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Sticky Brakes


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4 replies to this topic

#1 nickb21

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 09:45 PM

The front brakes on my 02 outback have been getting sticking at first start lately. I'm guessing it could be a combination of the colder temps and moisture in the air from the snow and rain we've had.

After I've let the car site for a few hours (during work) or overnight, it's a noticebale pause and cracking noise once i start moving. Where I park at work the temps in the parking deck are usually in the low 40's, of course cooler where it sits outside at home.

From what I can tell the calipers aren't sticking, aren't pulling to a side when breaking and the rotors don't feel very hot even after a bit of a drive with light breaking.

Anyone else notice this? Maybe just has to do with the surface of the pads and rotors (recently cut)?

Thanks.

#2 alias20035

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 12:33 AM

Originally posted by nickb21
The front brakes on my 02 outback have been getting sticking at first start lately. I'm guessing it could be a combination of the colder temps and moisture in the air from the snow and rain we've had.

After I've let the car site for a few hours (during work) or overnight, it's a noticebale pause and cracking noise once i start moving. Where I park at work the temps in the parking deck are usually in the low 40's, of course cooler where it sits outside at home.

From what I can tell the calipers aren't sticking, aren't pulling to a side when breaking and the rotors don't feel very hot even after a bit of a drive with light breaking.

Anyone else notice this? Maybe just has to do with the surface of the pads and rotors (recently cut)?

Thanks.



If you get grinding brakes only for the first few brake applications, and then the brakes are fine it is likely just rust on the rotors.

Each brake application scratches the rotor surface and leaves a fine coat of iron dust from both the rotor and pad on the rotor surface. This fine dust and the small scratches rust very quickly (a matter of hours) when the car is parked in humid weather.

If your brakes are fine after a few brake applications, don't do anything, nothing is wrong. There is no solution to this problem, because it is not really a problem.

If it is a continous grinding or squeal, it is possible that the pads have reached their wear indicators and you should have new pads installed as soon as possible.

#3 nickb21

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 01:05 PM

Yup, it's just after the first one or two applications, then they are smooth as silk.

Thanks for the help!

#4 99obw

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:52 PM

FWIW, here in western NY some of the suby mechanics sparingly coat the pad guides with anti-sieze compound to keep the pads from sticking and/or wearing unevenly. I find that this needs to be done at least once a year to maximize pad life and minimize sticking. You might want to give this a try.

#5 alias20035

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:51 PM

Originally posted by 99obw
FWIW, here in western NY some of the suby mechanics sparingly coat the pad guides with anti-sieze compound to keep the pads from sticking and/or wearing unevenly. I find that this needs to be done at least once a year to maximize pad life and minimize sticking. You might want to give this a try.



If you want problem free brakes I would remove the caliper each year to relubricate the sliders and pad guides. The rear brakes will often seize after a few years exposure to road salt if this is not done. It is also a good idea to clean off the old anti-squeal compound from the pad shims and apply new stuff.

Subaru's new design (used from 1995 onward?) with the dual caliper bolt and sealed sliders is much better than their old design where the single caliper bolt is the lower slider and the caliper pivots and pulls off the upper fixed slider.

The new slider design should not require relubrication if the rubber seal is intact and the slider action is smooth. With the new design is also easier to replace the slider, the old design often required a replacement caliper as the parts are rusted together.

You have the new design if there are two bolts to undo to remove the caliper from the pad guide.




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