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No brakes!!


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Raindrop

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:12 AM

Today when my brother was driving home his Subaru (1991 legacy non turbo) the the front right wheel was making a loud grinding noise, like something was dragging or hitting. Then about a mile later the breaks stopped working well. You press them all the way to the floor and the car brakes very slowly.

The car has been having an issue where when you break sometimes the pedal will sink to the foor and you have to press it again to get the brakes to engage.

There is brake fluid in the car, the reservoir is about half way between low and full.

Also, I drove the car around a parking lot and braked hard a few times, then checked the front right rotor. It was cold to the touch.

There was also a distinct brake fluid, burning break smell. You could smell it in the car very strongly.

The car didn't pull in either direction, although the noise was only in the front right wheel.

Any help would be great! :horse: it all you want.

I'm thinking maybe the front breaks aren't getting any fluid? Master cylinder maybe?

Edited by Raindrop, 16 December 2012 - 11:41 AM.


#2 oskar_subaru

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

1. jack the car up
2. take the right front wheel off
3. replace seized caliper (or piston if you can get a rebuild set)
4. install new pads, discs if necessary (replace left side too)
5. put wheels back on

changing your brake fluid at the same time would not be a bad idea

happy braking

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

Grinding noise? Either the brake pads are completely shot or the wheel bearing fell apart.
Either way you have multiple problems here. It probably needs a new master cylinder. Probably needs new pads, possibly a wheel bearing.

Check the condition of ALL of the pads and rotors, and check ALL of the wheels for up & down and side to side movement.

The caliper slide pins tend to get rusty and seize which prevents the caliper from moving as it should. Remove the calipers and inspect the slides, clean and regrease them with high temp brake grease. Replace them if they're very rusty or pitted or scored.

Check the rotors for rust. Rust on the surface where the pads contact the rotor will just chew the lining off of the pads which will leave wide grooves in the lining. This decreases braking ability, because the rusted parts of the rotor never actually make full contact with the pad. If this is the case the rust can be sanded or wire brushed off in some cases so that new pads will make full contact with the rotor. Often the rotors need to be replaced, and new brake pads installed.

If the brake fluid has not been changed in the past two years, that needs to be done.

#4 Raindrop

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:23 AM

Well I changed the front pads last year. I always use anti-seize on the caliper pins. I'll pull it up and take a look and also I'll change the break fluid.

The grinding noise isn't like a rock in the disk. I think the rotors might need to be resurfaced. But I changed the pads last year. Ill make sure the Bearing isn't shot. I have changed the bearings on my BMW.

I'm sure the rotors aren't rusty as well.

I'll go though tomorrow and check through and see what we got under that wheel.

it would be sweet if someone has a DIY on break fluid replacent as i've never done it. I'll search for one as well.

I remember when I purchased the car something about not towing it too far with the 4wd fuse in? Any know what I'm talking about?

#5 lmdew

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

It's an AWD Car, if you flat tow it you will trash the transmission.

Be safe not sorry, get it towed with a flat bed tow truck.

The FWD fuse put's the transmission in FWD with the car running. It won't solve the brake issue.

#6 heartless

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:11 AM

putting a fuse in the holder under the hood puts the car in FWD mode - but it ONLY works if the car is running!

Flat bed tow is the best option for an AWD Subaru - unless you want to crawl under the car and disconnect the driveshaft....

for brake fluid replacement - go pick up a cheap turkey baster at the dollar store.
suction out as much of the exsting brake fluid as you can - replace with clean, new brake fluid.
after addressing the pads, calipers, rotors, etc, bleed all four brake lines until clean new fluid flows thru* - making sure to keep the resevior topped off throughout the procedure.
Done

There is a specific order in which this is supposed to be done - make sure you are working in that order!
I want to say Right Rear, Left Front, then Left Rear, Right Front... somebody please correct me if I am wrong - it has been a while...

Edited by heartless, 18 December 2012 - 08:16 AM.


#7 Speedwagon

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

putting a fuse in the holder under the hood puts the car in FWD mode - but it ONLY works if the car is running!

Flat bed tow is the best option for an AWD Subaru - unless you want to crawl under the car and disconnect the driveshaft....

for brake fluid replacement - go pick up a cheap turkey baster at the dollar store.
suction out as much of the exsting brake fluid as you can - replace with clean, new brake fluid.
after addressing the pads, calipers, rotors, etc, bleed all four brake lines until clean new fluid flows thru* - making sure to keep the resevior topped off throughout the procedure.
Done

There is a specific order in which this is supposed to be done - make sure you are working in that order!
I want to say Right Rear, Left Front, then Left Rear, Right Front... somebody please correct me if I am wrong - it has been a while...


I seem to recall it being farther to closest from the master cylinder.

#8 86BRATMAN

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

I seem to recall it being farther to closest from the master cylinder.



Correct, furthest from MC and work your way closer.




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