zhuxiaoqingzhuxiaoqing Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • emaceemace Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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.
  • autoboyautoboy Member Posts: 1
    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.

  • bob31bob31 Member Posts: 9
    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 Member 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.
  • rpagariganrpagarigan Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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?
  • rpagariganrpagarigan Member Posts: 3
    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.
  • 26andrew126andrew1 Member Posts: 93
    brake booster gone bad. So it sounds
  • rpagariganrpagarigan Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    The pads that Toyota has been using these days have been noisy. Use a good, quality pad and you'll cut down on noise, as well. If you've got rear drum brakes, try sticking with OE stuff, especially where wheel cylinders are concerned.
  • dnk1dnk1 Member Posts: 26
    I have a '95 Nissan 200 SX with about 36K on it. I've noticed that in the mornings, even when it's 80 degrees out, the first couple of applications of the brakes are *very* grabby. It's not bad, but a little pedal pressure goes a *very* long, neck-snapping way. After the car warms up, it never happens again. Any ideas why?

    Also, in general, how long are rotors supposed to last? I thought about buying a quality set of slotted and vented (not cross-drilled, though) Brembo's, but if you have to replace your rotors with your pads, that would suck.
  • vac23vac23 Member Posts: 118
    I experience the same thing with my brakes sometimes. Not sure what causes it. As far as how long brakes should last. In general they should last about 30k or so miles depending if you do alot of city driving, how you use the brakes etc. You don't need to replace the pads & rotors at the same time if they are not out of spec.
  • r9999r9999 Member Posts: 1
    my 1999 lincoln i recently purcahsed has a loud bread squeask. i took it to the dealer who said it was normal for ford products to have this problem and gave me a copy of a letter form the ford corp. saying this was normal its driving me crazy. anything i can do to correct this.
  • guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    Regarding aftermarket pads: The one downer is that they don't include clips to hold the pads in place. This may result in a squeak the first time you apply the brakes, each time the car is cold, as the pads re-seat themselves.

    R9999, one possibility is that the rotors are "glazed". Try cleaning them with brake cleaner.

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • franklymydeerfranklymydeer Member Posts: 2
    I am currently doing a rear wheels disk pad changeout on my 97 I30. I have had the rotors turned and have run into a show stopper. My question is there a reason for the pistons to not retact with a 'c' clamp during pad change out? Does the vehicle need to be running because of the brake booster?
    Thanks for your help
  • bobs5bobs5 Member Posts: 557
    Not familiar with your particular car but, every time I have used the "c" clamp to retract the piston, it has worked.

    Piston may be corroded and stuck?
    The cap of the master cylinder might have to be loosened to relieve pressure buildup as the piston is retracted?
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Rear discs on most cars are different than fronts, due to the emergency (or parking) brake. There has to a mechanical link to the pads independent of the hydraulic system, and it has to be self adjusting. Most times the pistons have to be rotated back into the caliper with a tool. One exception that comes to mind is older Mercedes that have a combo disc/drum rear brake, where the drum brakes are for the emergency brake only. A manual, if you don't already have one, will give you the info you need. There are universal tools that work in most cases, and I've done it in the past using two drift pins and some large pliers when the tool wouldn't fit. Also, it's a good idea to open the bleeder valve when retracting the piston and let the fluid drain into a jar or can through a hose. This prevents the fluid from overflowing the master cylinder and causing a big mess under the hood, plus helps remove contaminants from the piston fluid chamber.
    You could also remove some of the fluid from the master cylinder with a squeeze bulb.
  • franklymydeerfranklymydeer Member Posts: 2
    Thanks all(bobs5/burdawg)for your help. I made a couple of calls to my local tool rental shops, trying to locate a ratcheting tool for removing the pads for rear brake calipers, and found one. It worked great. I did however have to do the job twice. The after market (non-OEM) direct replacement pads squealed when applied. I then replaced them with OEM replacements, with satisfactory results. A little more expensive but no squealing.
    I glad there are these forums.


    (Thats' the brakes!)
  • astoncastonc Member Posts: 1
    My wife's 99 Odyssey has a squeaking break. We don't know whether it is front or back but it happens when we back out from garage or breaking slowing (like on red light).

    The dealer said it was normal in winter because some moisture in break drum etc etc. I think if
    it is normal, Honda should have mentioned it in the User Manual.

    Any idea?


