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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
First post here. I am having a 2017 Mazda 3 HB, 108k milage. Bought it second hand last year.

Here and there a am getting a red light on dashboard for low brake fluid and I need to top it up. I have got it looked both in a Mazda dealership and recently to an independent shop but neither of them was able to find any issue with the brakes (pads, rotors and calipers checked). No leak observed either.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Any clue what this could be?

Cheers,
George
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Grendel65 ~ As a newbie I didnt know that this is really an option/existed. I topped up my brake fluid yesterday ~ should I wait for some time before running the test? or it will be the same after driving the car a day or two?
Any good product refernce will be great as well ~ I find a few on amazon ~ even an electronic one!
 

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Hi all,
First post here. I am having a 2017 Mazda 3 HB, 108k milage. Bought it second hand last year.

Here and there a am getting a red light on dashboard for low brake fluid and I need to top it up. I have got it looked both in a Mazda dealership and recently to an independent shop but neither of them was able to find any issue with the brakes (pads, rotors and calipers checked). No leak observed either.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Any clue what this could be?

Cheers,
George
George I just wanted to be sure I didn't miss something? I did not read anywhere that you have had to "continuously" add brake fluid? Did I miss something? Also did the dealership miss inspecting for leaks?
There has been some good suggesting posted but unless you are having to fill the brake resivor on an ongoing basis your problem is elswhere in your brake syste?

Maybe an update and some clarity about your brake problem may be in order?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hi folks! thanks for all your responses. I'd say maybe once every 4-5 months with the fluid being above minimum. I am topping it up to the max of the container. To be honest that was and still is kind of concerning to me, but both the dealrship and the indipendent mechanic mentioned that the brake system looks good. Not sure how thorough review they have done and I dont have much experience to be able to tell on their work though. The indipendent mechanic seems to be reputable as he has good and many google reviews.

When the brake light turns on its not constant but it goes on and off again when I hit the brake.

My plan is first to test the fluid using those strips to see if anything funny appears there, and if that is fine, next time I'll get the brake light on I'll drive to a dealrship and (pay the bill) to find the issue.
 

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Oh, every couple of months? I was thinking you were talking daily or every couple days!

Having to top it off once in a while is normal as the pads wear down. As the pads wear, the caliper pistons move farther and farther out to compensate. This increases the amount of fluid needed in the system for it to function correctly.

When you get new brake pads, the excess will be drained out, an the process will start over again.
 

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That’s where I misunderstood too. Yes as the pads wear down the level in the reservoir drop but I’ve never seen the brake light come on even when all the pads are worn down. There should be enough fluid in the system to not be too low that it turns the red brake light on when all pads are worn. If the fluid level is above the minimum it also should not be turning the red brake light on. The red brake light also comes on for the parking brake being engaged so you can’t overlook a parking brake switch or circuits possibly turning the light on.
 

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When the shops checked for the concern did they run a scan to see if there were any brake codes pending? I.E. like P0504 or any "C" or "U" series codes? The thing that has me going hmmmmm... is that it is intermittent. This points to more of a sensor problem more than fluid levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hmm not sure what type of scan they did ~ but its defintely something that I'll ask next time I get there... what worries me though that the when I got the intermittent light the fluid is low (still above the min mark). If it was full, then I'd be more comfortable to believe that it is a sensor issue.
 

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hmm not sure what type of scan they did ~ but its defintely something that I'll ask next time I get there... what worries me though that the when I got the intermittent light the fluid is low (still above the min mark). If it was full, then I'd be more comfortable to believe that it is a sensor issue.
The "condition" of the brake fluid has no bearing on the light being on or not. Yes, brake fluid does absorb water over time and there are ways to test it, but the car has no sensor that is picking that up.

The sensor on the brake fluid reservoir is for fluid level only.

When the pads wear down, you may have to add brake fluid. That's a very slight maybe. And, it would not be more than once for a set of pads.

