Smart Brake System Malfunction in Mazda CX-5 (Do This Now!)

smart brake system malfunction mazda

When it comes to driving, the last thing you want is for your car to break down unexpectedly, especially if it’s a new car like the Mazda CX-5 with all its advanced features.

Unfortunately, some drivers have experienced a common problem with this model – the malfunctioning of the Smart City Brake Support system.

This malfunction can cause the car to brake suddenly and without warning, posing a potential safety risk. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and solutions for Smart City Brake Support malfunction in Mazda CX-5 cars, helping you understand what to do if you encounter this issue.

What is Smart City Brake Support?

Smart City Brake Support is a cutting-edge feature found in newer Mazda cars, including the popular Mazda CX-5. This system utilizes sensors to detect when a vehicle ahead has stopped or is slowing down, automatically applying the brakes if necessary.

The primary goal is to prevent rear-end collisions, minimize the severity of accidents, and improve fuel economy by reducing the need for sudden braking.

It is an invaluable feature, especially for those who frequently drive in congested urban areas.

Location of the Laser Sensor

The laser sensor responsible for detecting obstacles and activating the Smart City Brake Support system is strategically positioned near the rearview mirror in Mazda CX-5 cars.

This location ensures a clear view of the road ahead, allowing the sensor to detect potential obstacles early on. Additionally, the proximity to the windshield helps reduce glare and improve overall sensor performance.

Although seemingly a small detail, the sensor’s placement plays a crucial role in ensuring the effectiveness of the Smart City Brake Support system in protecting drivers and passengers.

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Symptoms of Smart City Brake Support Malfunction

If you own a Mazda CX-5, it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms that may indicate a Smart City Brake Support malfunction.

By recognizing these signs, you can take appropriate action to address the issue promptly. Here are the common symptoms to watch out for:

Warning Light

The most apparent indication of a Smart City Brake Support malfunction is the illumination of a warning light on your car’s dashboard. When the system detects a malfunction, it disables itself and triggers the warning light, accompanied by a beeping sound.

The warning light can also flash if the Smart City Brake Support sensors become affected by rain, snow, or fogged windows. In such cases, cleaning the sensors may resolve the issue. However, if the warning light persists, it is crucial to have your vehicle examined by a qualified Mazda technician to determine the root cause and ensure your safety on the road.

Unexpected Braking

Another symptom of a Smart City Brake Support malfunction is the car unexpectedly braking even when there is no obstacle in its path.

This sudden and unanticipated braking can be alarming and potentially dangerous, as it may lead to rear-end collisions or accidents.

Drivers of Mazda CX-5 cars equipped with Smart City Brake Support have reported instances where the system incorrectly identifies obstacles, resulting in sudden braking. If you experience this symptom, exercise caution while driving and be prepared for the possibility of sudden braking.

Seeking professional assistance from a Mazda dealer is crucial to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

Causes of Smart City Brake Support Malfunction

Understanding the causes behind the Smart City Brake Support system malfunction in Mazda CX-5 cars can help you take appropriate measures to address the problem. Here are the primary causes to consider:

Obstructed Sensors

In many cases, Smart City Brake Support malfunctions occur due to the accumulation of dirt, debris, or other obstructions on the sensors responsible for detecting obstacles.

These sensors, located in the front of the vehicle, may also become blocked by snow, rain, or even a branch. Fortunately, resolving this issue is relatively simple. You can remove any foreign objects from the sensors and clean them with a soft cloth or compressed air.

If the problem persists, it may indicate a loose wire or faulty connection, which can be repaired by a qualified technician.

System Turned Off

Another possible cause of Smart City Brake Support malfunction is the system being unintentionally turned off. This can happen if the system’s button is accidentally pressed while cleaning the car or if someone else inadvertently interacts with it.

Before assuming a malfunction, ensure that the Smart City Brake Support system is activated. If necessary, consult your vehicle’s manual for instructions on how to reactivate the system.

Diagnosing the Problem and Finding a Solution

When faced with a Smart City Brake Support malfunction, it is essential to follow a systematic approach to diagnose the problem accurately and find a suitable solution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you address the issue effectively:

  1. Check for Obstructions: Begin by inspecting the sensors for any dirt, debris, or obstructions. Clean the windscreen and front emblem if necessary to ensure optimal sensor performance.
  2. Inspect Wiring and Connections: Examine the wiring harness for any loose or damaged wires. Additionally, inspect the connections at the brake pedal and brake light switch for any signs of damage or disconnection. If identified, these components may require replacement.
  3. Software Updates: Check if there are any available software updates for your Mazda CX-5. Mazda periodically releases updates specifically aimed at addressing Smart City Brake Support malfunctions. Applying the latest software updates may resolve the issue.
  4. Mazda Dealer Diagnosis: If the problem persists after cleaning, inspecting wiring, and updating the software, it is advisable to take your vehicle to an authorized Mazda dealer for further diagnosis. They possess the expertise and equipment to perform comprehensive tests on your car’s braking system, identify the root cause of the malfunction, and determine the necessary repairs.

Tips for Maintaining Smart City Brake Support

To prevent future Smart City Brake Support malfunctions in your Mazda CX-5, it is crucial to adopt proper maintenance practices.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your Smart City Brake Support system in optimal condition:

Keep an Eye on System Status

Regularly check the status message related to the Smart City Brake Support system. If you receive a notification indicating a malfunction, promptly schedule a visit to a Mazda dealership to have your car serviced.

Clean the Radar Sensor

Ensure that the radar sensor, located near the rearview mirror, remains clean and free from any obstructions.

Regularly clean the sensor using a soft cloth and Mazda-approved cleaning products to maintain its effectiveness.

Regular Inspection at Mazda Dealer

Include the Smart City Brake Support system in your routine maintenance visits to an authorized Mazda dealer.

This practice ensures that the system is checked for any potential issues, and you stay informed about any recalls or software updates relevant to your vehicle.

Safe Driving with Smart City Brake Support

While Smart City Brake Support provides an added layer of safety, it is essential to remain vigilant and practice safe driving habits.

Here are some tips to enhance your driving experience with Smart City Brake Support:

  • Maintain Safe Distance: Keep an appropriate distance between your vehicle and the one ahead, as the sensors primarily detect objects that are relatively close. This precaution allows sufficient reaction time for the system to function effectively.
  • Be Mindful of Surroundings: Although Smart City Brake Support is designed to detect potential obstacles, it may have limitations in identifying objects far away or in low-light conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to remain aware of your surroundings and anticipate any potential hazards.
  • Exercise Caution in Crowded Areas: In congested areas such as city streets or parking lots, the sensors may be triggered by other cars or objects in close proximity. Drive cautiously in such environments to avoid unnecessary braking incidents.


The Smart City Brake Support system in Mazda CX-5 cars offers a valuable safety feature that helps prevent accidents and protect drivers and passengers.

However, malfunctions can occur, leading to unexpected braking or system errors. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and solutions for Smart City Brake Support malfunctions, you can take appropriate action to address the issue promptly and ensure your safety on the road.

Remember to follow the recommended maintenance tips and practice safe driving habits while benefiting from this advanced technology.

Drive confidently, knowing that you have the necessary knowledge to address Smart City Brake Support malfunctions in your Mazda CX-5.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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