This guide is designed to address a number of problems relating to the Honda Civic electric parking brake. Firstly it will help you to understand the causes of and how to fix a Honda Civic electic parking brake problem when the light appears on your dash. Secondly it will explain the 2016 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem which actually led to a recall.
Why does my Honda Civic say electric brake problem? The Honda Civic electric parking brake problem error light is caused by issues including a dirty or defective parking brake button, bad wiring, or a problem with the parking brake servo motor and can happen in years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
There was also a widely reported Honda Civic electric parking brake problem in 2016 nodels which actually led to a recall. Owners found that the electronic parking brake in some 2016 models of Honda Civics were failing meaning the car would roll from a parked position.
Some owners of 2017 and 2018 models also reported this… more on this towards the end of the article though.
If you’re not affected by that 2016 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem and instead yours relates to when the warning light is coming on, read on.
What does an electric parking brake problem mean on my Honda Civic?
At the top of the article I mentioned three potential causes of of a Honda Civic electric parking brake problem when the warning light malfunction icon appears on your dashboard.
Whilst it could be a software fault in the vehicle assist control unit (which led to the 2016 recalls) common causes could instead relate to:
- Bad or dirty brake console parking switch.
- Defective wiring.
- Bad parking brake servo motor.
1. Bad brake switch
A damaged brake switch is the most common cause for the Honda Civic electric brake problem light to come on. The switch (or pull button) in the center console can easily be damaged by dirt or debris (such as spilt drinks).
In the event of a damaged or broken parking brake switch, have a technician disassemble the console and replace the faulty switch underneath. It is something that you might want to try fixing yourself.
Parking brake switches can be purchased online at Amazon.
2. Defective wiring
A bad or loose connection in the wiring of your vehicle’s electric parking brake system could cause the electric parking brake problem.
Keep in mind that bad wiring at the console’s center and clips connecting to other components such as the servo motor can also cause this issue.
If you suspect that the warning is because of faulty wiring, you should reach out to your electrical technician to have a look.
3. Bad servo motor
The electric parking brake system of your Honda Civic features servo motors. The function of the servo motor is to lock your car’s wheels when the brake is activated.
Unlike older parking brake systems that were mechanical and made use of cables, modern Honda Civics use the servo motor and work differently. If you have a bad or malfunctioning motor, it can lead to the electric parking brake problem.
Fortunately, you can replace these motors without too much hassle by visiting the garage.
Other less common reasons why you see the Honda Civic electric parking brake problem light
Other factors that could result in an electric parking brake problem are:
- Miscommunication between switches and EPB module.
- An electrical fault in the EPB module.
- Jammed EPB motor.
- Corroded parking brake cables (common EPB issue with Honda Civic).
The above should assist with any of the following queries:
- 2017 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem
- 2018 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem
- 2019 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem
- 2020 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem
- 2021 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem
- 2022 Honda Civic electric parking brake problem
How do you reset the electric parking brake on a Honda Civic?
Once you have fixed any problem with the Honda Civic electric parking brake, you will need to reset it so the light goes off on your dashboard. Here’s how you reset it:
- With your foot on the brake pedal, turn the ignition on and make sure the gears are in “park”. Do not removed your foot from the foot brake.
- Pull the EPB (electronic parking brake) button up and then release it.
- Then pull the EPB button up again but this time hold it in position until you hear a sound. At which point you can let go.
- Now pull the EPB button and hold again for 3 seconds.
- When you hear two beep sounds you can release it.
By following the above steps it should let you reset the Civic electronic parking brake symbol and get rid of the warning message.
The Honda Civic electric parking brake recall in 2016
And now the recall that happened in 2016. Almost unbelievelably if it wasn’t true, but Honda recalled 350,000 2016 Civics for the faulty parking brake problem.
“The software may prevent the electric parking brake from engaging when it’s applied immediately after turning off the vehicle ignition, Honda says. The problem does not occur if the parking brake is applied before turning off the vehicle ignition. If the parking brake cannot be applied, a “brake” warning indicator in the instrument panel will blink for 15 seconds to alert the driver.”
