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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Diehard Subaru owner pissed off at Subaru...

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58 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_HBDad_*

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 09:24 PM

Hi! As some of you may know, I drive a 2003 LLBean Outback wagon. Well, at 12,000 miles, I had to replace my front brakes because they were already worn out. They were covered under warranty and Subaru replaced them, excusing their premature wear on my apparant (and untrue) "hard driving". Well, I've NEVER had ANY car (other Outback wagon models included) wear out ANY of its brakes before 30,000 miles nomatter what I do to them. Anyway, the squeeling returned earlier in the week so I got the car into the dealer (Irvine Subaru) today to find out WTF the deal is since I've only put 8000 miles on the new brakes. AGAIN, they blame my driving style and now told me that ALL FOUR brakes are worn and the front two rotors are shot and need to be replaced. To top it all off, the Subaru warranty will NOT cover the rotors, yet will cover EVERYTHING else related (basically, I need to shell out just under $200)! After complaining profusely, they agreed that they would cover the rotors for me. However, this doesn't seem to address the situation: why the premature wear REALLY? To otp it all off, they are out of replacement rotors and won't get the car back to me until tomorrow. They sent me home in a thrashed old Legacy wagon that is not even properly compatible with todays car seat requirements, and even neglected to give me the door key so I can't even lock it (Ignition Key doesn't fit)!!. Anyway, has anyone had any similar problems? How did you address them? Also, is anyone familiar with the California State "lemon Law" and know if my car may qualify under his should this happen again?


#2 Guest_Hondasucks_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:29 AM

I know here in Oregon you have to have 3 documented claims for the same unresolved or recurring problem, and you have to be able to recreate the problem for a third party arbitrator. I know this cuz my GF's going through probs. with her Hyundai (go figure, hyundais's suck)

#3 Guest_Flowmastered87GL_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:39 AM

wow.. that is pretty soon... my moms 96 OBS took like 40K to eat brakes... and back in high school (back at 7K) I drove it like a rally car :evil:

Shhhh she doesnt know that though :D

#4 Guest_LeoneTurbo_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 03:43 AM

My MY92 eats a set of front (2-pot callipers) and rear brake (1-pot callipers) pads every 7.5k miles or so, but then again, that includes around 1k miles of track use...

So I'd say there definately is a problem with your brakes. They probably develop too much heat, that's why the pads wear so quickly and the rotors warp. Maybe try after market pads on cost of Subaru?

Is stopping power also affected or is brake performance as it should be (until they're worn)? What about pedal feel?

Good luck.

#5 Guest_Drquasievil_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 07:52 AM

I am not sure and maybe someone should confirm, but I don't think the Subaru dealer was obligated to give you a loaner. I could be wrong here and would like a confirm.
Also, the dealer is replacing everything for free even though they feel it may have been your doing, I think that's good customer service. You need to give the dealer a break, it's not their fault you are having problems, you have to take it up with Subaru. However, I think it's too soon to start looking at the lemon laws.

#6 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 08:49 AM

Dr Q.

actually has a good point. From the dealer's perspective, as much griping as they can get from customers, they have no clue REALLY how you drive. I think they're doing well to try to extend the benefit of a doubt.

On the other hand, there is a problem that seems unique to your car. Do you drive in sandy or dusty places, or get a lot of rain/moisture at night that could generate rust buildup and shorten pad/rotor life when it grinds off in the morning?

The thing is, it's not just one wheel... it's all 4. it's consistent. If this doesn't fix, I'd try a good set of aftermarket semi-metallic pads and aftermarket rotors. See how that goes. Honestly tho, with 106,000 my rotors never even needed to be turned--- I like the oem rotor experiences I had.


#7 Guest_Subie Gal_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:54 PM


is the car an automatic?

#8 Guest_HBDad_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 03:03 PM

Yes, the car is an automatic and I live in a beach town.

I might also add that one of Subaru' excuses is that the LL Bean wagon ways 1000 pounds more than the basic 4 cylinder version of the wagon. This however, is false information on Subaru's part since the LLBean wagon actually weights 3715 pounds and the basic 4 cylinder wagon weights in slightly less at 3430 pounds, a mere difference of 285 pounds. Are they trying to hide something?

#9 Guest_Subie Gal_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 03:11 PM


when you drive an automatic... you use the brakes about 100% more than the averate MT driver.

I downshift... A LOT... i hardly ever use my brakes on my daily commute.... 60k+ miles and still the stock pads....

but... the SUV's and other AT's i see...
have to use the brakes to slow...
have to use the brakes excessively on downhill...
have to use the brakes at each and every stop light.

i dont know how you drive...
but if all 4 pads and the rotors are gone that rapidly,
well either it's your method of driving...
or someone is out hot rodding while you're sleeping :)

i have to side on the dealership with this one.

#10 Guest_scoobtech_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 05:09 PM

Sounds like Subaru & dealership are holding up there end of customer satisfaction. Especially giving you some wheels to drive . If everything is wearing evenly , it can only really come down to driving style . From your description , I see no fault from Subaru or dealership . I don't think they are hiding anything either about weight, just confused . Good luck . :x

#11 Guest_1 Lucky Texan_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 06:08 PM

OK here is a WAG/speculation - is it possible there is a failure mode in the master cylinder that could keep the brake system from 'de-pressurizing'/relaxing when the pedal is released? Yeah - I know there are such things as 'flappers' in hydraulic hoses that act like valves and sticking calipers but this would have to be something affecting the whole system sounds like. Also - here's a dumb question - is the brake light on all the time? maybe there is physivcal intereference with the pedal or pedal arm?

1 Lucky Texan

#12 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 08:06 PM

Carl's gotta point.. sometimes like a 2psi hold valve to keep the pistons from restracting...

