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Help, please - should I buy a Certified Honda with creaky brakes?

Sorry for the repost, but I realized the title of my last post might have looked like I was selling something…

So my fiancee is considering purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned 2006 Honda Accord EX-L (4 cyl) with 28,000 miles on it.

Everything seems great about the car (it looked appearance-wise better kept than many of the 07s and 08s we looked at). However, when we test drove it, the brakes creaked (briefly) several times (including when pulling into the lot at the end of the 10 min test drive).

In general, I don’t know what the implications of that are. The salesman told us that it was normal, that there was probably some rust build up from not being driven so long…

It is almost exactly 3 years old (from original purchase date), so the Honda Certified Pre-Owned warranty would be 7 yrs/100,000 miles non-powertrain and 1 yr/12,000 miles from purchase date.

So my questions are:

1) Should we buy the car? Is there nothing to worry about because of the Honda-backed warranty?

2) Is the salesman totally BS’ing us? Seems unlikely that an 06 Accord would be so unpopular as to have creaky brakes due not not being driven for a long time.

3) What are the possible reasons for these brakes being creaky?

4) If we don’t feel entirely comfortable, would a cpo dealer ever pay for us to get the car inspected by a mechanic? If not, should we do it ourselves?

Thanks a ton in advance! We are hoping to go by the dealership tonight! Wish us luck -

K & M

Most likely the salesman is correct… even if the vehicle sat on the lot for just a couple of weeks you end up with oxidation on the surfaces of the brake rotors(which can cause a noise). Just tell them you will buy the car if they get rid of the creaky brakes(which most likely can be done bu servicing the brakes, not necessarily replacing them). FYI, normal wear brake components(brake pads/rotors/shoes/drums)are not covered under the Honda Certified car warranty.

I would have the brakes checked out by a qualified tech before buying.

Those rotors and pads just may be on their way out.

Continuous ‘creaking’ (or do you mean ‘squeaking’ when the brakes are applied?) is normally due to the pad wear indicator (a metal tab) touching the rotor letting you know the brake pads need attention.

If the vehicle has been sitting for a long time (like months or a year) rust build up on the rotors can be ground off (turned) IF there is enough rotor thickness, otherwise should be replaced.

Rust build up (from short term moisture and lack of use) will be worn off after two or three brake applications. (With the vehicle in motion of course)

If the warranty covers new brakes and pads (which I don’t think it does) get it in writing and signed by the dealer.

Brakes and are a wear item to be serviced as needed and attention paid to during regular preventive maintenance.

Thanks to both respondents. So here are my followup questions:

  1. Roadrunner, you mention having the brakes checked out by a qualified tech. I asked before if we would be able to have the car evaluated independently, and he said we didn’t need to, because it had already been evaluated by a Honda expert. Given that the car is Certified, do I still need to push them to be allowed to get it independently inspected? Do I tell them that they will need to fix anything that is found?

  2. It seems unlikely to me that and '06 Accord would have been sitting there for more than a few days in a car lot in a busy area of Chicago. Maybe I overestimate how often vehicles are taken out for a test drive?

  3. What do we do if we get there and the brakes are no longer creaky? Chalk it up to oxidation or take it to get inspected anyway? What if they won’t allow it?

Thanks so much! This is very helpful to a first-time used car buyer!

If the brakes continue to do this have it addressed under the 1yr/12k warranty.

My wife’s Subaru does this if it sits more than 3 days in winter(salt roads) or we park it at our beach house for more than a day.

This is a major deal. Pay the $19.95 for a mechanic to check it out. Make sure he will keep the price down. The price may be free for a brake check at some places. The price could be more if you have drum brakes on the rear. Pull up on the parking brake lever; if it is very easy to do, the rear brakes may be worn out.

First of all, as a Certified Honda Vehicle the technician is required to replace the brakes if they are more than 50% worn, so I highly doubt the brakes are in need of replacement. As I recommended, request that the brakes be serviced(clean/lube/adjust - apply non-directional finish to rotors and scuff up the pads) or as others have suggested, simply bring it somewhere else and have them inspected elsewhere for a second opinion.
Andrews statement above is incorrect… again, brakes are not covered in the 12/12 warranty.

If you like the car tell the salesman to have the car put up on the lift, show you the condition of the brakes and show you how much pad if left and how the rotor looks. At 28,000 miles you should have another 15-20k before you replace the pads . . . if the car was driven decently and not in city stop n go traffic. There are limits to pads and rotors . . ask them to show you what they are and how these brakes measure up. If you don’t mind my asking . . . how much are you thinking of paying for this Civic? Rocketman

It’s an Accord, not Civic

Any salesperson or dealership with confidence in their product should not have a problem with another inspection (by a tech of your choice).

Keep in mind that this is just MHO, ok? It’s what I would do, but it’s your money.

I just don’t want to see you (or anyone else) get taken for a ‘ride’.

I’ve never dealt with Honda, but Toyota in general seems quite good when dealing with their vehicles and customers.

I talked to a few customers the day I picked up the car and they all said they were satisfied.

When I bought my used (off lease) 2004 Toyota Matrix XR from a Toyota dealer, they replaced the rotors and pads AND mounted four new Michelin all-season tires before they would let me take it.

The brakes WERE noisy and I could tell they were worn out. The salesman already had that on his ‘to do’ list which he showed me as we drove out the exit for the test drive.

The salesman even gave me a follow-up phone call three days ago to see if I was still happy with the purchase. (I am and the wife loves the car too) I bought this car almost 2 months ago.

Out of all the many vehicles (new and used) over the last 40 years, this is the first for me. (A follow-up this long after a sale, I mean)

Mind you, I still had to buy 4 new winter tires and steel rims as our salted roads up here eat alloy wheels.

Because you said they ‘creaked’ all during the test drive, including pulling back into the dealership, leads me to my conclusion.

So, the noise MAY be due to excessive moisture created rust but personally, I would rest easier if they were replaced.

I wish you well however you choose.

No problem - The KBB Trade-In value is about $13,100, and the blue book retail valuefor an EX is about $17,700, so we were thinking about offering $13,500-$14,000 - is that too low a starting offer? I’ve been reading that about $1000 over trade-in value is a good place to start, but how does the current economy affect that? By the way, it has a lot of extras, so I assume that might make the value higher than normal.


As a BMW tech that prepared BMW’s for the CPO program I know what is required to get a car in the CPO program. I have no reason to believe Hondas program is any different. Most of the regulars on this Forum do not know what level a car must be at for it to be in the CPO program,they believe there is no difference between a used car and a CPO car,that CPO is just a marketing technique.

Ask to see the CPO certification book for the car. The Dealer does not want to loose its ability to sell CPO cars.Honda will take the Dealer off the CPO list if they fraudulently certify cars.