brake lights "click", slight vibrations in the leg room

Faults and Technical chat for the Honda E
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:16 am

Post by nautigar » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:44 pm

Hello everyone,

I am the proud owner of a Honda e (called "Totoro" for its cute chubbiness) for 10 weeks now and I am very happy with it. Have been driving it around 3500 km, and no range anxiety so far. :)

There are just two slight niggles that I have, and I wonder if anyone has an idea what the cause might be or how it can be fixed, or whether others here have noticed these "phenomena", too:

1.) Whenever the brake lights turn on, either explicitly by stepping on the brake pedal or implicitly when the car starts recuperation, I can hear a soft but clearly audible clicking sound. The dealer suspected the brake light switch, but this does not explain why the sound is also audible when the brake lights turn on automatically, i.e. without stepping on the brake pedal. The sound is not always there, but most of the time. Also funny: There is no sound when the brake lights turn off, only when they turn on. In the end, the dealer considered the sound normal because their test car had it, too.

2.) I can feel an ever so slight vibration in my feet when driving. I can feel it in the left foot on the foot rest as well as in the right foot on the accelerator, and my sister could even feel it in the codriver's legroom. I have to admit that I am very sensitive and that there are people (including my unfortunate dealer ;) ) that do not feel it at all, but it is driving me nuts. The vibration is not always there and it changes when I switch the AC on or off. Funny thing is that it is much less noticeable when I drive without shoes.

I'd appreciate any input, including remarks as "Then turn the radio up and don't drive with shoes!" :D

Best wishes from Germany, Matthias.

User avatar
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2021 8:33 am

Post by schodoodles » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:25 pm

Neither from me in afraid though will keep note next time in my e. I may curse you if I find them though! 😀

The brake light switch was also my first thought with the clicking but if it occurs under braking when ACC is on then kind of rules out the linkage, switch and pedal entirely. Does the clicking occur when stationary?

Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:33 am

Post by EEEE » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:29 pm

1) having looked under the bonnet of my e - the braking system is most likely described as witchcraft. I counted at least 3 major components, most of them being electrical. I suspect that you are hearing a relay or contactor closing when brake assistance is called for (no vacuum pump and booster servo like 'normal car'). Without intimate knowledge of the braking system, it will be hard to find out what it could be. Consider that the many safety critical systems must be isolated and fail safe from other systems, so expect 'more' to be happening when you press the brake. I will listen extra carefully on my journey tomorrow, but I don't think I have an issue. With an assistant pressing the pedal whilst stationary, can you hear anything under the bonnet area - it could simply be something mounted a little loose? Is there any difference between lifting off the accelerator at >80% battery?

2) Can't say I've noticed the vibrations, but certainly can 'hear' a great deal happening under the bonnet. AC fan, AC pump, coolant pumps, contactors, all sorts. It's like the car is alive... if I ever work out what the '3 clunks' are when i turn the car off i will let you know. I will turn the AC off / on tomorrow and see if i notice anything.

Perhaps your model is an early production model before a few adjustments/refinements?

Is your car LHD or RHD?



Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:53 pm

Post by Nebrog23 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:44 pm

To me the brake noise is a relay as previously mentioned. You get used to it and learn to ignore it.

The vibration is just that, it's the vibration from the car/road working its way into the cabin. The carpet is thin and there is a limitation to how much Honda spent on sound/vibration isolation. I noticed it more with the 17" wheels I have compared to a previous E I used with 16".

Thats the problem/advantage with an electric car, they are so quiet you notice other noises.

Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:33 am

Post by EEEE » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:13 am

Ah yes, the brake relay sound is there. Sounds like its coming from somewhere under the dash or to the right of the accelerator (normally where a fusebox is on most older hondas). If the relay is of a standard type, it could most likely be replaced with any number of replacements including (perhaps) the solid state type. However, I would want to check the schematic for what the relay feeds before replacing it with a non mechanical one...

As for the AC / vibration - I do not get this. There is a very sudden/undesirable clonk when either the compressor or condenser fan kicks in, but this does not continue after the initial clonk. I would perhaps check your fan, perhaps it is unbalanced or mounted imperfectly?

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:16 am

Post by nautigar » Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:09 am

schodoodles wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:25 pm
Does the clicking occur when stationary?
Thank you for your input. Yes, the clicking also occurs when the car is standing still.

Post Reply

  • You may also be interested in...
    Last post