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sticking calipers?

My 2007 AWD MT seems to be having the same thing going on. A week or two ago, I had to hit the brakes very suddenly and very hard due on a highway off ramp (due to someone doing a dimwit maneuver ahead of me) and ever since, when I hit the brakes, I am getting more frequent, more severe "growling noise" from the back brakes, especially the right rear. it is more pronounced if I am going round a curve while braking

I have only 23,000 miles on this not even 2 year old car that I bought new. I use the brakes rarely and gently (preferring to anticipate the need to slow, and let off the throttle and downshift), although I once had sticking rear calipers on a Ford truck-which this set of symptoms seems awfully similar to.

I'm really PO'd about this, as this (annoying problems at low miles) is exactly what I hoped to avoid by buying a Honda- I am not eager to lay it up at all, and am especially not wanting or expecting to need to put $$ into this kind of problem at this point in the vehicle's life.

between this experience and the stuck rear calipers on my prior Ford, I am completely un-sold on the claim that 4 wheel discs are a good idea, especially in any climate with dirty/ salty roads. since rear brakes do so little braking compared to fronts, and since rear drum brakes inherently self-shield themselves from road crud, I have come to think that rear discs are just something added so that car makers can make it sound good in marketing brochures.

Can anyone please offer any suggestions on how to make sure that the dealer does not try to stick me with typical razmatazz that "brakes are a wear item..." That might be true at 50,000 + miles, but not at 23, on a gently driven car.

Also, how complex/ time consuming is it to DIY rear brake work on an Element? I've done a lot of mechanical work over the years, but have never worked on rear discs. Any suggested replacement parts/ techniques to avoid re-runs of this experience?

Thanks
 

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as a previous service manager at an independent shop we typically saw rear pads and rotors more common on CR-V's and Elements. 25-35k and the occasional caliper due to the pistons being over extended b/c the brakes got so thin and people neglected servicing them beyond 35-40k. salt on the roads combined with sand adds up to a tough life. cracked rubber boots on the pistons and slide pins lead to a few hung up calipers causing irregular/uneven wear on one pad. simply removing the carriers and applying heat free'd up the pins allowing replacement of the pins and boots with an extra heavy coat of grease on all moving parts to avoid another premature need for repairs. we typically saw much more pad life after repairs were performed and moving parts properly lubricated. i myself got 41k out of my brakes, my rears were completely done, and fronts still had a few thousand miles left but i replaced all my pads and rotors. lower pins on both rear carriers were nearly frozen, and my right rear piston boot had pulled loose from the caliper requiring replacement as moisture had done it's deed and corrosion had begun inside on the bore and piston of the caliper. yay! loaded caliper and carrier was only $68 exchange wholesale so that wasn't too big of a deal. www.rockauto.com has A-1 Cardone remans for about the same money but you have to ship the core back to them and wait for a refund.

Also, how complex/ time consuming is it to DIY rear brake work on an Element? I've done a lot of mechanical work over the years, but have never worked on rear discs. Any suggested replacement parts/ techniques to avoid re-runs of this experience?

Thanks
Grease is cheap, buy a tub of disc brake grease with a brush and apply liberally. clean all surfaces that the stainless sliders with a wire brush or a wire wheel if you have power tools. clean clean clean, and lube lube lube. lubricate the edges of the pads that fit on the stainless abutment shims, and the backs where they contact the piston and caliper, behind the shims and clean out the pin bores and use plenty in there as well. not so much you're up to your elbows and all over the friction surface but plenty is good.
 

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Just thought I'd add my recent experience to this thread. Just had to replace both rear disc's and have the fronts turned. New pads and put calipers all around (that was my personal decision). This is a 2005 Element at 25k miles. Now I'm the 2nd owner, purchased in Oct '08. I do know that the car sat for extended periods of time since its original purchase in 12/2005. My bad for not pulling the wheels and checking the back of the disc's when I purchased. That said, there was no discernible dragging sounds coming from the wheel while driving or releasing the brakes.

I will say, the design does not make it easy to visually inspect the overall rotor/pad health without pulling the wheel (at least from what I can see). When I first heard the grinding yesterday, I pulled over and looked at the disc's and pads. From the outer side, it looked fine, lots of pad material and normally worn rotor surface for 25k miles. But when I pulled the wheel<s> this am, the back side of the rotors were a complete mess. The rears where compete shot and the front were about a month away from being worn off the pad. Now that I know the calipers have a tendency to hang/drag, I'll be more vigilant. I will say it seems like the overall materials used for the rotors is sub par and prone to early wear. (I won't say premature as in my case there was some level of operator impact.) Its something I hear from many newer vehicle (any make) owners these days, complete rotor wear in the first 2-3 years of a vehicle. Chalk it up to cost/materials reductions or engineered component failure, chose your poison. Bottom line, they just don't make things like they used to <lol>. Seriously though, I can't say I'm not disappointed with the early material wear. My last car, an Isuzu Vehicross managed to get 75k out its rotors before needing work and that was towing a trailer for most of the Summer. Lets face it, Isuzu is not known for their QC & QA.