Also, dude mentioned "beach town." That says "salt" to me. Wondering...

But he hasn't had these probs with other vehicles.

New brakes have different materials maybe?


#13 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 06:12 AM

The master cylinder doesn't have a fail safe to keep pressure in the lines.

2psi in the lines will help keep the pistons in the calipers from rolling back in, but I doubt that will seriously increase brake wear.

#14 Guest_Greg Donovan_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 08:45 AM

there are some problems here in midwest too. the calipers arent sliding and the brakes are dragging. just a guess though.

#15 Guest_alexk02_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 01:01 PM

A couple of points:
1) Living in a beach town means salty air = erosion on metallic pads and possibly rotors
2) Beach town also may mean blowing sand - like a sand paper getting onto the pads.
3) If your idle is incorrectly set up, i.e. pulling your car faster than it should - you use more braking to hold it while stopped and while slowing down or in stop-and-go traffic.
All things combined may wear out your brakes musch faster

#16 Guest_korrupt66_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 05:21 PM

Beach town or not for $30,000 your brakes shouldn't have to be changed twice in 30,000 miles. My faith in Subaru is fading with every new model year. The days of trust worthy Subaru's are behind us and if you disagree start reading opinions of car critics and thier test results.

#17 Guest_scoobtech_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 07:00 PM

Test results are just one thing , numbers . Anyone who uses this as their main thing for making a decision has their priorities mixed up . Critics can be biased & their comments should only be taken as one piece of the decision . I like to form my own opinion , not told whats good & whats bad . If you went only by critics picks , we'd all be driving BMW or Mercedes . As for me , i'll take Subaru anyday . ;)

#18 Guest_Chip Hedrick_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 07:44 PM

AWD wagon six cylinder engine lots of creature comforts = heavy

Automatic transmission = lots of brake use

With those factors, 8,000-12,000 mi between brake jobs seems almost to be expected. Add some hard driving, or maybe lots of in-town driving, or perhaps some climate issues and that would explain everything.

My wife's pervious car, a '94 Chevrolet V6 auto, required frequent brake jobs. I suspect her current '03 H6 Sedan will too. On the other hand, my '98 OBW (5MT) has 93,000 mi on its original pads and rotors, and I'm a harder driver than she is. I had all four wheels off a couple of weekends ago to bleed the brake lines and everything checked out. With my car, I do a lot downshifting. When I drive my wife's car I'm forced to rely on the brakes much more.

I think what you're experiencing is near what is to be expected with the type of vehicle you have.

#19 Guest_99obw_*

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 06:18 AM

Our car went 90k miles on the OEM brakes. Auto trans. A lot of highway miles, but I think most of it is driving style. Most drivers I see follow so closely that any change in the speed of the car in front of them requires that they use their brakes. If following at a 2-4 second distance coasting will slow the car enough most of the time to virtually eliminate the use of the brakes. Often I will be behind someone that is riding the rump roast of the car in front of them, their brakes come on every 20 seconds, and I will go 20 miles without touching my brakes. Our average speed is identicle however, and that is all that counts.


#20 Guest_HBDad_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 12:31 AM

"AWD wagon six cylinder engine lots of creature comforts = heavy"

Actually, it is more like:

" AWD wagon six cylinder engine lots of creature comforts = merely 285 pounds heavier than the same year 4 cylinder model"

As for driving style, my braking is not different at all with my 6 cylinder Outback than it was with my 4 cylinder (same commute exactly), but the 4 cylinder went up to 30K miles with no problem. The addition of 285 pounds should make little difference on the brake life.

#21 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 10:27 AM

I am still hung up on external factors -- not driving style but this beach climate -- airborne particulate and salt. Granted, I have never had any experience with brake behavior in these climates, but I certainly know that before rustproofing advances were made, these climates destroyed old Chevys...

The new Subarus have very open rim designs that could allow more airborne particulate/salt to contact breaking surfaces than, say, the old steel wheels with plastic cover.

What kind of wheels were on your older cars?


#22 Guest_Witte_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 02:55 PM

try driving less agressively. Also were the pads failing because they wore out or were you glazing them? My SHO needed new pads at around 50K not because the material was gone, but because I glazed them and they had barely more firction than glass. Stripping the pad off and using the steel backing plate would have given it more grip.

#23 Guest_mrtoyou7747_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 04:07 PM

Is this the first AT Sube you've been driving?

#24 Guest_HBDad_*

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 04:26 AM

Just to answer the latest replies, every Legacy Outback I've had was an automatic and the model years were 1999 (limited Model), 2001 (standard), and now 2003 (LL Bean model). As for the wheels, they are all identical to each other other than the gold-colored accents on the LL Bean (maybe the design was ever-so-slightly different on the 99).

As for the aggressive driving comment (which is valid advice for ALL drivers BTW), I am not driving very aggressively (if at all) or any different now than I was before (I have two very young daughters who wouldn't appreciate dad getting them wrapped around a tree due to careless driving!). Anyway, no conditions have changed at all except for the car itself.

I'm starting to think that maybe I'm just pissing into the wind on this one... (sigh)

#25 Guest_SubaruJunkie_*

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 10:13 AM

Not to say your pissing in the wind, or your the next Colin McRae. But there has to be some sort of logical explination for this wear. Since your rotors were worn with only 2 sets of pads (from what i gather) maybe you had defective rotor's, or the rotors they had on the LLB model were crap and they now know it. Have you gotten the car back yet? Notice any change? Also, if you live in California, by the bay, and in Northern California (bay area, S.F etc...) there are ALOT of hills. Hills and AT love to eat brakes. But since you have owned plenty of previous AT Subaru's, i dont think we can blame it on your driving skills or the climate/area you live in. