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2006 Honda CRV Rear Brake Issue. (Horribly uneven wear)

I’ve always done everything brake wise on my vehicles but this is one I have never seen in all my years. I replace all rear pads about 2 months ago and yesterday i heard a horrible sound. Took the passenger side tire off and the pads are completely gone and it’s into the metal. Both are worn evenly but both are gone. A quick check of the driver side rear revealed what looked like complete new pads and both of those pads are also worn evenly. My first thought was that the passenger side caliper was closing but not releasing. But I took it off and used the clamp to return the fluid to the reservoir. I fully expected it to be rough to get the piston to go in…unfortunately it went back in easily. For the hell of it I performed the same test on the drivers side and it retracted just as easily. I’m at a loss. I have a passenger caliper and pads ordered but id hate to spend $80 on a caliper if its not needed. Oh…the pins that the caliper screws to are also moving easily on both sides.

The caliper is sticking. Your ability to push the piston back in is superseded by the totally worn out pads after only two months. The other caliper looking new is pretty much what I’d expect after only two months… UNLESS the rotor shows no sign on wear (no shiny surfaces where the pads touch), in which case I’d say both rear calipers are suspect.

Puzzling, But It Does Make That Caliper Suspect.
You Seem Thorough And Thoughtful.

Tell about the parking brake. Do you use it? Has anybody?
Does the parking brake activate those pads or is there also a drum? I never use one, but I’m wondering about cables and linkage, etcetera.


+1 to @“the same mountainbike” Either the calipers are sticking or the pins are gummed up. Even if the pins look good, clean them up or replace them. They are not very expensive. Take a look at the flexible lines going to the calipers. They may be collapsing when the brakes are released and not allowing the pads to release

Do you live where there is a lot of road salt?

I Tried Looking Up The CRV Parking Brake. It Appears You’ve Got Separate Drums/Shoes For That. So That Shouldn’t Be It.

The reason I asked is that I have cars with disc brakes and drum parking brakes and I have cars with disc brakes, including parking brakes that activate those disc brakes, no drums/shoes on the vehicle.

There are no Honda cars around here, anywhere, unless they’re tourists passing through.


I’ve Got A Good Quality Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer.
Whatever Repairs/Replacements Are Done, I’d Be Checking Brake Temperatures For A While.

I have a long grade near me. When I want to check for brake drag I drive far enough to cool the brakes and point the car up that grade when no traffic is present. I coast to a stop (no braking), put it in Park, get out and check rotor temperatures.


There are no Honda cars around here, anywhere, unless they’re tourists passing through.

Where on Earth do you live that there are no Hondas?

Have you checked the left front brake since this should have a diagonal braking system.
Maybe there’s a glitch with the master cylinder and the LF could be worn more than the RF.

As to CSA’s comment on no Hondas I’d say that might be possible depending upon where he lives.
I visited an old friend of mine who retired and lives in NE Oregon about 5 or 6 years ago. I barely saw any Asian make cars at all. Everyone was driving domestics or trucks.
One oddity that I did see was someone’s choice of transportation while traveling the country and stopping in his town for lunch. They were in a dark green Caterham of all things and had a pile of luggage strapped onto it.

A Caterham but no Hondas or Toyotas; go figure.

I dont ever use the parking brake anyway but thanks hadnt thought of that. I’ll check the left front today. Both rear rotors have minor groves in them and the one in question actually looks to be less shiney some how. I’m in North Carolina so salt isnt to much of an issue. The car is preowned and came from NY but it only spent 3 years there then I moved here.

Brake hose problem, maybe? A failing brake hose can act like a check valve holding pressure on the brake caliper. Stopping the car can allow things to return to normal as the pressure leaks down allowing you to just push the piston back. Might be worth a replacement. Cheaper than a caliper!

You can easily check for a restricted brake hose.

Pump the brake pedal several times. Now try to spin the rotor. If the rotor spins there’s nothing wrong with the brake hose.


Another thing to check is to make sure the pads on the “good” side are free to move. Did you have a any trouble installing them? I’ve seen them run long and get wedged in the bracket. Then the other brake does all of the work… Fixed a friend’s like that and have personally encountered a set of thermoquiet pads that wouldn’t slide into the bracket freely. Had to grind down the ends so they fit right. Last time I bought those…

Nobody’s mentioned this yet, so I’ll toss it in. This CRV will have ABS, Trac Control, and anti-roll control which all interact with the braking system. A bad sensor on a wheel could be signaling for some braking pressure, without the driver touching the brake petal. There could be something amiss with the whole system, and it is best to have a Honda dealer do a system scan and check.