  • gus18gus18 Member Posts: 1
    just responding to some things I have read on the site. seems to be a lot of misinformation. as a vw service advisor ( a highly trained one, I am rated "advanced" by VoA), some things I have read are just plain wrong. It may have to do with people that do the same job as me with less training. For example, brake squeak, it is a result of semi-metallic brake pads. this has been required since about 96 due to automakers having to remove asbestos from the pads (hazardous material) for those of you that may doubt this your local vw dealer should have a notice from VoA on this. it will be in their "apostles" book
  • ernesternest Member Posts: 30
    On cold mornings, my the brakes sometimes react as
    though there is no power assist. After warming up
    for a few minutes the brakes work fine. Some
    mornings they are fine from the outset. What do
    you think is the problem? Ernest
  • bteddliebteddlie Member Posts: 5
    The ABS indicator light intermittently comes on in my 96 Honda Accord. When the light is on and I apply the brakes I hear a click coming from behind the glove box. This will usually occur while I'm driving as opposed to just after engine start or in the morning, etc. Has anyone else run into this and if so, what was the problem?
    Thx for any feedback.
  • steveaatechsteveaatech Member Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Mitsubishi Mirage. Has 33K miles but has already had 2 front brake jobs. First job was 23K including needing a rotor replacement. Second job was at 32K, only 9K miles with other side wearing our first. All cars I have ever owned have gone at least 40-50K before disk brakes needed changing.
    Service manager and factory rep. insist the wear is "normal". I have asked for further testing etc but have been refused. They insist that their inspection does not show a problem but may be intermittent. They will not take any responsiblity. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do next.
  • eicaseicas Member Posts: 2
    In response to your problem in the Lincoln brake noise, or any one else with problems in general. It has been my experience with "FORD" that every time you visit the dealer with a noise "IT IS ALWAYS NORMAL".
    I had noisy brakes when I bought my 1994 T-bird and as expected took it back at about 10k miles. And as expected I was told that the noise was a normal thing with the car. Since I had bought it new I had a valid argument that saved me from having to live with the problem. I told them that normal noise was the noises that came with the car when I first test drove it before buying it, and the reason for me buying the car in the first place was for the lack of unwanted noises. I told them that they had failed to mention that the car was going to develop this so called normal noise, had they done so I would not have bought it.Had those noises been normal they would have been with the car from day one..... The dealer under warranty replaced the brake rotors and pads in three occasions after that at the different miles that the car started to do the same. You might want to back to the dealer and ask why is it that the so called normal noise was not there when the car was delivered. It was no easy task getting my point across but they finally listened. I see no reason why an up scale car like the Lincoln should have this kind of so called NORMAL NOISES. GOOD LUCK.
  • eicaseicas Member Posts: 2
    I always have experienced some noise in the brakes at some time or another. The noise is a groan when the brakes are applyed and the car is about to come to a stop, also when releasing them say at a red light just lightly to move a little. I had the problem after the car hit 15,000 miles and after a bitter experience trying to explain that the noise was not normal since I had bought the car new with no noise, the dealer replaced the rotors and pads 2 times after that for the same reason until my warranty ran out. Since they had replaced the pads before I just recently had to do it myself. I turned the rotors and replaced the pads. Bought Bendix pads, I was told were good brand. From day one the groan is worse that it ever was, and I now get a squeaking noise with out applying the brakes, squeaks like every turn as if the rotors were warped. The place that turned the rotors never mentioned that the rotors were bad. Is it possible to turn the rotors wrong to cause the squeak? Would the OEM pads minimize the groan. (pads were installed using the silicone to avoid squeaking too)
    Thank you in advance.
  • allametallamet Member Posts: 3
    I have a Camray 91 and whenever I apply the brakes I get a vibration, or shim in the front wheels. This shim is a slight lateral vibration. What would cause such problem?
  • bill11770bill11770 Member Posts: 29
    your brake rotors are warped. You either need to
    get them turned or get them replaced.
  • vivonavivona Member Posts: 410
    Before having the rotors turned or replaced, retorque the wheel lugs to the proper torque. Brake shudder is often caused by improperly tightened lug nuts.

    Mechanics routinely overtighten wheel lug nuts because they use an impact wrench. Wheels should only be installed with hand tools and the lug nuts progressively torqued to the proper value (usually 75-80 ft. lbs.) using a hand torque wrench.

    Don't let a mechanic first install the wheels with an impact wrench and then go back with a torque stick or torque wrench for final tightening. By then the nuts are already too tight and torqueing doesn't unloosen nuts. Just always insist on hand tools only.
  • cheapownercheapowner Member Posts: 47
    I have a 95 Chevy Astro w/ 95000 miles. It has new front brake pads and everything else are original and in good condition. One task I have to perform every 5000 to 10000 miles is adjusting rear brakes. Front end tends to dive a lot when brake is applied and parking brake can not hold on 15 degree ramp. After I tighten the shoes it will work great for a while. Is this normal since my other cars (all FWD include Olds w/ 105000 mi) don't have this problem.
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