Honda owners want to know why their brakes feel like sponges. Seems like a legitimate concern, wouldn’t you say? “Soft Brakes” are a sign of too much air buildup.Owners with this issue were likely told by mechanics that there was air in the brake system and would have recommended bleeding the brakes, until the system started to slowly let in air again.
Soft Brakes Recall
Vehicles Affected: 412,000 2007 – 2008 Odyssey and Element, manufactured between July 28, 2006 and August 21, 2008.
Honda notified the NHTSA of a defect in these vehicles where air can enter the VSA modular pump during an initial self-check process that occurs shortly after each time the engine is started. Over time, too much air can enter the system resulting in a brake pedal that feels soft or lower to the floor.
The danger really sets in if the owner does not have any brake service or maintenance performed over a period of months or years, because the system accumulate enough air to affect braking performance, increasing the risk of a crash.
After April 19, 2010 owners can determine if their vehicles are being recalled by going to http://www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (800) 999-1009, and selecting option number four.
Warning Signs of Soft Brake Issues
Drivers who fear that they’ve lost braking power should have their dealer check the brakes. Certified Honda technicians should be able to put plastic caps and sealant over two small holes in the device to stop the air from getting in.