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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
We've had my wifes 04 for 40,000 miles now. I just did the second round of flushing the brake fluid since we've owned it.
The brake pedals were soft, I thought flushing the fluid and bleeding the brakes would help but it didn't. They're still soft.
Pads are good.
When the car is turned off, you can press the brake pedal and the 2nd time it's rock hard. As soon as you turn the key the pedal sinks down.

Any thoughts or common problems?
 

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Pilots have mushy brakes.

is the car stopping quickly? You could upgrade different brake parts and you may have some improvements but every older Pilot I’ve driven has had kind of mushy brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's my wifes car so I don't drive it everyday. They used to feel a lot stronger. It's noticeably squishier lately. Even after bleeding them today.
I'm searching master cylinder problems on here to check. No clear answer quite yet.
 

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Most common would be air in the lines. Then brake pads can play a large part in pedal feel. Both of which you have ruled out. Not really much else to the brake system next to calipers, and the master cylinder. How many miles on your vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. 175,000.
Reading some other threads, it sounds like you have to go in specific order. LF, RF, RR, LR. Some say that fixed it so I guess I'll be bleeding them again... Seeing if that works. Easier than replacing parts.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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^^^^ This. I actually had to print that page out and highlight the bleed order to end a discussion with a mechanic who was doing a brake bleed on the Pilot of someone I know.
139111
 

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Today I learned Pilot brakes are bled in the reverse order of every other car ever built since the dawn of time. Thanks guys, this place is incredible.
 

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I was taught to always bleed the lines based on length - you bleed the shortest line (closest to the master) first, then the other front, then the line from the master feeding the back wheel, and then the last rear wheel. Offhand I don't know which rear wheel gets fed by the master, but based on the sequence I suspect it's the RR (which is a little odd but not bizarre).

Take it to shop with a vacuum system, costs about $100 and when they're done there's definitely no air in the system.

You may also want to remove your front calipers and check the slide bolts - if they are seized or sticking they may be slowing down the caliper movement, which could make the pedal feel soft. New caliper bolts and caliper grease are about $20 at any parts stores, well worth the money if they are even slightly corroded or sticking.

I've driven a ton of vehicle over the years, and personally, in my experience the brakes on the Pilot shouldn't feel soft - compared to other SUVs, I think the brakes on a Pilot feel harder than most SUVs equipped with a 4 cylinder.
 

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It is possible to get air into the ABS system loop, and a standard bleed procedure will not flush it out. There are scan tools that will activate ABS while you are parked, and let you pump the air bubbles out into the main loop, where you can bleed them away.
 

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I did a search on bleeding ABS, and it appears that some systems have dedicated bleeder valves for the ABS. No scan tool required. I can't speak to Honda's system, futher research is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone,
I'm thinking this was more of a case of confirmation bias. My wife has been thinking the brakes are off for a while. So everytime I drive it, I kind of sense something is off. The pedal feels soft.
I tried kicking the ABS in about 10 times tonight and the brakes were consistent everytime. Not super firm, but not soft. I may still bleed them again in the proper order but we'll see if I have time before her roadtrip on Friday...
I appreciate the help. If I bleed them again I'll post an update.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Of course a good set of pads and rotors helps, too. This is the set that finally brought me joy.

More Information for CENTRIC 90640061

Not too expensive, and it was the first time I was present in the work bay when they were installed to verify correct Honda Factory Service Manual brake bleeding sequence compliance.

Was it one or the other or both factors? I can't say. What I can say is that I've been very satisfied (finally) with the result going on over two years now.
 
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