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Sticking brake caliper problems


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6 replies to this topic

#1 cmjmarvin

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:23 PM

My 1989 GL went over 100,000 miles with no brake problems and original pads.

My 1993 Legacy sedan had no brake problems.

My 1997 Outback had to have a new right front caliper at about 60,000 because it stuck and overheated.

My 1998 Forester, which still has only 41,000 miles on it, has had the right front calipers replaced TWICE, for the same sticking problem.

I also had a rear strut actually COLLAPSE on my 1998 Forester, but that's another story.

The trend of these things is not reassuring, exactly. I'm waiting to see what the 2007 Honda CR-V looks like.

#2 Subarian

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 03:12 PM

I just rebuilt the front calipers on my 86 GL at 255,000 miles (because the boots were torn- they still worked fine). It's kind of hard to believe that Subaru would have that kind of problem on a newer model.

#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 03:15 PM

My 1989 GL went over 100,000 miles with no brake problems and original pads.

My 1993 Legacy sedan had no brake problems.

My 1997 Outback had to have a new right front caliper at about 60,000 because it stuck and overheated.

My 1998 Forester, which still has only 41,000 miles on it, has had the right front calipers replaced TWICE, for the same sticking problem.

I also had a rear strut actually COLLAPSE on my 1998 Forester, but that's another story.

The trend of these things is not reassuring, exactly. I'm waiting to see what the 2007 Honda CR-V looks like.


Hasn't the CRV grown quite a bit in size? I think it's even got a V6 now!

Subaru seems to have disappointed a lot of people with the late 90s/early 00s models.

#4 gbhrps

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:41 PM

cmjmarvin,
You don't say whether or not you followed the manufacturer's recommendations to flush and replace the brake fluid every three years. Any car that I've ever worked on that had sticking calipers, could be traced back to water in the brake fluid, that rusted the pistons in the bore. The same usually happened to the wheel cylinders in the rear. Unless you have a vehicle with silicone brake fluid in its system, ordinary brake fluid will always pull moisture from the air and contaminate itself, leading to rust in the brake lines and calipers, resulting in sticking and seizing calipers. Every car manufacturer has the same recommendations for brake fluid flushing every two or three years. Sure, you might get away without doing it for 5 or 6 years on some vehicles, and in some locaities, but then again maybe not. Your problems are not of Subaru's making. I service all 5 of my vehicles at these three year intervals, and even at that my wife's last Lexus developed a lightly sticking caliper at a little over two years from its last flush. For all the time and money it costs, I do them all now on a two year rotation just to be safe.

#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:52 PM

cmjmarvin,
You don't say whether or not you followed the manufacturer's recommendations to flush and replace the brake fluid every three years. Any car that I've ever worked on that had sticking calipers, could be traced back to water in the brake fluid, that rusted the pistons in the bore. The same usually happened to the wheel cylinders in the rear. Unless you have a vehicle with silicone brake fluid in its system, ordinary brake fluid will always pull moisture from the air and contaminate itself, leading to rust in the brake lines and calipers, resulting in sticking and seizing calipers. Every car manufacturer has the same recommendations for brake fluid flushing every two or three years. Sure, you might get away without doing it for 5 or 6 years on some vehicles, and in some locaities, but then again maybe not. Your problems are not of Subaru's making. I service all 5 of my vehicles at these three year intervals, and even at that my wife's last Lexus developed a lightly sticking caliper at a little over two years from its last flush. For all the time and money it costs, I do them all now on a two year rotation just to be safe.


I assumed the calipers were stuck on the slides.
Maybe folks in high corrosion areas should consider a 2 pot upgrade?

I dunno

#6 grossgary

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 07:19 AM

how well do you trust the mechanic/dealer that's doing the work? they can often be traced to lying, misdiagnosis, saying something was fixed when it wasn't....etc. the more jobs the mechanics get to the more money they make, don't expect quality or accuracy when that's the driving factor. not saying that's the case, but that is possible anywhere not just subaru. haven't seen many brake caliper failures so i wouldn't consider this normal.

#7 cmjmarvin

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 03:52 PM

cmjmarvin,
You don't say whether or not you followed the manufacturer's recommendations to flush and replace the brake fluid every three years. Any car that I've ever worked on that had sticking calipers, could be traced back to water in the brake fluid, that rusted the pistons in the bore. The same usually happened to the wheel cylinders in the rear. Unless you have a vehicle with silicone brake fluid in its system, ordinary brake fluid will always pull moisture from the air and contaminate itself, leading to rust in the brake lines and calipers, resulting in sticking and seizing calipers. Every car manufacturer has the same recommendations for brake fluid flushing every two or three years. Sure, you might get away without doing it for 5 or 6 years on some vehicles, and in some locaities, but then again maybe not. Your problems are not of Subaru's making. I service all 5 of my vehicles at these three year intervals, and even at that my wife's last Lexus developed a lightly sticking caliper at a little over two years from its last flush. For all the time and money it costs, I do them all now on a two year rotation just to be safe.


Grrrhmmmph....Confession time. It is possible that I did not do the flush and replace thing as often as I should have. Well, very possible....Also, that car was driven very little in its early years, and then mostly short distances, and mostly in the winter, in a cold, snowy, damp climate. I do not believe that the shop was taking me to the cleaners.




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