Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Outback/Legacy Brakes



  • Well, I braked pretty hard for the deer in middle of the road. Did not hit him. But the brake, abs and battery lights came on. Also, the temp oil light blinked off and on.
    While driving back home the headlights slowly dimmed and the steering became difficult. Just made it before the car died. So, there is one, lucky deer and one dead Subaru. The pads and rotors were worked on recently. However, the brakes on this car have never been great.
    Is there anyone that can shed some light on this. What is hard to believe that so much commotion came from stepping on your brakes.
  • check this link and know to never buy a subaru again as i have
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, because we all know no BMW 325is has ever had any problems with reliability, ever.

    Where is the rolleyes emotorcon? :D
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,226
    No kidding. I put 220,000 miles on my first Subaru (1996 Outback) and replaced the pads once on the fronts, once on the rears. I never turned the rotors, never had warping issues, and never had poor brake response. Not once, and I live in the most extreme climate in the US.

    But hey, I learned my lesson about owning a Subaru.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • About to put the first set of replacement brake pads on our 2006 Outback at 84,000 miles, and the dealer wants $550. I can get ceramic pads put on elsewhere for $450, any reason to go with factory replacement pads? The brakes have no issues, just started to squeek about a month ago when the pads finally got thin enough. I'm willing to spend the extra $100 if it's worth it, but hate to make the donation to the dealer if the same product is found elsewhere. Are Subaru OEM pads better? Thanks for any input!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,226
    $550 for a new set of pads?! That's insane! You could do this job yourself in about 45 minutes including setting up and cleaning up afterward. Pads cost around $120 or so for a front set.

    I see no reason to go to the dealer for that service.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the pads cost even less.

    I don't recall what I paid for the front brake pads on my Forester, but for my 93 Miata they cost $17. Both sides, front axle.

    No kidding.
  • I have an 01 ll bean outback with 125k miles. Had all 4 rotors and pads replaced (not resurfaced) five years ago at 80k miles by local repair shop. Brought into my Subaru dealer 2 years ago for 105k tune-up and they told me all 4 rotors and pads had to be replaced again (not resurfaced), so I had the work done by them figuring my local shop screwed-up. Now I've just been told by someone who put snowtires on my car that the rear two rotors are bad - one might be able to be resurfaced but the other is too "pockmarked" and needs to be replaced. Front rotors are better but not great.

    What is going on with my brakes??? Haven't driven the car hard - mix of city/highway. Is there some kind of chronic problem with this model's brake system? No way am I going to pay anyone to do any brake work unless they can pinpoint why 4 rotors fail first after 25k miles and 1 or 2 again after 20k miles.... I'm first going to bring the car back to the same Subaru dealer since I would think they'd have the most experience with this model, but the problem isn't under warranty, and I find that repairmen look for the quickest fix, and don't know how to look deeper for systemic problems, unless you tell them where to look.... So would appreciate anyone's thoughts and advice. Thanks!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are the shops using OE quality replacements? I wonder if they're just using the cheapest parts they can possibly find, perhaps?
  • blemberblember Posts: 1
    Subie#1: 133k, drove from pacific northwest thru canada
    Subie#2: 210k, drove from queensland to western australia, thru tasmania
    Subie#3: 230k, drove from alberta to baja california
    Subie#4: 120k, drove from oregon to louisiana and back, twice

    A Subaru has never failed me on the road.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,785

    When I follow the link, I find a recall from the 1968 Plymouth Valiant. I'd call that false and misleading advertising on your part!


  • ingvaringvar Posts: 205
    Wow!!!! It is story about my old Honda accord!!!! BTW, I switched my IS350 to Legacy 3.6R Limited and I'm happy!!!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    edited July 2010
    My 02 Outback has over 160K miles. I really like the car. You know, it's like an old dog, you don't want them to leave. I want it to be around 'til it needs to be put out of its misery.


    I'm on my third set of front rotors in the last 60K miles. IIRC, the originals lasted considerably longer but after that it was frequent front rotor/pad relacements with OEM parts. This last set was not OEM, figured I'd try them to see if they were any better. They're worse and and need replacing after 12K.

    It seems DIY is easy enough but I really need to see it being done first.

    Anyway, what's with this rotor problem? My friend also has an Forester with 23K and his front rotors are starting to go. I've also heard of rotor issues on other non-Subaru vehicles.

    What's the deal? Is it poor manufacturing or design... uneven wear or warpage due to rotors being too thin to begin with? Could faulty installation be a problem? Rotors should get over 60K, easy.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,226
    Rotors should get over 60K, easy.

    Yes, they should. My '96 Outback had originals through 220,000 miles, which is when I ceased owning it. It braked smoothly that whole time. Of course, it was only on its second set of pads (both front and rear), too.

    Proper installation is important, as is even pressure from the lug nuts, but neither of those things is difficult to achieve, even by a home DIY'er with no experience.

    If you brake hard and frequently, it may just be that the rotors are undersized for your duty requirements and cannot shed the heat fast enough. Have you tried drilled/slotted rotors? Those are often used in performance applications and may be able to resist warping by shedding heat better. Of course, I am assuming that warping is the problem that is killing your rotors.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    edited August 2011
    Should have checked here more often - didn't see this comment.

    Most of you that have followed my experience with my '02 OBW know that I have two issues with the car - Head Gaskets & Front Brakes. Otherwise I love the beast.

    My '02 was a very early production unit and actually uses the front brakes from the '01. They are just too small for the weight of the vehicle and I get chronic overheating. I've used stock pads & rotors, as well as Powerslot Cryo rotors & Hawk HPS pads. I just put stock pads on after cleaning up the Powerslot rotor.

    I'm getting decent longevity out of the various setups, but the amount of pad transfer onto the rotor causing 'warpage' symptoms (it's actually thickness variation) and steering wheel shake is unacceptable. Never had anything like this in any other car. I have to be extra careful sitting at a light to allow a little bit of movement to not end up with a high spot.

    So yes, I feel your pain.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,226
    Steve, you may have addressed this before, but can you not up-size the front brakes? If you could, do you think it would help?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
This discussion has been closed.