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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!

I recently had my vehicle inspected at the Subaru dealership by certified techs and they believe that I could use new brakes in front and resurfacing of the rotors. The Subaru dealership charges about $350 for this and offers a 12k/1yr warranty on their work. However, a local PNW chain, Les Schwab (actually a decent company) offers the same service for slightly cheaper and they include a 3yr/36k warranty on their work.

Do you believe that it is worth it to get the service done at a Subaru Dealership by certified techs or do you believe that a chain like Les Schwab (which specializes in brakes/tires) would be better for the added bonus of the additional warranty?

Thanks for any advice and input. :D I am just trying to do right by my Subie.
 

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I do my own brakes but if I were going to pay someone else, I would check local independent shops before going to the dealer or a chain.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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The only benefit to the dear is the OEM brake pads. Which are good, no doubt, but expensive. LS is likely sourcing a good aftermarket pads vs the dealer and I think this is only savings based on what has been said. The warranty is better, but read the fine print. Many brake shops only cover the cost of the product for the warranty, so all the labor would be duplicated.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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Along with learning how to change your oil, replacing disc brake pads is one of the easiest and fiscally helpful skills you can learn on your car. The pads tend to need replacing every 2+/- years and if you get talked into having the rotors resurfaced, you will get stuck having to buy new rotors every other pad change. Places like Autozone sell pads for $30-$40 and as long as you don't wear them down to the lining, they'll exchange the pads for free the next time you come in to exchange them. Look for the ones they list with a "limited lifetime warranty". When I get a new car, the I'll buy my pads on the first replacement at Autozone and never have to pay for replacements ever again on that car.

There is no need to resurface the rotors so long as they are not warped or you haven't ground the pads well beyond the lining. If you buy pads with the wear sensors on them, the car will make a horrible scraping noise when you are down to the last couple of mm on the pads so there is no excuse to wear them down to the lining. In all my years, I've only needed to replace the rotors once on a big heavy Honda Odyssey and even at that, the rotors were about $30 each and took an extra 10 minutes per wheel to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The reason for needing the rotors resurfaced is because I have a bit of wobble and vibration when braking. The dealership said that it's most likely caused from the rotors. Whether they were trying to up-sell me or not, I'm unsure. I have changed my own breaks on previous vehicles but never done so on my Subaru. I'm not opposed to doing it myself I just figured I'd get the advice of this wonderful Forum before swiping my card. This Saturday I'm going to have my brakes inspected again at a local shop which will inspect them for free as well as the rotors. If he concurs that the rotors could use resurfacing then I will most likely take it in and have it done professionally just to have that extra peace of mind.

Is that the right move?
 

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2010 Outback Limited 2.5 Nav CANCELED
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“inspected at the Subaru dealership by certified techs”

Dont read too much into the word “certified” from the dealerships.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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what subaru is this?

presently I am running Centric rotors and pads, that I bought online and had installed by independents.

(monkeys in chains don't inspire my confidence )
 

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2005 3L LL Bean Outback
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I paid $ 60 per OEM rotor and $ 60 for an OEM brake pad kit for both left and right front wheels ($ 180 total). I can imagine resurfacing rotors if they cost $ 250 but at $ 60 for a new OEM rotor the labor and surfacing equipment write off seems too expensive.

Some (independent) shops allow you to bring in your own parts and only charge for labor. However, if the dealer does the job I would want some assurance that it actually fixes the wobble/vibration, which I don't believe a warranty will cover if it's not due to rotors or pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what subaru is this?

presently I am running Centric rotors and pads, that I bought online and had installed by independents.

(monkeys in chains don't inspire my confidence )
It's a 2002 Legacy Outback. Base. At 150k Miles.

I recently purchased it as my go-to adventure vehicle! It is in great condition inside and out but I wanted to make sure it was good-to-go. I took it to the Subaru Dealership nearby (Dwayne Lane's Subaru) to get a buyer's inspection. I left it with them all day while at work. When I picked it up I talked to the tech and he went over the inspection. He said he was originally skeptical of a 02 Subaru coming in but after seeing how great condition it was in he said he took it back.

The report says everything is great aside from the slight vibration in the wheel at 60mph-75mph. This is originally what I mentioned to them when I brought it in. After inspecting it he said it was most likely caused by a tire balance issue. Which can be corrected for very cheap (Like $10). But that he noticed the pulsation while braking and said that he believed the rotors should be resurfaced and the brakes done while I am at it. The brakes are a bit soft at the pedal and I believe whoever did them last probably just winged it. They stop me fine but the pulsation and slight pull is noticeable.

