2018 Acura TLX brake fluid question

ChevyDude

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Make
Acrua
Model
TLX
Year
2018
Miles
65k
Engine
4 cylinder
My wife tells me that she heats a ding occasionally and thinks she sees the low brake fluid indicator flash. I checked the fluid and it seems to be close to the minimum. Is it possible that the brake pads are worn enough to have the fluid level that low or does it sound like a leak?
 

billr

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Sure, it is possible that very worn pads got the fluid low. However, I would pull the wheels and check both the pads and for leaks. You can even do a pretty good check for leaks without removing the wheels. At any rate, if it is a leak it should be apparent soon. How soon and thorough you check depends on whether this one is a "keeper". The wife I mean, not the car...
 

ChevyDude

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Sure, it is possible that very worn pads got the fluid low. However, I would pull the wheels and check both the pads and for leaks. You can even do a pretty good check for leaks without removing the wheels. At any rate, if it is a leak it should be apparent soon. How soon and thorough you check depends on whether this one is a "keeper". The wife I mean, not the car...
Many thanks for the response. I did look as best as possible at the inside of t he wheels and around the brake assembly, as best as possible without removing the wheels....did not see anything obvious.
 

NickD

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Caliper pistons are large, least compared to drum brake pistons, and with an inside and outside brake pad where each can wear up a half and inch on some. that piston is moving outward practically a full inch. With four calipers, that is quite a bit of extra brake fluid used from the master cylinder.

So the cure is to add break fluid. Most reservoirs are transparent just like your coolant reservoir, so just a quick glance is all that is required.

Got rid of my motorhome, had to remove the engine cover and stick my left hand clear under the floor to reach that latched on a cast iron master cylinder, could not see the inside, so checked the level by fill. Could barely tip a small can of brake fluid, and would spill some on my driveway. That thing had to go, getting way too old.
 

ChevyDude

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Caliper pistons are large, least compared to drum brake pistons, and with an inside and outside brake pad where each can wear up a half and inch on some. that piston is moving outward practically a full inch. With four calipers, that is quite a bit of extra brake fluid used from the master cylinder.

So the cure is to add break fluid. Most reservoirs are transparent just like your coolant reservoir, so just a quick glance is all that is required.

Got rid of my motorhome, had to remove the engine cover and stick my left hand clear under the floor to reach that latched on a cast iron master cylinder, could not see the inside, so checked the level by fill. Could barely tip a small can of brake fluid, and would spill some on my driveway. That thing had to go, getting way too old.
Thanks for the response. I will pull the wheels off tomorrow and check for leaks. Is the procedure for replacing pads any different from Honda to Acura?

Thanks again
 

NickD

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Internet is acting up, seems like your Acura has separate drum like parking brakes, as opposed to that crazy GM combo rear caliper parking and service brakes, Always a pain to screw in that piston for new pads, and you have to work the parking brake handle to take up low brake pedal. Works on a ratcheting principle where road salt eats up the ratchet, very expensive to replace.

Rear caliper looks the the front that is inherently self adjusting, 88 Supra has this as well my my kids Dodge Nitro. Cost me two bucks a wheel to rebuild the calipers. Only two gaskets, ring for the piston, and a splash shield. I put a bead of silicon grease on the outside before pressing in the splash shield, this helps keep out road salt. Same with the caliper pins.

Practically all master cylinders have a float switch. Fluid splashing back and forth opens and closes that switch. With 65K miles on this car depending on how you drive it, time for a complete brake job. Just about everybody in my town, slams on the gas when the light turns green then on the brakes when it turns red. I get there just as quick by timing and using engine braking, so they last over 150K miles. But the largest problem is road salt. Salt saves lives they say, but not when they make your brakes a pile of rust.
 

grcauto

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My wife tells me that she heats a ding occasionally and thinks she sees the low brake fluid indicator flash. I checked the fluid and it seems to be close to the minimum. Is it possible that the brake pads are worn enough to have the fluid level that low or does it sound like a leak?
Worn brakes will not deplete the fluid level enough to turn on a light.
 

billr

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I'm going to disagree with that; or, at least, clarify my previous post. Without knowing the level of the fluid when the pads are new, or the thresholds for the level sensor, or the condition of the sensor system, it is impossible to exclude wear on the pads as the cause for the light coming on.

