Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 20 of 153 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
The soft brake pedal problem is why we traded in our new 2008 Element with 2500 miles on her. I had had the Element in the shop numerous times, I even showed them the TSB for the brakes, and they still said the problem was "in my head and that is the way Honda brakes feel."
After the regional rep from Atlanta looked at my car he said the same thing, but he did tell them to bleed my brakes for me. They did and the problem came back a week or so later.
My wife was afraid to drive the car, so we traded it in on another brand of SUV
at a loss of almost $4000!
In my mind, this recall is an admission of guilt on Honda's side.
:evil:I am contacting an attorney tomorrow.
AS YOU CAN TELL, I AM MAD AS HELL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,181 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I have a 2006 E and had my brake fluid replaced at the dealership about two months ago.
My brakes are tight and all is well.

I will keep a close eye on things however and will report any wierd going ons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
It'll be more interesting to get more info from Honda Tech and Lizzurd about this; those articles just rehashed the same stuff...

We should start a poll, how many 07 & 08 owners have the 'soft pedal'. Mine is fine, and I really dont want my local Honda dealer screwing around with anything, especially if it aint broke. Since this is a recall you have to take it to a dealer, right? Sux.
Mine was like that from day one off the showroom floor. I had the modulator replaced as per the TSB available here and the brakes were worse than when I went in for the repair. Had an independent shop bleed them again which did solve the problem of the pedal going to the floor but they're still terribly soft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
So has anyone FIXED the spongy brakes? Have you taken it to a dealer (or indie shop or at home) and the brakes are not spongy anymore?

Because if no one in three years has figured out how to fix it, then I really have no faith in my local dealer or Honda to fix a problem that they haven't fixed independent of a recall. If Honda dealers couldnt figure out how to fix all of your brake problems in the past three years, and now its going to take Honda 6 weeks to send out a notice, it makes me wonder if there are a bunch of Honda guys sitting down in Torrance scratching their heads and throwing crap on a wall to see what will 'fix' the recall...
I had my VSA modulator replaced under the tech bulletin that came out last year. That definitely helped (the pedal no longer sinks to the floor after stopping), but the brakes are still softer than any car I have ever driven, and I've been driving for over 50 years. Hopefully they now have a better fix than they did a year ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
My '08 developed soft brake - almost going to the floor - very soon after I bought it, they replaced the M/C and that worked (probably due to the bleeding) for about a month then the pedal travel began to gradually increase.

Eventually it got to the point that I was very annoyed with it, especially after a trip to the mountains in Georgia where it was down right scary. I took it back and they again told me that they would replace the M/C. Later that day the called and told me they were going to replace the VSA modulator as well. I got car back and the brakes were perfect again like power brakes should be. That was 6 months ago but once again, this time after about 4 months the brakes are gradually getting more travel before they engage an the pedal is mushy.

Hopefully this time with the actual recall they can get it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Mine was the first "fixed" by the local dealer...a new modulator and a bleed. It is better than before the "fix" but still the mushiest brake I have ever experienced....55 years of driving, everything from trucks, to buses, to Detroit Iron, to German engineering and finally Mazda and Honda. I guess I've adapted and gotten used to the mush but it sure can scare someone not familiar with my car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Ironically enough, the reason I joined this forum like a year ago was because of the brake issues I was having with my 2007 Element EX. When I originally took it in to the dealer (this would be like september 2008 ) they had the car for 2 weeks, replaced the vsa modulator 3 times and bled the brakes over a dozen times, and when I got it back it was significantly worse than before. I went to another honda dealer who was much better, and they replaced the vsa modulator again, and wound up bleeding the brakes twice. It was much better, but has since been getting soft again. They told me (in late 2008 ) the same explanation the OP stated (vsa modulator recycle letting a small amount of air into the system) so they've known (as in Honda) about this issue since at least then. They've also claimed to have an updated part "on the way" since then. I actually got in touch with a lemon law attorney as it was out of service for over a month and back in 4 times for the same issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Soft brake pedal 2007-2008 Elements

