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If you have experienced excessive brake pad wear, or it seems like a caliper is stuck (check your gas mileage) learn from my mistakes and consider replacing the brake hose.

I have a 2004 EX AWD and I replaced the rear pads and rotors about nine months ago. This past winter I noticed that the right rear was often hot after a drive of any length. Hot enough to create steam if I went through a puddle or put a lump of snow on the caliper. Sometimes the left rear, but not always. Also noticed I was getting my worst mileage ever by 2-3 MPG. Since it was winter and cold I ignored it since I was too lazy to work on it even though I have an insulated garage. Okay so it was filled with two project cars.

By April I found I had worn through the right rear pads already in about 7K. Let it go too long and ruined the rotor too. The left rear wasn't much better. One pad one each side was worn and the other (piston side) reasonably unworn.

Put new pads and rotors in again by Raybestos of a better grade. Drove a few miles and found the right rear would create steam if sprayed with water from a spray bottle. I had cleaned the slides and greased them well. The piston moved back and forth easily. I had not let the fluid level in the master cylinder get too low. I had used high temperature disc brake grease on the edge of the pads so they slid freely in the spring clips. Cleaned the springs of all dirt and rust. None of this appeared to change anything.

Bought top grade replacement calipers. Had some extra time so I cleaned them and painted them before installation. Bleed the brakes until clean fluid appeared using Honda brake fluid. After about four miles, the rotor created steam when sprayed with water. No change.

Talked to Brake and Equipment Warehouse where I get parts and they noted that their database included this note. If customer experiences excessive pad wear even though the cleaning, greasing and installation appears correct have them replace the flexible rubber hose that goes between the brake line and the caliper. The hose have a tendency to soften and then collapse creating a check valve phenomenon when hot which does not permit brake fluid to return to the master cylinder when the brakes are not being applied.

Examined the brake hose and nothing appears wrong, no leaks, no cracks or other damage. Replaced the right rear only as that is all they had using new banjo fitting washers. Bleed the brakes again both sides.

Brake doesn't get hot, braking is normal and it appears I've solved the problem.
 

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I have seen that condition before, in older cars. It usually does not show up until the car is over 10 years old though. It is normally accompanied by external cracking visible on the hose.

Good to know, that the Element hoses may need attention before the 10 year period.

Thanks for the post.

Dom
 

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Great ifo. I wonder if this may be a more common problem than realized. I too have noted rapid pad wear on the rear, also more on the right side as did grodygeek. Could also possibly be the cause of those reporting 15 MPG or so. Thanks for the heads up!
 

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I wonder if this what is causing my problem. I Just replaced rear pads yesterday. outboard pad was down to nothing. inner pad was fine. rotors are getting super hot. same symtoms as you experienced.
 

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I had the same thing going on right rear caliper was frozen and had to get it a new one,If your wheel and rotor is getting super hot,then this the first thing to check.
 

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definitely gotta check this out. sounds like same symptoms i had. i replaced my rear brakes BEFORE the front ones and they were in bad shape. i had PEP boys do it since it was the middle of winter and i'd never done brakes before. i've done fronts on other vehicles since and i am getting ready to do the element fronts shortly and now guess i'm gonna take a look at the back ones too since i have noticed steam but always thought it was the exhaust pipe...

btw, the weenies at PEP boys didn't bother to reattach the emerg. br cable. nice touch, eh?
 

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I seem to be having the same issue on the left side. I've replaced the rotors/pads and been into both sides (if I'm in one I clean relube/check the other). The Left seems to be impossible to fix... Guess I'll get some new hoses. Stainless braided hoses? Probably!
 

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I seem to be having the same issue on the left side. I've replaced the rotors/pads and been into both sides (if I'm in one I clean relube/check the other). The Left seems to be impossible to fix... Guess I'll get some new hoses. Stainless braided hoses? Probably!
You need a new caliper. Its a common problem. The piston is sticking.
 

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this appears to be a
known issue with element rear brakes..

before i bought my 08 I took an 07 fopr a ride.. it had 9K on it.
I took it to my house and took the tires off..
the right rear pads were wasted..
left rear were ok.
 

