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Summary
  • The Honda CR-V generally has two designs of electric parking brakes: a cable-pulling type that uses an electric motor to pull the parking brake cable and another type that uses a computer-controlled motor attached to the brake caliper.
  • If your Honda CR-V displays an “electric parking brake problem” warning message, you’re likely dealing with a defective parking brake switch, battery problems, and wiring issues.
  • You can try resetting your CR-V’s system to clear its “electric parking brake problem” warning. If it still persists, take your vehicle to a mechanic.

The Honda CR-V is known to have a set of advanced features that make daily driving less of a chore and more of an adventure.

Even the smallest tweaks in this SUV make all the difference in terms of comfort and safety, and one of the eye-catching features a lot of drivers admire is the switch-activated electric parking brake.

But as convenient as this mechanism is, it also comes with a few setbacks.

A Closer Look at the CR-V’s Electric Parking Brake

Late-model CR-Vs have a switch that lets the driver activate the electric parking brake. This feature replaces the traditional foot pedal or hand lever.

There are generally two designs of electric parking brakes.

The first one is a cable-pulling type that uses an electric motor to pull the parking brake cable. The second one uses a computer-controlled motor attached to the brake caliper.

Some vehicles have a more advanced emergency braking mechanism that automatically activates as soon as the vehicle comes to a full stop. The emergency brakes are released once the driver steps on the gas pedal.

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honda crv electric brake calipers
The calipers shown in the diagram are the type used on later model Honda CR-Vs. | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

“Electric Parking Brake Problem” Warning Message on the Honda CR-V: Most Common Causes

Warnings can pop up on your CR-V’s dash anytime, and that includes the “electric parking brake problem” message.

There are generally four reasons why this message can appear.

Defective Parking Brake Switch

The brake switch is a normally open (NO) switch that closes when the brake pedal is depressed. It also serves as an input switch for systems like the cruise control, anti-lock brakes, and brake shift interlock.

Over time, dirt, grime, and other contaminants can cause the brake switch to fail. It can even cause the parking brake lights to stay on, which can drain your battery if left unaddressed.

Battery Problems

A dead or dying battery is another common reason for your CR-V to display an “electric parking brake problem” message.

Low voltage from the battery can cause the automatic brakes to malfunction. Once this happens, the brake pedal can kick back, indicating that the electric brakes have reset.

Batteries have a service life of three to seven years. In most cases, overcharging can shorten the battery’s lifespan and result in electrical issues. Excessive vibration because of loose hold-downs can also cause the battery’s active plate material to disintegrate.

New CR-Vs can come with dying batteries as well, causing the “electric parking brake problem” message to appear at the beginning of their service life.

Some new CR-Vs already come with depleted batteries because of how long they’ve been sitting in the lot or in storage.

A dead battery can also be the reason why some Honda CR-Vs won’t start and have the “electric parking brake problem” message displayed on their dash. This is a common occurrence in several fifth-generation CR-Vs (2017-2022).

According to reports from some of the affected owners, their SUVs would even emit beeping sounds while this warning message is displayed. This also prevented them from locking the car doors.

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Some drivers assume that their SUVs have more electrical demands than previous models, causing their batteries to run out of juice in as fast as two years.

Wiring Issues

Wirings are prone to corrosion and wear, which can affect the performance of many electrical systems. Loose and damaged wiring can cause the “electric parking brake problem” warning message to appear, indicating that the system is malfunctioning.

Faulty Servo Motor

CR-V brake rotors have servo motors that lock the wheels once the brakes are applied.

Overheating, contamination, faulty wiring, and bearing failure are some of the most common causes of a damaged servo motor. Repetitive braking can also cause the servo motor to wear out faster than normal.

What to Do About Your CR-V’s “Electric Parking Brake Problem” Warning Message

There are cases where the “electric parking brake problem” message can be cleared without taking your SUV to a mechanic or breaking it apart.

2019 Honda CR V
There are cases where the “electric parking brake problem” message can be cleared without taking your SUV to a mechanic or breaking it apart. Image credit: Honda Newsroom.

You can try resetting your CR-V’s system to troubleshoot the problem. To do this, your vehicle must be fully stopped before shifting the gear to neutral.

Then, turn off the ignition and hold the parking brake switch down for about two seconds. It should suspend the brake’s automatic activation.

But if the issue remains after doing this, a quick trip to a certified auto repair shop is your best bet at clearing the warning message.

If you’re an experienced DIYer with enough knowledge to fix the problem on your own, make sure to have the right guides and equipment before proceeding with the repair.

Experiencing Brake Issues with Your CR-V? You’re Not the Only One

Your CR-V’s electric parking brake problem isn’t an isolated case. In fact, it’s a common issue found in other model years of the fifth-generation CR-V. Some have worse repercussions than a simple warning message appearing on the dashboard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has investigated approximately 1.7 million 2017-2019 CR-Vs and Accords because of random brake problems.

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Over the course of the investigation, the NHTSA received 278 complaints of unnecessary braking, with six of these incidents ending in collisions.

Many owners of the affected models have reported that their emergency brakes would suddenly engage even when there’s no need to. Honda has yet to issue a recall about this matter.

Wrapping Up

A defective parking brake switch, wiring issues, a dead or dying battery, and a faulty servo motor are some of the reasons why the “electric parking brake problem” warning message can appear on many CR-V dashboards.

If this happens, you can try resetting the system to troubleshoot the issue, but a visit to a certified auto repair shop is a viable option if the message isn’t cleared by then.

How to Get a New Parking Brake Switch or Battery

Whatever you do, don’t ignore your Honda CR-V’s brake issues. Doing so increases your risk of getting into accidents, no matter how carefully you drive your SUV. To keep you and your passengers safe, it’s best to tackle the problem as soon as possible. Luckily, getting a replacement parking brake switch and battery is fast and easy with CarParts.com. 

CarParts.com offers a wide selection of parking brake switches and batteries sourced from only the most trusted manufacturers in the industry. You’re sure to get your money’s worth from our high-quality products. You can also expect your package to arrive in as fast as two business days, thanks to our strategically located warehouses around the US. Just be sure to order by 12 p.m. ET. 

Don’t wait for your Honda CR-V’s brake issues to get worse before replacing any defective parts. Get a brand-new parking brake switch and battery from CarParts.com today.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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