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Subaru B9 Tribeca Brake Problems

skykingskyking Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Subaru
I just test drove 3 different Tribecas and all of them had very soft, mushy brake pedals. The pedal would go down about 3 inches when coming to a stop. My 03 LLBean has a hard brake pedal that moves very little. Anyone care to comment about the brakes?? I want to buy the B9, but not with a brake problem. Had a 96 Outback that the pedal was similar and at times would touch the floorboard.


  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    The B9 does have a somewhat soft pedal.

    But it has excellent braking characteristics.It's stops are short, smooth and controlled. It just takes a little getting used to the pedal.
  • photoguy2photoguy2 Posts: 164
    Hummm that's odd. I drove three different B9's before purchasing mine so that's four... Either the braking is similar to the Saab I came out of or it feels just fine to me.
  • photoguy2photoguy2 Posts: 164
    Just back from a 20 minute ride to pick up my daughter... Paid close attention to the brakes and I can say they certianly are NOT mushy. Quite the opposite. I wonder if the vehicles you drove were properly set up?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's all relative, so it probably depends on the car you come out of before driving the Tribeca.

    I found the pedal firmer than my Forester, a little less touchy than my Miata.

    So in Goldilocks style, I find it "just right".

  • I am getting a brake warning light coming on when i get up to a steady speed. Then when i put on the brakes the brake light goes off. Does anyone know what would cause this?

  • If you haven't already you may want to try posting your question in the Electrical/Lighting Discussion as well to solicit more answers.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Lighting/Electrical? Don't you mean Brakes?

    Anyway, check your brake fluid level as the brake light will come on when the fluid level is low, when you are depressing the brakes it may be creating enough vacum that it's tricking the light into thinking there is enough fluid.

    I would doubt that you should need fluid unless you have 20k miles or more on the car, or there is a leak somewhere in the system.

  • It sounded like it could also be something to do with a short in the electrical systems. The warning light is being tripped, could be electrical.
  • thanks a lot, i have about 26k miles on my tribeca and i take it to a lube shop that checks all my fluid levels but they have been less than competent lately.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Had my car in for service the other day (52k miles) and have it regularly serviced every 3000 miles. Was shocked to find out that the brakes were 90% gone in the front, and close to that in the rear. I was quoted $260 for complete brake job for the front & same for the rear. As I obviously put a lot of miles on the vehicle, I had it done at the dealer (Somerset Subaru, Somerset, MA) I supposed I could have shopped around, maybe Firestone or Goodyear and gotten a better deal, but I have accumulated several hundred dollars worth of Subaru Bucks & used them. Still have enough left for any major service work that will come up.

    The dealer said that getting 52k out of the brakes was better than average. Anyone else out there with a similar experience, get it done at the dealer, or elsewhere?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That's not a bad price for pads all around from a dealer. 52k is fairly long to do pads, so count your blessings, most we see are done in 30k miles.

  • cluelesspacluelesspa Posts: 648
    I have about 52k and the pads were under 2 on the measurement scale which means here in PA they wont pass inspection. I just had them done at the Firestone shop Front only. my rear pads were 7 so not needed for a while. I also use the engine to slow down by down shifting so maybe why I get 52k plus around 40% of the mileage is highway.

    anyway just the front with turning the rotors (they would not skip turning the rotors) :-( was $140 after coupon for $50 off.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    On my 06 I had front brakes completely done for $260 at 52k miles at dealer, than at next oil change at 55k miles had the rear ones done, also around $260. I have accumulated plenty of Subaru Bucks, so really didn't cost much of anything. The dealer commented that was pretty good mileage on brakes. Probably 80% of my driving are highwaymiles.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup we specialize in subie brakes and 50K+ is real good. We usually replace around 30-40k miles max.

    I would not suggest using engine braking to save pads. An automatic trans or clutch is ALOT more than pads. :)

    Oh and pads provide more braking power :)

  • bgunit68bgunit68 Posts: 18
    We replaced our original tires and brakes at 54,000 miles. They had told us the front and back needed replacing. The original tires, with the rotation, lasted a long time. I'm not a big fan of the tires but they lasted a long time. I put a set of Michelin Synchrone tires on. My mileage improved and the handling around turns is incredible. I am reaching 80K on my Tribeca now. I think it's time for a new one
  • I will be doing a brake job for my friend, and I'm wondering if there is anything special I need to know about the Subaru, proprietary tools or any strange things I may need. I have done work on many cars, but I hate going into things sight unseen. Thank you.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Are you doing pads and rotors or just pads?

    If it's pads only you should just need a 14mm wrench and a set of brake clamps or a U-Clamp to compress the caliper pistons, 15 min max.

    If you are also doing the rotors, you'll need a 17mm wrench as well, should take 30 min max.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Sounds straightforward, and I always have the rotors turned. Thank you for the response, I feel better knowing what i am getting into.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I felt the same way the first time I worked on Subaru brakes. They're really no different than the front disc brakes on my Miata.

    I do recommend the tool that pushes the pistons back in, though. I had trouble finding a good place to put my c-clamp.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I usually suggest that you not have the rotors turned. Either replace them with new aftermarket blanks or leave em alone. If they need to be turned they need to be replaced. That's just me though.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • dean7dean7 Posts: 32
    I have 400 miles on my 2008 Tribeca. When I both press and release the brake pedal I get a soft but annoying "clicking" sound up high near the floorboard. Any idea what this might be and would it be a quick fix at the dealer? Thanks.
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  • Have you had any response from the dealer or any others?

    I had the same problem. Not only that, I also hear a continuously high pitch noise (not loud but definitely audible) between two clicks (pressing to releasing the brake paddle). I was told by the dealer the clicking sound is the "characteristic" of the model (2009 Tribeca Ltd.), and the best mechanic in this dealership could not "duplicate" the high pitch noise! Also bear in mind, all these started to happen couple months after I purchase this brand new vehicle!

    I am going to contact Subaru Canada or America to verify this issue. Would you mind sharing the status of your complaint?

  • I have a 4 months old 2009 Tribeca, 7 seater Ltd. package. It has 8,000 KM (5,000mile). About 2 months ago, I started to hear the "clicking" sound when pressing and realsing the brake paddle. Between the two clicks, I also hear a continuously high pitch noise (not loud but definitely audible).

    I took it to teh dealer, but was told the clicking sound is the "characteristic" of this particular model, and the best mechanic in this dealership could not "duplicate" the high pitch noise! Bearing in mind, all these started to happen couple months after I purchase this brand new vehicle!

    I am going to contact Subaru Canada or America to verify this issue. Would you mind sharing any suggestions?

This discussion has been closed.