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2007 Element EX TRP
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Yea, just had to do a quick rear brake job on mine - heard the dreaded metal-to-metal grind :shock: The worst part - it was only ONE PAD!!!!:shock: :x :x
Fortunately, the damage was minimal and, after reading an earlier thread and knowing what the cause (and fix) was, 20 minutes and I was "back on the road". They should be good for a while....:razz: :razz: :)
 

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Just replaced all pads rotors and hardware on my element today. Had the rear crap out on me. Seems they lack lubrication in the caliper pistons causing premature failure. also Check brake lines as mentioned before. Known for getting soft and collapsing and creating a check valve effect
 

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Hey Alaskan Toaster, what did you do to fix yours? Sounds like what mine is doing.

I went to replace the rear pads yesterday and my piston was frozen.
 

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Is the right rear brake hose, part number 01466-SCV-A00, Price: $26.27 ?

http://www.hondapartsunlimited.com/honda/element/01466scva00/?year=2004&trim=ex-2wd-sd-air-bag&engine=4-speed-automatic&group=chassis&subgroup=brake-lines-abs&part_name=hose-set-r-rr-brake




You will need 2 washers, part number 46472-568-000, Price: $2.23 each.

http://www.hondapartsunlimited.com/honda/element/46472568000/?year=2004&trim=ex-2wd-sd-air-bag&engine=4-speed-automatic&group=chassis&subgroup=brake-lines-abs&part_name=gasket-oil-bolt




http://www.hondapartsunlimited.com/auto-parts/2004/honda/element/chassis/brake-lines-abs/?trim=ex-2wd-sd-air-bag&engine=4-speed-automatic

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I have read through countless threads on the premature rear brake pad wear problem.

grodygeek, you are the only one on this forum that has changed pads, regreased caliper pin bolts, changed calipers and finally changed right rear brake hose even though it looked fine visually.

Why didn't you also change the left rear brake hose???

 

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I think I have the same problem on my 09 Element. I've replaced the rear pads and rotors a few times. Last time was last November and they're noisy again. The brakes squeal too, but the squealing goes away when I step on the brakes. Let off the brakes and the squealing comes back. After driving to work, I get out and notice the smell of burning brake pads.

So I'm thinking of replacing the brake lines myself to see if it solves the problem. But I've never done this type of job before. Is it relatively easy? I've done the pads and rotors myself before, but that's the extent of my experience really. I've searched but can't find any repair manuals out there for the Element. Are there any online resources that can tell me how to do this? Or is it similar to other Hondas?
 

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OK, so I just replaced the hoses in the back of my Element. Brake bleed went fine. First drive- no squeal, and it seemed to coast better. Problem solved? Unfortunately no. Second drive I was on the freeway. For the first 20 minutes it seems fine. Then the squeal came back. Not as loud, and it went away, but it was still there. Frustration. Did I just waste money and my Saturday?

Another thing I noticed is that my brake pads seemed to be jammed in to the caliper too tight. I've noticed on the last few brake jobs that they were difficult to put in, but my dad assured me that they're supposed to fit tightly. When replacing the hoses, I took the brake pads off to inspect them. Had to pry them out. They still had life in them, so I decided to put them back on. However had a tough time getting them back in. We ground down the ends so they fit better. Could this have been my problem all along? The current pads are from autozone, and the set before that (during brake squealing problem) were from NAPA. Would genuine Honda pads fit better?
 

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Don't make the mistake I did. I had the parking brake off, so what wasn't mentioned here, or if it was I missed it, there is a parking brake drum setup under the rotors in the rear. I used the bolt trick, which worked, but it pulled the retainers and springs off of the shoes when pulling the rotor off. No one local had the hardware for the drum brakes, had to drive a 60 mile round trip to buy the entire hardware package for $28, just to use the retaining pins and springs. I took this into account when removing the other side and I used a rubber mallet after turning each bolt several times. This time, that part worked out fine, but this was after I had stripped one of the phillips head screws that holds the rotor in place. Using an easy out did not get that screw out, in fact, it made it worse. Used a set of punches and a hammer to get the screw out.

Oh, and by the way, hello to the group!
 
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