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Old 05 Jun 2005, 05:50 pm
John Horner
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Default Rapid wearing rear brakes on 2003 Accord

I was surprised to recently discover that the rear pads on my 31,000
mile Accord were worn out to the point that one of the wear sensors was
making it's sound occassionally. The front pads still have at least
50% of their original thickness remaining.

I changed out all pads front and rear and turned the rotors due to
chronic vibration on high speed braking.

Now both problems are fixed and the cost was not bad as I did the work
myself, but this is still a surprise to me. None of my other vehicles
have ever worn out the rear brakes first ... and no, I have not been
driving with the parking brake on .

On all four wheels the sliding caliper also seems to be of a marginal
design as the pads on the piston side were much more heavily worn than
those on the opposite side. Honda, like most makers these days, has
gone for the cheapest possible caliper architecture.

John
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jun 2005, 08:01 pm
jim beam
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Default Re: Rapid wearing rear brakes on 2003 Accord

John Horner wrote:
> I was surprised to recently discover that the rear pads on my 31,000
> mile Accord were worn out to the point that one of the wear sensors was
> making it's sound occassionally. The front pads still have at least
> 50% of their original thickness remaining.
>
> I changed out all pads front and rear and turned the rotors due to
> chronic vibration on high speed braking.
>
> Now both problems are fixed and the cost was not bad as I did the work
> myself, but this is still a surprise to me. None of my other vehicles
> have ever worn out the rear brakes first ... and no, I have not been
> driving with the parking brake on .
>
> On all four wheels the sliding caliper also seems to be of a marginal
> design as the pads on the piston side were much more heavily worn than
> those on the opposite side. Honda, like most makers these days, has
> gone for the cheapest possible caliper architecture.
>
> John


something about this situation does not compute. pads don't wear unless
they're being used or unless they're dragging. we have your word about
the parking brake, so they have to be dragging in some other way. that
/has/ to have a cause - it can only be:

1. brake cable incorrectly adjusted
2. brake cable not releasing correctly
3. parking brake mechanism jammed
4. caliper slider not free
5. piston not self adjusting correctly
6. piston jammed

it could also potentially be something defective with the proportioning
valve, but that's a /very/ low probability.

based on age, it's unlikely that the caliper pistons are corroded or
that the slider mechanisms are corroded or that the cables are corroded.
that leaves something to do with prior maintenance. given that you've
had to skim the disks already, a classic symptom of incorrect
maintenance, i'd say some work was done, & whichever of the above it
touched, it wasn't done right - maybe the pistons were not wound back in
correctly causing self-adjust problems. hopefully, it'll be ok for now
with the work you've done, but skimmed disks are at best a fudge and do
not address the the real cause of the problem.

regarding brake vibration, pay very close attention to re-torquing the
lug nuts. do /not/ use an impact wrench, regardless of whether "it
/should/ be ok". use a 2-stage torque process, 1-3-2-4 - 1-3-2-4. the
honda hubs are relatively light weight and elastically distort as the
lugs are tightened. this is ok, /provided/ correct torque procedure is
observed because the distortion ends up being even - it's what it's
designed for. the problem is that this kind of system is /not/ abuse
tolerant unlike some heavy old ford hub that weighs 3 times more. if
/incorrect/ torque process is done, the hub distortion is uneven and the
disk is consequently distorted also. provided it is not allowed to wear
for an extended period in this condition, [and provided that the vehicle
is not high mileage with worn ball joints] brake judder can be
completely eliminated by simply re-torquing using the correct procedure.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jun 2005, 08:40 pm
Howard Lester
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Rapid wearing rear brakes on 2003 Accord


"John Horner" wrote

> I was surprised to recently discover that the rear pads on my 31,000
> mile Accord were worn out to the point that one of the wear sensors was
> making it's sound occassionally. The front pads still have at least
> 50% of their original thickness remaining.