I am not a vehicle savvy fellow. I think of myself as more of a triage nurse. I can assist in the process of vehicle maintenance. I can change my oil and stuff but when it comes to real work, I am more of a bystander. I am taking the mechanics word for it, for now. This Saturday I am having them inspected by a brake shop. If they tell me the same thing then I believe that I should fix them. It's just a matter of paying the dealership for a "certified mechanic", taking it to a brake/tire "chain", or having them done at a "mom n pop" shop locally. I don't exactly have the skill or time to do it myself in my driveway in a way that would leave me 100% confident in the finished product.

I am just wondering what the best choice would be for this kind of repair as far as cost vs finished product.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I paid $ 60 per OEM rotor and $ 60 for an OEM brake pad kit for both left and right front wheels ($ 180 total). I can imagine resurfacing rotors if they cost $ 250 but at $ 60 for a new OEM rotor the labor and surfacing equipment write off seems too expensive.

Some (independent) shops allow you to bring in your own parts and only charge for labor. However, if the dealer does the job I would want some assurance that it actually fixes the wobble/vibration, which I don't believe a warranty will cover if it's not due to rotors or pads.
You're exactly right. I have some vibration that is caused by a tire balance issue. I am getting that fixed no problem, but they just mentioned a separate vibration/pulsation while braking that they believed was a separate issue and should be addressed as well. Before I spend any money on the brakes I am going to balance the tires and do some thorough testing to see if the issue is changed.

This question is really for when I find out the brakes do need to be done 100% and I have to narrow my options for a fix. I just want to do what is best for my Subie even if it's more expensive... the best choice for her wellbeing is the best option for me.
 

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It's a 2002 Legacy Outback. Base. At 150k Miles.

I recently purchased it as my go-to adventure vehicle! It is in great condition inside and out but I wanted to make sure it was good-to-go. I took it to the Subaru Dealership nearby (Dwayne Lane's Subaru) to get a buyer's inspection. I left it with them all day while at work. When I picked it up I talked to the tech and he went over the inspection. He said he was originally skeptical of a 02 Subaru coming in but after seeing how great condition it was in he said he took it back.

The report says everything is great aside from the slight vibration in the wheel at 60mph-75mph. This is originally what I mentioned to them when I brought it in. After inspecting it he said it was most likely caused by a tire balance issue. Which can be corrected for very cheap (Like $10). But that he noticed the pulsation while braking and said that he believed the rotors should be resurfaced and the brakes done while I am at it. The brakes are a bit soft at the pedal and I believe whoever did them last probably just winged it. They stop me fine but the pulsation and slight pull is noticeable.

I am not a vehicle savvy fellow. I think of myself as more of a triage nurse. I can assist in the process of vehicle maintenance. I can change my oil and stuff but when it comes to real work, I am more of a bystander. I am taking the mechanics word for it, for now. This Saturday I am having them inspected by a brake shop. If they tell me the same thing then I believe that I should fix them. It's just a matter of paying the dealership for a "certified mechanic", taking it to a brake/tire "chain", or having them done at a "mom n pop" shop locally. I don't exactly have the skill or time to do it myself in my driveway in a way that would leave me 100% confident in the finished product.

I am just wondering what the best choice would be for this kind of repair as far as cost vs finished product.
their diagnostics are good, and 2000-2004 outbacks can still impress new car dealer mechanics because they were great cars when they were built. (lots of good upgrades over the older 1995-99).

resurface rotors that are still pretty good, toss on some new pads, and refill / bleed the brake fluid. and the problems you have will go away.

subaru does sell good brakes. (the brakes are made by Akebono, but maybe a little better then what Akebonos you can buy online or at parts stores,...and their prices come up less then those too....= I priced it out last year).

_____

maybe you have the dealer do the work now and you source out someplace cheaper later. (dealers may want $120 per hour, whereas a indpendent shop that likes subarus may want only $85).

and Washington State .loves subarus .
(I think used subarus and parts command a higher price there then anywhere else in the US, = high demand, vs. short supply).
 

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I've done many brake jobs in my life (helps when you used to be part owner of a shop). Stopped cutting rotors a long time ago. Rotors are relatively inexpensive. If you suspect they have too much runout or better yet use a dial indicator to confirm it, just replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey guys!

I just wanted to give ya'll an update on my situation. I had my brakes inspected at an independent shop and they told me my brakes were "immaculate" and that I don't need to change them for a long time. They used inspected my rotors and told me that they aren't warped and didn't show signs of warping. They are convinced the dealership is trying to upsell me on the brake job.

