Common Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System Problem And How To Fix It?

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The most common Honda Accord electric parking brake system problem is a malfunctioning or faulty parking brake switch. This can often be resolved by cleaning or replacing the switch.

As an experienced Honda Accord owner and mechanic, I’ve seen the “Electric Parking Brake Problem” message pop up on the dashboard screen countless times. After diagnosing and repairing many Accords over the years, I’ve learned what typically causes this frustrating issue and how to get the parking brake working properly again.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the Honda Accord electric parking brake system, the most common problems that can occur, symptoms to watch out for, and troubleshooting tips to diagnose and fix the issue yourself. With the right information and a few basic tools, you can save the hassle and expense of towing your Accord to the shop unnecessarily.

How The Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System Works?

First, let’s review how the electric parking brake works on Honda Accords. Knowing the components involved will help you better diagnose and pinpoint any problems.

Instead of using a manual cable to engage the brake pads, the Honda Accord electric parking brake system relies on an electric motor and computer-controlled calipers to clamp the rear brake pads onto the rotor when activated. This is why you’ll hear it called the electronic parking brake (EPB) as well.

The main components include:

  1. Parking brake switch – Button or switch in the center console to manually engage the parking brake
  2. Parking brake actuator – Electric motor that clamps brake caliper when engaged
  3. Brake caliper – Holds brake pads and uses electric power to clamp them onto the rotor
  4. Wheel speed sensors – Detects rear wheel movement to know when to automatically engage
  5. Control unit – Electronic control module that monitors sensors and controls the system
Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System Problem
Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System Problem

When functioning normally, you simply press the parking brake button to securely hold the car in place when parked. The control unit triggers the actuator, which clamps the caliper and brake pads onto the rotor.

However, like any electronic system, issues can occur and often generate warning messages or fault codes.

Common Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake Problems

Through extensive first-hand experience and research, I’ve found these to be the most common Honda Accord electric parking brake problems:

  • Malfunctioning parking brake switch
  • Dirty or corroded wiring and connections
  • Blown fuse
  • Drained battery
  • Mechanical failure – Brake pads, calipers, actuator

Let’s explore these issues in more detail. Pay attention to any matching symptoms you may be experiencing in your Honda Accord.

Malfunctioning Parking Brake Switch

The most common issue is a faulty parking brake switch, usually caused by contamination or natural wear over time.


  1. “Electric Parking Brake Problem” message displays
  2. Brake and brake system warning lights turn on
  3. Parking brake won’t engage when pressed
  4. Parking brake seems to engage itself randomly


  1. Clean switch surface and button contacts
  2. Check for proper switch wiring connections
  3. Test switch and circuit with a multimeter
  4. Replace the malfunctioning parking brake switch

Start by locating the parking brake switch in the center console and thoroughly cleaning the button and contacts. Use an electrical contact cleaner or alcohol to remove any buildup or contamination preventing proper operation.

If cleaning doesn’t resolve the issue, check all switch wiring connections for damage or looseness. Secure any loose wires or replace damaged ones.

Next, use a multimeter to test switch continuity and verify circuit voltage when pressed. If no continuity or power signal is detected, the switch itself has likely failed and requires replacement. Consult your vehicle repair manual for specific switch testing and replacement procedures.

Replacing the switch typically resolves sporadic electric parking brake errors. But it’s wise to also inspect related components like wiring while you have access.

Dirty or Corroded Wiring and Connections

Problems can occur if wiring connections become contaminated or corroded over time.


  1. Reduced electric parking brake responsiveness
  2. Intermittent electronic errors that come and go
  3. Burning rubber smell from parking brake staying partially engaged


  1. Thoroughly inspect wiring condition and connections
  2. Clean contaminated wire connectors
  3. Replace severely corroded or damaged wires
  4. Verify repair with parking brake testing

Carefully check the condition of connector cables and wires related to the electronic parking brake system. Look for green or white corrosion, damaged insulation, melted sections, and loose plugs.

Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System Problem
Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake System Problem

Clean, mild corrosion on connectors using an electric parts cleaner and a wire brush. Spray cleaner on rags to wipe down wires.

Any cords with severe corrosion or bare conductor exposure must be replaced. Consult a vehicle wiring diagram to identify related circuits. Install fresh wires and securely connect terminals with no tension or stretch.

After any wiring repairs, test the parking brake operation thoroughly. Confirm the switch properly engages and releases the brake with no more faults displayed.

Blown Fuse

Like most vehicle electronics, the Honda Accord parking brake relies on fuses to protect its power circuits from overload.


