Brake System Bleeding & Component Testing – Civic ’92-95

by NinjaX on June 21, 2010

WARNING: Take care not to breath in brake dust. Brake dust is filled with asbestos which causes mesothelioma cancer and could result in development of a tumor. Mesothelioma destroys tissue and organs and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Always clean brake parts with a certified brake parts cleaner before working on the brake system. This will reduce the amount of exposure to asbestos.

All Honda Civic 1992-1995 models use front disc brakes. Rear brakes may be either disc type or self-adjusting drum type. Parking brake cable mechanism applies rear brakes.

BRAKE SYSTEM BLEEDING PROCEDURES

Raise and support vehicle. Fill master cylinder to maximum. Check fluid level after bleeding each wheel position. Bleed brakes in following sequence: RR, LF, LR and RF.

BRAKE PEDAL HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT

Loosen brakelight switch lock nut, and back off switch until it no longer touches brake pedal. Loosen brake pedal push rod lock nut, and screw push rod in or out until correct pedal height is obtained.

  • Civic and Civic del Sol AUTOMATIC: 6.5 inches (165 mm)
  • Civic and Civic del Sol MANUAL: 6.3 inches (160mm)

BRAKE WARNING LIGHT

Brake warning light indicates parking brake is engaged and/or brake fluid level is low. To adjust parking brake light operation, turn ignition on. Bend switch plate down until light comes on when parking brake lever is pulled one notch and goes out when lever is released.

MASTER CYLINDER PUSH ROD

Check and adjust master cylinder push rod-to-piston clearance before installing master cylinder.

  1. Install Push Rod Adjustment Gauge (07JAG-SD40100) so gauge rod makes light contact with secondary piston of master cylinder. Ensure gasket is in position when adjusting rod clearance.
    honda civic eg 1992-1995 brake master cylinder
  2. Remove push rod adjustment gauge from master cylinder, and install gauge onto brake booster. See figure. Tighten mounting nuts to specification. Using engine or outside vacuum source, apply at least 10 in. Hg vacuum to brake booster. Check clearance using feeler gauge
  • Civic and Civic del Sol: 0-.016″ (0-.40 mm)

PARKING BRAKE

Before adjusting parking brake, loosen equalizer adjusting nut. Start engine, and depress brake pedal several times to set self-adjusting brakes before adjusting parking brake.

  1. With rear brakes adjusted, raise and support rear of vehicle. Loosen equalizer nut, and pull parking brake lever up one notch. Tighten equalizer adjusting nut until rear wheels drag slightly.
  2. Release parking brake lever. Rear wheels should rotate freely. Rear wheels should lock when parking brake lever is pulled up 6-10 clicks.

REAR DRUM BRAKE SHOES

Rear brake shoes will self-adjust through brake pedal action. No in-service adjustment is required.

STOPLIGHT SWITCH

  1. Stoplight switch is located under dash, above brake pedal. To adjust, loosen lock nuts and turn switch until plunger is fully depressed (threaded end touching pedal arm pad).
  2. Back off switch 1/4 turn, and tighten lock nuts. Clearance between threaded end of switch body and brake pedal switch contact pad should be about .012″ (.30 mm). Ensure brakelights go off when pedal is released.

POWER BRAKE BOOSTER FUNCTIONAL TEST

  1. Start engine. Turn ignition off. Depress brake pedal several times. Depress pedal firmly and hold pressure for 15 seconds. If pedal sinks, master cylinder, brake line or wheel cylinder is faulty.
  2. With pedal depressed, start engine. If pedal sinks slightly, vacuum unit is working properly. If pedal height does not vary, booster or check valve is faulty.

POWER BRAKE BOOSTER LEAK TEST

  1. With engine running, depress brake pedal. Turn ignition off. If pedal height does not change while depressed for 30 seconds, vacuum booster is okay. If pedal rises, vacuum booster is faulty.
  2. Stop engine, and depress brake pedal several times using normal pressure. Pedal height should be low when first depressed. On consecutive applications, pedal height should gradually rise. If pedal height does not vary, check power brake booster check valve.

POWER BRAKE BOOSTER CHECK VALVE TEST

Disconnect power brake unit vacuum hose at booster. Start engine, and allow it to idle. Ensure vacuum is available at booster end of hose. If vacuum is not available, vacuum source or check valve is faulty. Repair vacuum source or replace check valve, and retest.

Got questions and comments on brake system bleeding and testing? Leave your comments below!

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

nick strassburg August 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

what type of break fluid for 1995 honda civic

spartanix August 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

There isn’t any type of brake fluid made specifically for the 95 civics. Any dot 4 brake fluid should work fine.

andrew October 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm

i have a 1994 honda accord and i think something is worng with the brakes because when it is low on gas and i approach an intersection and press the brake the car feels like its about stall and sometimes it shuts off. wat should i do?

spartanix October 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Andrew, your brakes are fine. Sounds like your having issues keeping the engine idle without it dying on you. Check out the troubleshooting section at our sister site for help:

http://www.garage411.com/EngineTroubleShooting

Tin Man November 11, 2010 at 9:02 am

What is the name of the part that is mounted in the middle of the fire wall that the two lines from the brake fluid reservoir and 4 lines to the wheels connect to?

