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zhuxiaoqingzhuxiaoqing Posts: 3
edited April 2014 in Honda
My 89 Honda Prelude has a annoying (and
potentially dangerous) problem. The brake "loosens"
sometimes when I am sitting before a red light or
parking. Out of a sudden the pedal starts sliding
down until it reaches the floor and then the car
will start moving! The only thing I can do at that
moment is apply the hand brake, let go the brake
pedal and step on it again. Sometimes it will feel
'solid' again but sometimes it loosens.

It never happens when I am driving, but still I
try to figure out what's probably wrong and how
much its gonna cost to fix it.



  • gusgus Posts: 254
    Could be several things. May be a brake master cylinder. Also, some models of hondas need to have their brake caliper piston boots replaced when the front brakes are done otherwise fluid will seep from the caliper pistons and cause the brakes to fail. I don't recall if the Prelude is one of these models.

    You're not looking at a really cheap repair. My guess is that it's in the $150-$200 range, at least.

    conference host
  • drawdraw Posts: 1
    I am in the process of selling a car that has red book of $700. I recently got it safety inspected and total to certify was $700. I will not repair as cost can not be recouped. The majority of problems are brake related. My question is - Can a novice perform some of these repairs themselves. It would allow me to become more familiar with how cars work and fix some of the problems at the same time. Special tools required?

    Brake problems were ...
    * front brake cable
    * left rear cable
    * 2 rear cylinders
    * 2 rear brakes
    * 2 front rotors

    Thanks in advance.
  • I hear a metalic rattle noise while releasing the brake on my 99 Venture. It only happens the first time after starting the vehicle and seems to come from the right front wheel.

    I've had it in twice to my dealer who said they fixed the problem the first time (wasn't fixed) and the second time they said it was a normal noise of the calipers moving into position. They said the mechanic duplicated the noise on a different Venture.

    I insisted on hearing it for myself when I went to pick up the vehicle. A different service rep. and myself selected a similar make/model van off the lot and were NOT able to make the sound reproduce.

    Do any other GM owners out there notice this sound when they release the brake after starting the vehicle?
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    It probably is the brake pads moving around in the calipers. Generally, it's not unsafe, and it usually doesn't cause any wear irregularities. "Fit kits" are installed on some models that this happens to. These kits basically shim up the pads and keep them from sliding around.
  • Pedal fall-away is usually caused by an internal leak past a seal in the brake system. The two most prevalent causes are the brake master cylinder or the ABS hydraulic modulator. If you don't have ABS, then it's probably the brake master cylinder.
    If it is in the brake master cyilnder, it could be some contamination caught between a seal and the master cylinder bore, a cut seal, or a scratch in the surface of the master cylinder bore. Contamination usually appears and goes away. However, a cut seal or scratched bore requires replacement of the master cylinder, about $100 to $150 on Hondas.

  • I have a 98 park ave ultra with 16500 miles. I was going about 70 mph the other day and braked mmoderately hars and I felt the steering wheel vibrate quite a bit. I tried to do this again a few times but it only vibrated when braking at about 60mph and over. Did not vibrate at slower speeds when braking hard. I have my weels torqued per owners manual when getting tires rotated. Last done about 6 months ago. any help appreciated.
  • bob31bob31 Posts: 9
    This is bob31. I just came back from the buick dealer. They put new front rotors on for me at no charge. The service manager said they have had warping problems on the newer park avenues.
  • Just had a Front and Rear Brake job on my wife's 96 Altima GXE at Midas. Now, 1000+ miles later the brakes are acting like there's a loss of power from the booster... A hard pedal only after driving after about 5-6 miles. Took it back to Midas who said everything was working properly, took it to another brake place for another inspection, both places admit brakes don't seem to operate correctly however no one knows what's wrong. Is it time for it to go back to the dealer where they will charge me $30 to do yet another inspection with no guarantee of a solution? Just wondered if any of you out there experienced the same...
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    When you say "hard pedal", do you mean that you have to press the pedal hard to brake normally, or the pedal is hard to push down?
  • When I say hard pedal I mean that you have to push the pedal extremely hard and there is little travel. Like if I were trying to use the brakes without the car running.
  • brake booster gone bad. So it sounds
  • That's what I thought. Strange thing is, It's fine for the first 10-15 minutes of driving then it fades out. Both brake inspections I've had say the booster is fine as well as all the hoses.
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    Sounds like you guys know what you're talking about. My problem is that I'm considering buying an inexpensive pressure brake bleeder and using it to flush my hydraulic brake fluid (all of it). My question is: how will I know when all of the old fluid is gone (I'm assuming it will look the same as the new fluid coming out of the bleeder bolts). I can't find the capacity listed in my owner's manual. Also, will the presence of ABS cause any complications?

