Honda has a braking problem… again. The vehicles affected are 2005- 2007 Odyssey and their flag ship line the Acura RL.
The only warning you’ll receive of pending doom is a brake warning light. When this light comes on you’ll not have much time. You’ll need to stop by a parts store, garage or dealership and have them….
The condition/problem is nearly undetectable. You will not see fluid dripping on the ground. It is not that kind of leak,..it is internal, out of sight!
The saving grace? Honda and Acura both have brake fluid level sensors in their master cylinder reservoirs to alert you of a low fluid level condition. If the brake warning light is on, get the fluid level checked!
The image to the left is the master cylinder used on the affected vehicles. The arrow points to the location of the offending seal. The reason the leak cannot be seen?
When the master cylinder is bolted to the power brake booster there is another seal/o-ring that seals the brake master to the booster. The brake fluid enters the brake booster, out of sight and is then consumed by the engine via the vacuum hose that powers the booster. The engine just sucks it out and burn it!
The cause for the failure is due to the shaft seal drying out, allowing fluid to seep by. Why does the seal dry up? It’s simply a brake fluid condition (lack of correct service) or cheap brake fluid.
Brake fluid has an additive package that protects the rubbers seals and related parts. Think of it as hand cream for chapped hands. The difference? Hands can heal, brake master cylinder seals cannot.
The brake fluid’s additive package does break down over time, fact of life. That’s why brake fluid flushes/replacement is recommended by every car manufacturer. It’s sort of like changing the oil in your engine, it needs to be done. Poor quality brake fluid is also a big cause. Really..some of the stuff out there is absolute junk. As a consumer how would you know? You have to ask and request good quality product. Stick to brand names..
How to Stay Safe?
Easy, until you get in for the safety recall, check the brake fluid level. If you don’t know how, just have your local garage or dealer check it.
As for the safety recall, repairs will be performed at no cost to you, the vehicle owner, even if you’re not the original owner.
See safety recall for Honda
See safety recall for Acura
Northwood Garage… Keeping your Car Safe and Good to Go! Since 1955
Tech Notes; Material used to manufacture the affected seals may have aggravated the problem. The replacements are suppose to be of a product that is less sensitive to brake fluid degradation and poor additive packages . The same part number master cylinder was used on 2010 models. Will this be a problem? Or was the problem addressed for the 2010 models? Did Honda and Acura use the wait and see if it is a problem approach? Only time will tell.