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1998 Honda Civic LX brakes stopped working

Hi guys, first post. A few weeks ago my brakes started making a grinding noise when I used them. Last night I was going 15 and tried to use them again, but there was a pop and the brakes quit working( I had to use my emergency brake handle to get home). I went online to order new brake stuff, but there were a ton of options for different problems involving breaks. I have no clue what to get. Brake pads? Brake rotors? Brake systems? Shoes? Drums? Why are there so many and which one do I need?!

If you don’t know what’s wrong, let alone what parts you need…you need to take your car to a mechanic.

And if it were mine, I’d have it towed. A car with no, or at least minimal, brakes is a danger to everyone around you. Sorry.

Good luck.


Unfortunately, I dont have a job, so I can’t afford to have it towed. My plan is to leave it in my driveway until I can fix the brakes. I just dont know which parts I need.

Have you ever done a brake repair ? If the answer is No then this is not a beginner project. Do you not have a family member that knows how to do this or would be willing to make a long term loan to have it done by a professional.

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I have family members who will do it for me, I just have to buy the parts.

For You to know which parts You need, the wheels has to come off and then anything brake related has to be compentently inspected.
Based on Your original post, I don’t feel confident that You are capable of that. You don’t even mention what happened re. the pop, but I assume the pedal went to the floor. That could be caused by many things and may be related with the noise - again, maybe not.
Do You have a/some capable friends/relatives who could help You so You could save some money that way?

Then let them source the correct parts from a local parts house. That way if some of the parts are wrong you have same day exchange.

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Yes, I do. Thank you for your help. I will be contacting a family member later on to see if they can figure it out.

Thank you for your help

Sounds great.
Please come back and tell us the outcome.
Good luck

without raising the car and inspecting what has failed, you won’t know what you need. Most likely with the grinding noise, it’s the front brake pads that completely worn out and from what you describe, I think your going to need complete loaded calipers, new rotors and with that age of vehicle, new front flexible brake lines. You need to remove the rear drums and see how you brake shoes look in the back also. This isn’t going to be a cheap job by no means. Used brake components are just to risky. Don’t even think about it.

The brakes were replaced last may before I bought the car, and I would never get used brakes.

Worse case scenario, the pop you heard was the caliper piston popping out of the caliper because the brake pads were worn too far, and all the brake fluid leaked out.

If that’s the case, you’re going to need, 2 new calipers, 2 brake rotors, and a set of brake pads at the least.



@VOLVO_V70 and @ledhed75 are extremely right. If you can’t afford to fix brakes 100 per cent right you can’t afford to drive. You may regret it for the rest of your life, if you live long enough.

+1 for Tester plus something to get to 15 characters

Get your family or friends to take a look at the brakes to see what you need. First, they should look at the brake fluid reservoir to make sure there is enough fluid. Then, they should lift each corner of the car, pull the wheel, and look at the brakes. They can put together a list of parts and then you guys can get prices on line. Then you know how much to save. Expect to spend at least a couple hundred bucks on parts.