Also, this system has in addition to those 6 connections, a hole that fluid was leaking from when I was bleeding the system yesterday. As of last night, pedal pressure was firm and the reservoir was still full. Is that hole by design?

spartanix November 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Tin Man, could be the brake proportioning valve. You can read more about it here:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/brakes/brake-types/master-brake2.htm

Tin Man November 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

Thanks Spartanix, I ran on down to pull-a-part today and found a replacement that has a plug in it. I still wonder if that hole is by design open though, because I found another one that didn’t have the plug. Anyone know what the deal is with this?

spartanix November 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Technically there shouldn’t be a hole that allows brake fluid to escape. That would allow air into the system resulting in a spongy brake pedal, loss of brake pedal feel, brake fluid slowly depleting over time and other issues.

alisha January 7, 2011 at 4:09 am

I have a 94 honda civic. In order to make my car come to a complete stop, I have to press all the way down on my brake pedal to the point where my petal is touching the floor. How can I tighten it or does it have to do with the fluid?

spartanix January 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Alisha, try this: when you press the brake down a second time does the pressure on the break pedal improve? If so then one of the pistons in the brake master cylinder is leaking. You can either rebuild the brake master cylinder or replace the whole thing. If your not sure how to do either then its best to have a service shop replace it.

BINKS April 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hey spartanix, thanks for this guide it is very helpful. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of a master cylinder installation guide. I just want to make sure I don’t miss any steps in the process when I replace my master cylinder because I am having the same problem as Alisha. Thanks in advance!

spartanix May 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm
calberto July 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for a great article. It is informative and well written.

mundoveg July 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I have a 94 civic and have replaced the master cylinder after bleeding it prior to installation. The problem is that after bleeding the braking system the pedal still goes to the floor. I have done this twice, what can be wrong?

spartanix August 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Could be the brake booster needing replacement. Check the vacuum hoses that go to it as well. Usually you’d want to get a vacuum gauge and diagnose the brake booster before you replace it.

mundoveg August 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I replaced the booster and have replaced two master cylinders. The third master cyl. released more air on the bench bleed than the other two. The wheel lines bleed clean rr,fl,rl,rf according to the book and the pedal still goes to the floor almost. The car does stop no problem there but that pedal goes almost to the floor.It can’t be sucking air or there would be liquid all over the floor and ther is none! Just one more note I have also replaced the front pads and rear shoes not because I thought this would help but they were worn paper thin, the calipers work fine and the wheel cylinders were also replaced because they would stick on one side. I have bleed many brake systems over the years tahoes caravans broncos other hondas without such a problem but this one takes the cake!

fernando September 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Hey spartanix! We installed the master cylinder and when we tryed bleeding it it never obtained pressure on the brake pedal, it still goes way down,what could we be doing wrong,i mean at times it obtained very little pressure, Is there lots of air in the lines or is there a sequense we didn’t follow. we’re overwhealmed with the fact that we bled every tire and couldn’t adjust them.

tou her September 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm

well i have a problem with my brake pedal it sinks slowly down and there is no pressure there. i have to press the brake down all the way down to
make my car to stop. i check there is no leak and i drove it for a week and the brake fluid is still there. got any answer?

Scott November 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I’ve recently replaced my brake booster and I’m still experiencing a VERY hard brake pedal. I’ve bled the brakes and tested the booster by holding down the brake pedal, then turning the engine on. The pedal dropped a bit when the engine turned over.

I’ve read that the pushrod length to pedal may need adjustment. (Which I did not do)

Can this be the case?

If so, how can I adjust the pushrod on the master cylinder and/or brake booster?

Thanks!

spartanix December 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Sounds like it could be a master cylinder or brake booster problem. When you pump the brake pedal while the car is on does it get harder each time? If not then your brake booster isn’t getting enough vacuum to build pressure to assist the brakes so check the vacuum lines. If it looks good then you may need to replace the booster.

mark April 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

How do I replace seals on a nissin rear brake caliper off a 1992 honda accord

troy May 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

my brakes worked fine before i went on a trip, when i came back i pushed on them and it got a little tight but then baiscly went to the floor before it would stopt he car. i have bled the brakes and checked them as well, pads seem to be in good shape. What should i do next??

David November 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I have a 1995 Honda Civic, when I use my brakes the pedal goes to the floor. If I pump the brakes I get pressure. If I let it run a few minutes without touching the brakes I lose all pressure again. Any idea what would cause this? I have done nothing to the car so far. Waiting on a friend who knows more about cars than I do.

L A Seepaul January 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I have a 1995 Honda Accord EX. I started losing brake pedal pressure with the pedal going almost all the way to the floor. I took it into a shop. The mechanic bled and tested system and could find no leaks. He then said, “Well, it’s probably the master cylinder.” He changed that. $341. It solved the problem temporarily. Three weeks ago the same issue returned. I took it back and he now said it was the ABS; the system had a leak. I asked him to show me the location of the leak and he couldn’t find it – said it was probably a vapor leak! I love this car. It’s been a great vehicle despite 240,000 miles. I’ve changed oil and serviced it regularly as recommended. Please help. I cannot trust this mechanic anymore.

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