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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 99'EX and it's been great. It's my second Honda from the same dealership and they've been really good for service and the common technical issues (power door sensors, etc).

Last weekend I had three separate episodes where my front-right brake came on at high speeds and wouldn't release. Luckily it didn't cause a wheel lock-up or loss of steering control, but it forced my to pull over pretty quick each time and smoke was pouring off the wheel from the heat. I never touched the brakes any of the times it happened, I tried turning off TCS but it didn't make any difference and each time after sitting by the side of the road for about 10 minutes, it went away for a bit.

I dropped the van off at my dealer right away and they've had the caliper all apart, bled the system etc. and can find nothing wrong. The service manager has been driving the thing himself for three days now and can't get it to happen again. The problem is, not finding any problem leaves me no reason to expect it won't happen again - next time maybe the road will be wet and it will cause a lock up and loss of control - I can't take that kind of chance with my wife and kids driving in it.

The van has about 22,000 miles on it and I have had no brake wear problems like some of the other postings have mentioned. after wading through all of the hundreds of Ford and Chrysler recalls and safety bulletins on numerous sites to find the few scant Honda problems, I can't find any mention of this problem and Honda Canada appears to have no official record of this happening either.

Anyone have a similar experience or have any ideas ?

Thanks
 

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This most certainly has to do with the traction control system, and I would be most insistant that the system be replaced if a specific problem can't be found. Your instincts about it being dangerous are spot on. Make a big deal out of it.
 

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Problem is traction control isn't supposed to function above 18 MPH (of course that's assuming everything is funtioning properly - which of course it wasn't when this happened). However, if traction control kicked in when it wasn't supposed to, the ABS pump would have been running and I sure didn't hear it.

Now that a few weeks have gone by and I've been paying closer attention, I've noticed that when braking hard from 80+ km/hr, you can hear and feel a slight pulsing - which I think is the Electronic Braking Distribution using the rear ABS valves to regulate rear wheel braking.

Whether it's related or not, it's very similar to the noise and sensation that I got when the front brake came on by itself (except when that happened, it was a lot more intense and quite loud).

The dealer didn't find any Diagnostic Trouble Codes when they checked the system (which should have shown up if the selenoids did something they shouldn't have).

The pulsing sure makes me believe it must have had something to do which the selenoid control - what's got me is how pressure could be applied to a brake without pressing the pedal or having the ABS/TCS pump operating. (when it happened the brake pedal was quite hard and very sensitive).

It still hasn't happened again since. Anyone have any thoughts ?
 

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Well, I've never heard of this... and 3 times... Maybe you should take the manager out with out for some more high speed trips. In terms of what it could be, my guess would also be tcs going crazy. But then... That is very confusing..
 

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It definitely is related to the TCS. Brakes, obviously are "fail safe" and can't appy themselves unless hydraulic pressure activates the caliper piston.

The only way for that to happen is a malfunction in the TCS. Very unusual and very dangerous.

Jim
 

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OK, actually we have a theory on this now. Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the TCS malfunction, and you're right on about them being "fail-safe" ie. there would have to be a SIMULTANEOUS failure of the ABS/TCS system or solenoid valves AND the computer module which did not record any abnormal valve positions or system actions)for this to occur - coupled with the fact that it has never happened since. This is almost impossible.

However, I checked my service records and surprise, surprise! I had a minor service a couple of weeks prior to the incident, during which time the record shows my brake fluid was topped up. The van wasn't driven much until that particular weekend, when it was driven for several hours a day at high speeds (ie heating things up nicely) If the wrong fluid was used to top up the brakes, combined with the excessive driving and heat generated, the seals would most definitely swell and bugger things up. this would explain why it would go away after 10 or 15 minutes of stopping (cool down) and why it's never happened since (I made them change the brake fluid immediately to check for foreign debris). It's just a theory and I guess I may never know for sure, but it explains everything and makes sense - so I'll keep a close eye on it, but hopefully there won't be any more problems. Thank you all for your input.
 
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