Brake job questions - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Brake job questions

Stopped at the dealership today where I bought my 2010 Outback 2.5 Premium last fall, ordered a small piece of the lift gate that broke off the other day. They performed a recall (wiper motor replacement) while I waited, along with a free inspection.

I was told that the rear pads were worn to 90% and they quoted me a price of $411.00 for the job, which included new factory rotors. So I left and told them I'd let them know when I pick up the part I ordered if I wanted the brake job.

I would normally bring my car to an independent shop or Midas for brakes, would any of you caution against that?

Also, what do you guys think of the price....Too high? I haven't looked closely at the rotors to see if they are worn, maybe they don't need to be replaced? The car has 130K miles on it.

I've never done a brake job on a car, only motorcycles. But being winter and no garage, I wouldn't attempt it this time of year. I'd prefer it done properly anyway, but don't like the price.

I just had new rear rotors, pads, and shocks replaced on my 2002 LeSabre a month ago, and that was $536.00, so the price the dealer quoted doesn't seem that far off. I'd prefer to pay less at say Midas, but don't want to get less of a job done.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 03:49 PM
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That price is too high for my taste, but I do my own brake jobs (and there is nothing exotic about Outback brakes). I would recommend that you read up on them here on the forum and then do it yourself when you have plenty of time to do so. You may need pads but not rotors. Midas typically does free estimates here in our neck of the woods. Why not take advantage of that policy and at least get a second opinion?

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 05:26 PM
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That price is too high for my taste...
Being the rear OEM 26696AG051 are ~$60 for the kit/axle (incl. shims, clips and even the grease).
Ditto I question the rotors replacement, but shops typically do this for warranty.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 06:02 PM
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I had my 08 in the shop a couple of weeks ago for the Tekata airbag recall. They happily did an inspection and said my rear pads are down to 1mm and recommended rear pads and rotors for $499 so you got a "deal" compared to my offer.

I replaced the pads myself for $44 from Autozone. Their limited lifetime warranty lets you bring in old parts in exchange for new ones for free for as long as you own your car. I also followed the stealership advice of replacing the rotors for another $77, but when I replaced them, I saw that my original rotors were actually fine so I probably didn't need to spend the money for the new rotors, but I swapped them out anyway.

The car has 138,000 miles and this was the first time I've replaced the rear pads. One replacement is probably enough for the life of an Outback because most of the breaking power is in the front. I replace the front pads about once every two years and again, I haven't paid for the replacements since the first set of Autozone pads purchased over 6 years ago. This was probably my 4th replacement because I burned through a set in 2,000 miles when one of the caliper pins bound up due to lack of lubrication. It's back working fine after cleaning it off and greasing it up.

The rear pads take about the same time as the front pads to replace (about 15 minutes each side). It takes more effort to jack the car up, and take the lug nuts and wheel off. An impact wrench is a great tool to have when removing the lug nuts (not tightening them up however). I always use a torque wrench when I replace the lug nuts.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 09:20 PM
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I put PowerStop pads and rotors on -- you can get them from Amazon or other online places. It's about $150 for pads and rotors for either the front or the rear (so approx $300 total for all 4 wheels).

I like the drilled and slotted ones -- they have a bit more grip and don't seem to wear or start pulsing like the OEM ones do...

Brakes is an easy job -- the biggest hassle is jacking up each wheel one at a time if you don't have a lift...
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:57 PM
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The car has 138,000 miles and this was the first time I've replaced the rear pads. One replacement is probably enough for the life of an Outback because most of the breaking power is in the front.
Due to the VDC system Outback rear brakes can get a little more wear than non-AWD cars, because the VDC will apply braking as needed to individual wheels, including the rear ones.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 07:35 AM
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I haven't looked closely at the rotors to see if they are worn, maybe they don't need to be replaced? The car has 130K miles on it.
They absolutely do not need to be replaced. Subaru rear rotors routinely last the life of the vehicle, have zero failure modes, and do not need replaced.

If you don't have "vibration while braking" - rotors dont' need replaced. If you do have vibration while braking - then outside of very abnormal circumstances - replace the front rotors, never the rear.

The OEM pads are excellent- so have the OEM pads installed. Ask before you take it in if they're do only the rear pads, not the rotors.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 08:42 AM
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[QUOTE=grossgary;4663914]They absolutely do not need to be replaced. Subaru rear rotors routinely last the life of the vehicle, have zero failure modes, and do not need replaced.

I'm not sure that I would just assume that the rear rotors will absolutely not need to be replaced. The proper way with any vehicle is to look up the minimum thickness for the rotor in question and measure thickness to see if it has exceeded the wear limit. In this case measure the minimum thickness of the rear rotor is 8.5 mm.
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2012 Outback 2.5 limited w/CVT. 164,000 miles and counting...
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I'll measure them.

Braking is super smooth, not a hint of thumping or anything like that. I watched some videos last night of the brake job, looks very straightforward.....I'll hold off till spring and do it myself. :-)

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 10:32 AM
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130K OEM rotor never been resurfaced, I doubt you’ll hit the wear limit (not even close).
Sure DIY/shop SOP measures the disc, but wear limit comes into play when rotors are turned. If you’re using a Vernier, make sure you don’t measure the edge (measure the pad/rotor swept surface at several points).

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