Honda Civic Brake Questions

sramachandransramachandran Member Posts: 6
Hi- I have a new 2007 Honda Civic. I have a question regarding the brakes. When I press/release the brake, sometimes, I hear a mechanical noise. This typically happens when I'm waiting down a slope, and release the brake slowly. (Somewhere near the half play position). The noise comes from the front. Is it normal because of the disk brakes/ABS?



  • trakkertrakker Member Posts: 2
    I am not sure if it's normal, but I noticed it too. My driveway is sloped, and in the morning when I back down to the street, I hear the same noise. It seemed to go away after a few weeks.

    I noticed another possible problem with the brakes. Right after I start the car and start driving, brakes booster does not seem to work for the first 5~10 seconds. After that everything is back to normal. Did any body else notice this?
  • robert8robert8 Member Posts: 13
    I just purchased a 2007 Civic and have noticed the same noise under the same general conditions. It sounds like a spring type noise and you can feel it in the car. I don't know if this is because the car is brand new. I'll have to ask when I stop by the dealer. Anyone have anything more definitive?
  • wsustudentwsustudent Member Posts: 35
    The noise you are probably hearing when you are backing down the driveway is most likely the ABS system doing a self-test which is normal.
  • jfryejfrye Member Posts: 2
    My 03 Si, bought new, has 30,000 miles and needs the rotors turned. I am a very conservative driver and as seen by the milage the car is driven very lightly, seldom on the highway. My question is, is it normal to develop warped rotors at this milage/usage? Has anyone had similar issue and/or how are your rotors doing? Otherwise the car is great. Thanks in advance.
  • vvileyvviley Member Posts: 46
    Even around 10k miles/yr, if most of the driving is done in the city (assuming "seldom hwy" = mostly city), there's going to be a higher incidence of brake wear than the typically assumed 45/55 ratio. It might be a little early, but I don't find it too abnormal that you need brake service.
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    If as stated the 30k is mostly city driving, it isn't a reach to think they could need work by now. My wife's higlander has over 70k (2002 model) and has had 1 brake job at about 50k, which included turning the front rotors. The rears didn't need any work at all yet. Doing the brakes is one thing I can still do myself.....

    Turning rotors is commonly done every-other brake job or when they need it (pulsing/slight grab of the brakes on gentle stops indicates warped rotors).

    I used to "clean" the glaze off of my rotors and pads when I noticed grabbing instead of assuming they were warped, but newer metallic pads don't seem to have this problem. Glazing really makes 'em grab! metallics tend to increase warpage, tho.

    do you brake with you left foot? This is a common cause of premature brake wear, since there is a tendency (albeit unintentional) to let the foot rest ever-so-slightly on the pedal.
  • jfryejfrye Member Posts: 2
    It's not really city driving in terms of LA or Chicago. I have 2 traffic lights each way on my daily commute. Anyway, I'll just take care of it and not worry about it. Just seemed kinda early. I brake with my right foot.
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    if you can pull the rotors off yourself, having them turned usually runs about $15 each, often new ones can be bought for not much more (non-OEM). It's not worth living with the grabbing.
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    It isn't uncommon for uneven pad transfer to be confused with warpage, which seldom occurs on brakes except by uneven or over-tightening of the lug nuts. OEM brakes are generally noise-free, but also not the best performing by a long stretch. They often don't take heat well, fading around 700 degrees or so, such that one hard, panic stop or lots of hills, curves and stop-and-go will elevate their temperature and cause the pad material to fade, as well as smear and melt on the rotor. These can become "hot spots" that cause the metal underneath to harden, which will cause these areas to wear less than the rest of the rotor and form high spots. Turning the rotor will even up the surface, but the hardening goes deep and the problem will come back.

