2007-2012 Honda Accord Brake Job

Cost of a front and rear brake job at the dealership: $550

Cost of the same job done at home: $200

(And it doesn’t take $350 in tools either!)

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Our 2011 Honda Accord needed new brakes and rotors all around and the savings of $350 is well worth the three hours I spent on the job.  I have a friend who used to work for Honda and he’s told me that Honda tries to keep their designs simple and not make changes unless there is a good reason for it.  When he was working on a new design, they were told to make it as much like the Accord as possible since it works so well.  I have to say that, notwithstanding a few idiosyncrasies, the job was the easiest brake job I have done.

I found a video that breaks most of the process down pretty well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y6SFNSId24

There were only a few things that weren’t in the video that gave me pause, and I’ve tried to highlight them for myself in the future and for anyone looking to do this job.

Tools Required

Jack (you can use the one that comes with the car)

Blocks for the wheels

Sockets: 19, 17, 12 mm

17mm wrench (needed for the rear)

Phillips screwdriver

Rags

Brake cleaner

Small pry bar

Needlenose pliers

Small brass brush

Anti-seize

Grease

Front Brakes

Block the rear wheels to keep the car from rolling back.

Using a breaker bar or your tire iron, break the nuts free, but don’t remove them.

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If you have a floor jack, Honda provides a single jacking point on the front and rear to lift both tires at once.  If you don’t, you can use the provided jack on one side at a time

jack

Jacking points for a floor jack or for the provided screw jack

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The round circle is the front jacking point

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Remove the lug nuts completely and pull the wheel off

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Break free the two Phillips headed screws on the rotor

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Using a screwdriver or pry bar, push the brake pad back to push the brake piston back in

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Closeup showing the screwdriver on the pad

 

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Remove the two 12mm bolts holding the caliper in place

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Two bolts total

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Remove the caliper mounting bracket with its two 17mm bolts

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The two bolts are in the rear shown here

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The bracket will slide off and you can remove the brake pads, mounting hardware, and caliper guide pins (if you have spreader clips, I didn’t, you should pull them out of the pads first)

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The abutment clips should be pulled off and the landing below it should be cleaned and scrubbed

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Keeping track of which pin came from which side, pull them out with their boots

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Wipe the pins off and remove the small rubber bushing on the end of one of them

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Add a little grease and put the new bushing on

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Wipe some grease over the whole pin and install the boots on the pin

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Install the pins, making sure the bushings snap back into their grooves, add a little grease to the landing for the abutment clips

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New abutment clips installed

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The rotor can be “tapped” off from behind

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After cleaning the face below and adding some anti-sieze, the new rotor can be installed.  (Not shown is cleaning off the rotor with brake parts cleaner and wiping it off)

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The Phillips screws can be reinstalled

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I used an impact screwdriver to seat the screws

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The new pads can be slid on the caliper mounting bracket

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Slide the bracket on and reinstall the 17mm bolts

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Holding the pads together you can insert the new spreader clips that keep the pads from grinding

Installation is the reverse of removal from here.  Install the caliper and tighten down the bolts.  Install the wheel and tighten the lugs.  Lower the car and fully snug down the lugs.

Rear Brakes

The rear is similar enough to the front to not need specific photos of each step.  Instead, I tried to show the significant differences that gave me pause.

There are two issues that I didn’t get a chance to show: first, the caliper guide pin boots fit better into the caliper mounting bracket first, and then the pin slid into it.  I tried to fit it on the pin first like with the front, but it wasn’t able to fit into the bracket since the fit was too tight.  No photos since I was covered in grease and a little frustrated at the time!

The second is that instead of prying the caliper piston back in, the rear is screwed in.  A pair of needlenose pliers worked well for this and was only hard to turn at the beginning.  Apparently, this has something to do with how the emergency brakes work in the rear.

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The rear jacking point, but my jack wasn’t able to lift the rear high enough and I used the Honda jack instead to do one side at a time

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The lugs need a 19mm socket

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Caliper bolts on the rear brakes

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12mm bolts for the caliper

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One of the odd things about the rear brakes is that the ball joint partially blocks the 17mm bolts and need a wrench and not a socket

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17mm bolts for the caliper mounting bracket

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Scrub the dirt and rust off the face

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Anti-seize dabbed and wiped onto the surface

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Ready for the caliper

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Brake cleaner and rag used to wipe the oil off the new rotor

Aftermath

By the last wheel, I was down to about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Overall, it was about a three hour job and totally worth it.

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