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'09 Honda Civic Hybrid Brake Lights and Beeping Noise

My Civic has recently taken to beeping when I brake, and the brake light flashes briefly. Doesn’t occur all the time; more like intermittent and both the beeping and the light goes off in a matter of seconds. I’ve been trying to keep an eye on when it happens and I think it happens more frequently when I first start the car.
Took it to a car dealer who said it’s the master brake cylinder and the car is leaking brake fluids. They even have to top it off before my husband drove it out of the service center. We of course have not noted any drips in the garage, and have been monitoring the brake fluids and after 3 weeks have not noticed any lost brake fluids. The tank is full. To replace the master brake cylinder and some miscellaneous repairs such as air filters the total cost is around $4500.
It seems to me that if we are leaking brake fluids there should be a drop in the level of fluids in the tank. Anyone have any idea on what to check and perhaps who else besides the dealer to take the car to for more diagnostic testing?

As brake pads wear, the fluid level in the reservoir slowly drops…This is normal. Sometimes the low brake fluid warning light can come on…This does not mean there is a leak. You simply top up the brake fluid and drive on…Once your car is out of warranty, there is seldom any reason to return to the dealer…If your car has over 40K miles, it might be a good idea to have all wheels pulled and the brakes inspected for wear. This can be combined with a tire rotation to save on the labor charges…Any service facility can perform this service, along with changing any filters that may be due…

I agree with @caddyman and the price for a new master cylinder seems a pit pricy to me.
I’d ask around with friends and family and find a shop for a second opinion.


Here’s an update. My husband found that if we brake slowly there is no beeping; even when we do an extra hard press on the brakes at the end of the slow braking process there is no beep. However, if we just press hard on the brakes it will beep.

We’ll do the rotation; that will not cost much and is due diligence.

Another recent thread solved a similar problem by gently tapping the brake fluid reservoir. That shook a stuck brake fluid level float loose.

Found the problem. Did check the brake pads and they’re fine. Went to a mechanic (non-dealer) who had a mini-computer to read the codes but non-dealer mini-computers aren’t equipped with access to all the codes. Things pertaining to brakes or other areas deemed hazardous are made available only to dealer computers.

But my mechanic did some checking around and finally found something in their database pertaining to brakes and beeps in a Honda Civic. The ABS accumulator is faulty; but apparently not consistently. When he hooked his computer to the car and tracked the beeping noise the ABS accumulator showed it was working fine. Other times it does not.

So a new one costs around $1600 and about 3 hours of work. He’s going to look for a used one. Much better diagnosis then a $3500 master brake cylinder that doesn’t fix the problem.

Please follow up (as you have been…thanks) when that work is done so we all can learn.

Please let us know what happened. My car has the same symptoms. I also would like to know how bad it is to simply ignore this problem. I live in a snow-free climate and I don’t think I have ever activated the ABS, and while in principle I would like to have it working, I’m not sure if it’s worth that much to repair it. Is there any way to tell whether it’s a sensor problem and not really a malfunction at all? I guess I can slam on the brakes and see what happens…

When you press your foot on the brake pedal and hold it there firmly, does it stay at one level, or does it slowly droop toward the floor? If the latter, that’s often a problematic brake MC. The seals leak internally, leaking from one side of the piston to the other, so you don’t lose any fluid, but it won’t hold a firm pedal without drooping.

As a Used Car Dealer in southern CA we buy lot of Honda Civic Hybrids. We recently experienced the Brake warning light and beeping with one of our 2009 hybrids. Surprising enough we never seen this problem before and neither Local Honda dealership.

As we investigated further we realized the problem is with Honda Accumulator gas canister part number 57019-SNC-A02. After while sometimes this canister looses pressure which causes the brake light and beeping.

My mechanic replaced the defective one and immediately the light and beep GONE:)))…So this process cost me total $240:))…parts and labor. Don’t bother with Honda dealerships.

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I am in the so cal area and I have this problem on my 2008 civic. Can you please send me the info to where you got this repaired st so I can as well. Thank you!