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Mystery-Honda Civic 2005 (Rear Brakes)

Honda Civic (85,000 miles) the brakes have been working at will. The brakes sometimes fail, meaning that the pedal, when pressed, goes down to the floor with no breaking. The breaks can be pumped to stop the car, but the emergency brake seems to be a safer mode of breaking. The break light comes on when the breaks are not working and goes off when they are.

-One mechanic said that the rear-wheel cylinders were leaking.

-The dealer adjusted the rear brakes and said that nothing was wrong with it.

-The breaks continue have failed at sporadic times. After having this problem looked at by several people, I’m am at a loss as to what to do.


It certainly sounds like your master cylinder is worn out.
I strongly urge you to STOP DRIVING this car.
Have it towed to a reputable mechanic for repair and don’t drive it until it has been repaired properly.

Thanks for the speedy response. I will ask a mechanic about this problem.

If it’s truly been looked at by qualified mechanics with no consensus, then you’ll have to start throwing parts at this one, since it’s such a major safety issue. Start with the master cylinder, since that’s usually what’s wrong when the pedal goes to the floor.

You can’t keep driving the car like this. Do you really want to flatten the next kid that darts out in front of you?

This sounds like the classic symptoms of a bad brake master cylinder. Since this car is out of warranty, don’t go back to the dealership. Find a better diagnostician.

Well there seems to be a consensus as to what the problem may be, the master cylinder. Thanks for all the responses!

I agree it sounds like an MC, but get the entire system thoroughly checked out. If you are leaking from the rear brake cylinder(s) you also have other problems that need to be corrected. It is possible that the fluid level in the reservoir went so low because of leaky cylinders that the system is now full of air pockets.

Your life is at stake. If it were me I’d change the MC just to be safe, replace the fluid, bleed, bleed, bleed, and check the calipers and the cylinders out carefully. Crud collecting on the cylinders is a sign of leakage. If I were in any doubt I’d change it out.