    Aftermarket performance oriented brakes are generally much better, but usually noisier (from a little to a lot) and often produce more brake dust, since there is often no such thing as a free lunch. I've been pretty happy with PBR/Axxis ultimates (fade critical at 1000 degrees), but they also make a premium line that offers slightly better than OEM performance for almost no penalty over OEM pads. Other companies like Hawk, also make pads like the HPS (fade critical around 800 degrees), but I've put these on family member vehicles and noticed the warpage issue, especially after the Folks moved from Kansas, with few hills, to N. Kentucky with lots of hills that require a lot of braking.
  • jungiebjungieb Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1993 honda civic. The brakes are spongy and pedal travels all the way down before brake holds but only this happens when outside temperature reaches high 80's or so. In the early morning or during the winter the brake holds perfectly. I have bled the system thinking there may be trapped air. Checked the vacuum check valve for suction and is ok. What could it be? Faulty brake power booster?
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    sounds like the master cylinder experiencing bypass (inernal leakage). A rebuilt master cylinder would be the solution if that is the cause.
  • jungiebjungieb Member Posts: 2
    It's another hot day in Southern California hovering at 100 F but fortunately I have replaced my master cylinder early this morning, thanks for your advice, and my brakes are working just fine. I thank you again! :shades:
  • jean18unijean18uni Member Posts: 2
    I just had the 30k mile service done on my 05 LX at the dealer. The service dept. called and said I had some rust on my rear brakes that needed to be removed, to the tune of $120. What's up with this? Is this a scam? :confuse:
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    The shoes should clean the rust off the inside of the drum as the brakes work.
  • jean18unijean18uni Member Posts: 2
    Yeah, that's what I thought too. Guess that dealership lost a customer...
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    I never go to the dealer except for warranty work. Most have a bunch of dum-dums working there with one or two who actually know something to keep an eye on the rest. However, anyone who's remotely any good can usually move on to open their own shop or get a better deal at the next dealer down the street, so there may not even be one or two good ones. I try to get recommendations of a good Honda-oriented independent mechanic and haven't been disappointed very often.
  • msmith8msmith8 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1994 Civic with disc brakes on all four wheels. All calipers work. When I replace the front rotors and pads, they overheat and warp the rotors and wear the pads out quickly. It seems that much of the braking is being done by the fronts with little help from the rears. Is there a way to adjust this? Or is there another problem I'm not aware of? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    do you recall the brand name of the parts you used and what you paid for them?
  • jonesbb630jonesbb630 Member Posts: 31
    If you buy Honda rotors, this does not surprise me at all. Get a cheap set of aftermarket performance rotors. These would be twice the quality Honda makes. They will resist overheating in return extending the life of your pads. Speaking from experience. Good luck...:)
  • msmith8msmith8 Member Posts: 2
    I bought the high end Napa rotors, $52.00 a piece, and middle quality Napa pads,
    $41.00 a set.
  • mark19mark19 Member Posts: 123
    you should check your caliper's sliding pins to make sure they're lubed and not sticking. The caliper sounds like it might be sticking, so start with the sliding pins.

    also definitely bleed the entire brake system, get that old fluid out of there if it hasn't been changing in awhile.
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    It isn't uncommon to replace the front pads 2-3x the rate of the rears, this is considered normal, 100k on rear disk pads is not uncommon. If you replace the rears much less or much more often than that, the proportioning valve that determines how much braking force goes to front -vs- rear may be off. It can be adjusted, but it is best left to a qualified mechanic to do so.

    Most rotors can be turned to remove the warp. Some newer ones are made too thin to be turned and must be replaced, but that is more common for rears which wear slower. Even if you don't need to have it turned, when you replace the pads you should at least remove the glazing that forms on the surface. Just the glazing can cause noise, sticking and squealing. I remove it with a fine sandpaper.

    Make sure the pads and rotors are compatible, some rotors (solid in particular) just don't like metallic or semi-metallic pads.

    You just may need to get some better rotors, solid rotors are the cheapest available, weight less (=higher mileage) but are more prone to warp; ventilated rotors are a major step up. They will cost more but should last longer. Avoid slotted or drilled, they're mostly for show on a Civic and just cost more.
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    It is the pads themselves and the small rotors. I assume they are the standard Civic/Integra 10.3" fronts that are dirt cheap just about everywhere - AutoZone Duralast are a good value if you don't want to get a set of Brembo rotors shipped to you.

    Replace the rotors and upgrade to a high quality pad. I like Axxis/PBR Ultimates, but the XBG are probably a little more street-friendly. They can take the heat generated by having too much front weight bias and too little front brake for the vehicle weight. I dislike Hawk HPS intensely because they a not much better than stock and they never seem to fit right (i.e., you have a hard time using the OEM brake shims with them).

    Replace your brake fluid too. Valvoline Synthetic DOT3/DOT4 is very good for the money and c an take the heat generated by the brake system so long as you change it the recommended two-year interval. Lubricate the slider pins on the calipers, as sometimes these get stuck and make the brakes hotter than normal, warping them.

    I just re-read your post and I would note that the rear ratcheting calipers that act as parking brakes sometimes act up and stick, reducing their effectiveness. You may need to replace them and you can buy remanufactured calipers just about anywhere and these, IME, are the same as what the Honda Part Dept. will sell you, but for more money.

