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I have a 2013 iTouring 2.0 Skyactiv with manual 6 spd transmission. Bought it certified at 30k and now 5 years of daily driving later I'm close to 170k. Never had any issues, kept up on maintenance, change oil regularly etc.

Four weeks ago I went on a road trip in the desert, it was hot. On the way home, without warning & while driving, my brake pedal fell to the floor. It had basically no stopping power until pressed about 3/4 down. I babied it home ~200 highway miles, doing 60 and mostly using the transmission to slow down. (PS, wow, try driving 60 on the highway these days! Losing faith in your brakes is pretty nerve racking stuff when average traffic is 80+).

I promptly had it looked at by two different mechanics that I trust. First guy said rear pads were dead. He changed the rear pads and bled the brakes, but no change. So he changed the master brake cylinder and bled the brakes, but still no change. I took it to work for a few days then to another mechanic. He bled the brakes again, still no change. He told me it was safe to drive, just needed more brake pedal to stop, so try driving it around a few days and see if it got better. After a few days with no improvement I googled and saw there is something about bleeding through the ABS module. I brought it back to the second mechanic who said he had a scan tool that could do this. He bled it twice through the ABS module. I got the car back and it was a little better but not much. I googled some more and saw a bunch of DIY methods but didn't try anything. A week later while driving on a dirt road I hit the gas causing wheel spin and the ABS to engage. I immediately felt the brake pedal harden up. I don't know if it was related or just a fluke? A few days went by with the brake pedal acting erratic but now it seems my brake pedal is back to normal, firm to the touch with immediate braking power.

Fast forward another week. I'm sitting at a stop light in first gear with the clutch pushed down. At the green, I lifted my clutch foot to start off, but the pedal "stuck" down and didn't come up with my foot. Cars honking and going around me, I pressed it down a few times to no avail, then finally reached down and PULLED the pedal up with my hand. It kind of "popped" up and after that it worked fine. It might be my imagination but it feels like there is a little more friction over the travel of the clutch pedal now, like it got bent and is rubbing or needs some lube or something. Not a lot, but I drive every day and I notice.

I googled some more and it was at this point I learned that the brake and clutch systems share fluid. Is there any chance this clutch pedal issue is related to the brake pedal issues? I have been careful to check fluid levels ever since the incident in the desert. I wish I could say that was the last of it, but then...

Fast forward to this week. On Monday my clutch started shuddering on acceleration out of first gear. It is not terrible, but I noticed, especially in the morning when it's cold. Tends to go away as it warms up and on hotter days. Then, over the past few days the clutch has been getting louder and louder. It is making a whirring noise when the clutch pedal is pressed down. NO noise when the pedal is fully released, both in and out of gear, but godawful whirring starts the instant you put any pressure on the pedal. I can hear the whirr speed up corresponding with the engine RPMs as I accelerate in all gears -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, wind noise starts to drown it out in 4th+ but I think it's still there.

Any help??
 

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Sound like you need a new Clutch or rather a pilot bearing . Had those same noises on my 2012 was told pilot bearing disintegrated at aabout 200k kms. But i had no issues with the brakes. At 170k i would also change the clutch plate and have the flywheel cleaned and rebuffed/scuffed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. What about the gremlins in my brake line??

Could anything else be wrong? Do I need to worry about leaking brake lines, slave cylinder, air in the lines etc? Or just drive it until it goes soft again?
 

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The dead pedal of the clutch could also be the slave cylinder. It happened on my 2001 Camaro Z28 with the T56... Imagine that happening on a car with over 350 hp and "torques"!

A lot of slave cylinders and master cylinders need to be bench bled just before installation. We tried just installing the parts on the Camaro and running fluid through the system as usual, but air always remained in the system and remained until we bench bled the cylinders and then bled the system overall as usual.

I use this with my compressor at home. I love it!

Vacula
 

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As for bleeding the brakes and clutch system itself...

I NEVER bleed the clutch system on its own on interconnected brake/clutch systems like my 2018 Mazda 3 Sport has.

I do the brakes as usual and make sure the reservoir is obviously filled with clean fluid. After driving for a few weeks, the fluid from the clutch line and slave cylinder works its way back into the reservoir. At that point, I suck that slightly older fluid from the reservoir and fill it with fresh fluid. Viola! Clutch system done with NONE of the negative side effects of making that slave cylinder unhappy.
 
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