Honda Element Owners Club banner

61 - 71 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I also have a 2008 E. About 10 months after I bought it (new), I could hear the right rear brake dragging. I greased the caliper pin and pads, and it was good for another year. Last week I could hear it dragging again, so it looks like this is required annually.

I also had the VSA modulator problem, but that was fixed under warranty after the TSB came out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
Hi
I have sifted through multiple forum posts about rear brake issues with the Element and now want to add my story as well as some comments about dealership service - and not to enter a debate with Gen X Dad but just to point out a difference of opinion about this specific issue.

I own an 08 Element that developed the high pitched noise in the rear brake (one poster accurately described it as the same sound as when you run your wet finger around the top of a crystal wine glass!!) in June 09. Took it to the dealers for lube and oil and told them about the noise (which interestingly was intermittent and would stop when you would pull over, put the E-brake on and then drive off and it would be gone for a while) They said they checked it all over and found no problem or issues. mileage at this time 19000
the noise continued off and on thru the summer. In december it was in for an oil change and (my wife brought it in) and was told that the rear brakes were "completely shot and the car was UNSAFE to drive" Mileage @ 24000. Being told this she just went ahead and had them do it. They said the pads were worn out and They brought out one of the rotors to her and it was highly corroded on the outer edges and there was a segment about 1/6 of the "pie" that was actually missing and broken away. (she did not bring it home so I can not post a picture of it) The service manager told her that this was all "normal wear and tear" and $370 dollars and new pads and rotors later I sit wondering ---how could the brakes be normal 5000 miles earlier and then be completely shot 5 short months later...and I have NEVER heard of rear brakes failing a such a low mileage

To me it is suggestive of an issue with either parts or design or both. (and after reading all the posts about calipers, pads getting stuck etc I am now wondering is this just going to reoccur again)
I think I counted at least 10 posts on here with similar complaints. To me, rear brake failure at 20000 miles IS an issue regardless of having been serviced or not and regardless of where I live (ie road salt, sand etc) I have owned several Hondas and as well toyotas and a couple different Amercian made minivans and have never had any issues with the rear brakes even up to 200,000 miles on some of the vehicles.

Unless Gen X Dad can come work over at the honda dealer in Berlin NH I am not going back.....!!!!!

I am currently trying to deal with customer service around the issus. i did call honda USA and basically got "too bad so sad". I am pretty PO'd by it all and feel that Honda usually puts out a very reliable product and wish they would make good on this. If a relatively 'new' vehicle at 20000 miles is 'unsafe' to drive due to what seems like premature part wear then there must be a place to take such complaints???any one have any ideas

I did go to
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm
and filled out the form but not sure if that does anything ---perhaps if others with the same problems form this forum did the same thing it might help.
is there a way to see that this link goes to them as well

thanks
frustrated Maine element
:-(
Thank you for the compliment my friend. Believe me, I do all I can every day to try bring back trust in this trade.

I am also standing corrected not only by your post but to a recent campaign Honda released regarding rear brakes on Accords. A quick Google search of HONDA CANADA ACCORD BRAKE CAMPAIGN: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=honda+canada+accord+brake+campaign&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

The first search item is for an 8th Gen Accord forum where they talk about it. I'm not sure if the same problem is being experienced by Element owners but there is definitely something in the rear brakes that is starting to surface.

I guess I should clarify that if you are having issues with your rear brakes and you service them regularly, then premature or uneven wear is not the norm. Also, if you have very very low mileage on them then it definitely warrants looking into by your dealer.

Again all things being good and considered, I'm not trying to say anyone is wrong here and I tend to come to Honda's defense quickly :razz:. I just know we have A LOT of customers who neglect their vehicles then come in complaining of brake replacement issues at what they feel is "way too early" and it is hard to convince them otherwise.

IMO there is an issue with Honda's rear calipers that surfaces on some vehicles and from what I've seen and read, Honda is working diligently to pinpoint a cause and in many cases offer possible repair solutions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
P.S. I'm still a firm believer is regular scheduled maintenance. In the face of premature part wear, IMO there is no better ammo for a customer to have in their corner than a timely and full service history.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Thank you for the compliment my friend. Believe me, I do all I can every day to try bring back trust in this trade.

I am also standing corrected not only by your post but to a recent campaign Honda released regarding rear brakes on Accords. A quick Google search of HONDA CANADA ACCORD BRAKE CAMPAIGN: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=honda+canada+accord+brake+campaign&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

The first search item is for an 8th Gen Accord forum where they talk about it. I'm not sure if the same problem is being experienced by Element owners but there is definitely something in the rear brakes that is starting to surface.

I guess I should clarify that if you are having issues with your rear brakes and you service them regularly, then premature or uneven wear is not the norm. Also, if you have very very low mileage on them then it definitely warrants looking into by your dealer.
I read through the posting on the accord forum (http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=41742&page=4), and it sounds exactly like what I am experiencing with my E. According to one of the posts, Honda (US) will release something in Feb. that addresses the rear brake issue on Accords. Let's hope it also covers Es.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
My apologies if I'm reading this wrong but you two let your brakes go unserviced for almost a DECADE???? Wow.

