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Discussion Starter #1
I have an '08 Element EX purchased in Nov. 07 with 21,000 miles on it. The two rear brake pads rusted out prematurely and damaged the rotors. The two in the fronts are absolutely fine.

Honda and the dealership would not fix under warranty. And it cost over $500 to fix it. Has anyone else had similar problems? Should it be covered under warranty?

I'm told that some CR-V had similar issues.
 

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Dealer wrote that the pads "rusted in place causing damage to rotors" and "rotor heavily rusted."
 

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It appears from reading the forum that quite a few has had the same problem with rear brake. I brought in after hearing noises when braking.
 

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While the explanation does seem a bit vague, techs describe problems in their own way and you may get a nice detailed story from one tech such as "Pads worn very low. Recommend replacement today. Customer is okay if work declined but will need very soon. Will also need rotors when pads are replaced" while another simply writes "Needs pads and rotors". LOL yes, I'm the former and I have written detailed stories like that not only for the service dept's benefit to be informed when speaking with the customer but also to cover my butt as well :lol:.

Have the brakes ever been serviced in that 21,000 miles? If not, that could be a contributing factor. Believe it or not, I had a vehicle come in with less than 18,000 kilometers on it for it's "B" service as indicated due on the maintenance minder system (it was not overdue) and I could not pull the pads out by hand. I had to remove both front AND rear pads using a hammer and a pin punch. Mind you, I wasn't wailing away with the multi-angle swing press, but I still had to use more than normal force to get them out.

Not saying it's your fault at all and I would definitely look into this further especially if it doesn't sit well with you and would like more details. However it is possible that premature brake wear occurred as a result of stuck pads. Rear pads and discs are horrible for it as they take most of the brine that gets thrown up by the front wheels :rolleyes:.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The cost of $518.03 is for replacing rear brake pads and rotors. No indication of anything else.

It seems unreasonable for rear brakes to wear out at 21,000 while the front are still in excellent shape. This is my third Honda and my first disappointment.
 

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Rear brakes take more abuse than the front do or ever will because of their position on the vehicle (all the road debris and water/snow/salt gets thrown up by the front wheels and hurtled to the rear...this is exacerbated when driving at highway speeds). It's the same reason why strut bolts which attach the bottom of the strut to it's corresponding control arm or knuckle are almost always seized in the back (my rear strut bolts are seized and I have worked on an Element here at work which had one seized as well) yet the front ones in most cases can be loosened with nothing more than a decent impact gun or a sturdy breaker bar.

It does sound a bit odd and your situation likely merits special attention, but if you have driven 21,000 miles without a rear brake service at all, there is the possibility the pads and/or sliders were stuck in their respective holders which often causes premature wear. Honda recommends the first brake service here in Canada to be performed at around the 16,000 km mark (maintenance minder systems usually request it be done between 12,000 and 16,000 kms depending on the driving condition of the vehicle).

Again, not saying you shouldn't be upset over this and if there is no more information you can aquire from the dealer you went to, next time definitely request to see the parts and ask for a more detailed diagnosis and repair explanation if you get a bad vibe from the situation. It is your right as a paying customer and the dealer's obligation to satisfy you in that regard.
 

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Since you bought used, the previous owner may have:
a) had a habit of driving with the e-brake on
b) been a "brake rider", ie uses the brake peddle as a foot rest
c) been one of the e's with the sticky rear calipers problem.

...but as others have posted, check back with the mechanic and see if you can get some claification. Brake pads don't rust-out, and neither to the backing plates. Some rust is normal on the rotors, but that generally wears off under normal brake use.
 

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21k on any car is pretty premature for rotors, I can see pads for someone whom may drive with a heavy foot or as mentioned the e brake left on? It sounds like this thing may have been sitting for a long time hence the rusting up. Its a border line on warranty coverage, unless the vehicle itself had some warranty issues before purchase with the brakes.

How many miles have you put on since you purchased the vehicle.

Chris
 

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I had the same problem this week. For about two weeks my brakes were pulsating when applied. I took the vehicle in for service this week at 43,500 miles. The service dept. showed me the rear brakes which were corroded and nearly worn out. The front brakes were fine. The dealer installed new brakes on the back and cleaned/serviced the front. Charged a total of $259 for parts and labor. I always thought servicing the brakes was just a money maker for the dealer but I see now that this needs to be done at least once a year in the high salt states. By the way, the front brakes are probably good for another 40,000 miles. I'm the original owner so the brakes were original.
 