Despite the fact that all is well now doesn't mean it won't happen again.
You're fortunate to be able to do this work yourself. Since the car is under
warranty, why not take it in and have the dealership go over the braking
system to see if something is wrong?


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jun 2005, 09:48 pm
Al
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Default Re: Rapid wearing rear brakes on 2003 Accord

There have been a lot of reports of early rear pad wear on these 03's.
Mine were gone at 25,000 - less that half of what I've ever experienced
on any other car. I would add a number 7 to your list - Improperly
engineered component.

jim beam wrote:
> John Horner wrote:
>
>> I was surprised to recently discover that the rear pads on my 31,000
>> mile Accord were worn out to the point that one of the wear sensors
>> was making it's sound occassionally. The front pads still have at
>> least 50% of their original thickness remaining.
>>
>> I changed out all pads front and rear and turned the rotors due to
>> chronic vibration on high speed braking.
>>
>> Now both problems are fixed and the cost was not bad as I did the work
>> myself, but this is still a surprise to me. None of my other
>> vehicles have ever worn out the rear brakes first ... and no, I have
>> not been driving with the parking brake on .
>>
>> On all four wheels the sliding caliper also seems to be of a marginal
>> design as the pads on the piston side were much more heavily worn than
>> those on the opposite side. Honda, like most makers these days, has
>> gone for the cheapest possible caliper architecture.
>>
>> John

>
>
> something about this situation does not compute. pads don't wear unless
> they're being used or unless they're dragging. we have your word about
> the parking brake, so they have to be dragging in some other way. that
> /has/ to have a cause - it can only be:
>
> 1. brake cable incorrectly adjusted
> 2. brake cable not releasing correctly
> 3. parking brake mechanism jammed
> 4. caliper slider not free
> 5. piston not self adjusting correctly
> 6. piston jammed
>
> it could also potentially be something defective with the proportioning
> valve, but that's a /very/ low probability.
>
> based on age, it's unlikely that the caliper pistons are corroded or
> that the slider mechanisms are corroded or that the cables are corroded.
> that leaves something to do with prior maintenance. given that you've
> had to skim the disks already, a classic symptom of incorrect
> maintenance, i'd say some work was done, & whichever of the above it
> touched, it wasn't done right - maybe the pistons were not wound back in
> correctly causing self-adjust problems. hopefully, it'll be ok for now
> with the work you've done, but skimmed disks are at best a fudge and do
> not address the the real cause of the problem.
>
> regarding brake vibration, pay very close attention to re-torquing the
> lug nuts. do /not/ use an impact wrench, regardless of whether "it
> /should/ be ok". use a 2-stage torque process, 1-3-2-4 - 1-3-2-4. the
> honda hubs are relatively light weight and elastically distort as the
> lugs are tightened. this is ok, /provided/ correct torque procedure is
> observed because the distortion ends up being even - it's what it's
> designed for. the problem is that this kind of system is /not/ abuse
> tolerant unlike some heavy old ford hub that weighs 3 times more. if
> /incorrect/ torque process is done, the hub distortion is uneven and the
> disk is consequently distorted also. provided it is not allowed to wear
> for an extended period in this condition, [and provided that the vehicle
> is not high mileage with worn ball joints] brake judder can be
> completely eliminated by simply re-torquing using the correct procedure.
>

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jun 2005, 10:36 pm
John Horner
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Rapid wearing rear brakes on 2003 Accord

Howard Lester wrote:
> "John Horner" wrote
>
>
>>I was surprised to recently discover that the rear pads on my 31,000
>>mile Accord were worn out to the point that one of the wear sensors was
>>making it's sound occassionally. The front pads still have at least
>>50% of their original thickness remaining.

>
>
> Despite the fact that all is well now doesn't mean it won't happen again.
> You're fortunate to be able to do this work yourself. Since the car is under
> warranty, why not take it in and have the dealership go over the braking
> system to see if something is wrong?
>
>


I tried that first. They said that Honda does not cover any brake
issues after 12,000 miles. I gave up arguing with them!

John
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