Traded my 04 EX Element for a new 08 EX in April 09. Returned to the dealership after stopping at 2nd traffic light, advised Service Rep about the spongey brakes and the pedal hitting the floor. I was told that was normal. Since day 1 have felt compelled to pump the brake pedal to get a firm pedal when stopping. Complained a 2nd time a month later, same song second verse. In July I returned my E to the dealership armed with Honda Service Bulletin 07-045. I advised the Rep, I wanted the Service Mgr to road test my E for brake defect. Service Mgr wrote "the brakes are within Honda specs at this time". I have filed a formal complaint with the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation regarding the brake safety defect and Honda's lack of action regarding repairs, they have known about the brake defect since 2007 when the Service Bulletin was issued. I have received a confirmation of receipt of the complaint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
For anyone compare Element braking with other Honda SUV/CUV/truck, here is fact on the front & rear disc size & % area increase from Element for all past & current Honda SUV/CUV/truck. Just remember, larger contact area between disc & pad will always has more braking power, other factor being the same.
I can only find 2004 & on info on Honda website, so I only included 2004+ model.

Model (front disc in inch, % area increase from 11.1) [rear disc in inch, % area increase from 11.1]

Element 2003-2010 (11.1, 0%) [11.1, 0%]
CR-V 2004 (11.1, 0%) [11.1, 0%]
CR-V 2005-2006 (11.8, +13%) [12.0, +17%]
CR-V 2007-2010 (11.7, +11%) [12.0, +17%]
Crosstour 2010 (11.7, +11%) [12.0, +17%]
Pilot 2004-2008 (11.8, +13%) [12.3, +23%]
Pilot 2009-2010 (13.0, +37%) [13.1, +39%]
Ridgeline 2006 (12.6, +29%) [13.1, +39%]

IMHO, our Element has last generation of Honda braking system, when 2005+ CR-V & all other Honda SUV/CUV/truck has move on to next gen, & Element will "feel soft" compared with 2005+ CR-V or other Honda SUV/CUV/truck.
Personally, I would take a larger disc any day compare to any other method to increase braking power, but I still won't trade my Element for anything else, with exception of next gen Element if when it is out with larger disc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Just saw the Dealer....

and got it fixed. Purchased a 2007 SC on 4-3-2010 and love it. I called today asking about a remote entry and they told me about the possible problem. I didn't know about it, [ just joined the forum Friday and still finding my way around here ], and after the fix I can tell a big difference. The pedal is much more firm after they put their mitts on my, new to me, ride. Just wanted to post n say hi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
First time posting here...long-time Honda owner. My wife just got an '08 Element SC (forntunately I get to drive it too).

I just had the brake recall issue fixed today. There was a slight improvement in pedal feel after the job was done. It wasn't bad before, but better safe than sorry. However, I don't think it will ever be as strong as the brakes on my '04 Accord.

Funny thing is, the Honda dealers wouldn't sell them without the fix for obvious reasons, but the dealer (not Honda) we got our truck from didn't have a problem selling it. I wasn't concerned anyway since Honda usually takes care of business when it comes to safety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Had the service completed today

Hi all, Im new to the forums (kinda). Ive been lurking for a while, and finally bought my Element on April the 9th, 2010,

When I bought it, there were locking lug nuts on it, and after I got it home, I realized that I didn't have the key to the lug nuts.

I went back to the dealer today to get that issue address, and they said they could do the recall service while I was there.

I watched the tech do it, but didn't have my camera on me.

I'm taking the liberty of using EOC Member Einstein's Head Adjustment photo to show you exactly what was done.

Basically, the tech went into the parts office and returned with a little plastic cap in a plastic bag that was clearly from the factory. He also had a tube of some white gunk.

He proceeded to remove a little plastic cap off the side of the VSA module and replace it with a new one. Before putting the new one on, he applied some of the white gunk to the inside of the cap. The cap in question is not pictured in the image below, but is in the location that I'm pointing to.

Then, they told me that I was all set to go, and I had to insist that they bleed the brakes, which they billed Honda for.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,652 Posts
Hi all, Im new to the forums (kinda). Ive been lurking for a while, and finally bought my Element on April the 9th, 2010,

When I bought it, there were locking lug nuts on it, and after I got it home, I realized that I didn't have the key to the lug nuts.

I went back to the dealer today to get that issue address, and they said they could do the recall service while I was there.

I watched the tech do it, but didn't have my camera on me.

I'm taking the liberty of using EOC Member Einstein's Head Adjustment photo to show you exactly what was done.

Basically, the tech went into the parts office and returned with a little plastic cap in a plastic bag that was clearly from the factory. He also had a tube of some white gunk.

