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Do you agree with Car & Driver that braking is not a strong point of the 2017 Ridgeline?

"Braking, unfortunately, is one area where the Honda acts just like a traditional truck. Its 195-foot stop from 70 mph was 10 feet longer than our last result for the Tacoma and even farther behind the Colorado. We also noted a soft brake pedal."

2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Test ? Review ? Car and Driver

I've been bothered by the softness of the brakes since day one. I like the bite point to be higher. But I've never had a panic stop in my Ridgeline, so I don't know how good or bad the stopping power is.

I'd like to work on improving brake performance. I think we all know that better tires might help. But what about braking components, like calipers and discs? Anybody have some expertise on this kind of upgrade?
 

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Seems like Joe (Csimo) mentioned a while back that Russian and/or Saudi Pilots would have an option of larger brakes (along with the real skidplate). Maybe those would show up stateside? If they are manufactured in China, there is a good chance that they will show up here through an aftermarket supplier.

Other than that, maybe there are better options in brake pads materials. You might find a material that stops the vehicle quicker, but only lasts 30k miles, or vice versa. I imagine, like most things, brake pads material is a compromise.
 

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The brake size could be limited by the fact that they have to fit inside the spare wheel which is 17".

EDIT: BTW, I've never been impressed with Honda brakes. It's their Achilles heal IMO. Some exceptions excluded (See NSX).
 

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I'd agree that the 'bite' point needs to be higher up. I have had to stop suddenly - it feels like there is plenty of brake available you just have to push a little deeper than normal to get to it. For me it is much more noticeable since my wife's RAV4 has a really high bite point and nowhere near as much travel. When swapping cars that first stop is always a surprise. After a few stops I adjust and it hasn't been a problem.
 

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Every C&D review has to have one neg, they seem to make something up half the time. Aren't the fronts ventilated? That would seem decent tech for the segment.

That said, have had terrible time with Honda brakes through the years, especially rear discs. Always replacing with aftermarket. But I thought brake pedal feel has been good for at least a decade.
 

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I'd agree that the 'bite' point needs to be higher up. I have had to stop suddenly - it feels like there is plenty of brake available you just have to push a little deeper than normal to get to it. For me it is much more noticeable since my wife's RAV4 has a really high bite point and nowhere near as much travel. When swapping cars that first stop is always a surprise. After a few stops I adjust and it hasn't been a problem.
What he said....
 

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I have an 04 Accord and my wife has an 05. Brake feel is completely different. My first stop in any trip with hers is always abrupt. Mine is the EX-L with rear disks whereas hers has rear drums. Not sure if it's a difference in boost or ? Other than the engagement point both stop similarly well with a nice linear brake feel


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I haven't driven a Ridgeline yet, but it sounds like the brakes are nothing like the CR-V. I drive my mom's from time to time, and I can never get used to how touchy they are. Below 20 mph, if you barely touch the brake pedal, you practically come to a screeching halt...
 

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Both the FWD and AWD I test drove had soft brakes. I was going to mention is prior but would have been scoffed at. They are indeed soft/weak.

I'd start with stainless lines and move to a better brake fluid. If that doesn't do it, different pads. If that still doesn't do it, you'll need better rotors.
 

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The brakes on all three of my first-generation Ridgelines felt inadequate. I haven't made any hard stops in my 2017 yet, but in normal driving the pedal feel, smoothness, linearity, and effectiveness all seem excellent. Though not directly related, I do wish the vehicle didn't wiggle back and forth for a few seconds after each stop if you don't ease up on the pedal. :/

Aren't the fronts ventilated? That would seem decent tech for the segment.
Virtually all front disc brakes are ventilated and have been for decades. Every vehicle I've ever owned had ventilated front disc brakes. The exception was a 1969 Buick Skylark that had drum brakes. Talk about grabby and unpredictable! :)
 

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Here's something that took me by surprise and I still don't know why. I tow a heavy boat on summer weekends and I've gone through a few brake pads in my time, especially on the front rotors. I've never liked how my Gen1 stopped; it was okay with out a load but once I loaded my truck up, it did not stop very well. Just last month, I finally had to get new front rotors as well as pads this time around. After talking with the Honda dealership's mechanics they convinced me to stick with the OEM rotors (which are two piece vented) and OEM pads. Now my Gen1 stops like never before; it's like I have a new truck. The bite point is higher and has an overall stronger stopping ability, particularly under load, than I have ever experienced before. It's like I'm driving a sports car; well that may be an exaggeration, but it's stopping power is much improved.

I don't know why a change in OEM front rotors and pads would make such a difference in braking performance but it did. I take back all the bad things I've said about my Gen1's braking performance!
 

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Here's something that took me by surprise and I still don't know why. I tow a heavy boat on summer weekends and I've gone through a few brake pads in my time, especially on the front rotors. I've never liked how my Gen1 stopped; it was okay with out a load but once I loaded my truck up, it did not stop very well. Just last month, I finally had to get new front rotors as well as pads this time around. After talking with the Honda dealership's mechanics they convinced me to stick with the OEM rotors (which are two piece vented) and OEM pads. Now my Gen1 stops like never before; it's like I have a new truck. The bite point is higher and has an overall stronger stopping ability, particularly under load, than I have ever experienced before. It's like I'm driving a sports car; well that may be an exaggeration, but it's stopping power is much improved.

