DIY: Changing brakes and rotors 2010 Mazda 6 - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Changing brakes and rotors 2010 Mazda 6

Hi all,

Iím at the point where my rotors are so warped when I brake my car shakes. I had the rotors and brakes changed out last year, my roommate is saying that I brake too hard. Anyway I heard some grinding tonight when I was almost home from work. It didnít grind the whole time but I heard it a couple of times braking. I was wondering who actually replaces their own rotors and brakes and if itís hard. I have never done anything major myself to my car so Iím a little nervous. I have all the tools to repair this I just need the rotors and brake pads. I just havenít done this ever in my life and was wondering if itís worth it to try to do myself or take to mechanic who happens to be next door.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 08:03 AM
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It's not difficult but you do need the correct tool to wind back the rear caliper in most cases -- Autozone and the other parts places have it you can rent/borrow if you don't have one.

You DO need the correct brake-specific grease for the caliper pins and need to pay attention to the dust boots on the caliper pistons; if you tear one of those you'll be forced to rebuild the caliper involved. I would also be prepared to replace the pin dust seals if they're at all questionable. A torque wrench is also required and, of course, ordinary wrenches and such, plus jackstands and a floor jack. A wire wheel on a cordless drill is extremely useful for cleaning corrosion and gunk off the flanges before you mount the new rotors (absolutely necessary; you MUST have a clean and even surface on the hub for the new rotor) and a can of brake cleaner and shop rags are necessary to get the shipping oil off the new rotors -- they come in the box with oil on them to prevent rust in shipping and storage and you must clean ALL of that off before they're installed.

I also strongly recommend changing the brake fluid on 2 year intervals; if you haven't been doing it this is a decent time to do so. Brake fluid is hygroscopic (picks up water from the atmosphere) and the moisture corrodes everything in the system; avoiding that will avoid caliper and master cylinder (plus ABS pump) problems and replacements over time. A power bleeder helps with this a LOT and turns it into a one-person job that can be done in ~20 minutes or so.

If you live where they salt the roads in the winter time expect "fun" getting things apart and the potential for a need to replace fasteners.

I can do an axle of brakes (both sides either front and rear) in two beers assuming I don't have to deal with severe corrosion. If you do then the time goes up somewhat and the potential for surprises (where you don't have something you need to replace in-hand and must run to the parts store) goes up too.

If you have shuddering (what people think of as "warped" brakes) but NOT a pulsing pedal then the rotors are NOT warped. What's happened is that they were not properly bedded when new and you have uneven deposits on the rotor surface. Once this starts it gets progressively worse and at a certain point you get changes in the metallurgy of the rotor at which point it's irreversible (prior to that you can dismount the caliper, wire-wheel the rotor surface with a stainless steel wire brush and then re-bed the brakes to put an even deposit of pad material on them -- most of the time that works.) To avoid this when you change the brakes make sure you properly bed them -- I've posted the procedure here before and you can find it on the 'net as well. You need a clear, open road where you can accelerate and brake multiple times, HARD, but without coming to a full stop, to get them good and hot and then drive without having to stop until they cool down fully; this will take 30 minutes or so and its VERY important you NOT come to a complete stop during this time while the brakes are still hot.
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Last edited by tickerguy; 05-26-2019 at 08:12 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 09:51 AM
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It's definitely worth doing yourself. The satisfaction of changing your own brakes is... satisfying. It sounds like you're a heavy braker so you might want to upgrade to a more performance grade rotor and pad set like Power Stop Evolution or similar that can take the abuse. I can get away with cheaper sets because I'm not a heavy braker.

I had never changed brakes before a year ago and now I've done a set of both front and rear. It's not difficult at all... EXCEPT corrosion and seized bolts, etc. That's what takes the most time, especially if you live in a salty state. Just take your time, be prepared to fight bolts, and as Ticker advised, seating the pads correctly after installation is very, VERY important. Follow the break-in procedure provided by the manufacturer to the letter and you'll be fine.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdipier2 View Post
Hi all,

Iím at the point where my rotors are so warped when I brake my car shakes. I had the rotors and brakes changed out last year, my roommate is saying that I brake too hard. Anyway I heard some grinding tonight when I was almost home from work. It didnít grind the whole time but I heard it a couple of times braking. I was wondering who actually replaces their own rotors and brakes and if itís hard. I have never done anything major myself to my car so Iím a little nervous. I have all the tools to repair this I just need the rotors and brake pads. I just havenít done this ever in my life and was wondering if itís worth it to try to do myself or take to mechanic who happens to be next door.


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We're talking brakes here... I would strongly suggest you have someone that knows what they're doing be involved whether you just watch, assist or he assists you. AFTER having seen it done it is not difficult but something I would not suggest doing on your own if you haven't before.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrive View Post
We're talking brakes here... I would strongly suggest you have someone that knows what they're doing be involved whether you just watch, assist or he assists you. AFTER having seen it done it is not difficult but something I would not suggest doing on your own if you haven't before.
If I may reiterate your suggestion​, have a friend with you who knows how to do it so that you won't mess up anything. The job might be "simple" for those who know how to do it. However, imagine what will happen if you lose your brakes.

Another is let the mechanic accompany you as you do it, if he's willing and then pay his professional fee.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 12:50 PM
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Pretty much everyone that has responded here is right on. The only thing I have to add is , if you do it yourself, there is no need to replace the taper head "Phillips" head rotor retaining screws. Leave those out as the rotor will be clamped flush when the lug nuts are torqued. I use an impact driver and #3 Phillips to remove any rotor screws that may already be installed.


Some of the products that I use are pictured below. There is the rear caliper tool, rubber seal grease, caliper pins lubricant, anti-seize for the flange to inner hat face and brake fluid to remove water from the lines.
If you do it, do one side at a time so you always have a reference of how it goes back together. Good luck.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdipier2 View Post
Hi all,
Iím at the point where my rotors are so warped when I brake my car shakes. I had the rotors and brakes changed out last year, my roommate is saying that I brake too hard.
Others have offered good advice as to the expertise you should have at your shoulder if you are doing a DIY rotor.+pads replacement.

Now, addressing what your roommate is saying: he is half right. Braking hard does heat up the braking subsystem rapidly; the other half is how to control the cool-down after the brakes have got hot.

Although warping a rotor is possible, its actual occurrence is very rare. What is frequently described as a ďwarpedĒ rotor ó and what feels as a warped rotor would feel ó in 99.9% of the cases is an unwarped rotor upon which hot brake pad compound has adhered and cooled down to leave a deposit after the brakes have got hot and then you have held the brake pedal down while you are stationary at a stop light.

The prophylaxis against the situation repeating is, whenever you have been driving for a while at speed with frequent braking, or have made a hard stop from high speed for any reason, when you finally do come to a stop, put the transmission in neutral and apply the parking brake for the duration that you are stopped at the traffic light or whatever. With even minimal air flow between the pads and the rotor when the foot brake has been released, the pads cool down much more quickly than they will when squeezed against the rotor, and the pads are much less likely to leave deposits on the rotor during the stopped interval.

That little extra effort will both extend the useful life of the rotors and pads and make your stops between new rotor/pad exchanges smoother and quieter.
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