He proceeded to remove a little plastic cap off the side of the VSA module and replace it with a new one. Before putting the new one on, he applied some of the white gunk to the inside of the cap. The cap in question is not pictured in the image below, but is in the location that I'm pointing to.

Then, they told me that I was all set to go, and I had to insist that they bleed the brakes, which they billed Honda for.

Honda tech put in his post the procedure from Honda on how the dealers are
supposed to do this.

the repair procedure is a brake system bleed using the HDS to cycle the front VSA solenoids with the front bleeders loose and a hose from the bleed screws run into a clean jar, followed by a manual (assisted pedal pump) bleed of all 4 brakes.

There are two caps that will be glued over two plugs that seal the sides of the VSA modulator.

No parts replacement, just a "special" bleed procedure with one bottle of Honda DOT 3 brake fluid and the installation of the two plugs using a special Dow Corning Toray SE 9186 White RTV Silicone.


Your dealer either didnt know what they were doing, or were trying to cheap
out on you. Honda is going to pay for the bleed no matter what, its part of
the recall.

I go in on Monday for mine to get done, Im going to print up a copy of the
instructions to let the service department I know what I am talking about.
I just tell them I get this info off the web, or that I have a friend who works
for Honda out of state. They usually dont like it, but at least I they know
they cant walk all over me!! I'll post up how it goes on Monday night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
We just got back from a road trip to Tucson and I had the soft "brake pedal recall" done at a dealership there. They installed the caps on the VSA modulator and bled the brake system and replaced the brake fluid with DOT 3. The brake pedal now feels fine - firm and responsive. They even performed a multi-point inspection for free - we had them go over the entire vehicle since we bought it used and had no previous maintenance records. Everything is working fine and looks great. Total Cost: $0.00!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Just got my "Recall" work done

Hi All,
Just got my recall work done at Big Island Honda in Hilo and I am sad to say their workmanship was a little subpar. First, when I walked in there were four employees who were standing behind an imaginary wall at the service counter (like they thought either we couldn't see them, or thought we improving out health by breathing their air conditioning), with myself and another customer standing there watching them chit chat about non-work activities for a good 2-3 minutes before they settled down, 2 walked back into the shop area and one helped us while the other clicked away at the keyboard of a terminal without looking up. Second, the technician that drove the car onto the lift apparently had a pen in his belt and left ball point pen parks on the seats. I showed that to the manager and they brought a detailing expert over to clean my seats. While the E was on the lift, the bled the fronts with the suction method, but the back brakes were just bled out to dribble out and onto the ground. After lowering the E, the tech went to the hose, filled a bottle of water and splashed water onto the wheel area, I guess to "clean" the area where the brake fluid leaked out. I watched them perform the bleed operation, but couldn't see see what they were doing once the hood was opened.

On a positive note they did wash the car for free, and I got my plastic caps installed. I did not notice any pedal "softness" or difference at all, but I guess that is good. I was about to perform a brake bleed anyway, but since the recall announcement came out I waited and got it bled for free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I just had my 08 EX repaired last Friday at the dealer for the soft brake pedal. They did the service bulletin, #10-017, even though my VIN is over a thousand numbers beyond the cutoff listed in the TSB. This was my fourth trip to the dealer for this problem. They had previously replaced the VSA Modulator and the Master Cylinder and bled the brakes numerous times. Its been five days now and the cheap plastic caps and RTV seem to be holding. Feels great to finally have a full solid brake pedal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Had my 08 done yesterday at Honda of Seattle. Seems like they did a good job. They were very responsive when I came in. I had called them on Saturday to make the appointment and was surprised that they could get me in on Monday morning. Also, I didn't have a letter sent to me since I just bought the car on the 8th and they didn't even ask to see it, which was a relief. They did do the brake bleed also, I asked.

I was very surprised at how different the brakes felt after I got the car back. It was very firm and responsive. I didn't realize how mushy it really was since my previous car was an 88 Westy which are NOTORIOUS for their crappy brakes. In comparison, the E's brakes felt fantastic before the work! LOL!

Thanks to this forum, I found out about the recall and got it taken care of.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Soft Brake Recall

Had the brake recall procedure completed this AM at my Honda Dealer. There is a noticeable improvement. I did not think the brakes were too bad prior to the procedure but guess I had gotten use to the 'soft' brakes.
Glad I had it done. Very nice service at Bellevue Honda (WA).

BRH
 
1 - 20 of 153 Posts
Top