    Another suggestion is that you replace all four sets of pads with same compound as this will increase rear brake bias, since Honda uses a less aggressive pad in the rear. Why? Because front biased brakes are generally safer than those that are more balanced, but Honda leaves too much on the table and you can pick up a little better braking with no loss of safety by using the same compound on all four corners.
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    Warpage is often just melted pad material that gets deposited unevenly on the face of the rotor, which emphasizes the need for a high quality compound with a high operating temperature, at least 850F on FWD cars with their high front weight bias. These deposits can eventually harden the metal underneath them and form a high spot in the metal as the rotor wears down, which then must be turned. Civic rotors are so cheap that it is easier to throw them away. The sandpaper idea is good, but use garnet paper so you don't get aluminum oxide inclusions on the rotor face.

    Solid rotors and pad material compatibility is a new one for me. Never had a problem. Where I have had an issue is using two different brake compounds on the same rotor. Brakes work mostly by adherent friction rather than abrasive friction and this requires a layer of pad material to be deposited on the rotor face, which is where the conflict in compounds comes in.

    I wouldn't even think it would be possible to get solid front rotors for this car, just ventilated. The rear rotors are only going to be solid.

    I would advise the poster with the '94 Civic to also be careful about breaking in his rotors and pads carefully and according to manufacturer directions to get best life and performance from them. The rotors perform best with gentle stops for the first 100-200 miles, then the pads need to be bedded-in with a number (5-10) of medium effort stops from around 45-50mph, with about a minute in between, followed by 5 minutes of driving, then 5 hard stops with about a minute in between, during which time the brakes will start to get hot and smell bad. Not to worry, as this is cooking out the chemicals that may outgas under a hard stop otherwise and reduce brake effectiveness. Keep driving and try not to make any complete stops (do this in a rural area) for 20 minutes. Park the car (at home is fine, you don't have to just stop somewhere) for at least 3-4 hours to let the brakes cool and you're good to go.
  • warshocked2warshocked2 Member Posts: 4
    i have a 07 civic si... i got 3 questionsa to ask..
    1. the problem about the rear tires are for 06 only orfor 07's too?
    2. my car ALWAYS skids in snow even tho im rele careful drivin.. do i just need snow tires or theres a problem with the car..the abs always kick in..
    3. im considering buyin a set of 16's steel wheel from an 07 ex with snow tires just for winter.. would it fit 07 si sedan? i think they have same bolt pattern but i dunno bout the offset, width stuff like that... need help..
  • joeybagadonutzjoeybagadonutz Member Posts: 2
    I have a 97 honda civic ex coupe. I recently changed the front brake pads on the vehicle. I did everything correctly, removed the wheel, unbolted the caliper, removed the caliper, changed out pads, squeezed the caliper back in with a c_clamp, put the caliper back on, greased the bolts and put them back in. but now The petal goes down very far before stopping, and when the petal gets to a certain spot I actually hear a click noise coming from the passenger side wheel well. I have no idea what it is, I bled the line for air, there was none. I don't know where to go next. please help me.
  • bells1bells1 Member Posts: 7
    I own a 99 honda civic ex w/ 69,585 miles on it. When I asked how much a could sell it for, the mechanic told me that the brake lines were rusted and they're difficult to repair because of where they're located....and basically offered me $2000 for it. Now, I didn't ask him how much he'd give me for it, I just wanted to know how much to sell it for. However, if the "rusted lines" are true, can they be patched or do they really need to be replaced for $1500? Any ideas? Thank you so much!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You should probably get a 2nd opinion on the brake lines but if in fact 2 or 3 mechanics give you the same $1500 estimate then their offer is what you'd expect for someone who's looking to turn a small profit after they fix the car. It's not going to cost THEM $1500 obviously.

    Let's say a "home run" price for this car is $5000, for a really nice clean one--so you'd deduct accordingly for what it would take to make your car clean and ready to roll.
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    No patching, unless you don't like living.
  • bells1bells1 Member Posts: 7
    Thank you for the input! As someone who doesn't know much about cars, I had hoped asking on this site would clarify some of the things I've been told. And, my second opinion told me that everything looked fine and didn't know what the other guy was talking about. That's why I'm glad I asked. Have a great day!
  • bells1bells1 Member Posts: 7
    Thank you so much for your advice. My 2nd opinion said he thought it was an excellent to good rating and didn't have any idea what the other guy was talking about! Pay it forward...I'll make sure to tell others how helpful your advice and this site are! Have a great day!
  • paul021577paul021577 Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever got an answer on your civic break problem? I have a 97 civic and the same thing happened to me today. Can you please let me know what the problem was and what was the solution?
    Thank you!
    [email protected]
  • carol45carol45 Member Posts: 3
    I have had my Honda Civic for a little over 6 months and just this last weekend road in the passenger seat. I knew the ride was rough but not so bad in driver seat. Is there anything that can be done to smooth out the ride?
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    Buy a sedan - it has a softer suspension.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You could check the tire pressure and let out a few pounds, and I guess you could install more compliant shocks/struts. Are you using stock tires or something very low profile?
  • carol45carol45 Member Posts: 3
    The tires are the ones that were on it when I bought it. I considered perhaps tires and shocks. My husband thought that anything different as far as shocks would change the way it handled. Thanks for the info...I'll check into both.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well with better shocks that factory, it might handle better.
  • cz75cz75 Member Posts: 210
    Where are you going to get more compliant dampers or springs? OEM is as soft as it gets. Koni only has their sport model dampers out - too firm. Tokico sells dampers as well, but only from a little more aggressively damped non-adjusable HPs to a even firmer adjustable HTS model.
  • carol45carol45 Member Posts: 3
    I don't have a clue about what or to suggestions. OEM? Will this be costly? Thought about going back to dealership that sold me the car and trying to trade, but would probably get "screwed' in the deal.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Good point but I was using the term "compliant" to mean "responsive through a wide range of conditions". This is not the same as "soft". I guess a better definition of a "compliant" shock, in terms of upgrading from OEM, would be "more sophisticated response".

