It may look like a car that was never removed from the box it came in, but Honda Element isn’t boxy when it comes to the brakes. The Element is based on the CR-V platform. There is nothing tricky, but this is a brake system is hardware intensive with floating shims, abutment clips and pad separator springs in the front.
There are no glaring TSBs or recalls, but Honda recommends the use of a on-the-car brake lathe to machine the rotors.
Make sure that the caliper pins are installed correctly. Upper caliper pin and lower caliper pin are different. If these caliper pins are installed in the wrong location, it will cause vibration, uneven or rapid brake pad wear. See this diagram for placement.
All years use springs that push the pad away from the rotor. These springs reduce noise as well as improve fuel economy.
The caliper guide pin bolts have a torque spec of 25 ft/lbs. The caliper brackets have a torque spec of 80 ft/lbs.
Like the front brakes, upper caliper pin and lower caliper pin are different. If these caliper pins are installed in the wrong location, it will cause vibration, uneven or rapid brake pad wear.
The rear brakes on all models are discs with the parking brake in the rotor’s hat. The caliper guide pin bolts have a torque spec of 16 ft/lbs. The caliper brackets have a torque spec of 41 ft/lbs.
The rear parking brake is in the hat of the rotor. The only difficult item with replacing the shoe is reattaching the springs that hold the shoes to the upper pivots.
To adjust the parking brake at the wheels, you must remove the center console and back off the nut on the adjuster with the leaver down. Next, remove the plug on the rotor’s hat and turn the adjuster until the shoes lock against the parking brake drum. Then back off the adjuster 8 clicks.
To adjust the parking brake leaver, you have to remove the center console to access the equalizer bar. On the SC model with the larger center console, there is an access panel on the driver’s side.
With moderate force the leaver on 2003-2008 models should engage after four to seven clicks. On 2009-2011 models, the leaver should engage after 12 to 15 clicks. SC models have a different spec due to the different center console. On 2007-2011 SC models should engage after eight to 10 clicks.