2013 - 2016 CX-5 Front/Rear Brake Replacement + One Person Brake Bleed Guide

The materials and information presented below are subjective and based on my experiences and research. Use this as a guide and perform your own judgment/due-diligence to see what parts/method(s) work best for you. If you believe that there are any mistakes in this guide or other best practices, please feel free to let me know.

A. Hardware Required:
  1. RAYBESTOS EHT1623H (Premium) Element3 Brake Pads - (Front)
  2. RAYBESTOS EHT1846H (Premium) Element3 Brake Pads - (Rear)
  3. RAYBESTOS 982264 Specialty - Street Performance; Coated Rotor - (Front)
  4. CARQUEST YH425143P Platinum Painted Brake Rotor - (Rear)
  5. Beck Arnley 084-1775 Disc Brake Hardware Kit - (Front): Very close to the OEM hardware if not identical.
  6. Beck Arnley 0842149 Disc Brake Hardware Kit - (Rear): Very close to the OEM hardware if not identical.
Note: The reason why I have two different brands of rotors is because the CARQUEST rotors were sitting in my storage and I did not want to waste them.

B. Brake Removal/Installation Tools Required:
  1. Permatex 24125 Ceramic Extreme Brake Parts Lubricant: Used to lubricate the back of the brake pads.
  2. 3M 08946 Clear Silicone Paste: Used to lubricate the caliper sliding pins.
  3. Brake Parts Cleaner: Used to clean off the wheel hub/new rotors and the caliper bracket.
  4. 3/4 lb. Hammer: Used to aid in the removal of the stuck caliper bolt(s) or the removal of the wheel rotor(s).
  5. (Optional) M8 x 1.25 mm bolt: Instead of using a 3/4 lb. hammer to knock the rotor off the wheel hub, you can use this bolt to push the rotor off instead. Either one will work and it's a matter of personal preference.
  6. 1/2 or 3/8 Breaker Bar
  7. 1/2 or 3/8 Ratchet
  8. 1/2 or 3/8 Torque Wrench
  9. 14 mm Socket: For removing/installing the front/rear calipers and rear caliper brackets.
  10. 17 mm Socket: For removing/installing the front caliper brackets
  11. 21 mm Socket: For removing/installing the wheel lug nuts.
  12. Orion Motor Tech 24pcs Heavy Duty Disc Brake Piston Caliper Compressor Rewind Tool Set and Wind Back Tool Kit for Brake Pad Replacement Reset, Fits Most American, European, Japanese Autos: Used to compress the caliper pistons back so that you can reinstall your caliper.
  13. Wire Brushes: Used to clean up the wheel hub/caliper bracket to remove the excess brake dust and build up.
  14. Towels
  15. Zip Ties/Bungie Cord: Used to secure the caliper so it doesn't dangle and damage the brake hose. In addition, it's used to secure the PVC tubing for the brake bleed.
C. Brake Bleed Materials Required:
  1. 5/16 in. O.D. x 3/16 in. I.D. x 20 ft. Clear PVC Vinyl Tube: Used to bleed the brakes. I brought in my bleeder screw to test out the different sizes and this was the tightest possible fit that would not require any zip ties.
  2. (2 - 3) Bottles of 32 Oz DOT 3 or DOT 4 Brake Fluid: DOT 3 is recommended by Mazda in the service manual but you are free to choose whichever one works for you as long as it is compatible. I used DOT 4 since it is backwards compatible with DOT 3 and has a higher dry/wet boiling point. I only needed two bottles of brake fluid to fully bleed my system of the old fluid but I would recommend purchasing 3 bottles just to be safe.
  3. 10 mm Flare Nut Wrench: Used to loosen the brake bleeder screw in order to bleed the brakes.
  4. (Optional) Syringe with hose: Used to remove the old fluid from the master cylinder to speed up the bleeding process.
  5. Funnel: Used to fill the master cylinder with brake fluid.
  6. 2 Liter Bottle: Used to capture the old fluid from the brake system.
D. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
  • Particulate Filter Mask: Brake dust is toxic for you and may cause cancer so I would highly recommend wearing a mask.
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Goggles/Glasses
E. Torque Specifications
NameTorque Specifications (lbf)
Wheel Lug Nuts80 - 108 ft
Front Caliper23 - 28 ft
Front Caliper Bracket68 - 81 ft
Front Bleeder Screw62 - 86 in
Rear Caliper17 - 22 ft
Rear Caliper Bracket38 - 48 ft
Rear Bleeder Screw62 - 86 in