Now that I've replaced everything on my watch, I'll be carefully tracking component wear. IMHO, wear would include "reasonable" maintenance. One should not have to go above and beyond in maintenance in order to reach a standard life-cycle. If you're going above and beyond, that would point to either design or component material flaw.
 

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i am getting growl growl growl noises when the car is slow or braking.... check the rotors but they look clean (no rust)..... but i was told to look for shiny spots too, which means its rubbing against something.... 9000 miles.... will have it checked next time i service my car.

compared to my neighbour's 2.5 yr old accord....i see a thick layer of rust on his rotor!
 

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Knarlydog, agreed that it's hard to see what's happening with the pads without pulling stuff apart. And 25K is a very, very short time for pads to wear out. OTOH a 2005 with only 25k miles means the car has spent a lot of time sitting still, rusting. We do need to be proactive about checking brake wear, moreso than one would guess, and several owners have paid a price in premature brake work.

However if the design were really bad, nobody would get >90K on OEM pads.
 

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Brakes - again!

Hey - I don't want to sound paranoid here, but being a new E owner, and that's my FIRST HONDA, I'm getting a little WORRIED about all the BRAKE ISSUE input in this forum. In general, how many E owners should I believe are having brake related issues, and does anyone out there thing HONDA might just need to know about it? I just got told by a district HONDA guy to blow my complaint out my socks on a single hung-up corroded pad on the rear axle at 30K miles that caused me a $180 repair. Now I'm reading about master cylinders, ABS units, etc going bad. DID I BUY A LEMON? Would a E Lover please set my mind at rest here?
 

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Would a E Lover please set my mind at rest here?
Were your brakes serviced during those 30k miles?

They should have been.

Honda's "inspect brakes" is a quicky way of saying " pull the caliper and pads, check thickness and even wear, check function/movement of pads and caliper(not sticking/corroded) and reassemble."

This is seldom done.

It makes all the difference.




Beyond that....

Stuff happens, Hondas break, glory fades, scars heal. ;-)
 

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Road salt and that nasty new pink liquid "pre-treat" magnesium chloride really screw up the caliper sliders on rear disc brakes. Trust me- I live in salt central-western PA.

Mechanics really should pull the calipers and clean and lube the caliper sliders etc. every year- I didn't do it to mine last year and ended up with a ruined right rear caliper, rotor pads etc. ($300 after pads and rotors on both sides, plus the new right caliper)

Not Honda's fault- as most if not all rear disc brakes are subject to corrosion problems from salt and calcium or magnesium chloride solutions used to de-ice roads.
 

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And dont forget, this is the INTERNET. The 99% of E owners who have brakes that are still working perfectly (with regular maintenance) after 50 or 100 or 150 thousand miles are not on here complaining. And once you have a thread or two on brakes (or tranny or windshield or seat tearing), then everyone else starts to wonder "gee, I saw more brake dust on my rims today than yesterday..." and another thread is born... ;-)
 

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i had a shimmy in the rear and finally pulled the rear calipers and the sliders needed some help. ill see how they do tommorow. i agree the winter salt does a number on vechicles.
 

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There have been issues of rear calipers sticking for some reason on CRV's and Elements, as well as the odd '98-'02 Accord. I myself have replaced a few calipers on '02+ CRV's (3/4-full pads on one side, metal on metal on the bad side, no sticking or binding in the pads or brackets otherwise). Not saying this is the case here and I would definitely have your brakes serviced PROPERLY before assuming you have a bad caliper. Pads seized in the brackets can cause a number or problems which might be mistake for other things.

Were your brakes serviced during those 30k miles?

They should have been.

Honda's "inspect brakes" is a quicky way of saying " pull the caliper and pads, check thickness and even wear, check function/movement of pads and caliper(not sticking/corroded) and reassemble."

This is seldom done.

It makes all the difference.




Beyond that....

Stuff happens, Hondas break, glory fades, scars heal. ;-)
While I disgree on the INSPECTION terminology used (inspections are only supposed to involve a visual inspect of brakes and are not supposed to include a tear down), I agree with you on brake work in general Aprilla.

Here is my opinion on what a QUALITY brake service should involve and what I perform myself at work 99% of the time I get a brake service job (the other 1% is for new or barely driven vehicles which obviously don't need such intense service procedures).

