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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All, I am sorry if this belongs in problems and concerns but here goes.

I recently took my 60K miles 06 EXL RES/NAV in for rotation at the dealer and they said the rear brakes needed to be replaced, both pads and rotors.
The dealer wanted over $600 for the job and I said no thanks. They had told me in the past service the rears needed to be done, but they seemed fine to me and I figured I would stretch it out a little while longer.
But, an impending 1000 mile trip made me decide to do something about it this time.

I took it to a local repair shop down the street, one that seems to have a ton of cars in it, but one I was unfamiliar with.

I told them I knew I needed pads and rotors in the rear and probably the fronts needed checking. I asked they use Honda parts.

I got a call later that day and they told me yes I needed to replace the rears, and the price was right so I said do it. They said the rotors were fine in the fronts and just needed new pads. I figured I would go ahead.
When I got the car later that day I was a little miffed to find out they used Pilenga rotors (which I later researched them to be quality aftermarket parts) and akebono pads (this I am ok with).

The car drove fine for about 50 miles, and my wife complained of a knocking sound every time she steadily hit the brakes coming from the right rear. Sounds like someone is tapping on the bumper as you slow down.
Brought it back to the shop, they adjusted the e-brake, and they sanded the rotors a bit just to remove the factory coating off the rotors.

Picked up the car, no noise, great. Then got on the highway to go to dinner. About 10 minutes into my trip, the car started to shake violently as if I was going over grooved pavement. I hit the brakes a few times and slowed down to about 50 MPH and the shudder went away. I got to my destination and smelled an intense burning smell from the right rear wheel.

Next day brought it back to the shop, they looked at it and I told them I dont want to have any problems, I have to go on a road trip soon.

Called me at the end of the day and told me its all set. I asked them what was it? They said "Caliper siezed" and told me it was $300. They replaced it without even asking for permission. They also replaced the rotors again under warranty and I assume they reused the pads they put on. I was at least relieved that they used a Honda part this time. Not so thrilled they did it without calling me, as I have the honda care warranty and its covered. (Honda is now jerking me around on reimbursing me on this).

Picked up the car, drove it for a mile or two, no noise. great.. But, once the brakes started to heat up, the scraping/knocking noise was back.

Brought it back and they looked at the e-brake again. They told me to drive it to grind off the coating and come back if it still did it after a few hundred miles.
Not buying this explanation, I took it to the honda dealer for inspection.
They charged me $50 to look at the brakes and told me that the ebrake was rubbing the "shoe" of the rotor, and the rotor was rubbing against the backing plate because these were not honda parts. Not sure if I like this answer, but ok. They didnt offer to fix or adjust this so it stopped. They also told me the front pads were "slapped" meaning that the rotors werent replaced or machined. Also said the dust covers were missing on the rear brakes.
Is it normal not to machine rotors when you do a brake pad job?

Took it back to the repair shop and told them what the dealer found. They readjusted the e-brake and did something with the backplate.. Maybe they bent it, who knows.
Rubbing went away.
Next day my wife complained (after 25-30miles) of stop and go and highway driving, the car started to shake again on the highway (basically a repeat of the caliper sieze event)
I test drove it, and now noticed at 30 MPH and above the car exhibited a repetitive knocking sound whether the brakes were applied or not. (NEW since the 2nd "sieze" event). They said the caliper seemed to be fine, and they think maybe its a bearing. I mentioned to them that I didnt know bearings just go, I thought they were a gradual thing that gets noisier and noisier.
They are going to look at the car first thing tomorrow, and let me know what they find.

I am into this shop for about a $1000.
What they have done:
Honda caliper Left rear
2 sets of Pilenga Rotors Rear
2 sets of pads Front and rear

What would you do?
I could take it to the dealer and pay the $6-700 again and have the brakes redone, or I can stick it out with this place until they fix it. I have had it, and had these guys not been reasonable to deal with I would have really flipped out on them. I am currently driving the owner's car until he fixes mine.
Does any of this make sense? Any advice?
 

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One word of advice: unless the issue is truely urgent, never do any major work before a long road trip. If you do any major work, allow at least 1-2 weeks in case of issues coming up like this.

Apparently the shop did not know what they were doing.

I wrote a detailed DIY for both Front and Rear Brake here:
http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=85532

Brake work is in fact very simple if you know what you are doing.
- Proper torque on the bolts
- Proper torque on the wheel nuts.
- When doing Rear rotors, always adjust the Parking Brake shoes.

- You did not have a seized caliper before the brake work and apparently had it after the brake job. I suspect the shop did not adjust the Parking Shoes properly causing overheat then blame the caliper.

This is one reason I never let any mechanic touch my car.

Who worked on your car? Some 18-year-old kid?

PS: I buy parts from Autohaus AZ:
http://www.autohausaz.com/

Akebono Rear Pads $53/set (both wheels)
Akebono Rear Pads $56/set (both wheels)
REAR Pilenga Rotor $83/each

If you DIY as in the link I mentioned, the cost is only $53 + $56 + $83x2 = $275.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
cnn said:

Apparently the shop did not know what they were doing.



Brake work is in fact very simple if you know what you are doing.
- Proper torque on the bolts
- Proper torque on the wheel nuts.
- When doing Rear rotors, always adjust the Parking Brake shoes.

- You did not have a seized caliper before the brake work and apparently had it after the brake job. I suspect the shop did not adjust the Parking Shoes properly causing overheat then blame the caliper.

This is one reason I never let any mechanic touch my car.

Who worked on your car? Some 18-year-old kid?

PS: I buy parts from Autohaus AZ:
http://www.autohausaz.com/

Akebono Rear Pads $53/set (both wheels)
Akebono Rear Pads $56/set (both wheels)
REAR Pilenga Rotor $83/each

If you DIY as in the link I mentioned, the cost is only $53 + $56 + $83x2 = $275.
They appear to have a steady business, and as they tell me they do a lot of brake jobs. I have been dealing with their manager and the owner and they have been reasonable so far.

Charged me 66 for rear pads, 73 for fronts, 105 for ea disc and 4 hours labor @78/hr.

They have adjusted the e brake each time and that doesnt seem to fix it.

On the original alledged siezing of the caliper...It happened on the driver's side. Is the Ebrake on the drivers side? I thought it was on the other side (which is giving me most of the problems now). The left side has been find since they replaced the caliper.

They showed me the disc, it was bluish in color after they replaced it, which they told me was because the caliper siezed.

I used to do my own brakes on my 87 thunderbird, but since having kids, I just dont have the time to spend 3-4 hours (would take me double) to work on the car. I just need it done with no problems. Guess I didnt get that this time. I just cannot bring myself to have the dealer do this for double the price. If they would match the pricing it would be a no brainer.
 

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As cnn said, if the rear calipers were not seized prior to going into the shop, they should not have seized coming out of the shop. Typically, caliper seizure is caused by moisture contamination in the fluid, which then causes rust to form between the piston and bore. The other possible cause of a seizure would be a brake hose that has rotted on the inside and lost structural integrity. This can allow fluid pressure to go out (activating the caliper) but may collapse upon release, causing pressure to be retained in the caliper. Improper handling of the brake line can cause this to occur. I've only seen cases of seizures caused by rot.

If the rotor was blue, it got hot. the question is, did the emergency brake hang causing the heat or did the caliper seize causing the heat? If they pulled the caliper off and could not compress the piston back in the bore, it's seized.

The emergency brake is a "drum in hat" design, which means there's a little brake drum inside the center of the rotor which uses little brake shoes to provide braking force. If the shoes where removed and installed incorrectly, they could have hung up inside the drum. If the e-brake was seldom used, the cable might be sticking even when the e-brake pedal is released, causing a hang. If the shoes where contaminated with fluid, they could hang.

Not sure how they screwed this up, but I think all signs point to the mechanic screwed something up. What's funny is that brake problems are usually easy to diagnose. The fact that they can't find the problem would worry me to no end. Brakes are nothing to fool around with. If the independent shop can't find and fix the problem, ask the manager/owner to split the cost of having the system repaired at the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got the car back today. They took it for a long test drive, and told me the caliper on the right side needs replacing now. They said it siezes intermittantly.


They took the wheel off and turned the rear wheel and showed me how the rotor spins freely up until 1 spot where it hits the rotor. I asked them "Doesnt that mean the rotor was warped?"
They told me no because they just changed them and the edges and wear doesnt indicate it.
They told me to replace the caliper. I told them Im going to the dealer to plead my case. Do you think I will be able to get honda to replace the caliper under hondacare if I had someone else do my brakes with aftermarket pads and rotors?
 

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Something still doesn't sound right. I agree with cnn. Calipers should not just freeze like that. They screwed up something to cause this and you should never have had to pay for the first caliper. Now, they're trying to get you to pay for another caliper. Don't have any recommendations for you as I do my own brakes but I don't see how HondaCare is liable to pay up since the shop's the one that's shady and is screwing things up. You need to get money back for all your work done and take it to Honda and get it done there (including the so called ceased caliper). Sounds like they used the wrong rotors to cause other brake damage to the e-brake as well if it was thumping.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Valid points, but at this point I don't know how I can prove this stuff.
They used perfectly acceptable rotors, and I honestly dont know how they screwed it up to a point that I can prove or use as leverage.
 

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Did you put the service on your credit card? If so, call the credit card company and dispute the charge, go to Honda and have them fix it right and give you a written documented letter on what they found and what was wrong.

Did that at midas one time when they couldn't replace my muffler correctly. Turns out they were using the wrong parts, Credit Card Company resolve it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have opened an inquiry on the original job (not the caliper).
I don't want to screw these guys as they are nice enough and have been reasonable. I saw the boxes of the parts and they definitely used the proper aftermarket parts.

In the case of the caliper, the partnumber they have listed is the correct number for a rear caliper from Honda.

They have gone out of their way to work on this and solve it. We'll see what the dealer says.
If the dealer wants to replace both rotors again, I will have a hard time with that.
 

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Well, you asked for help but apparently are not looking for help so it seems. Good luck with your brakes.

For the record, my Ford had 103K on it when I traded it and it never needed a caliper. The Maxima has over 95K now and has not yet needed brake calipers. Accord has 86K and hasn't needed calipers FWIW.
 

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dvpatel is spot-on. Calipers don't just seize. Two calipers sure as heck don't just seize at the same time.

From what you describe, it's almost as if the rear rotors are not sitting flush on the hub. This could cause an intermittent grab but the rotor would not show any runout or warpage.

Suppose something is causing the rotor to not sit flush on just one part of the hub. When the wheels are torqued down, most of the rotor is flush with the hub except for that one spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Shall36,
Very good point regarding the way the rotor is sitting on the hub.

Dvpatel, I very much do want your help, and have followed the advice on this thread.

I am back at the dealer now getting to the bottom of it and having them diagnose and fix. With that information I will document with the credit card company what they find and resolve this. I will post the final outcome.
Thank you all for your help.
Cnn, I think I might try to replace the rotors myself on the fronts, I have ordered the parts from an online honda dealer.
 

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rdangel said:
...Cnn, I think I might try to replace the rotors myself on the fronts, I have ordered the parts from an online honda dealer.
If you want to save some cash, the remove the FRONT rotors and have them resurfaced at local autoparts store. I usually use OReilly, which usually resurfaces them for about $9/each, but they resurface for free b/c I am their frequent customer.

Check the minimum thickness, if below min thickness, then time for new rotors.

I bought new rotors from Autozone $45/each, made in Mexico, no issues at all.

BTW, Brembo etc. has their operations in Mexico.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, took the car to the dealer again today. They test drove it with their service manager and technician. They diagnosed to to the ebrake rubbing the internal shoe on the rotor when the rotor heated up. They told me for whatever reason the Pilenga aftermarket rotor was not in exact specifications. They told me to replace the rotors with Honda rotors.

Took it back to the other mechanic. They said they were very confident it was a bad caliper as when they replaced the left caliper, my problems went away. They said they would put on a Honda OEM rotor but if the problem came back or if the caliper tore up my honda rotor there was nothing they could do for me as they have already been through 3 sets of rotors. They said 1 rotor in a set might be bad, but 2 different rotors being bad in the same set?
 

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Has your mechanic ever heard of dial indicator and calipers? They are used to check the tolerances. What probably happened was the brake parts were too tight as noticed by the blue disk. That is extremely hot and the heat could have damaged the calipers as everything was extremely hot. It was probably close to melting and blowing the tire. Stop being suckered by mr nice guy, take it to the dealer and have it done right With honda or quality after market parts, not the cheapies your mechanic is using.
 

