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2012 Civic

Hey Guys!

So let me describe my problem as best I can. Just yesterday I was driving my 2012 Cvic down a hill and the battery and oil light came on. Not but 5 seconds later as I came to the bottom of the hill my brakes went out (the car didn’t cut off) so I pulled up the parking brake and cut the car off. I started to call for roadside assistance but before I did I thought to try to start her up again and boom! Everything works fine!

I have an appointment to take. My baby into the dealership tomorrow but I would love to hear your opinions. Computer system in the car? Brake fluid? What could have caused this??

Also just two weeks earlier I had full minor service on her. Tire rotation, oil/filter change, brake fluid added etc.

Much Love,

A transitory electronic glitch could explain phantom problems with warning lights, but it would not explain the loss of the hydraulic braking system.

Frankly, I am skeptical that the OP actually lost its brakes, and think it is more likely that because of distraction/anxiety from the “light show” on the instrument panel, the OP hit the gas pedal instead of the brake.

Trust me…“pedal confusion” does happen, and a fairly large percentage of the “sudden uncontrolled acceleration” incidents are from exactly that causation, and if the brakes are now functioning properly, then I doubt if there really was a loss of braking ability for that very brief time period.

The only other explanation that I can come up with is…If this hill was a very long and steep downgrade, and if the OP failed to downshift the transmission, it is possible that overuse of the brakes overheated them and boiled the brake fluid. That can lead to temporary loss of braking ability until the brake fluid comes back to normal temperature range.

Erin–You said that subsequently… “everything works fine”.
Does that include the brakes?

In any event…
How long long/steep was the hill?
How many miles are on the odometer?
Has the OP checked the brake master cylinder yet? (That would answer the question about the brake fluid.)
Has the brake system ever been serviced, and–if so–what was done?

What if everything the OP said is what happened, but that some glitch caused the engine to stall, the the oil and Battery light would come on, and when she hit the brakes…she had no power assist and understood this as the brakes not working. A much harder peddle to apply the brakes could be misunderstood this way.

ERin, for us to understand this more…how do you know that (the car didn’t cut off)???

Are you sure that the engine was still running before you turned the key off.


@ErinH - Is this an automatic or standard?

Yosemite has given us another good possibility.

If the engine did–in fact–stall, that would explain the light show and also a hard, unyielding brake pedal.

If someone had never previously experienced the feel of a brake pedal w/o power assist, it would be very possible for that person to interpret the lack of power assist as a lack of braking ability.

I like to assume that people report circumstances correctly, but this does raise the same question that Yosemite asked, namely…Is the OP SURE that the engine never stalled?