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Honda Accord (2003-2007) Maintenance and Repair



  • Having owned many hondas (2 civics / 6 accords) I totally agree with the brake issue. After 15-35k, a pulsation always seems to appear no matter what brakes I've tried. However, I have never chosen honda to replace my brakes due to cost. I have had good success at Tire Rack on line. You can search reviews by owners of other "hondas", not just other cars... and you can search for local installers.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I have always used Honda pads (two Accords since 91). I found the rear pads needed to be changed a little early (47k miles) on the 03, but since the brakes work well, rotors are still good, and they make no noises at all, I am willing to stick with them. I didn't want to switch to semi-matalic or ceramic, and possibly have squeaking or rotor problems later. I don't pay someone else to change them, so it only cost me the price of the pads. I've never had to have the rotors turned or changed. How many miles do you have on the pads? Are you having any problems with the brakes?
  • he8833he8833 Posts: 52

    We have miles 36k. I have a 07 SE v6 but I swore today they guy @ the dealer told me they sell ceramic for pads?

    I also couldn't believe the dealer would tell me that often times they simply re-surface them. Whereas the local shop in my neighborhood said he always likes to replace rotors and pads.(namely because of the pulsating issue and they fact that were in MN with all the salt etc they simply wear down faster. He could replace both rotors and pads for 300.00

    What do you all think? I always could buy some pads from the Honda accessories web link I see on here, but have yet to convinced the Honda pads are all that great?
  • I don't buy the salt theory wearing out the pads faster. Re-surfacing rotors is common, but it doesn't cost that much more to replace, depending on where you buy and who installs. Absolutely, replace the pads. Honda vs aftermarket? Up to you and your pocket.
  • Since these rotors aren't pressed on they shouldn't be hard to get off. They're probably about $40 per rotor and the pads are $30 IIRC. So that plus labor would probably be around $300. I'd say the shop is offering a good price.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I can't tell you what you will get with the aftermarket pads and rotors, but if you do change pads to aftermarket, I would also change the rotors to whatever that shop recommends. If they have been using this setup on other cars, they should know if it works or not. 36k miles is kind of low, so I would seriously consider the $300 job over the dealership price. Chances are, they'll last at least as long as the originals did.
  • robgraverobgrave Posts: 65
    edited February 2010
    I see that I can get "Genuine Factory" replacement pads from I gather from your post that they are neither semi-metallic nor ceramic. What are they then? And is there an equivalent after-market replacement, one that "marries" well with the rotors?

    EDIT: Since you do recommend changing rotors when switching to after-market pads, I guess your answer to question #2 would be "no."
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 31,126
    I had the rears done on my '05 EXL at tires plus. Cost about $225 I think (with a coupon). That was some upgraded pad, and resurfaced rotors. Dealer price is not that bad (the cheaper one), but man, he wis charging a lot for the rotors!

    I think the indy guy prefers replacing because it is quicker and easier, and less chance you come back with warped rotors. You can get after market rotors fairly cheap sometimes, so not much more cost over the labor of cutting them.

    anyway, every place I have ever been said they would resurface as long as it didn't bring them too close to the minimum thickness. FIne by me, especially on the rears. I might put new rotors on the front if/when it ever needs front brakes (not likely anytime soon, I think the 2nd set of rears will wear out before the original fronts!)

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    edited February 2010
    I think Honda pads are organic compounds, at least the rear are, not sure about the front. I'm sure some other companies make them, but I've never looked into it. I've heard that harder pads will wear down the Honda rotors quickly, that's why I would change the rotors if I changed to semi metallic or ceramic pads. I would never have rotors turned. If the rotors are warped, I would just change them. Turning the rotors, makes them thinner/weaker, so they would warp even easier next time.
  • And do you find that the rear brakes require replacing more frequently than the front? Stick-guy's post (#5188) to that point surprises me, really. I've always thought just the opposite was true, at least generally speaking.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    edited February 2010
    It surprised me too, when the rear pads on my 03 V6 needed to be changed at 47k miles. The front pads lasted until 60k miles. It's the first time I've ever changed rears before fronts, but then it's also my first car with EBD. From what I've read, the new EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) on cars now, puts extra braking power on the rear, to reduce nose-dive when braking. I have a feeling some car makers will start increasing the size of the rear pads, to even the wear.
  • Yes, the EBD explanation makes good sense. BTW, the mileage numbers (47k and 60k) are pretty darned good; well above average from what I've seen, even if the rears did wear down "prematurely." I'd be more than satisfied go get the same service from mine.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm at 57k in my EBD-equipped 4-cyl EX Accord with plenty of visible life left on the pads. I'm pretty good at anticipating stops to coast, though.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    And I'm at 77k on the original brakes in my 06 EX-L. I'd be interested to see if I would have any of the problems others seem to be complaining about on the newer Accords. I live in a pretty hilly region but I do have a lot of highway miles on my car.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    plenty of visible life left on the pads

    Just wondering, visible from where? Even though the pads you can see (outside) have plenty left, that doesn't mean the inside pads are not worn down a lot more. Not saying your inside pads are worn out. The wear indicators should let you know when they are, but looking at the outside pad only, is not always a good indication.
  • 20honda0820honda08 Posts: 1
    edited February 2010
    What ever happened with your starter? Mine is doing the same thing but my car is newer so I am really annoyed. It grinds once in a while when i start it... when never know when so when i asked someone else to listen to it they didn't hear it... how do i get the dealer to hear it when i don't know if it make the noise when i am there... but it will when i get home... lol - please let me know~ scerb
  • Just a few more thoughts on the brakes...

