The Honda Odyssey is a family touring wagon with front brakes on it that are so minimal in size that they would hardly be considered worthy for use in the local primary school billy cart race. A car with hundreds of kilograms of weight behind it just does not have the front brakes to do the job.
The result is the rotors overheat and as a result they warp giving a pulsating sensation through the steering wheel and in extreme cases through the body of the car.
The fault plagues almost all Odysseys but it is particularly bad in vehicles released in Australia between 2003 and 2008 (also known as the third generation Odyssey).
Dealerships became well aware of the fault early on but very little could or would be done to rectify this. Disc rotor machines were carried out and the customer was happy for a short time until the fault returned.
Years down the line there is only two real options to fixing this issue.
The first is a brake upgrade, referred to in the performance car world as a Big Brake Kit or BBK. The consumer is looking at around $2000 for a set of Brembos or equivalent to be fired to the car. The Big Brake Kit has a bigger disc rotor allowing greater surface area for brakes and thus better heat dissipation. To fit these to the Odyssey bigger wheels and tyres are required as the factory wheels do not allow for the big brake kits to fit.
We have only found one company in the US that supplies these kits and ironically this company is called Horsepower Freaks. A father of three, owning a house in the suburbs, walking his labrador and going to the office on a daily basis now has to stoop to the level of “skid kid” and scroll though a website made for testosterone filled adolescents who fix cars with tiptoes and drink beer out of shoes on national television in order to locate a solution for his Odyssey brake shudder.
The other option available to Odyssey is an upgraded disc rotor. We have had relative success to date by fitting a product called “kangaroo paw”. Kangaroo Paw is a relatively new product sold by DBA (Disc Brake Australia) The design of the fins within the disc rotor allows for better heat distribution across the rotor which reduced the risk of disc warping.
These rotors are available in factory disc sizes for most vehicles. The advantage of this product is there is no need to change the pad size, caliber or master cylinder set up. Just change the rotors and put a new set of pads in it and you’re done.
The Kangaroo paw is deeper than standard replacement discs but to date we have seen this fix the fault.