How to Replace Mazda 2002 Protege Front Brake Pads

by Richard Rowe

    While you might never have heard of it, Mazda's Familia compact sedan was at one time one of the most common cars in America. Sold in various markets as the Mazda 323 and GLC, you might recognize this little car better as the Mercury Tracer or Ford Escort. "Protege" was but one of the names the Familia went by, and one of the last before Mazda ended the Famila's 40-year production run in 2002. Call it badge engineering if you like, but the Protege's large family helped to make things like brake pad changes a simple matter of minutes.

    Items you will need

    • Floor jack
    • Jack stands
    • Lug wrench
    • Sockets and ratchet
    • Pliers
    • C-clamp
    • Brake grease
    • Rubber grease
    • Torque wrench
    Step 1

    Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels with a lug wrench. Lift the front end with a floor jack, then set the car on jack stands placed under the jacking points -- the ridge-like pinch welds where the car's body meets the floor pan. Remove the lug nuts, and then the wheels to expose the front brakes.

    Step 2

    Remove the bottom slide bolt from the brake caliper, using a socket and ratchet. Pivot the caliper upward on the top bolt until you can remove the brake pads. Remove the spring clip with your pliers, then pull the outer brake pad out.

    Step 3

    Position a C-clamp on the caliper so that back of the C-clamp is on the back of the caliper, and the screw portion is on the inner brake pad. Open the bleeder valve with a six-point, box-end wrench, then tighten the clamp to retract the piston; note the brake fluid coming out of the bleeder valve -- you had to open this valve to keep that fluid pressure from backing up and damaging the ABS control unit.

    Step 4

    Tighten the clamp until the pad bottoms out, then immediately close the bleeder valve to keep air out of the system. Remove the inboard brake pad. Grease the backs of your new pads and the spring clip with brake grease. Push the new pads into place, and push the locking clips into place as they were.

    Step 5

    Rotate the caliper downward, then thread the lower bolt in by hand. If you have "cap" fasteners, torque the fastener to 50 foot-pounds; if you have a standard bolt, torque it to 31 foot-pounds.

    Step 6

    Replace the pads on the other side of the vehicle, install the wheels, lower the car and tighten the lug nuts to 87 foot-pounds in a star-shaped pattern. Start the engine and pump the brakes a few times. Check your brake fluid, and add fresh Dot 3 brake fluid as needed.


    • Prodemand; 2002 Mazda Protege; Service Manual; Brake Pads