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Discussion Starter #1
My mother decided to buy a new Mazda 3 while I was away at college. My roommate has a 2014 Mazda 3 which I've driven many times and am quite impressed with so I advised her that it was a great car. She bought a gray Mazda 3 about a month ago. A few days ago she filled out some survey for the dealer and told them she had wanted a red car, but settled for the gray one. The dealer came back to her and offered to swap her for an otherwise identical red Mazda 3, she accepted.

I came back from college today and drove her new red Mazda 3, it's got less than 30 miles on it. The brakes were fairly weak. My roommates Mazda 3 had excellent initial bite, and my mother says that the original gray Mazda 3 did as well. In fact even my 2006 325i has better brakes than the red Mazda 3.

Does anyone know why this brand new Mazda 3 has weak brakes? It seems that a new Mazda 3 should throw your head into the steering wheel if you tap the brakes, this one has entirely unremarkable braking performance.
 

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With that few miles I would definitely get it checked at the dealership. It sounds pretty unsafe, check brake fluid levels? Fluid/pads seem unlikely for a car with so few miles.
 

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Exactly as @DMshadow posted; for safety and liability reasons, suggest your Mom take it to her dealership NOW. Could be as simple as the brakes were not originally bled properly/fully.
 

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They may need to break in, I thought the brakes on my 2016 were weak after about 1000 miles they bite pretty good. The breaks get a lot better once you put more miles on them they get better.
 

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It's quite possible the pads haven't finished the bedding-in process; however, I'm in agreement with the members suggesting the car be taken in as soon as possible.

Please, let us know what the issue turns out to be.
 

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My new Mazda 3 also had weak brakes, roughy half the strength of what it is now. It felt really heavy like the brakes were made for a lighter car, but after a week of city driving it got significantly better.
 

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With that few miles they need broken in for sure.

If in doubt take the car in for inspection but things will improve as they bed-in.
 

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Gearhead
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For those unaware of how to bed in street brakes, including on a new car, here you go:

AutoAnything said:
Brake-pad bedding is an important process that removes impurities from the surface of the brake pad and lays down a thin layer of pad residue on the rotor surface. This is accomplished through repeated heated and cooling during braking. These cycles are like Goldilocks and the three bears: temperatures need to be just right to prevent scarring of the brake pad and rotor surfaces, or uneven pad transfer. Follow these easy guidelines and enjoy quiet, smooth and long-lasting braking. While every manufacturer has a different method for bedding in their brake pads, the basics remain the same—regardless of brand.

After installing your new set of brake pads, follow these simple steps:

Find an open stretch of road that will allow you to safely stop your vehicle multiple times;

Accelerate to 35 mph and apply moderate brake pressure to reduce your speed to 5-10 MPH;

Repeat this process 3-4 times, the goal is to warm up your brake pads;

Now turn up the heat even more by increasing your speed to 45 mph and braking down to 10 mph;
Repeat this process 3-4 times.

Pro Tip: It’s important to avoid coming to a complete stop during this stage as it’s possible to melt brake pads against hot rotors. Of course, should a deer, pedestrian or Sasquatch run onto the road, feel free to mash the brake pedal. Safety first!

Your stop-and-go session is now complete. Park the car and allow the brakes to fully cool for an hour. For best results, avoid pressing down on the brake pedal when parked.

While bedding in your brakes can sound like a sensitive procedure, one funky stop isn’t going to ruin your efforts. There’s no need to stress out, just drive safely and avoid emergency stops if at all possible.

How to Bed-in Brake Pads - The Best Technique for Bedding in Brake Pads
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice, I drove the red Mazda 3 quite a bit today as I had to make numerous trips to the store while working on my own car. The brakes aren't dangerously bad, they still stop the car confidently, just not that over confidence that I'm used to when driving other, older examples of the same car. My room mates Mazda 3 even has the 2.0(or whichever the smaller motor was in 2014) motor, so if anything it should theoretically have smaller brakes to match.

I will relay to her to ask that that be checked out, she has had quite a few other minor electrical glitches and thinks the car is perhaps a lemon and will ask that all that be checked out. The first gray car she had was built in Japan, this newer red one is from Mexico. Is the build quality on the Mexican made cars generally better or worse than Japanese ones?

I also noticed today, while the car was idling before I drove it, that it misfired a little. Just one cylinder, then perhaps 10-45 seconds later another, a couple of times. Every car I've ever had has had 100K+/10+ years old and it's misfired or had slightly uneven idle. I always figured that was inevitable on an older car. Should a Mazda 3 with under 200 miles be doing this as well?
 

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Due to safety concern, you should definitely send back to the dealership to have a look at it since its practically brand new. My 2014 Mz3 still bites hard on the brake compare to brand new.
 

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I have almost 400 miles on my 2017 and the brakes have improved a lot compared to when I drove it off the dealer's lot. They didn't have very impressive grip strength at first, but now they are just fine. Give it some time. I also noticed this "soft brake" effect on an older car that had new brakes installed on years ago. It also improved after some miles were racked up.
 

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So I have a 17 mazda 3 and a 13 CX5. I drive the M3 during the week and we use the cx5 for running the weekend stuff, etc.

My M3 has 6k miles and still, when I drive the cx5, the brakes are extra touchy (55k on it)

So basically I am saying the M3 must have softer brakes or else the cx5 wouldn't seem touchy when I switch.... at least that's my theory :)
 
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