The Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System has become a standard feature in newer models, increasing convenience and safety for owners. This technologically advanced system, however, can occasionally fail, displaying warning messages such as “Electric Parking Brake Problem” and leaving drivers stranded. As a seasoned Honda mechanic, I’ve seen and resolved many of these issues throughout my career.
In this comprehensive guide, I will go over the various causes and solutions for Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System issues, using my expertise to assist Honda owners in diagnosing and repairing this system.
Common Causes Of Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake Failure
There are a few main components that commonly fail and cause Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System errors. Here are the most typical issues:
- Faulty Brake Control Module
- Malfunctioning Actuator Motor
- Damaged Wheel Speed Sensors
- Faulty Electric Parking Brake Switch
- Loose Electrical Connections
Faulty Brake Control Module
The ECU or “computer” that controls the electric parking brake system is essentially the brake control module. Error messages will appear if it malfunctions or loses communication with other components, and the parking brake may fail to engage or disengage properly. Resetting codes and updating software or firmware may resolve brake control module issues, but in some cases, a complete replacement is required.
Malfunctioning Actuator Motor
When the parking brake is engaged, an electric actuator motor in each rear wheel brake caliper moves the brake pad into contact with the rotor. These motors can seize up or lose calibration over time, preventing proper brake function. To restore normal parking brake operation, the motors must be precisely re-calibrated or replaced.
Damaged Wheel Speed Sensors
To determine vehicle movement and speed, the parking brake control module monitors signals from the wheel speed sensors. Sensors that are damaged or blocked can send incorrect data to the control module, resulting in electric parking brake errors. It is critical to carefully inspect and replace faulty wheel speed sensors.
Faulty Electric Parking Brake Switch
The parking brake switch, which is located in the center console or on the lower dash, provides the manual input to electronically engage the parking brake. Fauy switch electronics or clogged switch contacts can cause errors and make engaging and disengaging the parking brake difficult. In these cases, a switch replacement is required.
Loose Electrical Connections
Like any automotive electronics system, degraded or corroded connections between components can interrupt critical data signals and cause intermittent or permanent faults. Thoroughly inspecting and reconnecting any loose parking brake wiring is prudent.
Step-By-Step Diagnosis And Repair Instructions
Now that we’ve reviewed the most common issues, here is my expert recommended process for diagnosing and addressing Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System problems:
- Scan for Diagnostic Trouble Codes
- Inspect Electrical Connections
- Check Wheel Speed Sensors
- Verify Proper Switch Operation
- Check Voltage and Ground Circuits
- Recalibrate/Replace Actuator Motors
- Update or Replace Control Module
- Retest System Operation
Scan for Diagnostic Trouble Codes
The first step is always to connect a scan tool and check for any stored diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). Honda parking brake systems store very specific codes that indicate faults in specific components like the control module, motors, sensors or switch. The DTCs provide a great starting point for diagnoses.
Inspect Electrical Connections
Before condemning any components as bad, always thoroughly inspect electrical connectors at all parking brake system components under the instrument panel, at each rear wheel sensor, module and motor. A loose or corroded connector can cause faults. Reconnect and clean any suspect connections.
Check Wheel Speed Sensors
If wheel speed sensor DTCs are stored, physically inspect sensors at all four wheels for damage, blocked sensing holes, detached wiring and secure connections. Replace any questionable or visibly damaged sensors.
Verify Proper Switch Operation
The parking brake switch should click distinctly and maintain proper position when engaged and disengaged. Replace faulty switches that stick or fail to activate. Use a multimeter to test switch contacts if needed.
Check Voltage and Ground Circuits
Parking brake motors and control modules require solid voltage and ground connections to operate properly. Carefully check wiring and use a multimeter to test for proper voltage and clean ground signals at components. Repair any issues found.
Recalibrate/Replace Actuator Motors
If motors set DTCs or fail to respond properly, they may require recalibration using a scan tool. If that fails, replacement with new hub/rotor assemblies will be required to restore normal brake function.
Update or Replace Control Module
A faulty brake control module often requires software updates or a complete replacement. Work with a knowledgeable Honda technician if module replacement is necessary to properly reprogram the new unit.
Retest System Operation
After repairs are complete, thoroughly retest operation of the parking brake system. Clear any codes, perform recalibration procedures as needed, and test parking brake function in various conditions to confirm proper operation.
How Do You Fix An Electric Parking Brake Malfunction?
Faulty control modules, bad wheel speed sensors, stuck caliper motors, and loose wiring connections are the most common causes of electric parking brake malfunctions. To begin, look for any diagnostic trouble codes to narrow down the source.
Check for damage to all electrical connectors and wiring. Test the wheel speed sensors and replace any that are defective. If the parking brake motors become stuck or unresponsive, they may require recalibration or replacement. If the control module is not working properly, try resetting it or updating the firmware. If that doesn’t work, a professional will have to replace the module.
If component repairs are ineffective, the entire electronic parking brake system may need to be replaced with a manual cable-operated system.
How Do You Reset The Electronic Parking Brake On A Honda?
To reset the Honda electric parking brake, make sure the ignition is turned on and the transmission is in park or neutral. For about 10 seconds, press and hold the electric parking brake switch until the parking brake indicator light blinks. This will start the process of releasing the parking brake by retracting the caliper pistons on the rear wheels. The reset is complete when the light goes out.
To reset and recalibrate the electric parking brake system after repairs or to release a stuck parking brake, use a scan tool and follow the on-screen prompts. If the reset procedure fails, there may be other problems in the system that require repair.
How Do You Turn Off The Electronic Parking Brake On A Honda Accord?
Simply press the parking brake switch in the center console while the ignition is turned on to turn off or disengage the electric parking brake on a Honda Accord. As the brake motors disengage, you’ll hear a faint whirring noise. To confirm that the parking brake is disengaged, the parking brake indicator light in the gauge cluster will turn off.
To avoid rolling, keep your foot on the regular brake pedal while pressing the parking brake switch. If the parking brake does not disengage, look for any stored diagnostic codes, inspect the switch and electrical connections, and then reset the parking brake. If it remains stuck on, repairs may be required.
What Happens If You Drive With An Electronic Parking Brake On?
Driving a Honda Accord for any length of time with the electronic parking brake engaged can cause overheating of the rear brake components, as well as unfavorable wear and damage. Dragging brake pads on rotors generates excessive heat, which can warp rotors and glaze pads. The parking brake caliper motors are not meant to be used continuously and can burn out.
When a problem is detected, the brake control module may activate warning lights or set codes. Before driving, make sure the electric parking brake is completely disengaged. If it remains stuck on, have the system inspected and repaired as soon as possible to avoid further problems.
Honda’s electric parking brake systems require proper electrical connections and calibration to function reliably. While the technology provides added convenience, it also introduces new potential failure points. However, by using the organized diagnostic approach outlined and focusing on the common issues identified, Honda owners can accurately troubleshoot problems when they arise. In many cases, minor repairs to connections, sensors or motors can restore normal operation and get drivers back on the road.
But major component failures may require replacement by an experienced Honda technician. With this guide, Accord owners now have the key information needed to address electric parking brake problems properly and keep vehicles safe on the road.