I had my tires balanced and that has completely corrected the pulsation and vibration while braking and at higher speeds.

I am disappointed in the service I received at the Subaru dealership. I feel like they were trying to take advantage of the situation.

On another note, I did research into the rotors/brake kits.

If in the future I ever have to do them they look incredibly easy to do myself with a day or two of free time in the driveway. The best set I found for the price was Premium Cross Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit . They offer a lifetime warranty. If in the future I need to replace them... does anyone know of a better set for the money with a great warranty like this?
 

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On another note, I did research into the rotors/brake kits.

If in the future I ever have to do them they look incredibly easy to do myself with a day or two of free time in the driveway. The best set I found for the price was Premium Cross Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit . They offer a lifetime warranty. If in the future I need to replace them... does anyone know of a better set for the money with a great warranty like this?
if its not a summer only car.
no need for cross drilled and slotted.
= on a year round car those slots and holes are just a place for water/ salt/ sand to collect and corrode your fancy rotor.
(lifetime warranty or not).

the centrics I bought recently came from "partstrain.com" came up cheaper then amazon or rockauto.
 

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I would agree with EagleEye, nothing wrong with them but no need to spend the extra money for slotted and drilled rotors.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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I'm glad you looked around and figured this out before blindly swiping your card.

Unfortunately, I have to say I do not trust dealers and most shops any time they are selling me something. I wouldn't go there for any work other than major service under warranty where I'm not paying anything.

As you found out yourself, your brakes were absolutely fine and still have great life left in them. A couple thoughts from my experience and reading online:

- Rotors almost NEVER warp. It is almost always an imbalance of friction material on the rotors that leaves a sticky spot where the pads grab more than the rest of the rotor. If you want to understand this issue, check out this really interesting article by StopTech - -Warped- Brake Disc and Other Myths
-Never get your rotors turned as you just make them thinner and more likely to overheat (overheating can cause the friction material imbalance or "warped" feeling). High quality rotors are actually very cheap - just buy new ones!

My brother was getting similar recommendations as you and I convinced him to do the repairs himself. I had cautioned him that the shop was likely lying but he went ahead and bought the replacement parts. I'm glad he took on the project but when he took a look at the pads he saw that there was still lots of life left.

I'd have to second the recommendations for buying a high-end pad or rotor from a place like NAPA. If you ever have an issue, you can seriously just walk in and tell them what is wrong and they just give you new stuff. I've realized that I can save some money online but have a store right down the road and can make instant returns at is invaluable. I often buy store parts now for things I wouldn't want to ship back or wouldn't want to wait for (brake parts, steering rack, electronic parts, other "lifetime warranty" items).

Good luck and a good learning experience for you!
 

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I had the 01 Legacy GT Limited it had larger brakes than the none GT. But I towed trailers and the car lived and daily commuted in San Francisco. I got a solid 62,000 miles out of a set I only used OEM pads. I finally turned the discs at 144,000 miles they had very very minor build up causing high spots and very minor brake pulse at higher speeds. I had my local Napa machine shop turn them. $15 each.

At 180,000 we upgraded to the larger 2010. Funny enough I got 63,000 out of those pads again towing trailers and rough commute life. Subaru is consistent thats for sure.

The stock Subaru rotors are very good quality rotors.
 

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2009, Outback, EJ253, PZEV
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Nope, just replace them The cost of resurfacing this day in age is about same as a new set. Go aftermarket, and upgrade, or stock whatever. Resurfacing machines away material to make it even. This leaves you with less material (more worn) on your rotors. Meaning you will b back sooner to get them replaced anyway, as well they will heat more and burn your brake pads faster. Its a lose lose for you, but your dealer is probably one of the few that has not tossed their rotor resurfacing machine. Swapping the is easy yourself if you have any mechanical ability. If you are not familiar with the systems at all just get it done, but basic brake work is bread and butter for most shops. Buy your own parts and upgrade and take it to a shop with decent labor rate, Subaru or otherwise.
 

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I had to do front brakes and rotors on a '11 WRX STi recently. I went to a local shop that specializes in Subaru (and rally cars). They did it for $600 where it would have been $1000 at the dealer. I tend to avoid the dealer for non-warranty/maintenance stuff.

I am at the dealer now to get new TPMS sensors activated for my OB. They are going to charge me $77 where everyone else charges $20-30. I'm stuck because my car is so new the third party places don't yet have the updated software.
 
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