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The Pilenga rotors are very good.

The independent shop definitely screwed it up. Whenever a REAR rotor is installed, the parking brake shoes need to be adjusted.

Of course the Honda dealer wants to badmouth Pilenga so they can get more business.

My advice, if you can handle brake work, then look at my DIY posted above, follow it and you will be home-free. And move on with your life.

Otherwise you will be back and forth and back and forth and back and forth between these 2 stupid shops (indy and Honda dealer).

PS: The more I read your thread, the more I think these 2 shops are just knuckleheads fooling around. If you truely want Honda mechanics, try another dealer. Gone are the days of good-old-fashioned mechanics; the mechanics we have these days are just knuckleheads. Good Luck!
 

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William Wiles said:
Has your mechanic ever heard of dial indicator and calipers? They are used to check the tolerances. What probably happened was the brake parts were too tight as noticed by the blue disk. That is extremely hot and the heat could have damaged the calipers as everything was extremely hot. It was probably close to melting and blowing the tire. Stop being suckered by mr nice guy, take it to the dealer and have it done right With honda or quality after market parts, not the cheapies your mechanic is using.
Is about time someone says it...I would never take my car in for brakes to a indie shop I never been to. You leave that stuff for easy stuff like oil changes and filters. After the third trip to this mechanic I would of been like give me my money back or calling credit card company, BBB, ASE, and local paper/News. Sorry to say they took you on a ride to the cleaners! Caliper seizing yeah right, they can even admit to their wrong doing. Just suck it up and take it to the dealer, replace everything pads, rotors, and e-brake.

My 01 Ford Escape @ 160K no problems with calipers, and am talking about Ford (about 5 sets of pads).
 

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I can tell you exactly what happened to your car. The reason I know is because I made the same mistake when I recently changed my rear brake's rotor and pads on my Nissan van.

When that shop did the first brake job, they loosened your rear parking brake to make it easier to remove the rear rotors. After they finished and put on new rotors, they tightened the parking brake adjustment but they overtightened it. You got the car back and drove for 8-10 miles and the whole rear end started vibrating really bad with a bad grinding sound, and you smell burning. That's exactly what happened to mine when I overtightened the parking brakes. Your rotor got so hot and overheated and leaving a blue tint color on the rotor. Keep in mind, this damage is occurring on both sides simultaneously.

The problem is you drove too long with this problem and the overheating warped your new rotors. This type of warping stem from the parking brake pads rubbing from inside the rotor, so the whole rotor is messed up all the way to the surface that is mating the wheel hub. You can't machine this, you need new rotors. So your problem did not begin with defect in parts, and it's not a defective caliper, it's solely the inexperience of the mechanic on the Odyssey.

As to why the shop couldn't fix it the first time, I can only guess several reasons 1) that mechanic never adjusted your parking brake properly during each visit 2) that mechanic didn't want to tell his boss he f'kd up so he blamed it on a bad caliper. Either way, I can only suggest you cut your loss and get someone more competent to fix it.

In my case, I found my problem after only about 8 miles of driving, and I readjusted my parking brakes so it's not dragging the rotors anymore and problem solved. I think if I drove anymore with the problem, then my rotors would be shot. This was my first experience with replacing rear disk rotors and I learned quick, but it's no excuse for a 'real' mechanic to have this problem.

Here is a pic of my Nissan Quest rear disk brake, it will be similar to the Odyssey. You can see the parking brake pads which sits inside the rotor. Hope this pic will give you a better idea of what's involved.
 

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I'll buy that!

I think the calipers were a scapegoat for the bad workmanship. I don't think your calipers were bad, either before or after the episode. It's possible they got really hot, but I don't think they would have sustained permanent damage. You should also have the brake fluid flushed because you can bet that it got hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's a great explanation. Thanks for everyone's feedback. I wish the dealer could tell me this and make the adjustment. They keep blaming the rotors.
I have been driving the car for a few hundred miles and the brakes now seem ok. I have had no more issuess with the shaking, but I havent been heating up the brakes (mostly highway).
I feel like I can't take it to the dealer that does most of my service as they blame rotors. Should I try to take it to a competing honda dealer?
 
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