  1. Unbolt caliper, remove pads
  2. Remove caliper brackets
  3. Secure brackets in bench vice
  4. Wire brush tops of bracket shims off
  5. Remove slider pins, wipe off old lubricant, re-lube with new silicone paste (If pins seized, remove pins and boot, hone out cavity with wire drill brush, then wire wheel slider pin, clean cavity with brake cleaner, lube and reassemble)
  6. Remove bracket shims, wire brush pad recesses (if rust buildup is too great, pad recesses are bead blasted)
  7. Wire brush backside of bracket shims
  8. Wire wheel brake pads (mounting tabs, backing plates)
  9. Apply thin coat of molybdenum paste to all pad recesses on brackets, brake pad tabs, brake pad shims, all mounting bolts and caliper bolts
  10. Reassemble brakes
  11. Admire a job well done :D
And to those who say it can't be done on flat rate, I can beat the book time 95% of the time while doing it this way unless there is some serious issue like more than one slider pin seized or if everything is rusted/stuck considerable. Then I just shrug my shoulders and accept that I can't beat the clock every time :D.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying anyone who doesn't do it this way is wrong because to each their own. I'm just finding more and more each day that our trade is losing a lot of integrity and quality which IMO is due largely in part to the flat rate pay system. Doing work such as that above is my way of trying to bring some of that integrity and quality back and give customers what I feel they deserve for the money they are paying.
 

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Wanted to add some info regarding brake servicing for those who aren't aware.

Honda is ASSUMING that a customer will follow their recommended maintenance schedule. Thus, most normal problems that aren't the result of abuse or neglect can be caught either at an inspection or on a service. If people choose to skip or neglect scheduled maintenance, then that is where problems go undetected and complaints arise.

For example, Honda's services for all 6000km intervals ('00 and older Civics, '02 and older Accords and all V6's) run on this schedule:

TYPE 1 - 2 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 4

Type 2's and Seasonal Inspections are the only scheduled maintenance which involves brake inspections, and these inspections do not normally involves removal of brake components. Since the wheels are off as a tire rotation is part of a Type 2 service, the brakes are naturally inspected as well. This involves a visual check for problems, leaks and any identifying potential concerns such as pad or rotor wear.

So based on the above routine, if you bought your vehicle new, you would have an oil change at 6000kms. Then at 12,000kms you would have your Type 2 (brake inspection). Then at 18,000kms you will have another oil change, and then at 24,000kms you will have a Type 3 service which inolves a complete brake service. So basically you are having your brakes inspected every 12,000kms and serviced every 24,000kms. This routine, if followed properly, gives the customer lots of opportunity to have most normal problems or routine wear identified and brought to their attention.

For all 8000km service intervals (any i-VTEC engine), they run on this schedule:

TYPE A - B - A - C - A - D - A - C - A - B - A - E

Due to the extra length of time between services on the 8000km intervals, they have eliminated the brake inspections. All B, C, D and E services are now brake services where you disassemble, inspect, clean and reassemble. So basically, on the 8000km schedule you are having your brakes worked on more frequently every 16,000kms.

Sorry to be so winded, but I figured some people might benefit from the info who didn't otherwise know about it.
 

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Just a note on what was wrong with the right rear brakes on my E that caused ruined pads and two toasted rotors.

Originally the service tech and my self believed the stuck caliper was due to the sliders being corroded- which they were. The caliper piston pushed right in etc. Installed new brakes and rotors on both sides and lubed it all well.

100 miles later I'm back with a stuck right rear caliper and ruined rotor.

Pulled it apart and found the problem- the rubber boot on the caliper piston had worked out of its groove and DOUBLED OVER on itself- still sealing. When the caliper would heat up a little-the rubber swelled and jammed the piston. As soon as the caliper cooled off - the piston would release.I talked to another mechanic and he said that is a common problem on CR-V calipers in the '02 to '06 year and he didn't know why.

Luckily the shop that did my brakes convinced the auto parts supplier to warranty the rotor saving me $40- and the pads installed were ceramic- so they withstood the heat.
 

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----seems all reported brake problems are in snowy areas or on vehicles coming from snowy areas----road treatments appear to be the culprit (sticking caliper sliders)----other thoughts?
 

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Just a note on what was wrong with the right rear brakes on my E that caused ruined pads and two toasted rotors.

Originally the service tech and my self believed the stuck caliper was due to the sliders being corroded- which they were. The caliper piston pushed right in etc. Installed new brakes and rotors on both sides and lubed it all well.

100 miles later I'm back with a stuck right rear caliper and ruined rotor.

Pulled it apart and found the problem- the rubber boot on the caliper piston had worked out of its groove and DOUBLED OVER on itself- still sealing. When the caliper would heat up a little-the rubber swelled and jammed the piston. As soon as the caliper cooled off - the piston would release.I talked to another mechanic and he said that is a common problem on CR-V calipers in the '02 to '06 year and he didn't know why.

