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Subaru Impreza Brake Questions



  • I am having the same problems with regard to the warning lights.

    Was it the brake switch light or the VDC control module that fixed the problem?

    I am bringing the car in for service on 04/12/08 should I tell the service department about the solution mentioned in your post.

    Thank you

  • Please do mention it.. in my case I told them it may be the VDC module.. they told me its a defective break switch.. and it did the job...

    Now I am dealing with thin and fragile paint.. hope the fix is simple.. somehow I think I got a lemon. Have an appointment with the dealer tomorrow.. stay tuned..

    I have a dark gray color.. 2008 Impreza sedan.. bought in November.

  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    After a couple of months the brake switch problem returned tonight.. right after I released the brake pedal.. maybe the new break switch failed again..

    If anyone has a repeat failure please write in. I also have difficuty shifting out of Park now.. I think its related to the brake switch failure.

    Sol Briks 203-767-0770
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    I had the same problem re not being able to get out of park. When my break switch was fixed the transmission problem went away. I am very interested as to what your dealer says about this issue. I have not had the problem again but am now worried that I could in the future.

    Would it be possible for you to keep us informed about the issue? Peggy Manner
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Makes perfect sense. The brake switch is what is used to keep the car in P so if it has failed, then it wil not come out of P.

  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    I just had the second break switch replaced at Dan Perkins Subaru.. they think the design is flawed and may break again. At least they promised a free oil change the next time it happens.. very nice people.

    Also, they spray painted the black peeled paint on the muffler.. which they damaged when they applied the paint harder.. see my other problem...

    All in all the issues are being handled and I am happy with my 2008 Impreza.

    Sol Briks

    PS...Does anyone have an opinion about the 2009 Forester?
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    Did your dealer indicate that they have had alot of problems with regard to the brake switch? I had the same problem and my dealer indicated that they have had only one other car with the same problem.

    After I read about your second go around I called Subaru 's 800 number and asked if they have had a run of brake switch problems with the 2008 impreza. I was told no. They assured me that if there is a rash of warranty repairs for the brake switch something will be done about the problem.

    Was your repair reported as a warranty repair? Do you think that your dealer reported their thoughts to Subaru re the design flaw? I realize that replacing the brake switch is not hard or expensive but I do not relish my new car having to be repaired every couple of months.PM
  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    I did not speak to the service manager.. just the counter person in the service department. She said they replaced the switch with the same type and they expected the same result in a few months. She had a theory of what was wrong with the design but I did not pursue it with her. She also said the next time this happens I will get a free oil change. I called my wife and said I should be getting lots of free oil changes.

    Yes, this was a warranty repair. I was told to expect a survey from Subaru. I will see if there is a write in part to the survey so I can voice my displeasure. We priced out a 2009 Forester. I put that purchase on hold until I gain more confidence in Subaru quality.

    I will report on this issue if another break switch failure develops. I know where the switch is located in case it does not reset. I may have to give it a whack to snap it back so I can get my transmission out of Park.

    Sol Briks
  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    Guest what, yesterday the VDC and ABS lights came again on after I applied the brakes on the highway. I won't call the dealer until I need to go in for an oil change.. and hopefully collect on the pomise of a free oil change if the repair fails again.

    I responded to a a survey sent by Subaru. Explained the repeated failures. Hope they email me and offer an explanation.

    Please write in an let me know if you are having this problem.

    Sol Briks
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    I am so sorry for all your problems.

    Are your brakes still working and it is only the lights that are failing? Are you still having problems getting your car out of park? Hopefully you will not be buying the 2009 car.

    Do you think the car is safe to drive?

  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    The brakes work fine. The car is safe but the VDC, ABS and cruise control stop working. The first time this happened was in the winter while I was on ice. I pulled of the road.. carefully.. and restarted the car. In this weather I don't bother to reset because I am more concerned about having difficulty getting out of park.