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I dont remember ever reading or hearing frum my honda dealer or my owners manuel about when to do brake servece like lube your sliders and sutch. If it is requierd by honda then honda should put it in the book.. or maby I over looked it, I do that sometimes. I no my way round a car pretty well so I no enuf to do such things but many people dont .
 

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haido said:
It seems unreasonable for rear brakes to wear out at 21,000 while the front are still in excellent shape
Yes, if the brakes recieved the required service/maintenance. Where they every serviced or inspected?

I dont remember ever reading or hearing frum my honda dealer or my owners manuel about when to do brake servece like lube your sliders and sutch. If it is requierd by honda then honda should put it in the book.. or maby I over looked it, I do that sometimes...
Yup....depending on the model year there are variations in the termonology...

but it does say to "inspect," and in some cases it says "service." Same thing really.....make sure they are working properly, are properly lubed, and have plenty of pad material and rotor thickness left.

An excelent explanation of factory recomended brake service (from Generation X Dad.)
 

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Being told the rotors are rusty does sound quite vague but to explain from a tech's perspective, many times we have seen situations where rotors had to be replaced because rust buildup began to work it's way in on the braking surface. It only needs to be a few millimeters in and most techs would call rotors as well.

To explain...if you have a braking surface with rust buildup that has started to walk it's way into the pad, it will groove the pad out in that spot because the buildup creates a raised point on the entire circumference of the rotor surface. Then when you simply replace the pads, this raised surface will eat it's way into the pad again quite quickly and will continue to work it's way into the center as if it is a needle on a record player. I have replaced rotors at work and had to throw out pads that otherwise had half to three-quarters meat left on them. The cause was obvious...the pads ONLY were changed with the rotors being left alone and having buildup or scoring on the braking surface. Over time it worked it was into the middle and eventually left half of the braking surface of the rotor usable (shiny). In many cases, the buildup starts at the outer and inner edges and works it way to the middle. I've seen rotors with a braking surface not much wider than a quarter.

Again, not taking sides here at all, but there are conditions which some shops may not take the time to (or care to) explain to customers that affect brake component replacement.

Also, I've found that rear brakes will wear a bit quicker (especially the inner pad) than the fronts and are usually the first to develop problems if any arise.
 

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Also, I've found that rear brakes will wear a bit quicker (especially the inner pad) than the fronts and are usually the first to develop problems if any arise.
Doesn't the primary(inner) always wear sooner?

That said, how much of difference are you talking, I am approaching 90k on my used E. I have pretty much always replaced pads by 60K and rotors(and pads) by 90k on every other car and truck I have had. The brakes feel gritty but not metal on metal, I accounted that to rust but its going on three weeks and I drive 70+ miles a day. It seems like the rears, since its always been like this I have nothing to compare it too.

Are the pads similar thickness front and rear? Certain cars I have worked with in the past had very small and thin rears while larger fronts, as i would expect.

Chris
 

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I have done brakes many times and feel I am pretty competent with them. I have changed fluid, lines, pads, rotors, and calipers on many vehicles. I test drove a '03 element with new pads but the darn thing would not stop without a lot of force on the pedal. Upon inspection of the rotors, they were rusted pretty bad, as if the car sat for a long time in the rain. The rust wore away when I drove it, but there was deep pitting in the rotors themselves.
I don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but pads and rotors are usually pretty easy to swap out for around $100-$150 in parts and 2-3 hours in labor.
 

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My Element was on it's second set of pads and rotors when I bought it used last July. The rotors were rusted and scored and were audibly grinding during any braking which found me working out a deal with the saleman wherein they knocked a few hundred off in exchange for me replacing the brakes on my own. When you stopped from 50-80km/hr, it pulsed so much it felt like the ABS motor was activating slightly.
 

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So I take it, my 2 to 1 ratio won't work then. Its probably best then as the E was a speedy delivery vehicle of some sort from what I can figure.

I tried to rack it tonight but there is a restored dodge cornet 440 sitting there and I am not going to move it as much as I would like to. There is now visible scoring and its now starting to grind and tick so its more then likely time. No audible wear sensor though.

chris
 

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In2steam, it's entirely possible that an outer pad wore out first. That happened on one of my rear brakes. No audible indication of wear until the grinding of steel against steel. Sure made me wish Honda had chosen to put wear indicators on both pads! OTOH at 90 or 100K no harm in replacing the rotors.
 
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