide under the cargo area of the SUV and look at the back side of the caliper and rotor, you would loosen the bolts in the "normal" counterclockwise (lefty-loosey) direction.

Since we are looking at the caliper from the other side as shown in these pictures, it appears as if you are loosening the bolts in the "opposite" direction by going clockwise.

Set the two caliper bolts aside in a safe place.

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Rear Caliper Piston
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Old Inner & Outer Pads
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Wear Bar Bottom Inner
Warning - Do NOT rotate the caliper piston.

Make sure that the caliper piston is in the correct position with the grooves lined up with the center of the caliper as shown in Picture # 29.

(If, and only if, the piston is not correctly lined up as shown can you carefully and slowly rotate the piston in the clockwise direction until it is aligned properly. Otherwise, do NOT rotate the piston since the rear caliper internal parts could be damaged.)

Remove the old inner and outer brake pads from the bracket.

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Wear Bar - Bottom Outer
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Pad Abutment Clips
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Replace Both Clips
Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bars or "squeal bars" are situated on the old brake pads.

On this 2019 CX-9 AWD, the wear indicator bars were located at the bottom of both the inner and outer brake pads.

If your new set of rear pads includes a bag of replacement brake hardware, pull the old pad abutment clips or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the top and bottom of the new pad abutment clips where they will come into contact with the bracket or the ends ("ears") of the new brake pads.

Avoid getting the grease on to the friction surface of the new pads or the rotor.

Clean off the rotor, bracket, caliper and lug studs with brake parts cleaner spray.

Avoid breathing in the brake dust or the cleaning spray since they may be carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket. Make sure the clips are fully seated.

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Remove Bottom Pin
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Lubricate Top Slider Pin
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Locate Reservoir
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins (or "slide pins") need to be well lubricated.

Do not mix up the top and bottom caliper slider pins since they are slightly different.

Pull out one slide pin at a time, apply a thin layer of caliper grease to the smooth part and push it back into its rubber dust boot.

If you haven't already done so, please remember that the EPB (electric parking brake) must be in "service" or "maintenance" mode before continuing with the next steps.

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Twist Off Reservoir Cap
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Correct Piston Orientation
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EPB In Service Mode!!!
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and locate the brake fluid reservoir tank.

Twist off the reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction and set it aside in a safe place.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system when you compress the piston.

Attach the "F" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Reminder - The EPB system must have been placed in maintenance mode before continuing. If the electric actuator motors were not retracted all the way back, you will not be able to compress the piston with the "F" clamp and could cause damage to the caliper.

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Compress Caliper Piston
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Install New Outer Pad
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Install New Inner Pad
Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress (retract) back the caliper piston.

Repeatedly check the fluid level in the reservoir to make sure it doesn't overflow.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since it can easily damage painted surfaces.

Remember to not allow the piston to rotate.

The rear caliper piston grooves must remain lined up as shown in Picture # 29.

Continue compressing the caliper piston until it is just about flush with the rubber dust boot that surrounds it.

Avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot that surrounds the piston.

If the piston does not easily travel back into the caliper, stop and make sure that the EPB system is in maintenance mode and that the piston is going straight back in and not at an angle (or "crooked").

As soon as you are done compressing the caliper piston, replace the cap for the brake fluid reservoir by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air), the reservoir cap should not be left off any longer than necessary.


Rotor Replacement Instructions

If your CX-9 has been exhibiting shuddering, vibrations or shaking in the rear end during braking, the OEM rear brake rotors might be worn out or warped and should be replaced.

A few compatible rear brake rotor part numbers are as follows: Centric 120.45091, Raybestos 982129FZN and Callahan CRK02829.

To replace the rotors, remove the two 17mm bolts on the back side of the bracket. Pull off the bracket and set it aside in a safe place with the two 17mm bolts.

Some Mazda models have a set screw on the outer face of the rotor that must be removed.

Slide the old rotor straight off the lug studs. If the rotor is stuck due to rust or debris, carefully hit it with a rubber mallet a few times to loosen the corrosion.

Clean off the lug studs and wheel hub with brake parts cleaner spray.

Slide the new rotor over the lug studs. (If equipped, replace the set screw).

Lower the bracket into place and spin in the two 17mm bolts. Tighten the bolts until they are snug.

The Mazda CX-5 and the Mazda CX-9 share the same rear brake caliper part numbers. I don't have the shop manual for the 2nd generation 2016-2021 CX-9 but here are the specifications from the CX-5 service manual.

According to the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Mazda CX-5 service manual, the rear caliper bracket bolts should be tightened to 63 to 75 lb-ft (or 85 to 102 N-m) of torque.

The service manual for the 1st generation 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Mazda CX-9 has a similar torque specification for the rear caliper bracket bolts of 57.9 to 75.1 lb-ft (or 78.4 to 101.9 N-m).

