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Subaru Forester Brake Questions

13

Comments

  • Thanks, I'll check it myself tomorrow and make any adjustments as needed.

    Scott
  • I adjusted the torque and the problem still occurs when braking over bumps or semi-rough road. Any other ideas?

    Thanks,

    Scott
  • I have a 2004 Forester 25XS. Can anyone tell me the Original Equipment thickness of the Front Rotors & Rear Rotors -- new ?? I know the Fronts are thicker -- but, that's all. Also, what is the minimum thickness allowed -- if they were to be surfaced ?? I just did my 60k service, and my dealer told me that my pads were at 2mm -- and, needed replacing. I should have waited until they squeeled, but I didn't. Instead, I stupidly took the car to "Break Team." They tried to sell me new rotors. Seems a scam to me. Anyway, that's another story. Thanks for the rotor specs. Joe
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    60,000 certainly isn't too soon for brakes. Personally, I usually replace the rotors with the brakes, as they aren't that much "extra", and as long as I have it all apart, why not?

    Same applies to having them done, you have already paid two-thirds of the labor cost just replacing the pads. ;)
  • well, maybe a wheel bearing. I would jack up the wheels and start checking for something loose.

    I am doing my brakes in a month or two so maybe I will have a better idea then.

    John
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    With new pads, make sure you go through a break-in cycle.

    Basically you find an open, empty road and slow down from 60 or so down to about 5 mph without stopping. Then speed up, wait a minute for them to cool, and repeat. Don't come to a full stop, though.

    Sorry that's a bit vague, but I read about that when I changed my pads and did that to get them seated properly. My brakes are perfectly quiet and smooth.

    I don't think the bumps are good, get them broken in first on a smooth road.

    Worth a try.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It's probably a tire issue, not a brake issue. If you are going over bumps while applying the brakes on a car with bad tires, you'll get the jitteryness.

    -mike
  • Thanks to all for the replies. I am going in the day after tomorrow to get new tires and will update you then.

    Scott
  • smussmus Posts: 3
    I have an 01 Forester S (MT) that has never stopped very well on slippery winter roads and it seems to be getting worse. The ABS is very slow to kick in and even pumping the brakes doesn't seem to make much of a difference. The brakes lock up too easily and I've rear ended other cars as a result. One thing I noticed recently is that the weight doesn't appear to be shifting to the front of the car like it should. Anyone had a similar problem or have any thoughts. Needless to say, the dealer was no help when I complained.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    in my opinion, if it it road conditions that affect your braking, the primary issue is the tires on your car. The fact that "weight" is not being shifted to the front means that the tires have no grip.

    John
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Slowing down, it helps, ABS, traction control, etc are only AIDS for driving, not replacements for common sense.

    I'd start with the tires and work my way up from there.

    -mike
  • smussmus Posts: 3
    These are relatively new tires and were highly rated for M+S. The weight shifts to the front of the car during braking because most of the braking is done by the front brakes. That's done by design -- the front brakes pads are much larger than the rears.

    I also have a 94 Mitz Galant with old tires and no ABS and it stops much better on the same road surface.
  • smussmus Posts: 3
    See my response to John. I am beyond these suggestions. I believe the problem is internal to the car's braking system, or the traction control. I can also easily put this car into a skid while turning, something which Subaru's 4 wheel drive system should minimize.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Its fairly well known that ABS + Snow does not work real well on ANY vehicle. When was the last time the brakes were flushed? As for "putting it into a skid while turning" I'm not sure of the situation, but again I'd go back to the tires on all these issues.

    They may be "rated" well for M&S but to be honest I don't believe any ratings. If the tires aren't working for your situation change em out.