While you may think dealerships are simply out to get your money, regular scheduled maintenance is not a "ploy" or a scam. As a Honda technician myself who prides himself on his work ethic and morals, I can say with complete honesty it is a legitimate process of owning a vehicle which, when performed properly and on time, can help lengthen the life of the vehicle and it's components. The primary way it achieves this is by catching problems early on before they become major repairs down the road.

Servicing brakes in between pad replacement actually helps to give you MORE life from your components. How do I know this? Because I see vehicles of customers who are religious with their service and customers who quite honestly don't give two ****s about it. All things considered and equal, care to know who ends up with a hefty repair bill LONG before the other one?

Three guesses and your first two don't count.

One thing which makes me shake my head every time (but also makes me grateful I'm not a front-line advisor dealing with the customers for a living) is people who come into the shop and think oil changes are the magic exlixir for cars. They refuse to have ANY service done then blow a gasket when they need all their pads and rotors replaced as well as having their brackets bead blasted, sliders wire wheeled and slider cavities re-honed out. I won't even get into the transmission woes people cry about when a quick check of their service history shows they change their ATF every 100,000kms if they're lucky.

Sorry no sympathy from me. I have told several customers in the nicest way possible that their problem COULD have been prevented had they come in for regular scheduled maintenance. They could have been told that, while servicing the brakes, I noted that the pads were getting low but the rotors were still ok and they could have done well enough with simply a pad replacement that day or in the very near future.

However, they chose to assume that scheduled maintenance is a plot to steal everyone's money and never even had them looked at to begin with. So now they are at the service counter whining and crying because they came in complaining of a noise from the brakes which they neglected that wore down to the pads and necessitated rotor replacement as well as major cleaning of related components to bring everything back up to par. They now face a $1K brake job bill when it could have simply been a pad replacement and quick service for 1/4 to 1/3 the price.

See my point?

In all honesty, you two are lucky. Not servicing your brakes for YEARS up here in Canada is a gamble where everyone loses. Sliders can seize in and became bonded with the bracket which prevents proper operation, pads can get stuck and wear unevenly or they can be held tight against the rotor and are not allowed to move relatively free in the brackets as they are designed to. This means they can stay pressed against the rotor, causing severe uneven or premature wear which can result in excessive drag which can also result in overheating which in turn ultimately can cause the caliper to go for a poop. However, what most people don't know is until your caliper pukes, your stuck pads will still work and most people realistically won't notice the drag increase or performance reduction.

So your proverbial brake bill silently gets bigger and bigger and you don't even know it.
I love my Element but I'm not a newbie to cars or service...I have gone through 3 sets of rear brakes in 5 years or 50,000 miles....that's ridiculous. I've owned 5 vw's, 1 toyota, 1 acura and 3 BMW's and I've never had the brake wear I've had with the Element. Thats 3 sets every 20 months or so...How much more service can i get? Granted I live in Buffalo, but give me a "brake".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Rear Brake and Emergency Brake Issues

We recently had the same brake issues as a few others. E goes in for $$$ major checkup- no problems reported. A few thousand miles later the brakes are noisy and the emergency brake is sticking. Our problem turned out to be a crack/corroded housing on the e-brake cable. The moisture that got in to the housing eventually caused the emergency brake to stick; wearing the pads and scoring the rotors. Those of us who live in areas that use salt on the roads should ask their wrench to make a careful inspection of the cable every time the car is in for service. Cables are cheaper than cables+ pads+ turning the rotors.
 

·
EOC Rank: Crankypants
Joined
·
14,898 Posts
The moisture that got in to the housing eventually caused the emergency brake to stick; wearing the pads and scoring the rotors.
The parking brake is a drum type, separate from the service brake, and wouldn't affect the pads or rotor disk at all. It sounds like the pads simply wore out, unrelated to the parking brake problem.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Not paying attention

Yup, I was reading too many posts about brakes- Should have said shoes and drum. Thanks RamblerDan- I'll have to see if I can dig up a picture of my old pink on pink '59 Rambler for you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
If those shoes were dragging for many miles, there's a chance you might have overheated the bearings. I'd have them inspected and repacked with fresh grease (not sure what that involves on the E) if possible.
The bearings on the Elements (both front and rear) are sealed cartridge units, similar to rollerblade or skateboard wheel bearings. They must be pressed out and this can be done on the vehicle (with a Hub Tamer kit) or off the vehicle with a shop press. 4WD models have the cartidge bearing only since the rear CV shaft goes through it, whereas the 2WD models have the hub and bearing as one assembly I do believe.

Tip for the DIY'ers...some Honda models with 4WD have the ABS reluctor ring inside the bearing as part of the ABS system (instead of on the CV shaft end) so the bearing must be installed the correct way otherwise you will trip an ABS DTC and have to re-install them the right way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
*late response

my 2003 had the same issuem, i had a stuck calliper that cost me $350 to fix because i didnt realize it until my brake was metal against metal crunching :-(
 
61 - 71 of 71 Posts
Top