Put another way, wear on (disk brake) pads will drop fluid level; that is certain.
 

NickD

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I could not believe how small the master brake reservoir was on my 82 Chevy motorhome chassis, besides being almost impossible to get at. Rear brake reservoir was less than a 1/4 of the size as the front.

No low fluid light switch, when the fluid was low, stepping on the brakes just meant the pedal was going clear to the floor. Insisted on doing all the brakes, getting weak, rear drums weight close to a hundred pounds, while stooping, arms straight out couldn't put them on. Could lying down on my back, but need someone on top to guide it. Surprised my shop only charged me five bucks to resurface them. Want 20 bucks for a rotor you can carry with your baby finger.

As fugal as I am, never when it comes to brakes.
 

grcauto

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I'm going to disagree with that; or, at least, clarify my previous post. Without knowing the level of the fluid when the pads are new, or the thresholds for the level sensor, or the condition of the sensor system, it is impossible to exclude wear on the pads as the cause for the light coming on.

Put another way, wear on (disk brake) pads will drop fluid level; that is certain.
I should also clarify my statement. If the system was full the last time the brakes were done and there are NO LEAKS then the fluid will not be low enough to turn on the light before the pads are metal on metal.
 

nickb2

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depends on whether this one is a "keeper". The wife I mean, not the car...
That was funny, really had a chuckle at that joke mister bill.

My $.02, yes, low pad wear can and will light a brake light much as the other nick said, it is a floating switch.

Alot of the times, when I renew a brake job, master cylinder will overflow cuz some idiot added fluid. You only add fluid after a leak or a renew of fluid.

I do a shyte load of oil changes and tire rotations in tire change season, the amount of pad wear and full brake reservoirs is astounding

So to add on to what grc said, and nickd, and bill, yeah it is very possible this car needs new pads. Or, ditch the wife, and not the car, cuz I really like the tlx, except 4 the 4 banger, o_O ;) :bat: :eek:
 

nickb2

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Point in fact, apprentice the other week did a 4 wheel brake job on a mini cooper, retracted all the calipers, some fluid seeped out of the rez without him knowing. My guess is he rushed the calipers home so fast trying to be a f1 tech, hit home the pads went for a TEST DRIVE came back saying brake light was on.

Well, two were on when it came to my bay. One, he broke the pad wear sensor, second, when he completed job, fluid was low enough to light the yellow and red brake light when driving in corners.

This is actually a very common occurrence.

Normally, when I do an oil change, I check brake res, when low, I suggest pulling off wheels much as bill wrote, most times, pads are done. If not done, check for leaks, if no leaks, chalk it up to tech mistake or some idiot not knowing how to work right.

In some very rare cases, the leak is in the booster. Have seen that a few times.

In any event, safety is key as nickd wrote, you dont f with brakes tires and suspension. Never seen an accident happen just cuz the engine died, have seen death and mayhem when shoddy work done though on previous three aforementioned.
 

nickb2

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Is the procedure for replacing pads any different from Honda to Acura?

Thanks again
As for this question, I think, and I am going only by memory, the rear calipers are electric, so no, procedure is not same. If for some reason this 4 banger acura does not have rear electric park brake I will be very confused and think I live in nigeria, you want to have a scanner to disable that by putting it into service mode. Select retract proposition. If you dont have a scanner, just use simple logic as follows.

But I am pretty sure you are golden for a backyard install here as google just confirmed the rears on this car are pretty generic. They even probably fit an accord.

Anyway, go find a retrack tool, unplug the connectors going to parking brake servos before attempting anything. Retrack calipers, KEY OFF



I own this one, it sucks, but works for a few install. It is cheap but get job done.

 
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nickb2

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The shop has a few of these, they warp, my other one is a otc kit, more robust, but has not as many adapters, have to tool stuff sometimes.
 
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