    -mike
  • wallydebwallydeb Posts: 2
    OK -- I'm new to this forum and absolutely mechanically-challenged, BUT - my question is re: my 2004 Forester 25XT. At the end of this past winter, when I braked in slippery/snowy conditions, the brake pedal actually vibrated intensely, actually pushing my foot back upwards. This happened whether I slowed way down before braking, or if I braked gradually from about 25 mph. It was pretty scary; the car wouldn't stop and luckily it happened in spots where I was going "in-town" slowly and no one was going through the intersections. The dealer told me that it's "normal" to have this happen and suggested that it was my tires, which were down to 2/32nd inch (he said 1/32nd inch was illegal). So - because I don't want to die -- I replaced all 4 tires. But -- is this correct? Possible? My feeling is that, if winter hits and this happens again, bye-bye Subaru...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That is fairly normal for ABS + Bad tires. Essentially what happens is that if you hit the brakes, and the tires slip, the ABS will release and re-apply the brakes so as to prevent the wheels from locking up. With better tires they won't be locking up and the ABS won't kick in as easily. The idea is that if you are sliding a rotating wheel will allow you to steer around the danger rather than slide straight into it.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,405
    Yes, the and the brake pedal will pulsate quite rapidly. If you are pressing firmly on the pedal, it will not feel so intense. If ABS was engaging under light pressure, those tires were darn near the death of you! It is never a good idea to use highly worn all-seasons during the winter months. Their effectiveness in snow/ice conditions drops off dramatically after about 50% treadwear, at least in my experience.

    If you want to test whether the car is behaving normally before winter strikes again, find yourself a gravel road somewhere and jam the brakes with authority. That should illicit the same sensation in the brake pedal.
  • wallydebwallydeb Posts: 2
    Thanks to both of you for the insights -- at least I don't feel as if I spent money on an unnecessary repair... But -- it leads me to another question: when we bought this car, ABS (we thought) was an assett, a "better", safer, brake system. From reading this forum and our experience, now I'm thinking one needs to be specially trained in order to use them properly, which isn't necessarily better. Is ABS a good system, or maybe does Subaru need to improve their version?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    ABS is better if you know how to use it. Just push hard on the brakes and STEER around the problem. In the past w/o ABS the idea was to pump the brakes and steer around the issue, however you can't pump them as fast as the ABS system can pump em. The idea isn't that ABS stops you any faster, it allows you to steer around the danger instead of sliding into it (when you have a locked wheel you can't steer)

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,405
    Indeed. There is a bit of "training" needed to use them properly. A lot of folks fear the "pulsating pedal" and end up pumping the brakes anyway instead of letting the ABS do its job. When I first purchased my '96 Subaru, I spent a a couple hours with my wife one evening just driving around a deserted parking lot and getting a feel for the way the system operated. It really does make a world of difference. But, if the traction to the road is bad, there is only so much ABS will help you accomplish. ;)
  • dave139dave139 Posts: 19
    I have a 2005 Forester "X" model with nearly 32,000, purchased new. Been back to the dealer 5 times with same problem: squeaking rear brake drums. The mechanic cleans them but the noise comes back within a week. Happens all the time, cold or hot. Dealer says I have to live with it. Hard to believe something like this can't be permanently fixed. Any suggestions?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There were drums on 2005 Foresters?

    -mike
  • dave139dave139 Posts: 19
    Right, rear drums but only on the X trim level.
    Dave
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Gotcha, hmm I never paid much attention to drum brakes on any of my cars as they didn't do much stopping. I'd guess it's the spring mechanism in there causing the squeeking.

    -mike
  • dave139dave139 Posts: 19
    Thanks..Just returned from the dealer. The svc. mgr test drove the care himself this time and found the noise to be in left rear drum. They found that there was a "high" spot on the drum which was sanded. They also serviced the pads and added some sort of lube. The noise has gone away (again) but the test will be to see if it lasts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True, the front brakes do 90% of the work, just look at your pad wear.

    Rear discs end up needing drums for parking brakes anyway. So I'm not sure if they save any weight or complexity.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    With EBD, you get things spaced out better. On my Armada I do about 2 to 1 Front to Rear. As for complexity? The drum-in disc parking brake isn't too complex, I never touch drums with the springs and what not, but rear discs are great to replace, quite easy.

    -mike
  • Need help, I have an 02 forester with rear drum brakes..... after I adjust them, after a little bit of driving, the pedal goes right to the floor when I go to stop then on the next pressing of the pedal, it goes back to normal. this happens until I can un-adjust them then they are fine.... Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,405
    I have had that problem before with a couple of 1969 vehicles; in those cases, the diaphragm in the master cylinder (under the hood) was kaput. I doubt that is your problem in this case, though.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You most likely need to flush/bleed your brake fluid system. That is generally what that pumping action means. Probably when you adjusted them you may have lowered the fuild level below the full mark in the master cylinder and introduced air to the system.

    -mike
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