Honda’s also do best with complete brake fluid changes every 3 years. If the fluid hasn’t been changed on that schedule get it changed when you redo the brakes. Some water from condensation in the brake lines might be part of the issue.

I think a sticky caliper is most likely, but the OP seems on top of that.

Problem is that I dont have a Honda Dealer I trust anywhere close. The closest is Apple Tree Honda but right after I moved here I had a check engine light come on and because I was in a new area and didnt want to be stranded I headed there and they actually refused to help me. They said they were to busy and their soonest appointment was weeks in the future. I asked them…“can’t you at least scan it and tell me if it’s minor or serious” and they replied that they had no time and that even if they could it is $80 just to scan it. I left furious…contacted Honda and they were appalled, or so they said, and said they would have Apple tree call me immediately. I have never heard anything from them. That left such a bad taste in my mouth that I will never go there and the next closest service is an hour or so away. I’ve done all my own work for three years and follow the maintenance schedule in the book. Havent seen a change of brake fluid mentioned though?? I did think about the ABS system having an issue but everytime I’ve had an issue with the ABS or trac control on any vehicle I’ve had either a dummy light on our odd behavior out of lights. Like going on and off or being on for a couple days and then all of a sudden going off. Have had none of those symptoms.

It sounds like you’ve done most of the brake work yourself, good for you. But now imo – remember brakes are a safety item affecting not only you, but others that use the car, and other drivers on the same road – I think it’s time to bring in the pros, at least for the diagnosis. Once you get the diagnosis, you can decide to let the shop fix it, or fix it yourself. But you’ll know you are fixing the right thing.

Brakes are pretty simple gadgets so its unlikely you’ll need a dealership to solve this mystery. You push on the pedal, and brake fluid gets squirted out at the four ends, and that fluid moves the pistons. So that isn’t happening for some reason. It’s either the brake fluid isn’t making the path, which is easy enough to prove using temporary clamps on the rubber hose sections; or there’s something sticking mechanically on the caliper, most likely the piston or the slides.

If you wanted to throw parts at this rather than do a proper diagnosis, I’d recommend you replace both rear calipers, all the rubber hoses on both sides of the rear, and install new pads on both sides of the rear.

Here’s a wild guess, you might get lucky. On some cars w/ABS it is necessary to use a scan tool to properly bleed the brake system. It may be your prior diy’er brake work left some air in the brake system b/c you didn’t have the necessary scan tool to bleed the ABS.

While the process may be distasteful and inconvenient to you, the incident you refer to in which the dealer is backlogged for several weeks and refused to move your car in immediately is the way things SHOULD be done.

The alternative to having a busy shop is dead time so to speak.
The flat rate mechanics and their paychecks are suffering due to idle time. That is often going to lead to qualified mechanics saying enough and quitting; with only low skill lube guys remaining.

A mechanic who has stood around half the day earning nothing is going to have both low morale and a bad attitude. A few of those mechanics may think, well I need a paycheck so this person is going to get raped.

As to bringing the car in for scanning, that brings up the disruption factor. No mechanic wants to be in the middle of something and told they have to stop what they’re doing and veer off in another direction.

@GEG - “Havent seen a change of brake fluid mentioned though?? I did think about the ABS system having an issue …”

i have an '03 Civic and somewhere in the owner’s manual maintenance section is says to change brake fluid every 3 years regardless of miles. That is standard procedure with Honda’s and it should be in your manual somewhere. I’d get the old fluid out of the system and refilled flushed out with fresh stuff. Not sure this will solve your problem but that fluid is now 10 years old.

ok4450…a customer that comes in with a service engine light should not be refused a scan to determine whether it is a serious issue of not. Honda Corporate even said that. We are told to bring in a car with a check engine light immediately and then when we do that we are refused even a scan? Screw that. I bought a scan tool as a result of their horrible service and don’t need them anymore. I do all the vehicle maintenance for a 1400 acre retreat center that includes a huge fleet of vehicles for the 8-10 departments as well as all the farm and lawn equipment. I’ll be just fine without those Apple A$$holes.

If it was serious, the SES light would be flashing. If it’s on steady, you need to have it looked at SOON but not immediately. I understand your frustration but it seemed you expected it to be free. Perhaps they get 100s of people a month that have a similar expectation. Scans cost time and money to perform. BTW- most auto parts stores can perform scans and will do it for free hoping to sell you a part. You might also invest in a scanner for yourself. They’re not much more than the $80 they want to do a single scan and then you own it and can do them whenever you please.

Any business that is good will be backed up. Anytime I hear they have immediate bandwidth available to work on something, it’s a yellow flag. Why?