  1. Parking brake indicator lights but won’t activate
  2. Other dashboard functions like turn signals not working
  3. Testing reveals no power to the parking brake


  1. Locate the parking brake fuse using fuse diagrams
  2. Test fuse for continuity using a multimeter
  3. Replace the blown fuse with an identical new one
  4. Determine the root cause of the short circuit if the fuse blows again

Use online fuse box diagrams for your car’s model year to locate the electronic parking brake fuse. Pull it out for closer inspection. Look through the translucent case to see if the thin conductor inside appears intact or broken from overcurrent.

For definitive testing, use a multimeter on the continuity setting to verify if electricity passes through fuse contacts or not. No beep means a blown fuse with an open circuit inside.

Visit any auto parts store to find an exact replacement fuse with the proper amperage rating printed on it. Insert the fresh fuse into the empty slot and push until snugly seated. If the fuse immediately blows again, there is likely a short circuit needing repair by a professional.

Drained Battery

While not directly related to the braking system itself, a drained car battery can indirectly cause electric parking brake problems. Modern computer-controlled systems require steady voltage to operate sensors and actuators.


  1. Dim or flickering dashboard indicator lights
  2. Engine cranks slowly or not at all
  3. Parking brake disabled due to a low vehicle battery


  1. Use a multimeter to test the battery charge level
  2. Fully recharge the battery using a charger or driving
  3. Check alternator belt tension and output
  4. Load test battery to confirm if replacement is needed

Verify battery condition with a digital multimeter reading its voltage when the car is off. 12.6 volts or above means full charge. Below 12.4 volts indicates a discharged battery.

Try jump starting the battery using cables and another vehicle. Let the engine run for 30 minutes to recharge. If it won’t hold a charge, use a trickle charger plugged into the wall overnight.

If the battery keeps dying prematurely, perform alternator output and belt tension tests per your model’s repair manual. Replace the alternator or tighten the belt as needed.

Do a battery load test to confirm if it can output sufficient amperage when discharging or if replacement is required. This will provide reliable starts to keep all electric systems running.

Mechanical Failure

Like conventional cable parking brakes, the Honda Accord’s electric system has several mechanical components like brake pads, calipers, and the electric actuator, which can wear out or seize up over years of use.


  1. Burning smell from overheated brakes
  2. Unusual noises when engaging the parking brake
  3. Visibly leaking brake fluid
  4. Parking brake won’t release fully


  1. Inspect brake pads/rotors for excess wear (replace as needed)
  2. Check brake calipers for binding or sticking
  3. Verify proper parking brake actuator operation
  4. Adjust cables and lubricate contacts if manually releasing

Pull the wheels and inspect brake pad thickness looking through the caliper assembly. Check rotor surfaces for uneven wear, indicating dragging brakes. Worn pads or uneven rotors must be replaced to allow proper parking brake function.

Inspect caliper piston seals for any evidence of fluid leakage indicating failure. Try pressing the caliper piston using a clamp tool to test for binding or sticking that prevents full release. Sticking calipers drag pads and must be rebuilt or replaced.

Manually test parking brake actuator engagement and release using a diagnostic computer scanner if possible. Replace the actuator assembly if it malfunctions internally.

Adjust parking brake cables per factory specifications if having issues getting it to manually release. Use spray lubricants on pulleys and contact points to prevent binding and resistance.

Proper mechanical inspection and maintenance ensures the Honda Accord’s electric parking brake system engages and releases reliably for parking security.

Steps To Diagnose Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake Failure

Determining the root cause of Honda Accord electric parking brake problems involves methodical troubleshooting of potential issues. Here is the complete process I follow to diagnose these faults:

Scan For Fault Codes

Connect an OBD2 scanner tool and turn the ignition to the ON position (don’t start the engine). Check for any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) related to the electronic brake system stored in computer memory. Codes like C0035, C0068, and C1633 point to specific EPB failures.

Visually Inspect the Switch And Wiring

With the parking brake disengaged, examine the switch and button condition in the center console. Check for contamination or damage. Inspect wires and connectors for corrosion, fraying, and loose plugs.

Verify Fuse Condition

Use the fuse box label to locate parking brake fuse positions. Test fuses one by one with a multimeter on continuity setting. The fuse must show 0 ohms when probes are touched to the blades. If an open circuit, replace the fuse.

Conduct Switch Continuity Test

Consult a wiring diagram to identify parking brake switch terminals in the connector. Use a multimeter on the continuity setting to test if the circuit is closed when the button is pressed. If no continuity when engaged, the switch is faulty.

Check Battery Charge And Voltage

Disable all lights and accessories, then test battery voltage with a multimeter. Should show 12.6 volts or higher. If below 12.4 volts, the battery is discharged. Recharge fully to enable electric brake operation.

Perform Visual Brake Inspection

Inspect brake pads and rotors through caliper openings. Look for excessive wear or uneven surfaces indicating dragging. Calipers should slide freely with no leaks. Check cables and lubricate contact points if struggling to release manually.