    Thanks. '96 Crown Victoria
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    New fluid looks clear/purplish. Old fluid dark brown. Not a perfect science, bleeding out the old. I suck out the reservior fluid before starting to minimize intermixing.
    When in doubt, bleed a little more, fluid is cheap. I would start with two quarts, probably run thru one bleeding, keep the other as a spare. I'd use Valvoline Syntech brake fluid.

    Did mine on my '88 Crown Vic wagon a couple of times. Don't remember if I had antilock on that vehicle. Was pretty easy. Probably no special challenges with the antilock. Anybody else know?
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Had rear antilock brakes on my '89 F350 Crew Cab. No special requirements for bleeding. Check your library/parts place for a manual, see if it says anything special if you are really concerned.

    I would take the chance that nothing special needs done, and if the brake light remained on afterward, would then go ask the ford service folks if there was anything special that needed to be done.
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    My Haynes manual doesn't say that the ABS requires any special attention, except to be sure not to get air in the unit. It has to be seperately bled, which requires an expensive tool. I don't plan on introducing any air into anything (unless I really screw up). I guess I'll just proceed as normal. Thanks for the advice!
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    OK, since you were so helpful with my last question, I have another one. What type of brake fluid should I use? The owner's manual of my 96 Crown Victoria specifies DOT 3. I've heard that DOT 4 can be used in place of DOT 3, because it is the same stuff, only with stricter specifications (higher boiling point). Theoretically, it should be better. I even saw some stuff on the shelf claiming to be both "DOT 3 and DOT 4."

    I wouldn't mind upgrading to a better product, but I'm nervous about doing that because my owner's manual goes so far as to say: "WARNING: If you use a brake fluid that is not DOT 3, you will cause permanent damage to your brakes."

    Any opinions?
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    DOT 4 better, DOT 5.1 ok too.

    Like I said, I would use Valvoline Synpower High Performance Synthetic Brake Fluid. Label says "meets and exceeds Dot 3 and Dot 4 specs, Dry boiling point 513F, Wet boiling pt 333F. For all ABS, Disc, and Drum Brakes.

    Run it in all my vehicles, even the race motorcycle.

    Don't use DOT 5 Silicone.
  • kc7hcjkc7hcj Posts: 3
    I have a 1995 Cadillac SLS with 4-wheel disc ABS. The rear brakes make a clicking noise when the brake pedal is applied. It doesn't matter how hard or soft you brake. The sound only occurs after the brakes warm up. The sound goes away when the car stops. The braking power is good, no fluid on the ground, no hot smell, etc... Just clicking sounds each revolution of the wheel.

    What could cause this?
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    Usually your brake-wear-indicators will make a scraping sound when the pads are almost worn out. I suppose it's possible that your's are contacting an irregularity in your rotor that is causing it to click. Have you had your pads inspected for wear? You may need a brake job. Otherwise it could be a warped rotor causing your caliper to slide back and forth on its bracket. A brake job would also identify this problem. The last thing I would suspect is a bad wheel bearing, but I doubt that is the case.

    Good luck.
  • kc7hcjkc7hcj Posts: 3
    Thanks btroy,

    It was a warped rotor. I remember when I had them turned, the machinist told me one of them was warped, but he said it wasn't a big deal. The caliper was sliding back and forth in the bracket. I added a little grease where the caliper contacts the bracket and the noise went away.
  • farnwfarnw Posts: 5
    I have a 1994 Honda Civic. The front brakes make
    a clicking noise when the brake pedal is applied
    very softly at low speed, around 5 MPH, at every
    revolution of the wheel. I don't hear any
    clicking noise when I apply the brakes in normal
    manner (harder) at higher speed. I do hear
    squeaking noise when I applied the brakes most
    of the time. I got a brake job done about 2-3
    month ago, replaced pads, and rear master cylinders.

