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Discussion Starter #1
G&S. I've just had my new 2019 EX for a few days. Drove in to work (~2 miles) yesterday morning, and when I parked I got two warning screens on the big center display about the brakes saying to either pull over immediately if the brakes didn't feel right, or get parked somewhere safe and call my dealer immediately. It invited me to activate HondaLink one time, but nothing seemed to happen.

The error messages displayed a time that would have been when I was driving into town, but I didn't see any trouble indications while I was driving.

I called the dealer and talked to a service rep who said to bring it in; when I got there the techs were all at lunch, and the desk person couldn't find any trouble indications, and the brakes seemed to be find, so I went back to work. The brakes were okay feeling and performing back driving to work, but maybe a little spongy once on the way home.

This morning I drove into work and stopped at a grocery store and the brake pedal sunk all the way to the floor, with a brief flash of an orange BRAKE sign in the control panel.

Again in to work, and called the dealer and arranged to take the car in at lunchtime and drop it off and pick up a loaner.

No problems with the brakes driving to the dealer, and now I'm driving a loaner 2019 Accord Touring 2.0 turbo non-hybrid. Pulls pretty hard, especially in sport mode, but not very smooth in shifting under acceleration. The turbo lag is disconcerting, but it seems to just want to go faster and faster, whereas the Insight acceleration profile seems to drop off after it gets up over 40 or so. I live off a highway, so I have to get up to speed quickly to merge into traffic from the middle refuge lane.

All in all, I've only driven a small number of miles.

The pads and rotors (I think mostly in the rear, but it's hard to locate sounds sometimes) make a sort of grinding/growling noise at very low speed just before stopping. The sales rep said this is from rust from them washing the vehicle and not drying it properly, and that it should subside shortly.

My only other beef is that the seat back is starting to feel a little too narrow. I drove an '89 Civic for ten years, but this is a big adjustment from my 2001 Tundra. Overall I really like the car a lot. I prefer it to the Accord. I like my truck better, but it's a gas hog for sure and too big to park easily in a small downtown. Buttery smooth transmission and V8, though.

I'm hoping it's just a matter of bleeding the brakes. Maybe I'll hear from the dealer tomorrow.

I came here searching for information on USB audio file formats for the audio system. Glad I found the group.

I'll try to post a conclusion when I find out what's going on.
 

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Good morning! Sorry to hear about your brake troubles.

Several have informed of the brake warnings. Most were due to electrical issues (me included). The majority of those were due to a failing 12v battery (likely from sitting on the dealer lot for a while). Mine was due to an aftermarket accessory which shorted. You'res is, I believe, the first that has also exhibited physical problems (pedal to the floor | spongy). The orange "BRAKE" warning in the dash is normally caused by the CBMS hitting the brakes for you if an obstacle is detected. There has been cases of false positives here too. When the pedal went to the floor, did the Insight slow down?

As for the grinding brakes, the insight normally only uses the friction brakes below 15mph. Above that, regen does the work unless it's a panic stop situation. Your dealer may be correct as far as surface rust goes.

I hope they get to the bottom of your issue quickly. The Insight is a wonderful car and does what it was built for - get great mileage while being comfortable in just about every way.

Please keep us posted. Good luck.
 

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Same as Hasarad, my brake "warnings" are usually tied into other electrical issues. There is a system update for the car, that you can ask about (software for car, not for the radio).

The only time I've experienced that spongy feeling is right after turning on the car, when disengaging the parking brake. It's only happened a few times, and I wasn't moving.

Bleeding the brakes would be the first step.

The grinding sound is very normal, almost all rotors rust, they are generally used enough to keep this from building up. With the Insight though, because of the two different braking options, the physical brakes are used less, so the brakes are at a higher risk for developing surface rust. This rust while annoying, comes off of the rotors pretty quickly, it just makes that growling/grinding sound.

To remove surface rust, sometimes I'll drive in reverse for 15-30 feet, while lightly dragging the brakes.
 

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This morning I drove into work and stopped at a grocery store and the brake pedal sunk all the way to the floor, with a brief flash of an orange BRAKE sign in the control panel.
The brake pedal sinking to the floor is normal if the Insight thinks you're about to collide in to an object whether it's real or a false positive.


Get your 12v battery tested if your Insight's manufacture date is far apart from your purchase date. I don't think anything is wrong with your brakes but an electrical issue similar to previous brake error reports here.

Spongy brake pedal might be due to cold temperatures. Regenerative braking is limited when it's cold because the battery can't charge as fast. The same thing for when it's really hot or HV battery is full. So you would need to press further down on the brake pedal to use the friction brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update

Hi, well, I got my car back from the dealer. They had it for a few days and put quite a lot of miles on it. Senior techs and all checked it over and over, but couldn't find any problems.