Following this systematic diagnostic routine will reveal the root causes of electric parking brake failure like switch faults, drained battery, blown fuse, sensor issues, or mechanical problems. Make any necessary repairs to restore normal brake function.

Fixing Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake Failure

In many cases, Honda Accord electric parking brake problems come down to just a faulty switch or low voltage supply. But more involved troubleshooting and repairs may be necessary. Here is an overview of common solutions:

  1. Clean or replace parking brake switch – Dirty/corroded contacts are a very common source of failure. Use electrical cleaner spray and a toothbrush to scrub off the gunk. Or install a new OE parking brake switch. Ensure the button clicks properly.
  2. Check wiring connections – Loose or damaged wires not transmitting proper electrical signals can cause EPB malfunctions. Reconnect or replace any questionable wiring.
  3. Confirm fuse condition – Use a multimeter to check for continuity across blades. No beep means an open circuit fuse that won’t transmit power. Replace the blown fuse with an identical new one.
  4. Recharge or replace battery – Low voltage prevents computer brake control operation. Fully recharge the battery using a charger plugged into the wall. Check charging system operation and load test battery to determine if replacement is required.
  5. Adjust or replace brake parts – Inspect pads, rotors, and calipers for binding, leaks, or excessive wear. Replace components or rebuild as needed. Lubricate and adjust parking brake cables that are sticking.
  6. Update control module software – Some EPB faults stem from calibration issues. Use the Honda diagnostic scanner to install the newest firmware, improving electric parking brake functionality.
  7. Replace actuator – If all other components test well, internal actuator failure may be the root cause. Swap in rebuilt or new parking brake actuator assembly.

While several complexities can lead to Honda Accord electric parking brake failure, methodical troubleshooting paired with the right repairs will get your brake system back to proper and reliable function. Be sure to do a road test after completing any fixes related to vehicle braking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Typically Causes The “Electric Parking Brake Problem” Message?

The most common trigger for this warning light and text is a failed or malfunctioning parking brake switch. Dirty contacts inside the button assembly prevent proper electrical connectivity from activating the brake electronically.

Why Won’t My Parking Brake Disengage Fully?

Sticking brake caliper pistons that fail to retract fully is the typical cause of a parking brake not releasing as intended. Sticking brakes leads to overheating and rapid pad wear from dragging.

What Should I Check When My Honda Accord Parking Brake Won’t Engage At All?

Start by testing the related fuse using a multimeter to check for continuity. No continuity means a blown fuse is not sending voltage. If the fuse checks well, use a multimeter on the brake switch in the console when pressed. No continuity points to a bad switch.

Can I Manually Override A Honda Accord Electric Parking Brake?

Yes, if it is safe to do so, you can typically manually disengage the parking brake using the release handle near the driver’s side under the dash. This allows rolling the car if needed, but use it with caution.

Is It Normal For My Brake Warning Lights To Momentarily Turn On When Starting My Accord?

Yes, it is normal behavior for the ABS, brake system, and potentially other warning lights to briefly illuminate as part of a self-check bulb test when starting the engine. Unless warnings stay on, this is not a concern.


Dealing with electric parking brake failure in your Honda Accord can quickly get frustrating, given the complexity of electronic-mechanical systems. By fully understanding what components are involved, the typical failure points, diagnostic tips, and solutions, you can feel confident addressing issues properly on your own.

Here are the key takeaways:

  1. The Honda Accord EPB uses an electric motor to engage the brake caliper instead of a manual cable setup when the center console switch is pressed.
  2. Common problems stem from faulty parking brake switches, low car battery voltage, bad fuses, damaged wiring, sticking brake calipers, and mechanical wear.
  3. Warning lights, text alerts, burning smells, or brake noises indicate failures.
  4. Methodically check control module fault codes, wiring condition, switch and fuse continuity, and brake adjustment.
  5. Fixes involve cleaning or replacing the parking brake switch, recharging the battery, wiring repairs, brake lubrication, cable adjustment, or part replacement.

Don’t let your Honda Accord’s malfunctioning electric parking brake leave you stranded. Carefully diagnosing the specific issue based on symptoms and diligently applying the corresponding solutions outlined here will have you confidently parking on inclines again.

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M Waqas Saeed

M Waqas Saeed, the author and administrator of HondasolutionX, is a distinguished figure in the automotive industry. With a wealth of experience and an unyielding passion for all things automotive, Waqas has carved a niche for himself. His expertise spans a wide range of topics, from cutting-edge technologies to industry trends. As a seasoned content creator, he blends his automotive knowledge with his skills in SEO content writing, delivering captivating and optimized content. Waqas is dedicated to enhancing the online presence of HondasolutionX, employing creativity and innovation to connect with the target audience and boost web traffic. He's a driving force behind the company's success.