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Discussion Starter #1
New here, hope this is the right place to ask this question. My daughter is looking at a 2020 Outback, I think it is the Premium and is worried about the reliabilty of the push button brake. Are they reliable - does it fail often?

Also, does anyone have a 2020 - what is your opnion of it and experiences with the Outback...pros and cons.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Push button brakes are reliable and do not fail often.

A lot of us have a 2020 and if you browse the various forums below you will see a lot of feedback about what people like and dislike about it.

 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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The biggest cause of parking brake failure is lack of use. I kind of wish they had set up the electronic parking brake to come on automatically when the car is put in park. I still haven't gotten into the habit of setting mine because I have driven for decades of driving rusty vehicles where it would be crazy to set the parking brake knowing it likely wouldn't release again.
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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The EPB on my 2011 still works (knock on wood). In fact - it's holding my OB on a decent hill right now...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The biggest cause of parking brake failure is lack of use. I kind of wish they had set up the electronic parking brake to come on automatically when the car is put in park. I still haven't gotten into the habit of setting mine because I have driven for decades of driving rusty vehicles where it would be crazy to set the parking brake knowing it likely wouldn't release again.
Me too, used to driving older cars. My current new car is a Fiat 500 stick and I love it. My husband pulls the hand brake so high, that I can't release it. Thanks for your response.
 

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I prefer the manual pull hand brake myself, but no worries about reliability. If you're a DIY type of person, electronic parking brakes can make rear brake service more complicated.

On the other hand, one issue with the manual pull brake is that some people can pull it so hard that it becomes unreliable, or some people pull it so gently that it's not effective. The electronic parking brake will be consistent in applying the correct force without needing physical strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I prefer the manual pull hand brake myself, but no worries about reliability. If you're a DIY type of person, electronic parking brakes can make rear brake service more complicated.

On the other hand, one issue with the manual pull brake is that some people can pull it so hard that it becomes unreliable, or some people pull it so gently that it's not effective. The electronic parking brake will be consistent in applying the correct force without needing physical strength.
Thanks
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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On the other hand, one issue with the manual pull brake is that some people can pull it so hard that it becomes unreliable, or some people pull it so gently that it's not effective. The electronic parking brake will be consistent in applying the correct force without needing physical strength.
All true.

But pressure modulation can be a good thing for certain situations. And this maneuver demands a manual lever; an electronic parking brake will just not do it!
 

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The biggest cause of parking brake failure is lack of use. I kind of wish they had set up the electronic parking brake to come on automatically when the car is put in park. I still haven't gotten into the habit of setting mine because I have driven for decades of driving rusty vehicles where it would be crazy to set the parking brake knowing it likely wouldn't release again.
Mine definitely suffers from lack of use. I can't recall the last time I used the parking brake. My last 3 vehicles had electronic parking brakes. Not sure if they worked in any of them.
 

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The electronic parking brake in my 2012 has had no issues, and since the car has a manual transmission I engage it every time I park the car.
Interestingly, on my 2012 I push the button to engage and in my 2020 I pull to engage. Now every time I park one of them I gotta think about it and I'm wrong ~50% of the time :)
 

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2008 Subaru Outback XT (MT) & 2016 Subaru Outback Ltd
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Being from Europe and my 2008 OBXT being a stick I always use a parking brake. Because of all those habits I use an electronic parking brake on wife's 2016 every single time, even if parked on a flat. Reading that CVT might not be strong enough to hold the car on bigger hills, I taught my wife to use it every single time as well. So 5 years of using an electronic hand brake - zero issues. I admit it feels weird that there is no good old handle to set the brake though.
 

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The biggest cause of parking brake failure is lack of use. I kind of wish they had set up the electronic parking brake to come on automatically when the car is put in park. I still haven't gotten into the habit of setting mine because I have driven for decades of driving rusty vehicles where it would be crazy to set the parking brake knowing it likely wouldn't release again.
I rarely need to use mine but check once in awhile to make certain it’s properly operational. Can say I’d want it automatically engage all the time when vehicle of parked. It’s bad enough when everything Locks up, including the EPB, when battery is dead. my daughter‘s OB battery died and it couldn’t be moved to position it for a jump start...
 

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The electronic parking brake in my 2012 has had no issues, and since the car has a manual transmission I engage it every time I park the car.
Interestingly, on my 2012 I push the button to engage and in my 2020 I pull to engage. Now every time I park one of them I gotta think about it and I'm wrong ~50% of the time :)
I treated it like a manual control... if the switch was on the dash, you operated it like a parking brake pedal - away from you to engage, towards you to release. On the center console, up to engage, down to release.
 

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It’s bad enough when everything Locks up, including the EPB, when battery is dead. my daughter‘s OB battery died and it couldn’t be moved to position it for a jump start...
I'm curious - if the battery is dead, the epb is off, does the shifter work to go into neutral?
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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I'm curious - if the battery is dead, the epb is off, does the shifter work to go into neutral?
That's an excellent question!

As far as I know, no, but there's a manual shift lock release so you can override the normal shift lock. It's explained in the owner's manual (Starting and operating/Continuously variable transmission p. 7-27 for 2015 model).
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I'm also an old school type guy and was hesitant about the parking brake. I had no choice because I wanted a new outback, so I just went with it and now I don't even think about it. I do use it all the time. Habit I guess...my other car has a manual transmission. No issues so far with my current and I didn't have any problems with my previous outback either.
 
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