Anyway, it was early Monday morning, and I had an appointment before work, so I showed up at the dealer at 7:00 am, and dropped of the loaner and picked up my car, and stopped at a 7-11 to get something before my appointment, and the brake pedal sank right to the floorboard/firewall when I stopped.

There was no indication on either of the displays, or any messages I could find.

The one short "BRAKE" indication I had seen previously was a very small one at the lower right of the left-hand dashboard display with a bright orange background, not the large dull orange warning that comes up when the car thinks you need to break to avoid a collision.

Somebody left a nice dirty thumbprint on my driver's side sun visor.

The car's been okay since then. No more warnings, and no more of the pedal going to the floor. No more grinding sound, either.

andrew28 and hasarad, I'll have them check the 12 volt battery the next time I'm in.

I just got car wax (Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax, hope it lasts) and some foaming glass cleaner. The inside of the windshield was filthy, and the salesman did a sort of half-assed attempt to clean the driver's side. Small town, not the most professional outfit.

I'm really liking this car more and more. It looks sharp and drives well. I'm getting used to using the big display panel, and slowly coming to trust the cameras as I back up, turn, and park.

Thanks for all the replys! Hal.
 

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Anyway, it was early Monday morning, and I had an appointment before work, so I showed up at the dealer at 7:00 am, and dropped of the loaner and picked up my car, and stopped at a 7-11 to get something before my appointment, and the brake pedal sank right to the floorboard/firewall when I stopped.

There was no indication on either of the displays, or any messages I could find.

The one short "BRAKE" indication I had seen previously was a very small one at the lower right of the left-hand dashboard display with a bright orange background, not the large dull orange warning that comes up when the car thinks you need to break to avoid a collision.
So, what happens when you run out of brake fluid? Simple, the fluid acts as a messenger or a postman that transports the force of your foot on the pedal through the brake lines and into the brakes. Without it, you wouldn't get the optimum braking power you need in your car. Also, you'll have to exert more force in pressing the pedals just to get some braking power.
When you go back to check your 12v battery health. Ask them to check your brake fluid level, too. The brake pedal shouldn't sink to the floorboard unless you're panic braking or the collision mitigation braking system is activated which will show the flashing brake alert.


I have attached pages from the owner's manual for reasons why you might be seeing the BRAKE indicator on the instrument panel.
 

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Hi, well, I got my car back from the dealer. They had it for a few days and put quite a lot of miles on it. Senior techs and all checked it over and over, but couldn't find any problems.
[...]
The one short "BRAKE" indication I had seen previously was a very small one at the lower right of the left-hand dashboard display with a bright orange background, not the large dull orange warning that comes up when the car thinks you need to break to avoid a collision.
The car's been okay since then. No more warnings, and no more of the pedal going to the floor. No more grinding sound, either.
[...]
andrew28 and hasarad, I'll have them check the 12 volt battery the next time I'm in.

I just got car wax (Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax, hope it lasts) and some foaming glass cleaner. The inside of the windshield was filthy, and the salesman did a sort of half-assed attempt to clean the driver's side. Small town, not the most professional outfit.
Seems a little odd that the dealer didn't find any codes that were triggered after the 'lower right BRAKE' light/message came on. That diagnostic code should help narrow down what triggered the indicator and why.

Short term (before you return to dealer), you can do a quick estimate of unused time for the 12V battery by comparing your purchase date to the production date for your car. It's a "MM/YY" number in the upper right corner of one of the stickers on the drivers lower door jamb. Sample picture of this from a Odyssey is below. If your purchase date was ~6 mo or more after the production date and/or your car had low miles on it when purchased, 12V battery life may be problematic based on findings from other forum members with this difference.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
OP update: My car's back in the shop. It looks like Honda corporate is drop-shipping a new brake booster from Japan.
 

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OP update: My car's back in the shop. It looks like Honda corporate is drop-shipping a new brake booster from Japan.
Could you fill us in on what happened over the past few weeks since your last update, which led to brake booster root cause diagnosis?

Also, given the number of times you've visited dealer for this, are lemon laws being triggered?
 

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The brake booster utilize the vacuum produced by the engine manifold to reduce the force required to depress the brake pedal. The vacuum in the brake booster may be insufficient if the brake pedal is depressed when the engine is stopped or after the vehicle has been parked for a long period of time. In such cases, it is necessary to depress the brake pedal using greater force than usual.
The Subaru Outback owner's manual has the above description about the brake booster. Maybe it's the same as the Insight and @hal's brake booster failed due to the car sitting on the dealership lot too long...
 
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