CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Ceramic brakes on a 2004 Acura MDX

my mechanic replaced my brake pads with these. I’m thinking they’re either not right for the car, or they weren’t installed correctly. The brake pedal is still soft so it’s a little hard to stop. Very unnerving. They told me it would take 60 or so miles for them to adjust (from what I’ve read, that sounds right) but 60 miles later, that hasn’t happened. Take it back and ask them to do it right? Get metallic pads instead? I never even knew about ceramic brakes (I’m a stay at home mom with alot of other things going on) thnx!!!

I’d take it back and tell them to put factory stock pads on it.

I’ve never had a problem using ceramic pads or metallic pads.

thnx - I’m thinking, if all of the parts are right for the car, perhaps they were not installed correctly. It’s not like I’m hard on brakes - this is the first set of replacement pads at 31,000, and it’s not like they had to turn the rotors or anything.

I agree with texases. I’d go back and ask for Acura brake pads. The pedal should not be soft and your vehicle should not be “a little hard to stop.” This is dangerous.

Here’s another possibility - did they turn or replace the rotors? If the rotors were worn unevenly, it might be difficult for the new pads to ‘seat’ correctly, costing you brake performance.

that’s possible - although they said the rotors were fine. Before I brought it in, I was actually having to depress the brake pedal further than usual to get performance (not like me, but I was having a hard time getting it in to the shop). I’m going to have the garage owner take a look. I’m still not crazy about the idea of ceramic pads, so I’m thinking I might have those switched out too, regardless. Some of what I read says they’re not for heavier cars like an SUV. I live in a deer-populated, yet very urban and high traffic area. I need good brakes asap.

I doubt it is the pads. I would have them check the rotors, and if they are in good condition, it might be time to bleed the brake lines. They may have accidentally let some air into the lines when they did the brake job.

thnx. I may have just enough info to question them knowledgeably now. Much appreciated.

my dh is tired of this subject, so I have to ask you guys: I took it in, and they told me the pads were “bad” (!) and they replaced them with the same brand (Bendix IQ) By the time I talked to them and they told me the problem, they told me they already replaced them (I wanted Acura parts this time, but thought they would tell me the problem before they installed anything new - sigh)

They told me it’s stopping ten times better now. But now, I’m not trusting Bendix. Comments or experience with this brand? They told me this brake works for SUVs. thnx—

If your brakes are still “soft” after this I would suspect the brake master cylinder or less likely the rubber brake hoses.

You mean you only authorized them to diagnose the problem, and they fixed the problem without your authorization? If they are doing this under the cover of a warranty, and they are not charging you any money, they can do this. If you really want different pads in there, I suggest you take it somewhere else, and never go back to this place.

they said they work ten times better now. I just wonder why they went bad - hope it’s not that they’re not the right ones for my car.

turns out they’re not 10 times better - at best, 1-1/2 times better, and they even turned the front rotors. I’m taking it to another garage that I trust (an hr away) to see how badly this garage messed it up. I can’t understand what’s going wrong, unless they’re simply the wrong pads. They said they replaced them with an upgraded pad - as far as I know, the first ones they tried were bendix too. How can one mess up a brake job on a SUV with 31,000 miles?

When you get it back from the trusted mechanic, we’d be interested to find out. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m just holding my breath that they haven’t screwed anything up. They didn’t charge me, but boy, I would have rather discussed it first. As it was, they installed the first set of ceramic pads without discussing it with me first - I’d think a good mechanic would tell you if they were going to install something different from original equipment.

It really isn’t stopping like it should still. They told me they turned the front rotors, so they would seat better sooner - I really can’t tell much difference. They told me they “Changed the blade” on their machine too, so it would be sharp. They did offer to get acura pads for the front brakes (not sure why not the rear) and install them for me at no cost other than the pads, but I’m done with them. (this was before I even drove it off the lot - I told the mechanic how much my dh and I have argued about this so far - we have enough going on, but it is what it is.)

oh most definitely. At least other folks can learn from my pain! ok to just revive this thread at that point? I can’t get it to the trusted mechanic until next Thurs.

Well. I thought I was in the clear - the trusted mechanic told me the first guys did an ok job, although they left one wire unattached to the master cylinder. He also told me the second set of Bendix were not “upgraded” as the first mechanic claimed - pretty basic. They did take it out for me and did some hard stops to help seat the pads.

I had to use the emergency brake while backing out of my driveway yesterday - and it’s a gentle slope, not a hill. So I called Bendix - a woman there looked it up in the catalog for me, and told me they don’t make Bendix IQ pads for my car - they do for other cars, but not mine yet (and these are the ones the first mechanic put on my car).

I’d really love to just get my $$ back (certainly can’t get my time) but I’m thinking I’ll just have to eat $400 plus bucks and get them redone by someone I trust. Advice, anyone?

Find a mechanic willing to put on OEM parts from the Honda/Acura dealer.

Ok, so my suspicions were somewhat correct. Bendix IQ is the wrong pad for my car, for sure. (my trusted mechanic called some parts houses to determine, although/since he doesn’t use Bendix) SO, THE FIRST (UNTRUSTED) MECHANIC LIED TO ME. He told me they used bendix IQ - and the trusted mechanic told me they couldn’t put IQ on the car, since they wouldn’t fit !!!

He also told me he has known some garages to put the cheapest pads on cars, and then tell the customer they’re the most expensive - and they don’t stop the car well at all, ever.

So, that seals it for the first mechanic. I called them to ask them to send me the exact part number for the brakes in the mail (IQ plus whatever numbers) and he was pretty curt with me. Doubt I’ll see that.

Those of you who do your own brakes, I can now see why you do!

Granted, the first mechanic is ticked that I haven’t shown up to get the acura pads installed on the front for the cost of the pads, as he agreed to do (see earlier post). But if he has lied to me about using Bendix in the first place, I think I have a valid complaint for the BBB. I’ll buy the acura pads from him if he will refund the brake job. My trusted mechanic is going to replace the pads on Fri - then we’ll be able to see what brand the first mechanic used. Probably not bendix at all. Of course, since it’s not in writing what he used, he will probably deny…