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Old 01-20-2013, 10:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Emergency? brake issues.

Another issue with my '03 (which is, fortunately, a fairly rare thing given the age and mileage).

A few months ago I had a local shop do brakes all around. After getting the car back the emergency brake needed more of a pull to engage and would naturally fall just above the off position when disengaged (light was on, no obvious engagement on the brakes, though). You can sort of knock it down fully to turn the light off .. not at first but as soon as you start to move. I should have u-turned and had them adust it or figured it out myself but I didn't.

Shortly thereafter a sporadic squealing noise developed. It comes and goes but is in time with the turning of the wheels. It is clearly coming from the back end. When it first developed I inspected under the car and found a link on the rear sway bar had broken. Replaced both sides and the squeak was gone, then back in a couple days but rare.

Now it is getting worse again. It comes and goes but I can induce it reliably with a hard brake down to a coasting speed. Once coasting along (parking lot speeds) the noise is quite prominent and clearly in time with the wheels. I can make it stop if I pull up on the hand brake to the point just before I feel any real resistance. When the sway bar was gone I could make it stop by turning left .. so obviously suspension geometry is affecting it somehow.

Thoughts? I haven't touched brakes since high school (a looong time ago now) but since I know the hardware isn't yet rusted up due to the recent brake job, I thought this might be a good time to re-familiarize myself with this stuff. Where should I start looking?

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like the last shop left the e-brake out of adjustment.

e-brakes on these outbacks are a separate set of brakes. They are like traditional drum brakes, and the drum is formed into the 'hat' area of the rear disc rotor.

So far I think your brake noise is coincidental- not necessarily linked to your e-brake adjustment problem.

Either way somebody needs to take apart the back brakes, adjust the shoes and or cables for the e-brake and check the rear disc pads for lube/squeakproofing
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ditto what rasterman suggests. Get it corrected soon, as those tiny brake shoes have a brake material that is only 4mm thick. If it wears through, you'll be forced to replace the brake shoes when you finally get the fix done.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well that doesn't seem like too big of a deal. I'll deal with it presently. Thanks for your help.

Cheers,
Dave
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