ND Discs and Pads

  1. My model of MX-5 is: ND RF GT Sport Nav + 184
  2. I’m based near: Kent
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: Discs & Pads

Afternoon all,

Just had the second service done on my recently acquired ND RF and got an advisory on the discs and pads. The plans was to run for the rest of summer and then do the whole lot. Any advice on OEM or aftermarket?


Not sure on aftermarket but maybe it might be good to have a look around as I find the ND’s brakes weak, even with 90% (OEM) pad material left. In fact, I went in a MINI Cooper 1.5 '21 plate the other week and, in comparison, the brakes could stop a war. Uber confidence inspiring. I went back in my ND and (I kid you not) I thought for 0.5 of a second or so that someone maybe had cut my brakes they felt so bad in comparison lol

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That’s strange, I have had two 1.5 Coopers, the last one was the car I part exchanged for my 1.5 ND and the ND brakes are far superior, if you pressed on in the Mini :wink: you would get chronic brake fade which I don’t get in the Mazda, so unless they have done something drastic to the brakes on them, then I would rate the ND brakes over the Mini’s.

No, I felt completely the opposite. In fact, i had a test drive in a 1.5 ND before i got a 2L and one of the issues I found with that was, on a test drive, compared to the Mk1 Swift Sport I had at the time, when I put my foot down to stop, nothing much happened in comparison. I find the MINI’s (1.5 Cooper Sport '21 plate) brakes insane compared to the NDs. You pay for it in break dust mind you, so with brakes it can be pick your poison. It felt like an emergency stop in the MINI hardly touching them, compared to the ND.
I’ve got a NISMO RS Juke in the family too, and that got better brakes than the NDs too. In fact, in an ASDA car park about a year ago a guy kindly let me have a spin in his red 2l Sport Nav ND to check in companion to mine, after I was talking to him about it.They were the same.

As in most BMW’s of late, the initial bite on many including minis is very strong leading to the impression the brakes are excellent, however the standard (non msport/jcw) aren’t that impressive when asked to work hard for an extended period, with fade and a long pedal happening quickly.
IME the brakes on the Nd are actually quite good and very progressive, with a nice soft easy to modulate pedal feel.
They don’t suffer with fade, on the road at least, no doubt helped by the cars relatively low weight.


I had four Coopers, two diesels and two F56 1.5’s and the brakes were adequate on all of them but not impressive and they were all pretty much the same, maybe the Cooper Sport has bigger brakes, but I have never had a problem with brake fade with the ND and I feel they stop really well and that’s on the 1.5 that has smaller brakes than the 2.0. Maybe we all have different expectation on how we want brakes to work.

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Actually that’s exactly what I was trying to say. :joy:

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Yes, I thought how they got on for an extended period might be different, like fade you mentioned, but i was thinking in terms of street driving etc. i went for a solid 20 mile blast along some favourite roads and i must admit i was impressed. A bit too much be honest, as I thought the whole car handled superbly. The best front wheel drive car I’ve drove.
I thought many might actually like the ND’s brakes in fairness as they aren’t so much on/off. But I think they lack initial bite a lot.

If you are prepared to pay for an upgrade I am very happy with the BBR-GTI fitted 4 pot Wilwood brake system on the front

Crickey! How many miles have you done? My 2019 ND GT Sport Nav + BBR Super 220 has done 8,000 miles much of it in a spirited fashion and the standard brake pads and disc were only 20% worn all round. I drive mainly on B roads and A roads. Totally satisfied with their performance and feel.

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  1. At the last service it was on 12050 and (I think) it’s written 80% left. Think I said 90% above. My error.

Fifteen years ago (or so) I hired a new Megane in France (78 km only), and the brakes were utterly shocking.
When cold they would chuck you through the windscreen with the lightest touch on the pedal. And an electric parking brake, useless.

BUT when I really needed them on the motorway at 130kph and the whole lot stopped, I was glad to have been in the slow lane and a good 200m behind the car in front, because by the time I was down to 20kph they had no stopping power to speak of and I ended up on the hard shoulder next to the car in front. That driver merely wound down the passenger window, smiled, shrugged and commented “C’est normale avec le Megane.”

When I arrived at our lodgings I phoned the hire company who apologised profusely and sent out a mechanic with much harder pads, their normal change from the factory issue. Somehow it had slipped through their acceptance checks.

Personally I have no problem recommending the OEM brakes, they are more than adequate, they stop really well and have not experienced any issues with fade and are very progressive. Maybe that’s just personal, but I don’t like a hard initial bite and prefer a nice progressive pedal.
I’ve never really felt the need for a major brake upgrade during our MX5 ownership (NA,NB,NC and now ND), having said that there is always option to upgrade , at a cost. We have just put Wilwood 4 pots (still nice and progressive) , with standards disks on our BBR220. I think more because we could than because we needed. Do we really need them , probably not

Presume this was a Mazda dealer.
We have a CX5 that we were told needed new discs on the first service. Ridiculous. There was not even a lip, and with gauges I reckoned wear was approx 0.3mm.
However, the Mazda tolerances are very fine and by the book the discs were on their way out, and may be out of tolerance by the next service - so was recommended to be changed.

Four years and 40k later we are still on the original discs, which admittedly have a lip now, and I may change them over the summer. But pretty sure they are still better than half the cars on the road still.

Don’t think it’s just Mazda, had the same with Porsche, Audi, Seat, LR and VW. I think dealers think it’s easy money and scares many into replacements that aren’t needed

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Same here, on every CX5 we’ve owned by the time they get to 24k miles the dealer tells us discs are worn and need replacing. Utter b@llocks.
They also have a problem with ‘splits / cracks’ in all of the tyres - at every service. I do check this, as it does spend a bit of time off road, but never found anything concerning.
New GT Sport auto 4wd diesel arrives tomorrow. Number 5. The current one is only 2, but she wanted a new one while the RRP is still under £40k (just), and a change of colour. Machine grey after 3 white ones. Thankfully Mazda recently started re importing the diesel after a few months of petrol only. I really couldn’t stomach 25mpg.

You can’t beat genuine discs & pads. Although I own an NC I found them very good and long wearing, less dust too over aftermarket pads. Of course things could have changed with them suppliers etc and they will cost more but bang for buck very good.
You don’t say but guessing it’s front that are advised, sometimes dealers will advise even when there’s plenty of meat left on them, had it before from them. Unless the car has done mega miles or mostly heavy braking for a second service needing brakes doing seems a little much.
I got 30k miles and some out of my NC fronts, I didn’t fit them they were already on and partially worn.

Cheers all, i get the feeling the previous owner wasn’t the best… This is a crop of the VHC:


Seems to me a classic case of the unswept portions of the discs (rear) corroding. They all do, I paint mine, a few others do too I’ve noticed on the forum, I hate seeing rusty discs.
So you need front brake pads, easy peesy really and not so bad on that print out the discs are decent enough.


My NC had a similar minor problem a few years ago when parked at Gatwick for a fortnight, with the slightly salty damp rear discs exposed to sustained heavy weather against the driver’s side, aggravated a month later by a third week equally bad. Fortunately a friend has a lathe big enough to clean off the rust as shown in my previous post below. Not much metal needed to be removed, but it was more than the pads could manage.

Since then if I know the weather is going to be bad I take along some wheel covers. They really do work a treat.