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Dan, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 1650
Experience:  Auto Technician
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I have a 2010 Honda Odyssey with 67k miles. I've always

Customer Question

I have a 2010 Honda Odyssey with 67k miles. I've always performed all of the recommended maintenance at our dealer, and have really had a pretty trouble free van until now.
Original problem: My original problem that lead me down this path was a bad steering wheel shake at high speeds while braking. This didn't happen while going at low speeds, in general it seemed to only happen when braking down from 60-70mph or so, the wheel would shake badly and it became obvious (so I thought) that the rotors were likely warped.
I probably should have verified with the dealer or another shop, but I figured with nearly 70k I'd just replace the brakes and rotors, it's a fairly easy task. I bought new rotors/ceramic pads, and replaced the front rotors and pads, then bleed the front left and front right wheel in that order. After that is when my new issues started.
New Issue: When braking at higher speeds, the van seems to do a lot better than before, and the harder I press on the brakes the better it seems to perform (it masks the new problem), it stops very well in comparison to the old brakes/rotors and doesn't shimmy severely at higher speed. What it doesn't do well now is anything lower speed, I'd say from about 40mph and less, if I just barely ease in to the brakes, or ease in to the brakes while turning, it will get a pretty bad vibration that you can feel through the steering wheel, and it almost feels like a wheel/suspension or steering problem, but because I just put on new rotors/pads, and it only happens while braking, I'm assuming brakes might still be the issue. The issue only seems to occur when braking lightly, and seems more pronounced when turning and braking lightly around corners (15-25mph). The vibration also seems to come through the pedals, and generally I can feel it everywhere in the car, but more so through the steering column and brake pedal.
What I've done over the past few days to try to eliminate possibilities.
1: I have new Michelin tires on it, roughly about 6mo old.
2: I had the tires rotated and re-balanced yesterday to ensure that a single tire wasn't the issue, the problem persists after tire rotation and re-balance.
3: I took both front wheels off again (2nd time), removed brake calipers, cleaned the caliper pistons and bleed the front left/right wheels in that order.
4: I inspected the lower control arm and bushings/joints, all look to be in fairly good condition though I suppose I might be missing something. I'm sure a trained eye would be better.
Any thoughts are appreciated to help narrow it down.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Did you clean the rust from the hubs when you had the rotors off? Rust can cause the rotors to seem like they are warped. Make sure the hubs are clean. Use a bristle disc on a rotary air tool to clean the hub. The old rotors will rust themselves in place and create high and low spots on the hub, when the rotor is removed. With the front end lifted off the ground, shake down the front wheels. Side to side and top to bottom. Feel for any play and looseness. Also check your rear brakes for run out. Warped rear rotors will be felt more through the pedal.

If you need more help, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, please rate at the top of the screen. We can continue to work on your question, rating does not close out your question. Remember, in some cases it can be difficult to completely diagnose or help repair your vehicle without being there, but I try to give you the best possible answer with the information that I have. Thanks Dan

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Sorry I should have been more detailed in my write up.

When I initially installed them I made sure the surfaces were pretty clean, and I did reinstall new screws just to hold the rotors on while I was working on things. When I spin the rotors while on jack stands they really seem pretty good, though there's no way to really tell by the naked eye. They seem to be seated perfectly before I put the wheel on.

I re-bleed the lines and this time I went through about 1/2 a large bottle of new fluid, I just wanted to be absolutely certain that the front brakes had perfectly clean new fluid in them.

Additional troubleshooting:

I drove it and tested yesterday and today, the steering wheel shimmy is still there, but I think I can define it more clearly now. When I apply the brakes, it feels pretty good at just about any speed except about 25mph and below. If I do hard or soft braking from 60mph or 40mph, it really doesn't shimmy much if any until it drops to 25mph, then from about 25mph to 10-15mph is when it starts to get a little better, but it's VERY obvious between 25-10 when it's doing it.

Initially I thought maybe there was some vibration through the brake pedal but I don't really think there is after testing more, I think it's all the steering wheel.

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

You may have loose suspension parts in the front, tie rods, ball joints, control arm bushings. Check all these by shaking down the front end with both wheels in the air.

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Dan here,

I am contacting you because the post has not been closed or rated. We have 7 days to get a post rated before it times out. When a post times out, that means it’s no longer on my active list (if you reply I never know it.) You have already paid the fees to get this question answered, but it appears you’re not pleased, or need more help.

Let me help some more. Is there anything else you feel I could offer so you would be pleased with my help. Please use the 5 star rating system at the top of the screen, it would be appreciated. If you feel the need to rate less than 3 stars, please let me know why and what I can do to help you more. I do not get compensated for my time unless you rate me.

Thanks Dan

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

How do you close the ticket? I apologize but none of the advice you gave me was relevant really. I know it's hard not seeing the car, but I had already gone through your advice I guess I was just hoping for some silver bullet which really was probably my fault.

I actually ended up finally getting another set of new rotors/lower end pads instead of ceramic pads and it fixed the issue. I have no idea why it would exhibit that behavior with new rotors and pads but it did.

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

The only way to close the answer is for you to leave a rating. If you are not satisfied you need to contact customer service, thanks.