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Old 12th October 2011, 17:30   #1
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Default Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Hi,
It hasnt been very long since I have picked up a used Civic but I could have very easily totaled the car yesterday. In Jaipur at about 11 at night I was at 70 kmph when suddenly a jeep crossed me at a crossing without the driver taking notice of my car (steelhead was looking at the other side). What could have been an easy stop in even my Ford Ikon (I know it like ford engineers by now being driven for over 1.25 lac kms) or my brother's i20 became a challenge all of a sudden. The braking on civic is really very good but its 'sudden braking' I am discussing here. There was nervous braking and my car screeched towards the jeep (with clak clak sounds and most distinguishing 'spring' release kind of a sound) and I missed it by half a foot. After exchanging verbal medicines with the jeep driver I went back home nervous and scanned the entire forum on the matter, but learnt nothing.

I had a very similar incident about 10 days back too, after which complete car brake care was done. Brake pads were OK, Alignment-balancing, discs OK too. Suspension checked as well. Tyres OK too.

This morning called my brother in law and test drove his Civic. To my surprise with sudden braking it reacted in the same way. (He met with an extreme accident on Noida expressway because of uncontrolled braking of his civic a month back, with the car incurring damages of 2.5 lacs. I have the pictures of the crash however would maintain respect to the pain he went through because of the tragedy and seek his permission first before posting). Coming back to TD of his Civic and sudden braking, the result was the same - Nervous braking with car skidding and many mechanicals making noises.

Can other civic owners enlighten on this please. My mind goes back to my grandmother's saying 'jaan bachi to laakho paaye'. I love my civic to the core (even clean dirt particles on the dashboard each time i sit in it, this is how much i love it, even ask my girl to stamp her feet before she gets in ). But i dont want to get killed in it! I repeat braking is great but sudden braking gives it 'nervous breakdown'. Help please.
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Old 12th October 2011, 17:37   #2
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Having driven a Civic for 75K Km I can say that what you had experienced is ABS in action, both the times. You have the ability to steer your car away, than expecting a shorter straight line stop.

Last edited by laluks : 12th October 2011 at 17:38.
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Old 12th October 2011, 17:48   #3
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Having driven a Civic for 75K Km I can say that what you had experienced is ABS in action, both the times. You have the ability to steer your car away, than expecting a shorter straight line stop.
Hi. Thanks, even i was aware of this fact. But never experienced this kind of mechanical noises (spring like as if something is about to break) and car's screeching on my friend's Mercedes C220, or our Endeavour (have really made the monster stop with goosebumps to the passengers) or cousin's Laura, all driven for considerate period of time. They all gave confidence inspiring braking. And yes, I have myself escaped narrowly once thanks to ABS and know its a 'good' thing since then.
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Old 12th October 2011, 18:25   #4
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

I did try this sudden braking stunt on an open road on all the cars that i have test driven including Civic just to see how ABS feels when it kicks in, and i haven't felt any nervousness in Civic (or anything that is worser than say Altis or Laura). I am assuming that you are confident that the brake setup is good (i.e. the brake pads are good and do not need replacement).

Was the road slippery if it wasn't the ABS would not kick in, also if ABS kicks in there is an ABS light that comes on. If all the above is true it might be worthwhile to get the brakes checked just in case.
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Old 12th October 2011, 18:46   #5
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Only once I have had to apply brakes in emergency situation in my 1.5 year old civic. That was when a cyclist just crossed the road and I stepped on the brakes at about 60kmph. The brakes was fine and I tell you was a loooot better that my old Ford Ikon. I am really surprised you said Ikon has better braking than Civic because braking was never one of the strong points of Ikon.

Also I have braked while doing 150kmph in the highway and the "clak clak" sounds are there but not so prominent and I think that is the ABS in action.
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Old 12th October 2011, 21:04   #6
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Gaurav please tell us the pressure and condition of your civic tires. Because if the pressure is higher or if the rubber is more than 3years/ 40k kms more then they won't be able to provide optimum braking performance. In fact some tires when they become hot after continuous running lose their ability to stop effectively and tend to slip on the road. I have experienced this phenomenon on my I20 shod wit Apollo acellere tires. The braking went bad after running constantly above 100kmph for half hour. Saw a speed breaker and applied brakes at a certain distance before the breaker. But the tires acted as if they were slipping on road. The feeling was pressing your foot into something rubber. And it also screeched and behaved exactly as your tires did.
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Old 12th October 2011, 22:00   #7
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

@Gaurav: I think you have had a narrow escape. How a car behaves under duress is what separates the boys from men. That said, I'd suggest defensive driving and have a keen eye on things especially at intersections and better to brake watch and then proceed rather than carry on. I think after such a harrowing experience its better to get the brakes checked once again.
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Old 12th October 2011, 22:10   #8
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Compared to my old Ikon Flair, the Civic's brakes are much, much better. I had once unfortunately rear ended a gentleman's Santro with my Ikon, as my car didnt stop on time. However in a similar scenario, the Civic stopped exactly as I had hoped for.
Both the cars had Michelins, both slightly overinflated, and condition of the roads was dry.

OT: To put on records, there were no damages to my Ikon or the other Santro. The Santro had to stop suddenly as a cyclist came on its path square on.

Last edited by dot : 12th October 2011 at 22:12.
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Old 12th October 2011, 22:59   #9
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nair View Post
I am really surprised you said Ikon has better braking than Civic because braking was never one of the strong points of Ikon.

Also I have braked while doing 150kmph in the highway and the "clak clak" sounds are there but not so prominent and I think that is the ABS in action.
I never said that Ikon's braking was better than Civic's. I just said that even my Ikon never made me this nervous. The scary part always is the sound as if something is about to break (springs etc.) . I wish you could feel it first hand in my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Gaurav please tell us the pressure and condition of your civic tires.
I tried it with 32 psi sagar, now with 30 psi. The tires have done 5000 kms only and are in mint condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
Compared to my old Ikon Flair, the Civic's brakes are much, much better. I had once unfortunately rear ended a gentleman's Santro with my Ikon, as my car didnt stop on time. However in a similar scenario, the Civic stopped exactly as I had hoped for.
Both the cars had Michelins, both slightly overinflated, and condition of the roads was dry.

OT: To put on records, there were no damages to my Ikon or the other Santro. The Santro had to stop suddenly as a cyclist came on its path square on.
I rear ended a car with my ikon, but with better confidence May be I should show my civic to Honda people more thoroughly.
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Old 13th October 2011, 13:03   #10
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Even i felt civic braking is bad when i test drove it when it was released with ABS only.
Cant comment on later versions which came with ABS+EBD though.
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Old 15th October 2011, 16:32   #11
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

My experience with my civic is extremely pleasant and frankly speaking in two instances, I understood the boon of ABS is modern cars. There is no denying fact that the braking distances increases but atleast you don't loose your grip or control!

Try cleaning the brake with 3M brake dust remover occasionally just by spraying over the disc and pad area. It keeps the sensors and the pad free from Brake dust. OT: Since you mentioned that yours is pre-owned civic, do check the brake fluid condition. 4 to 5 years or 40k on Odometer is a good reason to change the oil.
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Old 16th October 2011, 02:03   #12
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

IKON brakes are crap!!.. I can swear by it.

gaurav_diavolo, I guess your issues is with bad tyres. Could you please elaborate on what tyre you are running? Also the age and miles done.

Also, are you sure the brake pads are fine, and are not finished and not biting into the disc?.
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Old 16th October 2011, 10:40   #13
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dip27in View Post
There is no denying fact that the braking distances increases but atleast you don't loose your grip or control!
This is something new for me. Is it true that ABS increases braking distance? A quick search on the net revealed the opposite. Guys, check wikipedia. Lets have some discussion on this.
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Old 16th October 2011, 11:01   #14
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

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Guys, check wikipedia.
Wikipedia itself says that ABS increases distance under certain conditions (on gravel for example). May be one should check Wikipedia himself before suggesting others to check Wikipedia
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Old 16th October 2011, 12:31   #15
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Default Re: Are brakes on Civic really bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
This is something new for me. Is it true that ABS increases braking distance? A quick search on the net revealed the opposite. Guys, check wikipedia. Lets have some discussion on this.
dot, under certain conditions, ABS does increase braking distances. You can find a detailed discussion under the "ABS Discussion Thread"
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