Luckily the shop that did my brakes convinced the auto parts supplier to warranty the rotor saving me $40- and the pads installed were ceramic- so they withstood the heat.
That's good you found it steamloco.

I have replaced a few CRV calipers myself as have the other techs at my work. The first time I got caught with my pants down on one because I simply thought the customer had neglected the brakes (both sides were VERY low and the sliders and pads were stuck in their respective holders) so I simply called pads and rotors and performed a brake service, as in all other cases this remedied the problem. And to be quite honest, you don't think to call calipers when someone comes in with almost no brakes on either side and the caliper piston can be moved back with normal force. Then the same as you, the customer comes back in some time later with one side that is still obviously almost brand new but the LEFT side is metal on metal, and obviously upset as they just had brake work done. Turned out to be the caliper and I'm guessing it's because of the same problem with yours, although customers didn't complain of a changing pedal feel condition.

Since then we have found several in our shop, some also on the 03-06 Accords as well.
 

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2005 brakes

New to the site. Question for all.

I have a 2005 E and replaced all brakes about 20,000 miles ago or so with after market non Honda brakes. Have issue with passenger rear. Wife took car in for oil change and they told her the rear brakes need replaced. I just did them I guess 20,000 or 15,000 ago. She told them that and they said I must not have cleaned off the guides? before or while replacing? Anyway I have a set of Honda rear pads and I am going to replace. Looks as if I need to replace the rotor also on the one side. I do have a few questions. I hope you all can help me.

1. What is meant by cleaning the guides or pins while replacing the pads?
2. What do I lubricate the pins with?
3. If I need to replace the rotor should I get original Honda part or an after market from NAPA or Advance auto etc? called local Honda shop and asking $95 for one rotor.
4. What tools do I need to replace the rotor?
5. Can these rotors be turned? Or do they need replaced?
6. If replaceing a rotor do I need to replace both or just the bad one. Appears the drivers side is okay.

Any other advice on changing the rear brakes?
 

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There are several threads already going on brake service, but in a nutshell:

Brakes should be lubricated with "brake grease." Sometimes called caliper grease. Not wheelbearing grease, not anti-sieze, etc.

1. the pad "ears" need to be lubricated, as well as the "sliders" of the caliper. Those metal things that hold the pads in place. Clean or replace those metal things....a "hardware kit" will run you about $20 from your FLAPS.

2. The "pins" need to be greased too. These are the parts w/ the rubber boots that hold the caliper to the rotor. The bolts are threaded into these. They should rotate and move back and forth smoothly.

3. Put a bit of grease on the caliper piston where it touches the back of the brake pad, and on those two "fingers" that hold the pad on the outboard side.

Don't overdo it....you don't want grease on the rotor or pad surface.

If your rotors are heavily scored, or are less than the minimm thickness they need to be replaced.

To remove the rotor you'll need to remove 3 (?) retaining screws that are prolly rusted in place. Do a search for "rotor replacement".

Bleed your brake fluid too. Do just the back if the fluid is only a year or so old, or do the whole system if it is more than 2 years old.

Good luck.

Will
 

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You should always clean and lube the sliders for the caliper when replacing brakes, use a synthetic brake grease, or neverseize. Don't be a cheap a$$ and replace one rotor. You should do both at once. If the pads have already been replaced once without rotors chances are they are shot now.

20,000 miles is ridiculous, I have 55k on mine with 300hp and I'm still on the original brakes.
 

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"I would love to know how many other people have this issue.
Maybe if everyone said something to Honda we could all recoup some of the cost."
You can always call Honda's public relations (check your owners manual)
There is no abnormal brake problems for Elements in a large scale that
can't be linked to drivers behavior, or climate effects. So I wouldn't hold
your breath for a recall of any sort, just case by case so its up to you
to make some noise.

I recently had my 2007 Element EX serviced at the local dealer. The service tech found the outboard surface of my passenger-side rear rotor to be corroding, causing rapid pad wear (outside pad is 3mm vs. 6mm for inside pad). Opposite rear rotor is fine at 6mm, both sides. The car has only 9,000 miles on it.

They gave me an estimate of $330 to turn the rotor and replace the pads, explaining it was not covered under warranty b/c they chalk it up to "environmental conditions". I live in Hawaii, so there's no road salt, and not enough salty air where my car is compared to other places. How can this be environmental if the problem exists on only ONE surface of ONE rotor? I feel like I'm getting taken for a ride (no pun intended). I'm no mechanic, but doesn't this sound like a caliper/slider problem?

I called American Honda. They were neither technical nor helpful, and said there's nothing they can do. There seems to be no appeal process for this. This is the first time I have had a problem there. I have two 2007 Hondas purchased from said dealer.

Something about this whole thing is tweaking my BS meter...
 
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