It was said to impact two and four-door Civics in the range of 1.5L to 2.0L engines. Consumers also reported this same Honda Civic parking brake defect in 2017 and 2018 models too.
So that’s hopefully helped you now if you need understand the causes of, or fix the problem light that appears for a parking brake. If you want to know a little more about the technology, here some additional details.
Handy Hint: How to properly use the brake hold button in a Honda Civic.
What is an electric parking brake (meaning and function)
The electric parking brake, also known as EPB, is an emergency brake installed in most modern cars. This brake system is electrically controlled and is activated by pushing your vehicle’s brake pedal and then pulling up the electric parking brake (EPB) switch.
The EPB works alongside your car’s ECU (electronic control unit) and an actuator mechanism. As stated earlier, the primary purpose of the EPB is to ensure your vehicle remains still when parked.
Here’s a great definition from the Car Wow website.
“The traditional handbrake lever tensions a cable when it’s pulled. That cable squeezes the car’s brake pads onto the brake discs holding the car firmly in place. Some cars have a separate disc and pads on the rear axle specifically for the handbrake. Whatever system a car uses, the principle remains the same: pulling the lever locks the rear wheels so that the car won’t move. Electronic handbrakes – sometimes called electronic parking brakes – work on the same basis but use electric motors to achieve locking.”
This section will answer several related questions about the Honda Civic’s electrical parking brake problem.
What does it mean when I get the electric parking brake warning in my Honda Civic?
Having an EPB warning appear on your panel isn’t the end of the world. It means that the electrical parking brake system of your vehicle has been compromised.
If left unchecked, the system will fail, causing your car to roll away when parked.
What is the electric parking brake problem?
Honda Civic owners will see a message reading “electric parking brake problem” on their vehicle’s screen. This message is accompanied by the activation of the brake/brake system warning light.
You can get rid of the warning by using the steps I outlined further up the page. The EPB problem message should then disappear when you turn on your ignition.
What does Honda Civic electric parking problem mean?
The electric parking brake problem happens when the parking brake no longer automatically activates when you open the driver’s side door or step out of the vehicle.
Why is my Honda Civic electric parking brake stuck?
Your Civic’s electronic parking brake (EPB) can get stuck for a number of reasons including corrosion when rust gets into the mechanics. Ice in freezing weather can also make a electronic brake stick.
How do you use the electric parking brake on a Honda Civic?
Using an electroni parking brake on a Civic is very simple. You just pull the button or switch up on the center console when you wish to engage the brakes into a locked position. To release the parking brake, put your foot on the brake pedal, and then pull the button up.
Can you release the EPB on Honda Civic with a dead battery?
No, you can’t release or apply the electric parking brake on a Honda Civic with a dead battery. Your vehicle must have power for the EPB to function.
Remember that the electric parking brake system, as the name suggests, is controlled electrically. A dead battery implies no power.
Handy Hint: Here’s why you get that annoying beep sound when you get in and out of your Civic.
How do I manually release an electric parking brake?
You will need a scan tool, a 12-volt power source, and electrical connectors for this process. Here’s a helpful DIY video that perfectly explains how to release an EPB manually.
Can I disengage the parking brakes of my Honda Civic?
Yes, you can disengare the parking brakes. Your Civic has a pedal emergency brake. It is a small pedal located towards the left side of the brake, clutch, and gas pedal.
To disengage the parking brakes, apply pressure on the pedal until you hear a click. Proceed to pull the lever just above the treadle (foot pedal) to release the parking brake.
Handy Hint: Find out how big your Civic’s gas tank is and what miles per gallon rate you can expect to get.
The electric parking brake is an important safety feature in modern Honda Civics. The primary purpose of this system is to prevent your Honda from moving when parked.
However, like all things electrical, it is not uncommon for electrically controlled car components to develop faults – leading in this case to the often misunderstood Honda Civic electric parking brake error.
Now you know what causes the error and potential fixes, here are some more simple guides below.