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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • kat95kat95 Posts: 49
    I've noticed that my 95 Impreza and 05 Legacy have brakes
    that feel mushy and the pedal travels from the day they were new. I drove a rental chevy cavalier, saab and their
    brakes stopped fast and held no pedal travel. I love the awd but am ready to trade it in.
  • I hear you on this one. Subaru brakes have always raised eyebrows for their longish stopping distances and poor pedal feel. I used to have an 1998 Impreza--the brake pedal feel in that car was absolutely awful. I'm still amazed I never rear-ended another car in my Impreza. I'm surprised I kept that car as long as I did.

    I now have a 2005 Legacy GT Limited 5MT wagon. Those brakes are a tremendous improvement over the old Impreza, but they still leave much to be desired--the Audi A4 Avant and the Volvo V50 brakes are definitely superior.

    I wouldn't ditch your car just yet, though. I've had thoughts about ditching my LGT but then I decided I'd rather spend a couple of thousand dollars on aftermarket modifications then have to spend even more money to replace my car with a new Audi or Volvo.

    The great thing about Subarus, the Legacy and the Impreza in particular, is that there is a wealth of high-performance aftermarket products available. Subarus are a tuners dream car. You might want to check out for information about ways to improve your brakes.

    Also, if you haven't already trashed the crappy OEM RE92 tires, replace them with a high performance tire--that will improve your stopping distances, too and dramatically change the vehicle's handling. I put Pirelli PZero Nero M+S tires on my car and would recommend them highly. For a little less money, I think the Toyo Proxes 4 is a good alternative. Both are all-season tires: passable in winter snow but not ideal for winter usage.
  • I had the driver side headlight burn out after 10-11 months (at about 30k miles). At that time, I ordered the Subaru dealer to replace both the burnt out headlight as well as the one that was still working. The service rep told me that Subaru had changed the lightbulbs it was using on the Legacy/Outback because it had been having issues with the original bulbs used. Since then (a couple of months ago) the bulbs have been fine--so far.
  • kat95kat95 Posts: 49
    When it comes time to replace the brakes,without spending
    a lot of money are there better brake parts, pads, disc etc. without completely modifying the current set-up?
    I knew the OEM tires were a disaster before I bought the car and replaced them the day I drove off the lot. It pays to research on tire rack. Thank you for your input :D
  • smillersmiller Posts: 32
    I think Subaru and the dealer should do a recall and change the defective lightbulbs without asking. LOL
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    Pretty much every Subaru since the 1999 model year has used a dual-stage brake booster which I believe they are doing to reduce pedal effort. Unfortunately, it also reduces feel, especially in the initial pedal travel which feels squishy.

    What can you do? Not much. A little bit of the squishy feeling is the rubber brake lines from the caliper to the chassis of the car. You can replace those with braided steel lines and it will help a little bit. I did that years ago on my (now long gone) '99 Impreza RS.

    BTW, I agree that the pedal feel is a little nasty but it can go the other way too-- most late model BMWs I've driven have extremely touchy and overboosted brakes. I want to apply at least 40lb of force for max-effort braking, not 10lb. And I don't want half braking at 5lb of force, I just want to gently apply them.

    Hope this helps. Your brakes are probably working fine, it's just that they weren't built to feel like the other vehicles you drove and you don't like it. Perfectly understandable.

  • bobny57bobny57 Posts: 30
    I too replaced my OEM Bridgestone RE-92s at 5,000 miles on my 2005 OBXT Wagon for Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires. Braking and handling improved vastly, no more hydroplaning. Just a thought.
  • kat95kat95 Posts: 49
    I feel it mostly while waiting at a stop light,foot will be on the brake and then it starts to travel a bit and I push on the brake harder to keep the car from moving. Since
    I have experienced this with both Subaru's brand new,not worried but not inspiring confidence either. Thanks for the suggestion of braided steel lines will use that in the future. :)
  • babe915babe915 Posts: 34
    I like to change the coolant but the drain plug is covered by a plastic shield. there are two clips or plastic lugs
    that hold the cover on, do they snap off or is there a tool
    I need to remove them. before I break something I asking
    for your advice as some of you probably did the coolant change. Thanks
  • zowbudzowbud Posts: 1
    Read they same article and they indicated the problem was solved by having the dealer check the rpm sensor on the AC compressor. Didn't say if it was replaced or what.
  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    Hi, Bob,

    My 2K OB has three white plastic/nylon pop-out retainers seated in black guide rings towards the front of the shield. I just pop them out with a standard screwdriver, pull out the guide rings, and slide the shield out forward (look out - it can have a fair amount of crud in it depending on how/where you drive). I'd imagine yours is similar.

    Ken in Seattle
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I'd have the brakes bled by a credible servicer and see if it's the same afterwards. If so, yes, your problem is the dreaded dual-stage brake booster.

    btw I wouldn't consider this a reason to sell a car!

  • kat95kat95 Posts: 49
    I added a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze (not Subaru anti-freeze)
    which I bought from an auto parts store. Is it ok to add a different brand to the original stuff that was put in at the factory, car is a year old with 7,000 miles. I've mixed
    it before in my first sube and no issues. I'd hate to do something to void the warranty. Hope I didn't hurt my vehicle? :confuse:
  • iknevs1iknevs1 Posts: 10
    I am new to this forum folks. I am trying to decide between the new rav4 and outback 2.5i.Does the lack of stability controls make a huge difference in snow and bad weather. Also the base tires are not thought to be very good . Any suggestions on better all-season tires.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Stability control can make any given car safer, but it can also spoil the fun. Toyota's systems are known to kick in early and often.

    VDC will spread to 9 Legacy/Outback models for MY07, but still not the base model you're considering.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    VDC will spread to 9 Legacy/Outback models for MY07, but still not the base model you're considering.

    Where did you hear this?? I was very disappointed that stability control was not optional on my 06 3.0R wagon. I may have waited a year if I had known it was going to become available, but at the time noone could answer the question.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Check under Subaru Crew - Future Models. I think Bob listed them.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    I believe all '07 H6 models will have VDC.

  • smillersmiller Posts: 32
    Yes, the lack of stability control makes a huge difference. It will help if you start to lose control of the car. You might get a good discount on the insurance premiums too. The Rav4 is a great car, my friend has one and i've spent some time in it.
    I have the 2005 Outback 2.5i and if I had to do it over again today I would get the Rav4. If you look at JD Powers rating of the Subaru Outback vs. the Rav4 you will know what I'm talking about.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Sorry Juice, but I may just have to shoot the messenger.
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