    So an OEM Honda pad is designed to optimize a few things - brake dust, rotor wear, stopping distance, pad life, heat resistance and cost. Some engineer signed off some where that this is the best they could do for $xx.xx and he was happy with it.

    You might decide you can spend more than $xx.xx and you value stopping distance and heat resistance over minimizing brake dust (or not, just an example). Going with a higher performance aftermarket pad lets you do these things.

    There are two schools of thought to the rotors too. One is that they get thinner over time and more likely to warp. The other is they have been heat cycled so many times that they become hardened and less prone to warping.

    I hope to be out of my '07 EX before I have to replace the brakes, but when I do the brakes on our Legacy wagon, it will get an upgraded, aftermarket pad and either stock Subaru rotors, or Brembo blanks. I am waiting for the thaw before I tackle that one.

    Factory parts are always designed to work well within a wholesale cost. By the time the part gets to a retail outlet (the dealership), there is so much markup, the value of that optimization is totally out the window.
  • My understanding of the ABS/EBD technology is limited, but I gather that the system is calibrated to work correctly with the friction characteristics of the OEM pads. A switch to pads that behave differently could result in a ABS/EBD system that no longer functions as designed.

    This is not necessarily an argument against using after-market linings, but it is something to keep in mind when considering an "upgrade." At least with OEM, I know that I'd be replacing the old with "correct" pads, i.e., pads that were made to be used with the braking system as Honda engineers designed it.

    (I know this sounds like a typical warning from a Honda service manager, but in the case of brake-lining replacements, I'm not sure it isn't a warning worth heeding.)
  • My understanding of the ABS/EBD technology is limited, but I gather that the system is calibrated to work correctly with the friction characteristics of the OEM pads. A switch to pads that behave differently could result in a ABS/EBD system that no longer functions as designed.

    There are 4 wheel speed sensors that count wheel rotations. If there is a big difference between 1 wheel and the other 3 (assuming 4-channel ABS/EBD), the brake releases on that wheel. This is also tied in with stability and traction control for those vehicles so equipped. Having a pad that has increased frictional characteristics will improve the performance of the system. It could, however, cause the system (especially ABS) to intervene more often since the brakes are more effective at slowing the wheel, your tires may become a weaker link in the chain.

    At least with OEM, I know that I'd be replacing the old with "correct" pads, i.e., pads that were made to be used with the braking system as Honda engineers designed it.

    And it would be the same compromise the engineers had to use, but at a much higher, lower value pricepoint.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    ABS/EBD/VSA are not designed for a certain pad. Nor are the pads specifically designed for this car. Since the rear pads are wearing faster than the front pads, since EBD was introduced, I'd say Honda could have done a better job picking the pads. I think I could pick an aftermarket pad rotor combination that would work as well, or better than the oem setup. There are plenty of aftermarket companies (Brembo, Raybestos, etc.) that are used by auto manufacturers as performance parts in their performance cars. These are very experienced companies, who know what they're doing, not just some company trying to make a killing selling cheap replacement tail lights. When Traction Control/VSA are activated, a little light comes on in the dash cluster, so I don't think it could be the cause of brake problems or early wear issues. That's my .02.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 31,126
    at least in my case, I think it was a poor caliper design. 3 pads were fine, 1 inner pad was shot (this was on the rear).

    The guy at the tire place said they saw a lot of this with accords, and that it was a result of the caliper hanging up.

    I might blame the EBD if all the pads wore together, but not 1 out of 4.

    And no way they could bias it so much to the rear that the fronts would last 2-3times what you get from the rear! Especially since in most cars, it is reversed.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • hondalovahondalova Posts: 189
    I have a 2004 Accord V-6 EX-L with 6 spd. manual. Hit a pothole in last weeks weather madness and put a nice little hop in my right front rim. Tried balancing and rotating - no help. I need a new rim.

    Any suggestions for where I can get a new factory rim to match my other three at an affordable price?


    -FS :sick:
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Any suggestions for where I can get a new factory rim to match my other three at an affordable price?

    Craigslist, eBay, Majestic Honda, HandA, some other guy that has the same rims but isn't looking...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I needed to replace a chewed up rim on my '06 EX 4-cyl. The dealer wanted $229.50 just for the rim. I found one online brand new, printed it out, and asked the dealer to match it, knowing they'd still make money on this price ($165). They did.

    You can try that if you'd rather buy new and still dont want the hassle of paying full price at a dealer. Just a suggestion from a guy who's been there. :shades:
  • MideMide Posts: 2
    Hi! What is your opinion regarding the use of a laptop in the front seat of my 2003 Honda Accord, and my airbag light coming on? Upon browsing the internet, quite a few sites mention this correlation but I can't find much explanation. I took it to my local Honda dealer that reset it and said if it came on again I woukd need to replace it at a cost of almost $700. Not what I what I want to hear!!! Thanks for your time. Michelle
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Wow... that's a new one on me. I'll have to go check that out. Er, maybe not. ;)
  • MideMide Posts: 2
    That's new but if you typr in 2003 Honda Accord Airbag light you'll see it. :)
  • brian434brian434 Posts: 1
    I have a 06 Accord LX SE 4cyl with the mass air sensor. I'd like to get better mileage out of it and thought about a cold air intake. Anyone of you already do that change? Was it worth the $200+ for the intake?
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    Look on ebay. You will need to know your bolt pattern or find your year. They often have single rims.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Most guys who buy an intake, are intoxicated by the sound, and actually end up burning more fuel. Not saying you are one of them, but it would still take a long time for the fuel savings to add up to $200. Not worth it, IMO.
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