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Pedals sticking or pads and rotor

I have noticed recently that it takes a little longer for me to accelerate meaning that I have to push harder on the pedal. Reaching speeds seem fine and the tachometer seems fine.



Today, my dad drove my car and he mentioned that my brakes need to be readjusted…that the response time is not what he thinks it should be. I do not have to floor either pedals. I thought the brakes seem fine. (Mind you my father drives a mercedes C300 so driving is different and smoother!!)



I have noticed that my steering wheel vibrates very slightly at stoplights but this is a 4 cylinder engine so I thought this might be expected. It’s more pronounced when ac is on or fan goes on. My car also makes a noise that I’ve notice when decelerating.(could be making noise when accelerating but I hear outside noises more) It’s not a rattle, squeaking, clinking, thunk…more of winding down noise…like the engine is slowing down because I will be idle at a stoplight.



What I want to know is since I notice it takes more effort to push on gas pedal and today my father noticed that my brakes response time is not what he thinks it should be, is this more of a pedal problem or a rotors/brake pad problem?



I have had front and rear brake pads changed within the last 3 months. Timing, drive belts, and waterpump at 90,000 miles.



Also, what does noisy valves sound like? (thought maybe that could be the winding down noise)



thank you!



2002 honda accord, 107,000 miles

With the exception of the parking brake, the brakes on your car are self-adjusting. Disc brakes cannot be “readjusted” Assuming the pads were installed correctly a few months ago they should be fine. Is the parking brake releasing completely?

I don’t know what your father means by “response time.” Can you provide any more detail?

Are you sure the brakes are the problem? When was the last time the spark plugs were replaced? Fuel filter? If it is a brake problem, it’s unlikely to be the pedal.

A slight vibration in the steering wheel is normal, especially when the AC compressor kicks in. My Accord does the same thing, and has done it since the day I bought it 12 years ago. My Subaru also has a slight vibration in the steering wheel at idle. I think it’s pretty normal for 4-cylinder cars.

Can’t help with the “winding down” noise.

Valves that are incorrectly adjusted can make a ticking noise (click and clack, like the Tappet brothers), but they make it all the time, not just when decelerating. The valves in my Accord’s engine require checking/adjusting every 30,000 miles. I check them according to the maintenance schedule, but so far (100,000 miles) they have not required any adjustment.

Your car is newer than mine and may be different. Check the owner’s manual regarding the need for valve clearance adjustment. Not all cars need this. My Subaru does not require valve clearance adjustment.

thanks for your reply mcparadise!!!

I have been using my parking brake more frequently only because I read that it was good to use so it does not become rusted. The light is off for parking brake reminder and looks completely released(down) but I will check again.

In reference to “response time,” my father meant that if I needed to use my brakes all of a sudden (potential accident/someone cut me off) that I would not be able to stop in time or I would have to engage the brakes at a farther distance. I’m not completely sure about this. I do feel that I have to push the accelerator pedal harder but I don’t have to floor/pump my brakes. I feel my brakes are good but my father’s response just scared me a little…just out of the blue. As I mentioned he drives a bigger cylinder/smoother car so his acceleration would be much quicker than my car but his brakes should act as quickly as mine so that threw me off.

Thank you for ac advise. Since you mentioned what valves sound like, I tried looking for any video that would be as close to what I hear. When honda did my brake pads, I asked them to inspect valves but I think he did the “it’s not noisy test.” I do not hear a ticking noise. The closest sounding videos I could find were for belt whining. I’ve had all the belts changed at 90,000 miles. I will make an appointment to see if it’s a belt making the sound. I doubt it. However, I have been changing the power steering fluid recently. I’ve just done the turkey baster method about 5 times with 50 miles driven in between each change. The new fluid is light amber but after I drive for 50 miles it looks dirty. Is there a power steering belt? I didnt spill any fluid and used honda spec.

The only maintenance that I have not done is the fuel filter. I was told that it’s down in tank and it does not need replacing. is this true? 2 separate mechanics were reluctant to change fuel filter when I asked if they do this service?

It’s not your brakes holding the car back. If it were, they would get very hot and you would smell them.
Your issue is that your engine power is reduced. You may have an engine problem, or you may just not be up to date on normal maintenance.

If a Honda dealer installed the new brakes I have to assume they used factory parts, which are the best.

Your father may just be used to the brakes on his Mercedes. You didn’t say you feel that your brakes are not working correctly, only that dad put an idea in your head.

You should NEVER have to pump your brakes. Your car has ABS (anti-lock braking system) which automatically pumps them hundreds of times per second when necessary, which is much faster than you could possibly do it. Forget about pumping.

For some reason, Honda dealers don’t seem to want to check valve adjustment or replace fuel filters. I recently requested these same things at my local dealer and was told, “we don’t do that.” This despite the fact that the owner’s manuaul recommends checking the valves every 30K miles.

So I did it myself. They were fine, but you can’t tell that without checking.

They told me they don’t replace the fuel filter unless there is a “drivability issue.” Well, I prefer to replace it BEFORE there’s a drivability issue.

My Accord has a fuel filter under the hood, but I can’t say about yours, which is newer.

If the only filter in the tank I suggest you ignore it. If there’s one under the hood it should not be that difficult to replace. Does the owner’s manual have a replacement interval for the fuel filter.

Maybe the noise you’re hearing is from the power steering pump. I don’t know why new fluid would make it noisy, but you never know. Yes, the PS pump is driven by a belt.

When you say you have to push harder on the gas pedal, that may indicate a problem in the mechanical cable/linkage between the gas pedal and the engine. Does it feel like the pedal is “sticking” when you first step on it, and you have to press harder to get it unstuck and moving? If so, that’s a symptom of a sticking throttle body, something that a mechanic should be able to fix pretty easily. If there’s no “sticking” but you feel you have to press harder on the gas pedal throughout its range of travel, that’s a different story, and I’m not sure why that would happen. You mechanic should be able to check it out and figure out what’s going on.

thank you for all your replies!!! I will relate what I have been experiencing to my new mechanic and ask the person to check everything. Hopefully, he/she will go with me on a test drive so I can ask if he/she experiences the same things.

Jesmd, in reference to pedal sticking, I feel I have to push harder from a stop. I have not really notice while driving. Since I have never had the throttle body cleaned, time to do it.

Mcparadise, my brakes seem to be working fine. Personally, have not had an issue or any close calls but I will have them checked out. There is no fuel filter under the hood. What year is your honda? Seems like everything changed with models 2003 and up. Models before 1998 seem more servicable. Years 1998 - 2002 seem like the experiment years;)

Tardis, I hope it’s not an engine problem. But if it’s reduced power, hopefully the mechanic will check the fuel system? Yes, I have been current with maintenance. New belts/water pump at 90,000miles. Since june this year, new brake pads, battery, pcv, filters, sparks, plugs, tires, fluids. Only thing that I have not done is fuel filter in tank and throttle body cleaned.

again thank you!!! Will update;)