Brakes Brake imbalance. - Civinfo
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 15:54 Thread Starter
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Brake imbalance.

My 9G Civic Tourer had it s first MOT a few weeks ago and one of the advisories was that the front brakes were imbalanced and that they were only just within the limit; they suggested having the front discs and pads replaced at a cost of ~300. I got this checked at work and they said that the imbalance was 21% and it was okay. I do not notice any issues when braking.


Is anyone able to enlighten me as to what may be the cause of the imbalance? One of the discs is slightly scored, but I do not believe this is enough to be the cause, otherwise all the discs and pads are fine. The only thing I can think of is that the piston in the caliper is meeting some resistance. If it is the latter should this be covered by the warranty as I have extended it to 5 years.

Last edited by Soma; 28th July 2018 at 23:42. Reason: grammatical error
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 15:59
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The caliper slide pins could be sticking and not sliding freely, or as you say one of the pistons may not be moving correctly either. When was the last time your car was serviced?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 16:04 Thread Starter
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Thank you for your prompt reply. It was serviced at the same time as the MOT in March and it has a full Honda service history as it had one of the service plans when I bought it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 16:23
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Just had a look at the MOT online manual and it says you can have a maximum imblance of 30%, so you are well within limits. I guess its anyone's guess if they actually serviced the brakes fully, ie stripped the pads and slides and cleaned the pins, anti rattle shims, carriers etc, then re tested to see if their was still the same in-efficiency. At 3 years old Id have expected them to have replaced the brake fluid too, which can also affect brake balance.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 16:38
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I guess its anyone's guess if they actually serviced the brakes fully, ie stripped the pads and slides and cleaned the pins, anti rattle shims, carriers etc, then re tested to see if their was still the same in-efficiency.
Only a really keen person would do that. Why would they if the brakes are within spec.
30% imbalance sounds a lot, but I guess it's not anywhere near as bad as it sounds as Soma hasn't noticed a problem.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 16:48 Thread Starter
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Just had a look at the MOT online manual and it says you can have a maximum imblance of 30%, so you are well within limits. I guess its anyone's guess if they actually serviced the brakes fully, ie stripped the pads and slides and cleaned the pins, anti rattle shims, carriers etc, then re tested to see if their was still the same in-efficiency. At 3 years old Id have expected them to have replaced the brake fluid too, which can also affect brake balance.
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Only a really keen person would do that. Why would they if the brakes are within spec.
30% imbalance sounds a lot, but I guess it's not anywhere near as bad as it sounds as Soma hasn't noticed a problem.

I have just had a look at what the service plan covers and the 3rd year one covers everything in 1st year:
Replace engine oil and filter,Inspect front and rear brakes (% wear), Check and adjust parking brake, Check lights and alignment, Check all fluid levels, Carry out visual check of: - tie-rods - steering & driveshaft boots - suspension components - brake hose and lines (including ABS) - exhaust system - fuel lines - vehicle corrosion, Check tyre condition - pressure & wear (report mm), Check expiration date for TRK, Test drive (noise, stability, dashboard operation), Check battery and record midtronics result, Check wipers)

Plus

Replace brake fluid, Replace air filter element (not Insight), Replace fuel filter (diesel models only)
An inspection does not suggest they service the brakes, although the brake fluid should have been changed in March. When I had it checked at work (they do MOT training) they said 21% was okay and as you have stated it is below the 30% failure limit.

Do you think it should be addressed and, if so, should the Honda warranty cover it?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 19:48
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Quote:
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Only a really keen person would do that. Why would they if the brakes are within spec.
Servicing is a preventative measure. You change the oil and filter before it has outlived its abilities to lubricate and protect the engine. You change the spark plugs before the tips wear away to nothing and cause issues. A set of brake pads could easily go 60k with out being changed, wearing that slowly could very well lead to the slides or piston becoming seized, or even the pads seizing in the carriers. My last car the air filter schedule was 40k, no years, just 40k. I do around 8k a year so that is a 5 year event. That's just stupid for a 10 service item. TBH with an item like that you change it when its dirty, so depending on where you stay that could be 12k, not 40. I changed mine every two years regardless.
In the OP's case where his car was in for a service and MOT id expect them to do the MOT first, see what, if anything extra it required. In his case they reported that although the brakes were within MOT spec they suggested he needs new disc's and pads at a cost of at least 300. Yet they were within MOT specs.......... That doesn't make sense to me. Now it makes sense to me that if I was the MOT tester reporting that imbalance my first suggestion would be to fully strip the brakes, clean them up, retest them on the brake tester and see if the imblace had improved. Unfortunately there are very few proper Mechanics out there these days, and hence why they are mostly called "Fitters" by most, rather than address the issue its easier, and more beneficial to the company, to just throw on new disc's and pads, when in all likely hood they are not required. I know alot of people love to sing main dealers praises, personally id rather find a good independant that relies on repeat customers and word of mouth, instead of selling service packages with very sale. We took a service package with my wifes new car, but I dont care. I know for all the mileage she does a year it wont even need a set of tyres when it is changed for a new one in 3 years, others rely on service packages due to the mileage they do.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 20:11 Thread Starter
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Thank you Das for your excellent advice.

I will give the Honda dealer a call and see if they will rectify them under warranty, my thoughts are that it should be classed as a mechanical failure, or a potential one, so I would like to think it should be covered. If they will not I will take it to the local mechanic who serviced my Corolla.

I purchased a Honda based on their reputation for reliability. It is probably not fair to compare it with the Corolla as it is a more technically advanced vehicle, but in the 12 years my father and I owned the Corolla it did not have a single problem, whereas the Honda has had four issues, albeit all fixed under warranty, and it was only 16 months old when I purchased it and had covered 12.5k miles. The brake imbalance is the fifth problem.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 20:25
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They will probably claim that it's fair wear and tear and is not covered by the guarantee.
I had all sorts of arguments with my dealer when the BACK brakes wore out on a previous Accord that I had at about 12k that they claimed needed new pads and discs. Previously, I had never had a car that wore the backs more than the fronts. The fronts do most of the stopping, so it's pretty obvious that they should wear out first (just like every other car that I have had).

They claimed fair wear and tear, but after a prolonged nagging, they finally changed the pads and discs under guarantee.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 22:58 Thread Starter
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They will probably claim that it's fair wear and tear and is not covered by the guarantee.
I had all sorts of arguments with my dealer when the BACK brakes wore out on a previous Accord that I had at about 12k that they claimed needed new pads and discs. Previously, I had never had a car that wore the backs more than the fronts. The fronts do most of the stopping, so it's pretty obvious that they should wear out first (just like every other car that I have had).

They claimed fair wear and tear, but after a prolonged nagging, they finally changed the pads and discs under guarantee.

Thank you for your advice M8TJT. I'll see what they say when I call them and feedback.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 23:02
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They will probably claim that it's fair wear and tear and is not covered by the guarantee..

That's exactly what they will do, which, when you think abut it means nothing should ever be covered under warranty as everything fails due to wear and tear, lol.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 28th July 2018, 23:55
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I thought that 12k was a bit of a short life for discs, especially the rears, even if the pads were only to last that long. They did say something about stability control applying braking etc, but surely that only comes into action when you are driving really briskly. I could provoke it into action by accelerating hard with a good bit of lock on. It was a 2.2 diesel, so plenty of torque to spin up the inside front.
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