So as long as you tighten the rear brake caliper bracket bolts to a torque value in between those two ranges, I believe it will be sufficient.

If you'd like some extra peace of mind, consider applying a small amount of Loctite Blue (medium strength - removable with hand tools) thread locking or "threadlocker" adhesive fluid to the bracket bolts to help prevent them from vibrating loose.


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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Replace Reservoir Cap
Install the new outer and inner brake pads into the bracket.

Make sure the wear indicator or "squeal" bars are situated in the correct position.

On this 2019 CX-9 AWD model, the wear indicator bars were located at the bottom of both the inner and outer brake pads.

Push the two brake pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

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Spin In Bottom Bolt
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Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
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Tighten Bottom Bolt
Lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the slide pins within the bracket.

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the SUV) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.

The service manual for the 1st generation 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Mazda CX-9 lists a torque specification of 16.0 to 21.6 lb-ft (or 21.6 t 29.4 N-m) for tightening the rear brake caliper bolts.

The service manual for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Mazda CX-5 (which shares the same rear brake caliper part number as the CX-9) has a very similar torque specification of 17 to 22 lb-ft (or 22 to 31 N-m) for tightening the rear brake caliper bolts.

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Torque Top Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cover
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Brake Fluid Bleeder
Double check that the bracket bolts and caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.
 

If your brake pedal has been feeling soft or spongy, the brake fluid might contain a few air bubbles, some debris or moisture.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines and flush out the old fluid with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid at this time.

I highly recommend using the Allstar Performance Bleeder Bottle to bleed the brake lines.

A bleeder bottle makes this procedure a very easy one-person job compared to having an assistant repeatedly pump the brake pedal as you manually open and close the valves. The bottle has a one way check valve so you can just pump the brake pedal yourself and not risk introducing any air into the system.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located on the back side of the caliper just below the top bolt. To open and close the brake fluid bleeder valves, you'll need a 10mm wrench.

In general, the brake line bleeding order for most vehicles is to start at the caliper furthest from the brake fluid reservoir and then work your way to the closest caliper. So the order most likely should be as follows: right rear, right left, front right and front left.

The torque specification in the 2010 to 2015 CX-9 shop manual for tightening the rear caliper bleeder valves is 61 to 86 in.lbf (or 6.9 to 9.8 N.m).

The 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Mazda CX-5 service manual lists the torque specification for tightening the rear bleeder valves as being a very similar range of 62 to 86 in-lbf (or 6.9-9.8 N-m).

Try to avoid over tightening the bleeder valves to prevent from stripping the threads or damaging them which could lead to a brake fluid leak.

Note - I've never used a torque wrench to tighten bleeder valves. Just make sure they are snug and avoid over tightening them.


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Caliper Secured
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Replace Rear Wheel
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Push the rear wheel back into place over the lug studs.

Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a criss-cross or star pattern with the lug nut wrench.

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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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Rear Brake Job Done!
Carefully lower the SUV from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a star or criss-cross pattern until they are snug.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the owner's manual specification of 80 to 108 lb-ft (or 108 to 147 N*m).

Sit in the driver's seat of the car and firmly press down and release the brake pedal several times to help restore the brake line pressure.

Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the correct level. If it is low, add some fresh DOT 3 brake fluid.


How To Exit EPB Maintenance Mode

The 2016-2019 Mazda CX-5 service manual has the following instructions for ending the electronic parking brake maintenance mode.

1. Switch the ignition to ON (engine off - keep your foot off the brake pedal)
2. Switch the ignition to OFF and then switch the ignition to ON within 5 seconds while maintaining the following two conditions - A. Pull up the electric parking brake switch. B. Depress the accelerator pedal fully.
3. Verify that the amber colored EPB warning light (P!) has turned off.
4. Switch the ignition back to OFF.

Here is another version of the instructions -

1. Switch the ignition to "ON" - Press the "START" button twice. (Once to enter Accessory mode and again to turn the ignition system to "ON".
2. Press the accelerator (gas) pedal all the way down and also pull up on the EPB switch. Continue pushing the accelerator pedal all the way down and hold up the EPB switch while completing the next step.
3. Press the "START" button three times rapidly.
4. You should hear the electric actuator motors moving out to meet the caliper pistons for a few seconds.
5. Check to see if the yellow (P!) warning light has turned off on the tachometer (RPM gauge).
6. Release the accelerator pedal and let go of the EPB switch.
7. Try setting the parking brake by pushing on the brake pedal and then lift up the EPB switch. The parking brake should activate and you'll see the usual red "! BRAKE" indicator light on the speedometer gauge.


To break in your new rear brake pads, just drive normally for the several hundred miles while trying to avoid any extremely hard or "panic" stops which might glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy and not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of fresh brake fluid which may indicate a leak from the reservoir or the bleeder valves, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

Be sure to record the brake pad change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of the 2016-2021 Mazda CX-9 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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