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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 99 legacy that is at times scary when attempting to stop in the snow. Let me first say that I know you have to drive slower in the snow and brake more gently, but there comes a time when you do need to come to a complete stop and thats when things get a bit sketchy for me. Let me also clarify that this is not an issue with tires as this is often regarded as the issue as well and some people telling me i need snow chains. The tires I have are winter snow tires and are complete overkill compared to what most Subarus I see. The issue is usually when applying that last bit of pressure to come to a complete stop the abs often engages and feels like the car is skidding, which to me doesnt seem like should be happening. One of the more scary situations is when I am on a decline and creeping to a stop with other cars in front of me and I at times feel like I am unable to come to a stop. Any advice?
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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well depends how much slippery snow it is. ABS cant help you if its no traction at all to make stop.
 

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Remember: ABS is not designed to shorten stops. If anything, it increases stopping distance.

ABS exists to let you maintain steering control while braking.

You can disable the ABS and let your foot do all the work. If you practice, you will stop shorter than with ABS. You'll also skid more and have moments where the steering wheel is useless. For some drivers, this is okay. For others, this is even scarier than putting up with the increased stopping distance ABS gives on slick roads.

In some of those older models disabling ABS is as easy as pulling a fuse- but discuss it with anyone else who might drive the car and also your insurance carrier as they've probably been giving you a discount for having it.
 

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maybe there is a little too much rust on the tone ring, and the ABS is not acting like it should. (had that in none subarus,...and the ABS would come on just before I would stop in occasions when the vehicle or any other was not slipping at all ...on a summer day ,...really typical of big pickups and suvs where the brakes work hard all the time, and a a little rust goes a long way)

people here have complained of the same thing with subarus, not very often though.
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if not the above.

maybe your pads are getting to the end of their time. or there is a lot of brake dust/ sand in the calipers.

check your brake fluid level and make sure there is enough,

there maybe a slow leak in the fluid system.
 

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I'm following the inadequate tires theory. Mrs. Chili had similar experiences with her '04 Forester. Said there was something wrong with the brakes. New tires solved the problem on her's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks everyone. I think my next step might be to disable the abs just to test things out. I certainly understand the idea behind abs and understand and see that braking distance can be increased. My problem is I cant understand why I would be loosing traction when most do not ( especially when putting brand new snow tires was my first response to correct the issue). I have driven other vehicles in the snow, toyota camry with chains, ford explorer, jeep cherokee, and only this subaru has given me this much of an issue braking.
 

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thanks everyone. I think my next step might be to disable the abs just to test things out. I certainly understand the idea behind abs and understand and see that braking distance can be increased. My problem is I cant understand why I would be loosing traction when most do not ( especially when putting brand new snow tires was my first response to correct the issue). I have driven other vehicles in the snow, toyota camry with chains, ford explorer, jeep cherokee, and only this subaru has given me this much of an issue braking.

too much rust / corrosion / slime / dust on the tone ring

will make the vehicles ABS start working when it should not. and the vehicle will not stop in the place you think it should. just on dry pavement or on a little sand I have had pickups add 10 feet to a stopping distance from the ABS reacting vs. just plain old braking.

another thing to check for, a swelling rubber brake line ready to fail. (found one of those on the same vehicle at the same time).

and what does suck. if this is a daily driver you got. even if you are going slow, it makes you worry that you won't be able to stop where you intend to in regular stop light traffic, or in a emergency. (like if i child steps out in front of you).
 
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I guess I wouldn't be shocked if performance has been degraded by weathered sensors.

Think about it- the moment right before you halt is the most challenging moment for an ABS system to deal with. It exists to keep the wheels turning, yet you need to actually stop the car. So right off there is a minor conflict to be filtered out in software.

You have an advantage over the car- you have a pretty good idea of whether the car is moving or not. The car has no clue. It just sees 4 wheel speed sensors. If they're all going at the same speed as each other, chances are everything is fine. If they differ, you're probably in a skid and the slowest wheels get brakes relaxed in the hope they start rolling again. But if there's a noisy signal from one or more wheel... just as you are slowing down and hitting the resolution limits of the sensor (each pulse = x feet traveled) I can see where the last little bit of the stop would be clumsy.
 
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