So, if you are adding brake fluid every few months, something is wrong. The fluid is going somewhere. You need to figure it out. As mentioned, it can be seeping into the brake booster -- that's the big round canister thing attached to the master cylinder. It can also be coming out of one of the calipers or the ABS unit or even some brake fluid pipe could be disintegrating or have a micro leak -- you are in Canada, the harshness you often see can lead to things like that sometimes.
 

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The "condition" of the brake fluid has no bearing on the light being on or not. Yes, brake fluid does absorb water over time and there are ways to test it, but the car has no sensor that is picking that up.

The sensor on the brake fluid reservoir is for fluid level only.

When the pads wear down, you may have to add brake fluid. That's a very slight maybe. And, it would not be more than once for a set of pads.

So, if you are adding brake fluid every few months, something is wrong. The fluid is going somewhere. You need to figure it out. As mentioned, it can be seeping into the brake booster -- that's the big round canister thing attached to the master cylinder. It can also be coming out of one of the calipers or the ABS unit or even some brake fluid pipe could be disintegrating or have a micro leak -- you are in Canada, the harshness you often see can lead to things like that sometimes.
The op did not indicate how much he was adding. So your information is valid but unless the OP says how much it may be normal addition for pad wear. We also have no clue as to the braking habits of the op either.
And the OP has already stated that at least 2 independent inspections from shops have looked and found nothing indicating a problem. A shop would be happy to have found a leak because it may have been a possible repair service they could have done!

A "micro" leak...:giggle: Um well that in no service training text I have ever read but let's say a small leak, it would have left a residue and would have been spotted by at least one of the 2 shops that inspected his ride! I am sure! ...... "micro" leak ;):)
 

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The op did not indicate how much he was adding. So your information is valid but unless the OP says how much it may be normal addition for pad wear. We also have no clue as to the braking habits of the op either.
And the OP has already stated that at least 2 independent inspections from shops have looked and found nothing indicating a problem. A shop would be happy to have found a leak because it may have been a possible repair service they could have done!

A "micro" leak...:giggle: Um well that in no service training text I have ever read but let's say a small leak, it would have left a residue and would have been spotted by at least one of the 2 shops that inspected his ride! I am sure! ...... "micro" leak ;):)
You are just so unhelpful and disrespectful.

Your post about brake fluid condition is a complete tangent that has no bearing on anything and for those not knowing, it just sends them down a path that has no value.

If he had to add fluid more than once to make the light go off, it isn't the pad thickness that is the problem.

Have you never heard of a pinhole leak? UFB
 

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:rolleyes:
just an FYI I have read some of your other posted information on other threads... so please make sure you point the figure of information that is doubtful to yourself as well sir!

As for my information posted. The testing of the fluid could first reveal the quality of the brake fluid. If it is not the best, then the OP could arrange to get the fluid flushed/replaced and that service should verbally be requested including checking the braking system for "pinhole" or micro" leaks or just anything indicating any form of leak. A brake fluid leak would also likely draw in O2 which can contaminate the fluid which also may show as poor fluid condition when tested. But there is no such thing as brake fluid evaporating without a trace. ;)
 

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I'd have to say that I kinda sorta agree with no such thing as a braking system "micro" leak. Any leak in that system is of a major concern and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, because your life is on the line.

I had an issue with my wife's Mazda5 where I was having to add fluid about once every month or so until I finally found the leak. It was as simple as her brake bleeder wasn't quite as tight as it should have been. There wasn't really a sign of moisture when I looked, but I finally traced it down because it started to eat at the paint on the inside of the wheel!

Torqued on the bleeder, got about a sixteenth of a turn, and never had another problem.
 

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agree with all...

brake fluid should mainly be an indicator of brake lining wear...as the pads get thinner, your fluid drops.

then, i'll pull the wheels off and inspect the brake pads to see about 30% or less life left on them.

it's a semi-closed system so no one should be adding fluid periodically to turn off the low fluid light.

find the leak and hopefully update us all.

can be anywhere in the system. including the abs module, which is a major pita to look around in that firewall area
 
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