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#4539421 - 10/10/17 06:09 PM Subaru rear brakes.
JTK Offline

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10304
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I just had to do rear brakes on my 2016 Subaru Forester at 38600 miles and 2yrs of ownership. They felt fine and performed well, but after giving the car a good once over before I take it in for it's yearly mandatory state inspection, I found the rear pads worn to the bottom of their grooves already. The 2012 and 2014 Subaru vehicles I owned prior were both close to needing rears at this mileage, but one was turned in (lease) and the other was traded in for the 2016 Forester at about this mileage. Maybe it's a Subaru thing, the brake bias, or maybe just my luck and particular driving, but I've never owned a newer vehicle that needed brakes this soon..Ever.

I could have re-used the rear rotors, but new painted Advance Auto platinums were only $71.32 all in, but disturbingly, the dinky little pads were expensive at $51.10 for "golds" that didn't even include hardware. Ones with hardware were $70-80! Nice thing about the car being so new is everything comes off and apart so nice. Oh well, $122 is a lot better than the $350 a shop would charge.
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

#4539430 - 10/10/17 06:18 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
eljefino Offline

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32214
Loc: ME
It'll be cheaper next time. I've read that with stability control and all the doodads that rear brakes carry their weight now moreso than before.

I'd be happy to get such short mileage, means the parts are moving and not jamming in one spot.

Next set of pads will be cheaper with more aftermarket support.

#4539435 - 10/10/17 06:23 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: eljefino]
JTK Offline

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10304
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Yeah, the caliper pins were still nicely greased and moving like new and the pads slid right out of the holders. I still took forever cleaning up the clips, shims, boots, etc. and re-lubed with Sil-Glyde. The rotors pulled right off after taking the caliper retainers off. That's a first for me with hat-in-rotor rear parking brake rears.
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

#4539443 - 10/10/17 06:33 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
madRiver Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3197
Loc: New England
Too bad you were not 2k less. The 3yr/36k warranty covers them.

#4539453 - 10/10/17 06:41 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
BHopkins Offline

Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 1070
Loc: Utah
That's quite surprising to me. I replaced the rear pads on my '13 Outback at just over 80k miles. When I took my Outback in for a state safety inspection, the report showed they measured the rear pads at 2 mm, so I ordered replacement pads. When I got them off, I found them to be almost 4 mm, so I could have safely went to 90k miles on my rear pads. I really should have double checked them after the state inspection, because I had measured the pad thickness just a few thousand miles earlier, and found them to be between 4 and 5 mm. Lesson learned. Correction: Lesson re-learned. Always double check shop work.

Based upon discussions at an Outback forum, my experience is very typical, with very few exceptions that report having to replace rear pads before 70k - 90k miles.

As far as cost, I ordered Subaru OEM pads on Amazon Prime for $61. That included a full hardware kit. Subaru OEM pads, at least for the Outback, are Akebono, and a pretty good quality pad. I've never dealt with noise, dust, or any other issue. And as explained above, wear is fantastic.

I was planning on replacing rotors at the same time, but they had almost no wear from the original spec, so I couldn't see any reason to do so. I just ran a sheet of 200 grit across them and called it good.
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i - Royal Purple 0W-20 & NAPA Gold filter
2003 Oldsmobile Alero 3.4 - M1 5W-30 & NAPA Gold filter

#4539485 - 10/10/17 07:19 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
fdcg27 Offline

Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15298
Loc: OH
I was astonished that our '09 Forester needed rear pads at around 40K.
FWIU, Subaru has biased brake application to the rears, easily done with four channel ABS.
The advantage would be less dive on application.
In any event, I hadn't replaced OEM brakes on either end at less than 72K before we had this Subie.
17 Forester 6K M1 AFE 0W20
12 Accord LX 78K M1 AFE 0W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i

#4539522 - 10/10/17 07:56 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
JTK Offline

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10304
Loc: Buffalo, NY
madRiver- I thought about that. It would be to any Subaru owner's advantage to go in for an oil change or something and have them check your brakes just before 36K. Not sure how well the "free" brakes work out for folks under the 3/36 warranty.