I don't know why a change in OEM front rotors and pads would make such a difference in braking performance but it did. I take back all the bad things I've said about my Gen1's braking performance!
I had a somewhat similar experience with my Regal back in the day. Due to price and convenience, I bought Wagner "OEM equivalent" pads from Autozone. They were horrible. I exchanged them for two other, "better" pads (which were MORE expensive than OEM) before finally getting a refund and picking up OEM AC Delco pads from the local dealer. It braked like new again.
 

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Here's something that took me by surprise and I still don't know why. I tow a heavy boat on summer weekends and I've gone through a few brake pads in my time, especially on the front rotors. I've never liked how my Gen1 stopped; it was okay with out a load but once I loaded my truck up, it did not stop very well. Just last month, I finally had to get new front rotors as well as pads this time around. After talking with the Honda dealership's mechanics they convinced me to stick with the OEM rotors (which are two piece vented) and OEM pads. Now my Gen1 stops like never before; it's like I have a new truck. The bite point is higher and has an overall stronger stopping ability, particularly under load, than I have ever experienced before. It's like I'm driving a sports car; well that may be an exaggeration, but it's stopping power is much improved.

I don't know why a change in OEM front rotors and pads would make such a difference in braking performance but it did. I take back all the bad things I've said about my Gen1's braking performance!
Could also be that this is the first time anyone ever did a brake bleed and got 100% of the air out. If you couple that with the new pads and rotors both being thicker than the old warn set, it would certainly combine to make for a higher bite point.
 

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In the Honda line we've owned 3 Pilots, (including our current 2013 model), a CR-V, an Element, an Accord and an S2000.

The S2000 brakes are in a different category. I don't recall anything negative (or positive) about the brakes in the Element, CR-V or Accord.

But EVERY Pilot we've owned has had terrible brakes. All have been back to the dealer several times to repair a judder during slow stopping that is normally caused by warped discs in other cars. Rotors have been turned, replaced, new pads, pretty much everything inside the wheel and the problem always returned in 2-3 weeks. We haven't towed anything behind any of them and don't abuse the cars. I am convinced that Pilot brakes (especially the fronts) are under sized or under engineered for the vehicle. My wife loves the Pilot and doesn't notice it as much as I do. It's her primary vehicle but every time I drive it I dog cuss the brakes.......

I am worried that this will become an issue with our new G2 Ridgeline, but barring that possibility I really like the brakes. They are crisp, easy to predict and use. Haven't towed anything yet and we are no longer towing boats, just a small cargo trailer in the future which I don't expect to be an issue......
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Could also be that this is the first time anyone ever did a brake bleed and got 100% of the air out. If you couple that with the new pads and rotors both being thicker than the old warn set, it would certainly combine to make for a higher bite point.
I have wondered about this. The three things that shorten the pedal distance until the brakes take hold, in my experience, are pads, rotors and bleeding. But the last thing tends to be true specifically with older vehicles. Would you have any reason to bleed the brake system at 1,000 miles? I might try new pads and get the brakes bled anyway.

Despite the great articles and things that I've read about brake pads, I'm more confused than ever about what to replace them with. I don't even know what material the existing brake pads are made of. One clue: they don't give off a lot of dust. Also, if faster summer stops means slower winter stops, that's a problem for me in Northeast.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
duplicated.
 

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I have wondered about this. The three things that shorten the pedal distance until the brakes grip, in my experience, are pads, rotors and bleeding. But the last thing tends to be true specifically with older vehicles. Would you have any reason to bleed the brake system at 1,000 miles? I might try new pads and get the brakes bled anyway.

Despite the great articles and things that I've read about brake pads, I'm more confused than ever about what to replace them with. I don't even know what material the existing brake pads are made of. One clue: they don't give off a lot of dust. Also, if faster summer stops means slower winter stops, that's a problem for me in Northeast.
You forgot a fourth reason: brake line material. As someone mentioned upthread, stainless steel brake lines can make a substantial difference, depending on how long the "rubber" brake lines are. This is a common mod among racers and enthusiasts, particularly in the motorcycling world.
 

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Took my new Ridgeline to Colorado last week for a family vacation. Six of us so we also took my wife's BMW X5. Returning from Silverton 24 miles south to the condo we rented, son-in-law driving the Honda, not too fast but over the pass. When we got to the condo and got out I immediately smelled that the Honda's brakes has overheated. Son-in-law said he had not noted any loss in braking. X5's brakes had not overheated.

Had an Acura MDX some years ago. Driving fast out of Los Alamos toward Santa Fe, brakes faded so much the front started shuddering when the brakes were applied. Returned home and traded in the Acura.

Like the Honda, fits what I want, make not take it to the mountains again.
 
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