    When I started the car the next morning in my driveway all was well.. went out of park ok and the VDC and ABS lights reset. I dont know what is the point of getting the brake switch replaced if they put in the same design.. and within days the problem comes back.
  • vali51vali51 Posts: 3
    Same problem I have on F2.5XT 4EAT, ABS and VDC lights coming on. Nothing found on the computer test. Should i suggest to Subaru service here to replace the breack switch as well?
  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    Subaru is not recognizing the design flaw.. they are just replacing brake switched with new brake switches of the same design.. go back to them.. start creating a record. My dealer said they have to redesign the break switch..

    I will keep going back.. also I cancelled a Forester purchase in progress because I think they use the identical brake switch in that car.. What a shameful state affairs.

    I hope the Subaru car division is acquired by another company as soon as possible and salvage whatever reputation they have left.

    Sol Briks
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    I had the same problem re the lights coming on. My dealer replaced the brake switch. I have found that the NHTSA has issued a techinical service bulletin no 15 re this problem. I have ordered the bulletin from the NHTSA but that will take awhile to get.

    According to the summary of the bulletin Subaru restyled the original brake switch. I called my dealer today and was told that when my car was fixed the new design of brake switch was used. The service department said they have not had any person coming in with recurrent problems.

    Is it possible that when your car was fixed the old style was used? PM">link title
  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    Thanks.. this is very helpful. My dealer said they replaced the defective brake switch with the same design brake switch and that the new design was not available.. maybe they are in the dark.. will call the dealer and report back. Post the NHTSA bulletin when you get it. Wonder if the bulletins are online.

    Sol Briks
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    The summary of the service bulletin is on the web site under service bulletins.The service bulletin number is 10024073.

    Please keep us informed as to the results of your talks with the dealer. I really hope that the new brake switch design works. PM
  • vali51vali51 Posts: 3
    Thanks for info. What does this brake switch in fact? Is it the one controlling the rear brake lights? Or some other? Any code for the restyled one please?
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    Since I do not have the full bulletin I can only go by the fact that codes C0074 and C0054 are listed on the summary and these are codes reported by people who are having problems with the abs and vdc lights flashing on their dashboards.

    My dealer did not give me the new part number. I was told that the problem was related to the new electrical system on the 2008 subaru impreza and the fact that all the parts were not communicating correctly. I am hoping that the service bulletin lists the correct part number.

    I know very little about cars but am trying to understand the problem so I can feel better about driving my car. I have tried to call the Subaru 800 number but could get no one who was willing to discuss the brake switch problem with me or the tech bulletin.

    My prior car was a Honda Civic and I never had problems with it. I changed cars only because I was moving to the state of Washington and was advised that because of the rainy weather and the hills a Subaru was a good car.

    I did order the entire bulletin from the NHTSA and I am hoping that this will help me understand the problem.
  • vali51vali51 Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot, noted. Will really appreciate to post the bulletin when u ‘ll get it.
  • mom3peggymom3peggy Posts: 8
    My lights came on again today. This time around, however, the situation reset itself and the lights went off. I will call the dealer tomorrow and find out what to do. I am almost to the point where I think I should trade in the car for another. PM
  • impreza2008impreza2008 Posts: 30
    I had my break switch replaced for the third time...again with the same type of switch. I was told that Subaru is working on the problem and that it is on the verge of releasing the new design. I was also told that the next time this happens, the dealer will ignore what Subaru is dictating and try to come up with an indepdent view of the problem and solution.

    The oil change today was on Dan Perkins Subaru as a token of their appreciation for may patience. I still enjoy driving the car and I am impressed with the service I get from the dealer.

    mom3peggy, don't through in the towel.. the problem does not affect safety..unless you are in snow. I am hopeful by winter this will be behind us.

    Sol Briks
  • I really appreciate being able to read about your experience with your Impreza. Although my brake switch was replaced at the end of February and so far I haven't encountered further problems, I'm certainly taking it on a day-by-day basis. It is a great car when it's working. Thank you for taking the time and effort to keep everyone up to date.