F. Tips
  2. The rear brakes will be the most difficult as you will not be able to turn the wheels like the fronts so it would require some maneuvering to install the brake pads on the rear of the caliper bracket.
  3. When you remove your caliper, make sure that your caliper is secured and not dangling off of the brake hose otherwise it will become damaged. You can tie it to the suspension or secure it to a solid object using zip ties or a bungie cord.
  4. New rotors will usually have an oily film on them so you will need to use brake cleaner to clean it off.
  5. When installing new rotors, use the lug nuts to secure the rotors into place to make it easier to install the caliper bracket.
  6. Make sure you lubricate the sliding pins with silicone paste as over time, the sliding pins will dry up and then become seized, resulting in uneven brake pad wear. Also, make sure you lubricate the back of the brake pads with brake pad lubricant otherwise you may hear some squealing as the caliper contacts the rear brake pad surface during braking. Same with the ears of the brake pads.
  7. When bleeding the brakes, do not bottom out the brake pedal otherwise you may ruin the seals in the master cylinder. If needed, put a block of wood or something underneath to act as a stopping point.
  8. When I was bleeding the brakes, it took about 50 - 60 pumps of the brake pedal before the fluid in the master cylinder dropped to the middle of "MAX and MIN" after topping the fluid off fully.
  9. Make sure that the brake fluid at the master cylinder reservoir never drops below the MIN point otherwise you will introduce air into the system and you may need to bleed the master cylinder as well.
  10. If your bleeder screw doesn't open with the flare nut wrench, use some persuasion with the 3/4 lb. hammer by gently tapping it. DO NOT BRUTE FORCE IT as you will snap the bleeder screw if it's very rusted.
  11. If you are using the one person method like me, ensure the clear tubing goes above the bleeder screw as this will force the air bubbles to rise to the top.
  12. Make sure that the tubing you are using for the brake bleed is submerged at the bottom of the container with new/old brake fluid as you do not want air bubbles to get sucked back inside of the brake system.
G. Observations
  • My rear OEM Mazda brake pads were very worn out and had very little meat left. My last brake change was at 35,369 miles.
  • My front Akebono ACT Ceramic pads still had a lot of meat left inside them. I am replacing both of the front and rears with the Raybesto Element 3's as I've heard good things about them and they're GG friction rated (Wet/Dry).
  • When bleeding my brakes, I noticed that a few lines had huge air bubbles and some dirt/tiny rocks. The color of the old brake fluid was pretty dark as well. When I used my brake fluid tester strip, it did not appear to be too corrosive but I bled it either way for a peace of mind.
H. Brake Removal/Installation Steps:
  1. Loosen your wheels while still on the ground.
  2. Jack your vehicle up as high as you can before maxing out your jack lift/stand.
  3. Remove the wheels fully.
  4. Pick the rear or front brakes to start.
  5. Fronts: Remove the (2) 14 mm caliper bolts. | Rears: Remove the (2) 14 mm caliper bolts.
  6. Secure the caliper to a spot that is safe and doesn't allow the hose to dangle such as the suspension.
  7. Remove the brake pads from both the front and rear of the caliper bracket.
  8. Fronts: Remove the (2) 17 mm caliper bracket bolts. | Rears: Remove the (2) 14 mm caliper bracket bolts.
  9. Remove the rotor(s) off of the wheel hub either using a 3/4 lb. hammer or a M8 x 1.25 mm hex bolt that's at least 30 - 40 mm long.
  10. Install the new rotor(s).
  11. Lubricate the sliding pins with silicone grease.
  12. Install the caliper bracket(s) with bolts and torque to spec.
  13. Install the brake pads on both sides.
  14. Lubricate the rear of the brake pads using brake grease.
  15. Compress the caliper piston back using a compressor tool.
  16. Install caliper(s) with bolts and torque to spec.
  17. Repeat for all sides.
I. Brake Bleed Steps:
  1. (Optional) Siphon some fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir and put it into an empty bottle.
  2. (Optional) Top off the master cylinder with fresh brake fluid.
  3. Submerge one end of the PVC hose into the bottle with brake fluid.
  4. Insert your 10 mm flare nut wrench onto the bleeder screw.
  5. Insert the other end of the PVC hose onto the bleeder screw and ensure that the hose is raised higher than the bleeder screw to force the air/air bubbles to rise upwards.
  6. Crack the bleeder screw open.
  7. After 30 - 40 pumps of the brake pedal, check the master cylinder to see if it needs to be topped off.
  8. Check the PVC hose and look for air bubbles, dirt and the color of the brake fluid as well. It should slowly transition from dark to transparent like the color of the new brake fluid.
  9. Note: Follow the bleed sequence starting from the (1) Passenger (Rear)>(2) Driver (Rear)>(3) Passenger (Front)>(4) Driver (Front).
  10. Repeat the bleeding process for each side until there's no more air bubbles, contaminants and the color is clear.
J. Pictures







One Person Bottle Bleed Method
  • Like
Reactions: yli453 and Antoine
First release
Last update
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings

More resources from Digbicks1234