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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have a mystery around the parking brake actuator on my 2012 Outback, hoping someone can help with some conflicting information I am getting. :help:

Symptom:
Recently my parking brake light on my dash would occasionally start flashing after I started the car and disengaged the parking brake. It usually would turn off after I would re-engage and disengage the brake.

It went from infrequent to almost every time I started the car.

I took my car into a local dealership for an unrelated recall item, and asked them to diagnose the light.​


Diagnosis by The Dealership:
They scanned the codes and came up with C0251, C0242, C0234, and found an associated Service Bulletin TSB 06-58-17 something about failing parking brake actuator.

They recommended that I replace both Parking Brake Actuators. The actuators they wanted to replace are $605 each x2 + $360 labor = $1,670 inc tax etc)

The Plot Thickens
The dealership didn't have the part in stock, so I drove it home (I live an hour away from the dealership) and took it to a local shop the next day for a second opinion. They scanned the same codes and said I needed to replace the parking brake actuator (singular).

I asked them to double check and they were sure there is only one actuator.​

Dealership Clarification
So, I called the dealership back, and after the service guy laughed at me on the phone :mad: , he verified with the technician that there are two (he said right and left side). So, I asked for the part numbers, and he came back with: 26002AJ01D and 26002AJ02C.​

What is Going On?!
So I look them up (from parts.subaru.com), and the 01D is indeed: "ACTUATOR ASSY-ELECTRIC PARKING BRAKE" for 2010-2012 models, but the 02C is listed as the same part, but for 2013 and 2014 models. Same thing on a couple different parts web sites (parts.com for example).

Nothing about right/left side or anything like that.

So my question is: what is going on?! How many parking brake actuators does my 2012 Outback 2.5i have? It is sounding like the dealership is wrong, either that or the local shop and the internet is wrong. And, of course the internet is never wrong. :wink2:
 

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I believe there is only 1 actuator assembly(about $600). By the pricing, my guess is, they are replacing both rear calipers(about $600) and actuator assembly(IE the whole parking brake assembly). Probably the only way they can guarantee a repair. They should have explained it in more depth. Hoping this system does not fail on our 2011.
Regards
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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It's amazing what you can find on a dealer parts website. I wonder why the dealer parts guys can't?

(1) actuator folks, (1) mechanism.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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900 Posts
Before committing to buying parts, how old is your battery?

My 2005 Jaguar S-Type sedan also has an electronic parking brake. For these particular cars, when the EPB dashboard warning light illuminates, 90% of the time it is due to a failing battery. 5% of the time is due to a failing EPB module, and the other 5% of the time is due to a failing EPB actuator (yes, there is only one). Spurious OBDII codes are often thrown when the battery is failing, leading owners (and service providers) to believe that an EPB module or EPB actuator is at fault when it really is due to the battery dying.

For owners with a failing battery, a new battery solves the issue almost instantly. The new battery is installed, and when you start the engine the EPB system prompts you for a simple reset (step on the brake pedal and pull up on the EPB switch). After you do that, the dashboard warning lights go out and the spurious OBDII codes disappear.

The Jaguar dealership service departments miss this all the time, costing the vehicle owner a ton of money for new EPB parts that he/she does not need. That is one reason why many of us have not darkened the door of a Jaguar dealership in many years. We are far better off researching our problems on the Jaguar forum and then doing our own repairs. Today's vehicles are essentially rolling computers and when the battery begins to get weak after just 3 to 5 years, all sorts of dashboard warning lights and codes begin to show up. There have even been instances of dealerships diagnosing failing transmissions due to spurious OBDII codes being thrown, replacing them to the tune of $6,000 to $7,000 out of the owner's pocket, and then discovering that the only problem was a failing battery. Shame on the dealership for not verifying the battery as step number one.

First things first - check your battery.
 
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Presumed wording of the TSB is shown here.

It lists those same two part numbers that the dealer provided, but indicates they are for different years. So, it looks as if there's only one actuator for your 2012, unless there's a revised/later TSB that suggests for 2012s the later version of the actuator was used on some production. But then the dealer should be able to use the VIN with the Subaru parts system to determine which version your car needs.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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Mewonders if that service manager is pulling a "Scotty".

"It will take $1670 to fix it."
OK, do the work.
..but later:
"It was only $835 since we only needed to replace one actuator. I saved you over $800. What a hero I am! Be sure to fill out our customer satisfaction survey"
 

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'13 2.5 Premium
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My '13 blew out the parking brake actuator about 6 months(?) ago.