    If the 2008 Impreza didn't have the safety features of abs and vdc, I would not have purchased it -- in fact, I didn't purchase the 2007 Impreza for my son for that reason alone. Instead, I purchased a 2007 Honda CRV, complete with all of the safety features. For sure, the safety features are great in the winter on icy roads, however, they're every bit as important on wet roads. Also, abs allows one to steer while braking, which is great in all weather conditions. I would be just as upset to lose my safety features in the summer as I was in the winter when I was driving with the systems disengaged. I wouldn't want anyone at Subaru to think that because winter is behind us, there's no urgency in fixing the safety systems. I really hope they come up with a fix very soon!

  • I went back a few months ago.. and asked that they really try to figure out what the problem is.. they found a loose connector in a wire harness.. they snapped on the retainers and it fixed the problem... has not recurred so far and I feel they finally got it.

    Now that the market for autos is in the tank.. time to start shopping for another Subaru.

    Sol Briks
  • I think I have the same problem...
    I own a Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2009
    When I'm driving sometimes the ABS, VDC, and Hill Start Assist Light comes on and everything is disabled...
    The car have only 1week !!! :(
    What is best to say to my dealer ???
    I'm not sure what to do really and I don't like this problem at all :P
  • In fact the lights turn on and I have to restart the car. After the restart It work fine...
    I get this problem everyday and It happen randomly...
  • What fixed it finally, after many trials... is a closing loose harness connector retaining clips. Your mechanic can call Dan Perkins Subaru and speak to the Service Manager. They struggled with the problem for almost a year and finally got it.

    Sol Briks
  • Hey all... had the same experience here, also. Impreza 2.5i premium sedan/auto, took delivery on Jan 30th, 8 days later the car wouldn't let me shift it out of Park and the ADC/VDC warning lights came on.

    Luckily I had read the manual and knew how to use a screwdriver to get past the shift lock feature so I could drive the car until I could get it looked at. Dealer replaced the brake light switch and the problem's gone away, at least for now. I did ask them "hey is that a part that breaks often on these cars?" and they said no.

    Sounds to me like they are still using the same design of switch, though, if folks with 2009s are seeing the problem too. Does anyone know how to get the build date for a Subaru? Maybe they switched designs mid-year?

    Otherwise, happy with the car and with the swift dealer response, but I'm hoping that this will be the last repair I'll need for awhile.
  • It was the brake switch too.

    The brake switch logged 2 conflictual error code.
    They sent a report with the problem to Subaru and after a week they ask me to come back with my car to fix it.
    But they didn't replace the switch, they reprogrammed the switch and that's it.

    Now it works fine and I get crazy in every snowy road :shades: :P
  • I would like to report that since a connector on the harness was properly secured, my problem with ABS etc... has not returned. Please ask your service manager to contact the service manager at Dan Perkins Subaru in Milford, CT and confirm the fix that finally worked for me. Use my name.

    Sol Briks
  • Hello Everyone,
    Just wanted to comment on this issue. I have a 2009 WRX and I started experiencing this problem a couple of weeks ago very frequently. It is frustrating because the car doesn't feel quite right when these systems disengage. I still feel safe as long as the roads are dry and there is no snow in the forecast but if it happens during a snow storm I might be a little nervous. When I stop and turn the car off, then restart, the codes go away for a little while. Luckily I have a manual so my tranny doesn't lock me out but it's still a pain to worry about these lights all the time.

    The dealer has replaced the brake light switch once but the problem came back the next day. Like many of you mentioned, they may have used the same switch design which clearly is not very good. I did find the NHTSA summary which I will bring to my dealer's attention. I also noticed that a few people commented on a connector in the harness. I will discuss that with the dealer as well.

    I love my car very much, have had it for about a year, just hope they can get this resolved. I have had no other problems with it but it stinks to know they are still putting the same faulty switch into even newer cars.

    My build date is October, 2008. I picked up the car last December.
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