    Thanks in advance,

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Minor clicking or squeaking noises are fairly common on disc brakes, especially on cars with some miles. It's usually caused by the pads moving aound in the caliper when the brakes are applied. You can mitigate it when replacing pads by installing new hardware such as tension springs, backing plates (especially the coated type), and caliper slide pins when worn. Also, just resurfacing rotors sometimes isn't enough, they should be tested for runout (warping). Usually resurfacing will correct it, but it depends on the quality and alignment of the lathe that it's done on.
    The slide pins should be lubricated if applicable, and for most cases an anti-squeak compound used on the back of the pads.
    There's no such thing as a "rear master cylinder",
    if your talking about the rear drum brakes you must be referring to the wheel cylinders. The master cylinder is under the hood on the firewall in your Honda, the wheel cylinders are inside the rear brake drums. I'm curious-did you have the rear brake shoes replaced?
  • farnwfarnw Posts: 5
    Thank you for your advises. I will drop by the
    autoshop where I got my brake job done and
    see if they can adjust my brakes for me.

    You are correct, it's wheel cylinders not
    master cylinders. I check the work order.
    It was leaking according to the autoshop
    therefore they were replaced.
    No, rear brake shoes was not replaced since
    they were not worn.

    Thanks again.

  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    My disc brakes (new car 7,000 miles) occasionally makes a groaning sound for the last 3-6 revolutions of the wheel as the car is coming to a stop. The groan is cyclical, sort of like "gruuu, gruuu, gruuu". The pads are semi-metallic. The caliper is dual piston. The noise started at 5,000 miles and was there most of the time, but since about 5,500 miles it goes away sometimes for weeks at a time, only to suddenly reappear for a day then disappear again. The noise appears to come from the right front brake.

    So far I have:

    1. Checked runout of both front rotors. They are well within spec.

    2. Checked rotor thickness at 8 points around disc, no variation noted.

    3. Buffed the rotor surface with 150 grit emery cloth glued to a 2" sanding disc. There was some pitting, probably due to rusting of the rotor as the car sat on the dealer's lot. The buffing left the rotor surface very smooth, but I can still see some very tiny pitting. There is a rusted area of about 1/4 inch wide around the rotor in the space between the hub and where the pads make contact.

    4. Cleaned caliper area, rotor and pads thoroughly with residue free brake cleaner.

    5. Checked for rubbing between the caliper and the rotor. None noted.

    6. Lightly sanded the pads with 150 grit emery cloth on a sanding block.

    7. Verified that lug nuts are properly torqued.

    Someone suggested that I bleed the calipers on the theory that one piston has air in it causing an uneven application of the pads and the noise. I haven't had the chance to try that yet.

    My guess is that the pits in the surface of the rotor are causing the problem and normal wear of the rotor surface is wearing the surface down, making the problem happen less often. Perhaps parking the car with wet brakes and the rotor getting surface rust is the reason that the groan comes back from time to time, but doesn't stay.

    The car is still under warranty, but the dealer just wants to turn the rotors. I shudder (pun intended) to think about letting them turn the rotors. If that is not the cause, I have just lost some rotor thickness. And if they don't do it properly, I may end up with runout and need them turned again, losing more thickness.

    I am open for suggestions, opinions, technical advice.
  • vac23vac23 Posts: 118
    When do you hear the noise the most-after alot of city driving (stop n go), highway, or both? If you hear it after alot of stop and go traffic, it might be brake dust causing the groan.
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    It made the groan right after cleaning the pads and rotors with brake cleaner, so I can rule out brake dust. Most of my trips are 10 miles and it makes it sometimes right away, sometimes after a few miles. It can go away for weeks, then reappear for a day, then go away again.
  • ganggang Posts: 16

    I have a 94 Nissan Sentra LE with 86K miles. Recently one of the rear drum brakes is loudly squealing at the beginning of each trip when I step on the brake pedal. But the noise is gone after a few stops, and other than that everything else feels normal. The shoes have been put in there for about 5K miles, and they did not have the noise before. Does this mean I need some brake job? What is wrong?

    Many thanks for your advice,
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Does anyone know if using aftermarket vs. OEM brake parts will make a difference in braking?
    The Toyota guys said that their stuff is better, but they obviously have a bias.

    (this is for a '94 Corolla)

  • vac23vac23 Posts: 118
    Using aftermarket brake pads won't negatively affect your brakes if you use a quality brake pad. In some cases it might improve your brake performance.
This discussion has been closed.