Same symptoms - release the brake and the light would flash, re-engage and release and it would clear. This went from once, to once a month, to once a week, to multiple times a day. I finally stopped using the brake. Dealer checked it, said the diagnostics showed the actuator needed replacing. Quote for parts and labor came to somewhere around $900. I think it was $600 for the part and $300 for labor, and would take a week to get the part. For whatever reason (I've been a good customer, I guess), they called it a "goodwill warranty" and didn't charge me. I was outside the 3/36 warranty, so I expected to get hit with the full amount.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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I don't see where the confusion is anymore.

There is only one part number listed for the 2010-2012. It can be had for nearly as low as $400, the dealer is going to want to charge at least $600 for the part. $300 labor would be steal, at the stealer. That's tells me it's a 2 hour job.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's amazing what you can find on a dealer parts website. I wonder why the dealer parts guys can't?
Presumed wording of the TSB

Yeah thanks, that is what I found too. And the other part # specifically says for 2013-14.

Thanks! Glad I'm not taking crazy pills.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the suggestions/ reality check that I wasn't way off base.

On the bright side I called Subaru Customer Relations and they got in touch with the service department and offered to cover $800 of the repair. Although I am not very happy with the dealership right now. (Going to confirm it is not the battery or something else first).

The flashing brake light hasn't come back on for a few days since the local shop diagnosed it (and I assume cleared the codes).

Thanks again!
 

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions/ reality check that I wasn't way off base.

On the bright side I called Subaru Customer Relations and they got in touch with the service department and offered to cover $800 of the repair. Although I am not very happy with the dealership right now. (Going to confirm it is not the battery or something else first).

The flashing brake light hasn't come back on for a few days since the local shop diagnosed it (and I assume cleared the codes).

Thanks again!
That might have been how my own dealer worked it out for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quick Update/Resolution

A quick update on the resolution for anyone who stumbles on this thread:

After getting nowhere with the service rep, I got the email of the service manager and sent him an email with the info that there is only one actuator. The next morning, he replied and confirmed I was right, and updated the estimate ~$850 to replace the one actuator (for original ~$1700 estimate).

I called Subaru back to confirm that they would still cover the $800 even if the estimate was revised lower - and they confirmed the offer was still valid.

The dealer did the repair and the whole thing ended up costing me $60 out of pocket. The service rep was very apologetic (although he did throw the technician under the bus a bit for incorrectly reading the TSB).

They even did some new diagnostics for me for free... but that is another story.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5 w/CVT
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My '13 blew out the parking brake actuator about 6 months(?) ago.

Same symptoms - release the brake and the light would flash, re-engage and release and it would clear. This went from once, to once a month, to once a week, to multiple times a day. I finally stopped using the brake. Dealer checked it, said the diagnostics showed the actuator needed replacing. Quote for parts and labor came to somewhere around $900. I think it was $600 for the part and $300 for labor, and would take a week to get the part. For whatever reason (I've been a good customer, I guess), they called it a "goodwill warranty" and didn't charge me. I was outside the 3/36 warranty, so I expected to get hit with the full amount.
Yep, I have the exact same problem you've described.
I will contact dealer (who I've had issues with regarding oil consumption test) and see what they will do for me and my Outback with 38k miles on it.
 

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Dealer is full of crap.

The 10-12’s are very different than the 13’s!

Only one device on the 10-12’s

Our 2010 did this yr 3 I checked everything over nothing was amiss. After about 4 weeks the light went off and its been fine since.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5 w/CVT
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Dealer is full of crap.

The 10-12’s are very different than the 13’s!

Only one device on the 10-12’s

Our 2010 did this yr 3 I checked everything over nothing was amiss. After about 4 weeks the light went off and its been fine since.
You did nothing and it went away???
 

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2013 Outback 2.5 w/CVT
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Yep been fine since.
Hmmm?

I unplugged the electrical connector at the master cylinder and reconnected it which seems to have resolved the flashing light issue but I think it'll be more complicated than that.
I'm cautiously optimistic.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R
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There’s only one “parking brake actuator assembly”. I have the same issue with our 2011 Outback 3.6R with 70K miles. I looked up the diagram, and it clearly shows ONE motor unit pulling BOTH left AND right cables at the same time. Our dealer quoted $749 for the job, labor included (I think).
I wish that the electric actuator could be replaced by the good old hand brake! Worked for years, didn’t really need to be made into another electric “thing” that would fail after warranty expires. Subaru needs to lead the way with more durable accessories like this, if they wish to keep us die-hard Subie fans returning.
 

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2013 Legacy

So even though there is a TSB for this, the customers are getting charged? I just got this car, and it is flashing this issue. The seller said it is just a code the dealer needs to reset, but now reading more on it, seems like a bad actuator?

Other than being in, or slightly out of warranty, is anyone having luck getting Subaru to cover this? That part is like $550+. UGH
 
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