Long Term Review - PowerStop Z17 Evolution Plus Ceramic Brake pads - 2nd Gen CX-9

:
2018 Mazda CX-9 GT
Virginia has an annual state safety inspection and while the CX-9 was under warranty, I was taking it into the dealership for oil changes.

June 2020 at 40K miles, I had been notified that the rear brakes were reaching the end of their life. I decided to order some upgraded brake pads for the CX-9.
https://www.powerstop.com/product/p...placement-brake-pads/#y=2018&mk=MAZDA&mo=CX-9

Yesterday (April 2021) at 55K miles, they came off the car; the rear brakes were at the end of their life again. I was notified that they were at their end of life, as I had the car in for a transmission flush and rear differential service.

While they did have similar stopping power as compared to the stock OE pads, 15K miles is a VERY short life for brake pads. I believe the short lifespan is due to their low-dust compound.

I did NOT buy again.

I upgraded to the Z23 Evolution Sport brake pads. We'll see how well these pads wear.

I'm still on the OE rotors. I don't believe that upgrading to crossdrilled/slotted rotors will gain me anything. The brakes can already lock up on dry pavement with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires that I have on the CX-9. If I need to replace the rotors on the next go-around, I'll be using blank rotors from a reputable source such as "Raybestos" branded ones from RockAuto.com.


NOTE: The CX-9 is VERY hard on rear brakes for an AWD vehicle. Both times I did brakes, the rear brakes were at end of life while the fronts were still at half life.

I decided to do front and rear brakes at the same time both times to match the brake pad compound as well as for convenience. Owing to the electronic parking brake, it takes about 15 minutes per wheel to do brakes on the 2nd gen CX-9.
 
Last edited:

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
I decided to do front and rear brakes at the same time both times to match the brake pad compound as well as for convenience. Owing to the electronic parking brake, it takes about 15 minutes per wheel to do brakes on the 2nd gen CX-9.

If you're up for it, writing up a quick DIY on brake service for the 2nd gen CX-9 would be a valuable resource for others (y)

Strange, I've got 55k kms (~35k mi) on my 2018 Signature and the original rear brake pads look like they could go another 50k. I'm not that easy on my brakes either.
 
Dealership parts are expensive, but I'm thinking you're right.

I'll try a few more pad compounds before going back though.
It's true. With BMW/Audi/VW (and probably other makes as well), there are aftermarket options that are actually higher quality than factory. Sadly, few few aftermarket options for the Mazda.
 
:
2018 Mazda CX-9 GT
There are 10+ options on RockAuto.com alone for rear brake pads and even more for the front.
I usually skip the "Economy" and "Daily Driver" class pads and go straight to the "Premium" and "Heavy Duty" class pads on my vehicles.

Up until recently, Akebono has been my supplier of choice. However those pads lack the squeaker tabs that let you know the pad is at end of life. That coupled with a stuck caliper on my Ford Excursion meant that I ran metal to metal on my pads and rotors and trashed my brakes. I decided to try a new supplier, hence the PowerStops.

Also, Akebono does not make a rear pad for the CX-9, and I like to keep the brake bias consistent with similar pads front and rear. I like the heavy rear brake bias. It reminds me more of a RWD vehicle.

Keeping to the same manufacturer/compound front and rear narrows it down quite a bit.
 
:
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
My 1996 Volvo 850T fwd car also wore the rears out first. That was a surprise to me then.

Good idea to keep the same pad compound on all 4 corners.

Did the shop tell you the actual thickness of the remaining pad material, or just "end of life?" I'm OK wearing the pad material down to 2 or 3 mm or so, as long as it is wearing evenly.
 
:
2019 CX-9 Signature
I got 36k from the OEM rear pads. Changed to the Centric ceramic pads and premium rotors for the rear. Planning to use Centric for the front soon as well.
 
:
2018 Mazda CX-9 GT
My 1996 Volvo 850T fwd car also wore the rears out first. That was a surprise to me then.

Good idea to keep the same pad compound on all 4 corners.

Did the shop tell you the actual thickness of the remaining pad material, or just "end of life?" I'm OK wearing the pad material down to 2 or 3 mm or so, as long as it is wearing evenly.
They told me 2mm.

The dealership has a little feeler gauge that goes in behind the caliper to get the back pad that you can't see.
 
:
2005 Mazda3
Thanks for sharing your long term experience with the 2nd Gen CX-9.

As for the rear brakes going out faster, my Mazda 3 also does this. From what I understand it is a tuning preference that Mazda does, supposedly by applying more force to the rear they achieve a more flatter braking experience(reduces/mitigates nose dives). I've had my car for 16+ plus years, changed the rear brake pads twice... and to be honest I probably could have kept my front pads but I changed them out just to start fresh when I put new front rotors(original ones were rusting out pretty bad).
 

BLS

:
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring
I have had good luck on a 1st gen CX-9 (2009) by going to premium drilled / slotted rotors all around. Previously we had been plagued with shaking pulsations on braking within a few thousand miles of normal pad or even normal rotor replacement.
 
:
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
https://centricparts.com/getmedia/b..._Whitepaper_B1-Warped-Brake-Disc-8-2018_1.pdf

BLS, you overheated the brake pad friction material. The overheated material then deposited unevenly on the rotors. This is commonly called warped discs, but the discs are not warped, and they measure no more unevenly than when they came out of the factory--none are perfect. Brake pads with a higher heat rating are needed for the way you drive. The drilled & slotted rotors helped cool the pads you had, so that was a big help for you. (My preference is for slotted, not drilled rotors, for increased rotor strength.)
 

Latest posts