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Our 2008 EXL has always had soft brakes, with the pedal going down to the floor. Since this was our first van we thought that this was normal, part of the ABS system. We have been driving a Ford F350 pickup truck since 1979 and have always been use to a very firm brake.

When we got the notice to take our van in for repairs, they installed the new plugs in the modulator and updated the software for the transmission. When the van was finished, before starting the motor, I put my foot on the brake pedal and it was very firm, only going down about one inch. After I started the van, the pedal was again very firm and I drove home and felt that now we finally have good brakes.

A week later while in town, I noticed that the brake pedal was going down to the floor again, and they did not feel firm. I drove to my dealer, and the mechanic drove the van just a few feet and said the master cylinder was going out. We don’t drive much and only have 4,000 on our van since June, 2008. My dealer gave me a rental car because they did not want me to drive back home with faulty brakes. The next day the part came in, and I drove back to pick up my van after the new master cylinder was installed. I noticed that the brakes were not as firm as when the new plugs were installed on the modulator, they felt soft and would go down to the floor quite a bit.

Two weeks later we went to many other dealers to check how their brakes felt on van’s, crossover’s, and suv’s and they all were firm with the motor off. We drove back to our dealer, and the mechanic took our van back to the repair area to check out our brakes, and came back and said that he wanted to give us another rental car again because of the low brake pedal. The mechanic wanted to install a new VSA modulator because it could be in the internal valving that is causing our low brake pedal. The rental car place was closed so we carefully drove back home, but before parking the van we found a deserted road and drove up to 30 mph and then applied the parking brake to see if we could stop and then did the same test, but first put in second gear and then the parking brake.

The next day I was going to take the van in for repairs and the dealer called and said that they were going to send out a mechanic to do a test (per Honda Motor Company) before they would install a new modulator. The mechanic came out and said that the brakes felt better and we told him what we had done the day before, but he still had to do the test that Honda wanted him to do. We drove to a dirt road and he drove to 30 mph and applied the brakes, he did this several times and felt that the brake pedal was still soft, and not as firm as when the original repair of installing the plugs into the modulator, and said that he will order a new modulator.

He called back and said that Honda Motor Company wants us to drive the van for a few more days to see if the pedal gets firmer, like before. We have done this, and it is not like before and we feel that a new modulator should be installed.

Has anyone experience a soft brake pedal after the VSA modulator plugs were installed, and when you press down on the brake pedal with the motor off, how firm is it and does it only drop down about an inch?
 

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Hmm, I am currently experiencing softish brakes on my 2008 EXL as well. Had the soft brake recall done about 3 months ago. The VSA and ! hazard lights are now on all teh tiem, so not sure what to make of it. Brakes are spongy is the best way I can describe it. Will take to my local dealer for their appraisal. Still under warranty as I bought it new in 2009. Will let you knwo what they tell me. If you already have an answer, then intereted to hear it.
 

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Soft Pedal

I have the same issue. TSB for replacement modulator done @ 46K miles. New front brakes and rotors on my dime @ 48K. Recall done @ 62K. Brakes much improved after recall...but awful again @ 67k. Dealer agreed and preformed recall again.
Now @ 71K brakes scary bad. Van at dealer now, they say all is well..but I may need new pads.
I get the feeling they have no fix for the mush pedal. :(
 

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Well, took my van out for a bit of a test spin and slammed on the brakes a bit. It is not so much they are spongy, rather there is about an inch of give before they take hold, but they are pretty tight once applied. I'd preffer to just touch the brak pedal to engage them based on experience in ther vehicles. Cannot remember what my 2005 EX was like now. I tried to lock the wheels and failed, so assume ABS is still functional, even in the rain, I could not lock them up. Certainly after driving my old man's Hyundai Sedan (with a recent brake job) mine would be described as spongy, but they still stop the car no problem.
 

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Late last year, I bought this van as a used vehicle from a Honda dealership.
I test drove several Ody from same dealership and all had firm brakes except one.
The Honda tech agreed that my van's brake was softer than the other vans but stopping distance was normal and therefore there was nothing to adjust.
Records showed the van did receive the soft brake recall service prior to my purchase.

Fast forward a few months.
This week, I brought my van to another Honda dealer to hear what they would say about the soft brake feel.
Same answer !!!!

OK, it was good to know that the van's brake system performed normally but I am annoyed that the brake is still soft and nothing can be done.

Let me ask the Ody club community this:
1) Did you bring your van to the Honda dealership (or independent repair shop) and the soft brake issue was fixed to your satisfaction ?
2) For DIYers, did you do anything to improve the soft brake feel issue ?

Thanks.
 
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