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Mazda CX-5 Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 2017 to 2022 Mazda CX-5 with the EPB (electric parking brake).

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Chock Front Tires
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EPB Maintenance Mode
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2019 CX-5 Rear Wheel
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) Mazda CX-5 SUV equipped with the EPB (electric or electronic parking brake system) in changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slide pins. Plus directions for replacing the rotors if necessary.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the CX-3, CX-30, CX-7, CX-9, Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-30, MX-5 Miata, Mazda2, CX-4, CX-8 and BT-50 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new rear brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Power Stop 16-1846, ACDelco 17D1846CH, Raybestos EHT1846H and KFE KFE1846-104.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, wheel chocks, 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 your SUV on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "P" (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-5 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 the pad replacement.

 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) side 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 owners to place the EPB system into service mode with just a few steps.

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 to make room for the thicker new brake pads.

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 # 2 in the row of pictures above.

Note - I will detail the procedure for ending / exiting maintenance mode at the end of this 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-5. 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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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Rear of Vehicle
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Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
Slightly loosen the five lug nuts by turning them about 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Carefully raise the rear of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Please do not solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle!

Spin off the five lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.

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Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
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Electric Parking Brake
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
Carefully remove the rear wheel and tire.

Some home mechanics choose to place the wheel and tire under the frame rail as an extra support device just in case the vehicle falls off the jack stands.

Attention - If your vehicle is equipped with the EPB (electric parking brake), you should have already placed the system in "maintenance" or "service" mode by following the instructions at the top of the page.

Once the wheel is off, you'll be able to see the rear caliper, bracket, rotor, EPB actuator motor housing and the suspension.

The rear brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts located on the back side. The bolt heads face in towards the cargo area of the SUV.

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.

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Loosen Bottom Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Spin Out 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 vehicle and look at the back side of the rotor and caliper, you would loosen the caliper bolts in the "normal" counterclockwise direction.

Since we are sitting outside of the vehicle (as shown in these pictures), our orientation to the caliper bolts is reversed so we loosen them in the "opposite" clockwise direction.

Spin out the two bolts the rest of the way by hand and set them aside in a safe place.

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Set Aside Two Bolts
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Lift Caliper Off Pads
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Correct Piston Alignment
Carefully lift the caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

Rest the caliper on the rotor or suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord or some twine.

Try to avoid stressing, pulling, kinking or bending the rubber brake fluid hose.

Your rear caliper piston should be aligned as shown in Picture # 15 in the row above.

The "grooves" (notches / cut out sections) on the piston must be lined up as shown above so that the piston fits securely over the peg at the middle of the inner brake pad.

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Remove Old Brake Pads
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner
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Wear Bar - Bottom Outer
Remove the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bars or "squeal" bar are situated on the old brake pads.

On this 2019 CX-5, the wear indicator bars were situated at the bottom of both the inner and outer brake pads.

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Pad Abutment Clips
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Replace Both Clips
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Caliper Slide Pin
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.

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

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

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the pad abutment clips where they will come into contact with the bracket or the new pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket.

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two slide pins (also known as the "slider" pins or "guide" pins) need to be well lubricated.

Do NOT mix up the top and bottom caliper slide pins since they are slightly different.

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

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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Rear Caliper Piston
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Attach "F" Clamp
Repeat the process to lubricate the other caliper slide pin.

Attention - If your SUV is equipped with the EPB (electric parking brake), it MUST be placed in "maintenance" mode before completing the next steps.

If you correctly placed the EPB system in service mode, the actuator motors will be retracted (or "winded") all the way back to allow the piston to easily be compressed into the caliper.

You should have heard the motors making a whirring electrical noise for a few seconds followed by a metallic clunk indicating that the actuator rods are fully retracted.

If your EPB is not in service mode, the actuator motors may be damaged when compressing the caliper pistons.

 Please proceed with caution and at your own risk! 

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

Try to avoid turning / spinning / rotating the piston.

Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the piston.

If you encounter any resistance, stop and make sure that the EPB system is in "maintenance mode".

To make it easier to compress back the piston, remove the brake fluid reservoir cap.

Be sure to replace the reservoir cap as soon as you are done compressing the piston.

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


Rear Rotor Replacement Instructions

If your CX-5 has been exhibiting shuddering, vibrations or shaking in the rear end while braking, the original rear brake rotors might be worn out or warped from excessive heat and should be replaced.

A few compatible rear brake rotor part numbers are as follows: DuraGo BR90119602, Raybestos 981008R and ACDelco 18A2964AC.

To replace the rotors, remove the two 14mm bolts on the back side of the bracket. Pull off the bracket and set it aside in a safe place with the two 14mm 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, firmly hit it a few times with a rubber mallet to loosen it.

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 14mm bolts. Tighten the bolts until they are snug.

According to the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Mazda CX-5 service manual, the 14mm 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).

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Install New Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Bottom Both
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Push Pads Against Rotor
Install the new outer and inner brake pads into the bracket with the wear indicator bars situated at the bottom of both pads.

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

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Check Piston Alignment
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Piston Grooves Correct
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
You may have noticed that the old OEM pads and the new pads are equipped with small pegs near the middle of each pad.

The rear caliper piston needs to be in the correct orientation in order for the "grooves" to fit over the peg on the inner brake pad.

If for some reason the piston is not correctly lined up, you can slowly and carefully rotate the piston in the clockwise direction with a disc brake piston tool like the Lisle 28600 or a pair of needle nose pliers would also work.

Double check that the caliper piston is in the correct position.

Lower the caliper over the new brake pads and into the bracket.

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Spin In Bottom Bolt
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Spin In Top Bolt
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Tighten Bottom Bolt
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 SUV) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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

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Tighten Top Caliper Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
If you have a sensitive and reliable torque wrench, the 2016-2019 CX-5 service manual lists a torque specification of 17 to 22 lb-ft (or 22 to 31 N-m) for the 14mm caliper bolts.

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 may contain some air bubbles 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 shop manual lists the torque specification for tightening the rear bleeder valves as being a 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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Replace Rear Wheel / Tire
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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Carefully 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 SUV From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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Exit EPB Service Mode
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 with the lug nut wrench 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 push down the brake pedal a few 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 DOT 3 brake fluid from a brand new bottle.

How To Exit EPB Maintenance Mode

The 2016 to 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 in case the above doesn't work for you. -

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 few hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which could glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy or 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.

Please check out all of my 2017-2022 Mazda CX-5 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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