I have a 1998 Honda Accord. I am driving today and I know that I need new brakes. They make a metal on metal screeching sound when I brake. Today as I go to brake at an intersection I hear a loud pop and my brakes stop working. I was able to avoid an accident and pulled over. I try driving on the small streets slowing trying my brakes. They seem to be stopping slowly and loudly. I know I can't put off getting new brakes but not sure exactly what I need to replace. I'm thinking at least the front pads, front rotors, maybe driver side calipers, and maybe the brake line.

Anyone have any ideas as to what happened?

I need to replace and how much longer can I drive like this?

Any input is good. If you need more information, let me know. Thanks.


Had it towed to a mechanic shop. Forgot I had roadside assistance from my car insurance, wasn't worth driving like that. Mechanic says I need all 4 rotors, pads, and calipers. That all the brakes are locked (not sure what that means). Cost to replace: front rotors and ceramic pads = $240, rear rotors and ceramic pads = $240, and all 4 calipers, 4 x $150 = $600. For a total of $1080. He said he would throw in replacing my catalytic converter for free (i knew i had to replace it before).

  • 24
    If your brakes failed once, you can't drive it at all, and you shouldn't have driven home. You're putting other peoples property and lives at risk doing so.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 22:18
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    Hint: you should have started worrying about your brakes the moment they made those screeching sounds for the first time. Or, better yet, you should have checked the brake pads regularly and have them replaced before that even happened. Consider doing so next time: you'll be less of a public danger that way, and you'll save on repairs. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 9:56
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    Poor '98 Honda :(
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 13:43
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    Add me to the people saying do not drive any more. Have it towed to the nearest dealership or repair shop and get the brakes fixed before you get behind the wheel again, or you're putting your life and the lives of everyone around you in danger. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 16:08
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    "How much longer can I drive like this?" - The rest of your life. Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 0:29

4 Answers 4


Yes. One of your brake pads on the caliper side of the brakes had been worn so far down it popped out of place. Now you are stopping using the caliper piston against the brake rotor. You will now have to not only get the brake pads and rotors replaced, but the caliper as well. If you cannot fix this yourself, you should get the vehicle towed to a repair shop. DO NOT DRIVE it any more until you do. As others have said, you are risking not only your own life and property, but everyone else's around you as well.

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    The longer you wait to replace the brake pads, the cost of repair grows. Simple brake pads would've been $50 or so, with labor, but replacing the caliper is easily couple hundred, along with obviously new brake pads.
    – Nelson
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 7:42
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    @Nelson considering the OP's remark about the screeching sound he ignored for a while, he will probably also need to resurface or replace the rotors. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 10:04
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    @DmitryGrigoryev - I would bet he's well beyond resurfacing rotors. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 11:18
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    +1 for DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR. this cannot be emphasised enough. Without effective brakes your car is a 1 tonne + out of control weapon, which could easily kill multiple people. Fix it or get it towed before you even consider driving it again.
    – Miller86
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 14:27
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    Poor piston, doing the best that it can :(
    – Agop
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:03

It sounds like the brake pads have either completely worn through or otherwise failed, your car is not safe to drive at all.

In this case you will certainly need new pads on both sides and possibly new rotors (disks) if they have been scored by metal/metal contact.

Depending on exactly what has failed the calipers and pistons may be ok but they need to be checked.

There is no particular reason to suspect that the brake lines themselves have been damaged if they had the brake pedal would just go to the floor with no resistance, but as you will already need some components replaced it makes sense to check them at the same time. Similarly this is a good time to inspect the whole front suspension and steering assembly as well as the inside of the wheel arches.

This may also be a reminder to do any other checks on oil, fluids etc that you may have been putting off.


I had this exact situation , in my case the one of the two caliper bolts was missing( or fell out due to not being tightened ).

Scenario: As I hit the brakes, the caliper slide round and hit the inside of my wheel rim causing me to lose all braking force and causing a reasonable audible thump (then as soon as i released the brakes the spinning motion on the rotor dragged the caliper back into place you could not see any problems at the road side).

I made my opinion well known loudly at the local dealer who had recently serviced my car.

check everything is well mounted and the two caliper bolts are correctly installed.

yes it might sound unlikely but it literately happened to me, so it could defiantly happen to you.

  • It defiantly happened to me.
    – DavidC
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 11:00
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    @DavidC Did you discipline your car appropriately for its defiance?
    – JAB
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 20:41
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    Yes. I pounded on the brakes, yelled at the top of my lungs, angrily honked the horn and crashed violently into a truck stopped at a light. I don't think it will be doing that again.
    – DavidC
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 21:15

Paulster is right, it's probably related to your pads popping out of place, doesn't sound like brake hose damage. However it is not necessarily due to them being worn down too much. I've had an extremely similar situation where my brake pad friction material fell apart. Still not sure whether it was because of age, low quality or being overheated.

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