BHopkins and fdcg27, it's my understanding the the rear rotors and pads are larger and more substantial on the Outback model. The Impreza and Forester share the same puny brakes. The only exception is the XV Crosstrek. Even though they're a "lifted" Impreza, they use the larger Outback brakes for the rear only from what I understand.

Edited by JTK (10/10/17 07:58 PM)
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

#4539544 - 10/10/17 08:15 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
slacktide_bitog Offline

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 5606
Loc: USA
REAR pads at 38k? crzy crush LOL

#4539582 - 10/10/17 08:43 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
SubieRubyRoo Offline

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 597
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
My '11 Fusion was metal-on-metal in the rear (both sides) at 44k (owned since 19k), and I replaced the pads with Motorcraft and the rotors with AAP specials. Now the car has 111k and still on second set... shrug

FWIW, the Fusion is still on factory front pads and rotors, so no clue how there are such large discrepancies in lifetimes.

#4539621 - 10/10/17 09:16 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
14Accent Offline

Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 279
Loc: MN
Subaru's always seem hard on the rears. You saw first hand how small the pads are.

I just had a Ford Transit 350 come in with metal on metal rear pads at 19k. All mechanicals were fine. Sometimes that's j7st how it goes.

#4539773 - 10/11/17 03:57 AM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
The Critic Online   crying

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19546
Loc: CA
Subarus do generally wear out the rear pads first. Just look at the size of the rear pads, factor in some rear brake bias and it is easy to see why.

I did a 13 Impreza a while back. The rears were done (2-3mm) at 80k but the fronts still had 4-5mm. I ended up doing the fronts at the next service visit. I used dealer pads and Akebono rotors for about the same price as you paid though, and the dealer pads come with a new shim kit and all new hardware.

One issue that Ive been finding with Subaru brakes is that the Caliper slide pin bushing is fairly long and for some reason, can sometimes get a bit swollen. As a result the slide pin does not slide smoothly, and sometimes, wont go back into the bracket once you remove the pin. Now, I always order a Caliper slide pin bushing kit from Carlson (about $6) for every Subaru brake job. The pins usually slide a lot better with new bushings.
2011 Toyota Prius - 164k - ACDelco 0W-20
2007 Honda Accord 2.4 - 126K - Idemitsu 5W-20

#4539788 - 10/11/17 05:26 AM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
Rob_Roy Offline

Registered: 10/26/08
Posts: 962
Loc: Northern, NY
Had to do the rear brakes on our Outback at 60k. 55k on my Legacy and they still look ok, but that gets mostly highway miles.
2016 Ford Expedition 3.5 Ecoboost
2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5
1999 Ford F350, V10

#4539826 - 10/11/17 06:48 AM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
2dogs Offline

Registered: 02/01/17
Posts: 48
Loc: NY
Thank you for posting this JTK. I prefer to do things like brakes prior to the annual state inspection, rather than fail inspection and scramble to get the job done. I have a '16 Forester also.

#4539941 - 10/11/17 09:02 AM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
JTK Offline

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10304
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Critc, I'm intrigued as to how you got a pair of OEM replacement rotors and a pad set for close to $122. Best I could find for OEM replacement was $60-80/ea for the rotors and same for the pad set.

Here's a before and after..

2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

#4540426 - 10/11/17 05:06 PM Re: Subaru rear brakes. [Re: JTK]
The Critic Online   crying

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19546
Loc: CA
JTK- I sent you a P/M.

Edited by The Critic (10/11/17 05:06 PM)
2011 Toyota Prius - 164k - ACDelco 0W-20
2007 Honda Accord 2.4 - 126K - Idemitsu 5W-20

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