The brake pads on a 1996 Mazda Miata should be inspected every 15,000 miles and replaced at least every 30,000 miles. The brake pads are simple to replace, but unlike with many cars, a special tool to is required to compress the front brake caliper pistons. The pads and tool can be purchased or ordered from most auto-parts shops.
Tools Used: Tools, Lug wrench, Floor jack, Socket wrench, Socket set, metric, Piston pushing tool no. 49-0221-600C, Torque wrench, Allen wrench set, metric
Change the Brakes
Loosen the lug nuts on both front wheels. Lift the front of the vehicle with a floor jack. The lift point is directly between the front wheels. Remove the wheels.
Remove the lower bolt from the back of the caliper. Pivot the caliper around the upper bolt to remove it from the disc. Suspend it with a piece of wire.
Remove the spring that retains the pads. Remove the pads.
Separate the shims and upper and lower guide plates from the pads and attach them to the replacement pads.
Push the piston into the caliper with the piston pushing tool. Install the new pads and attach the spring. Rotate the caliper into place and tighten the bolt to 33 to 39 ft-lbs. of torque. Repeat on the other side of the car.