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Old 12-21-2010, 11:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spongy brake pedal

I have a 2010 2.5i CVT Outback. When I start the engine (in Park) and press on the brake pedal, it seems quite soft and does depress some as I apply more pedal pressure. At about 1/2 way to the floor it firms up. The car does brake ok when driving.

Is this typical of Subaru vehicles. If so, I will not worry and will wait until my next dealer oil change before reporting it. If this condition is atypical, I'll set up an appointment with the dealer sooner.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm...Well I have been told by...many, many people(there are alot of ex/subaru drivers in oregon), that Subarus have some of the best brakes out there.

My brakes are nice and firm all the time usually, So much so it took a while for me to get used to them. Sometimes still after driving my wifes car. I will go and drive my suby and get surprised about the brakes.
I use my big toe (as usual) to break...I think I might go down an inch to an inch and a half to come to a full stop.
Maybe my brakes are abnormally tight?

What car are you coming from? Ive driven a couple of new fords,mazdas,hondas that are even tighter vs the subarus and i guess this could give you the feeling of them not being as tight.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by boaterbob View Post
When I start the engine (in Park) and press on the brake pedal, it seems quite soft and does depress some as I apply more pedal pressure. At about 1/2 way to the floor it firms up. The car does brake ok when driving.
Are you stepping on the brake as you start? When stopped (foot on the brake), does it depress some more.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Prior to my first Subaru (this OB) I drove my wife's 1998 Ford Expedition and my 1997 Ford F-150. Traded the Expy for the OB.

Guess I'll mention the brakes when I take the OB in next month. The avg MPG has been steady at 27.9 from day one and I have had the car 4 months now and it's still at 27.9 - you would think it would vary some esp since I used the AC until the last month (in SC) and with the AC off I'd hope for a little better MPG than with the AC on all the time. The 'instant' MPG reads from the 20s to the mid 40s - back and forth constantly.
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Prior to my first Subaru (this OB) I drove my wife's 1998 Ford Expedition and my 1997 Ford F-150. Traded the Expy for the OB.

Guess I'll mention the brakes when I take the OB in next month. The avg MPG has been steady at 27.9 from day one and I have had the car 4 months now and it's still at 27.9 - you would think it would vary some esp since I used the AC until the last month (in SC) and with the AC off I'd hope for a little better MPG than with the AC on all the time. The 'instant' MPG reads from the 20s to the mid 40s - back and forth constantly.
bob Subaru brake feel has always been on the soft side and coming from a Ford truck I'd say it just feels super crazy soft compared to the Fords you've been driving.

Say were your Fords like the old E250 I drove back in the day? Two feet on the brake pushing as hard as possible knowing full and well you'd be lucky as **** if you stopped in time? I'd hope that Ford fixed that in more recent versions of their big trucks. LOL
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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bob Subaru brake feel has always been on the soft side and coming from a Ford truck I'd say it just feels super crazy soft compared to the Fords you've been driving.
OK. I guess I have to just get used to the pedal then. After driving my TL for an entire week straight and getting back into the OB, I thought the pedal was soft and didn't have any effect for the first inch or so. It braked OK but I'm used to little to no dead space when my foot touches the brake pedal. I'm used to the Honda brakes being more "connected" with a firmer feel and more initial bite and more linear effort to braking.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yep, spongy seems to be the word to describe everything about the OB. The brakes bite well, but the pedal travel and feel is subpar when compared to cars with at least sporting pretensions (i.e. the TL). They do the job though
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It is no Porsche, but the 3.6 brakes have a fair bite when the pedal is first depressed. Linear braking without a big mushy stomp at the begining. The calipers and pads are a bit larger that on the 2.5.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I also agree, the 3.6R brakes work very fine, but the distance to get to the best effective braking strength is pretty deep. If you can shorten that distance to a smaller set, it would be awesome, though I imagine I'd launch myself to the windshield.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Definitely a spongy feel compared to other vehicles I've driven. Funny thing, my Legacy has dual-piston front brake calipers...you would expect a very sporty car feel from something like that, but nope. I've owned a Honda Prelude & Acura Integra, both have very powerful-feeling brakes and both of those are based on single-piston calipers.

I have several Suby's in my family (parents have an 05 Legacy and mother in law a 01 Forrester). All equally spongy, especially notable is the feeling of not much brake action in the first portion of pedal travel.

I notice it more than ever after coming back from a vacation after driving a rental car.
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