    So it's more like "agrees with the condition it is working under".
  • civicgirl13civicgirl13 Member Posts: 5
    I bought a 1995 Civic just a couple months ago. Just recently, the brakes on the car became very spongy. The brake pads are still in excellent condition still. I bought 4 calipers, a brake booster box, and a new master cylinder. My boyfriend and I bled the new master cylinder before we put it on the car. When we bled the brakes on the car, while off, the brakes were nice and firm. When I turned the car on to take it for a test drive, the brakes went straight to the floor with no resistance. My boyfriend got in the car to see if he could feel anything different, and pumped the brakes the 3 times. The brakes firmed for a few seconds, but then lost all firmness. All we have left is the proportion valve and brake lines that we haven't fixed. The car whines like a dying animal when the brakes are being applied. We cannot find any air leakage, but can hear what sounds like air escaping. We also checked under the car for any brake fluid that could be leaking from a broken line, but couldn't find anything. Is there anyone who can suggest something I can try doing? I am starting to run out of options and I don't know what to do. I would be very appreciative of any help I can get!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'd say a power bleeder is in order. Also I don't see how you could effectively bleed the master when it's off the car.

    The booster should not affect the pedal in that way. If the booster fails, you'd get a pedal that is very hard, not soft.

    The only way a booster could do this is if it sucks all the brake fluid out of the master cylinder and burns it (through a vacuum diaphragm leak).
  • civicgirl13civicgirl13 Member Posts: 5
    In my manual, it said to bleed the master cylinder before putting it on the car, this is why we did that. Also, something I forgot to mention, the brake system on the car is Integra.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    so how do you "stroke" the cylinder with it out of the car? How can you pump it, or do you just let it drain out for a while?

    Ah, you've modified the car...well, that could mean it's a free for all, in terms of causes.
  • civicgirl13civicgirl13 Member Posts: 5
    Bleeding the master cylinder prior to installing it is called bench bleeding. This is what the instructions with the new cylinder said to do.

    It wasn't me who modified the car, it was that way when I purchased it. The car originally had abs, but when they installed a different motor, etc.., the car now does not have abs. Could this have anything to do with the issues I am having?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Gee I dunno. Which car does the master cylinder belong to. Did you buy one for an Acura or a Civic?

    I think what I would do if I were you is bleed the master in place by removing all the lines and plugging the holes with the right metric or ISO brass plugs.

    Once it is bleed, at least you know THAT'S right.

    As for what else can cause the pedal to drop all the way----maybe the wrong thickness of rotor, the wrong pads, etc--what i'm driving at here is that the caliper pistons, or rear wheel cylinders, are extending out too far.
  • civicgirl13civicgirl13 Member Posts: 5
    The master cylinder is for an Acura, the one for the Civic is a totally different one. Ok, question, if the caliper pistons, or rear wheel cylinders, are extending out too far, why are the brakes hard when the car is not turned on? Is this something that is normal, and I have just never noticed it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay, now the story is changing. Are you saying the pedal stays HARD when the car isn't running, and goes to the floor when you start the car?
  • civicgirl13civicgirl13 Member Posts: 5
    This is what I put in my first post:When we bled the brakes on the car, while off, the brakes were nice and firm. When I turned the car on to take it for a test drive, the brakes went straight to the floor with no resistance.

    What I meant was, if it wasn't clear, is that when the car is off, the brakes were nice & firm, and when I started it, the brakes go straight to the floor. So yes to what you asked.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay, got it. And this is the current situation as well? Car off, brakes hard, car on, brakes go to floor?

    Very bizarre.....I'm scratching my head here.....maybe there's a bad check valve in the brake booster?
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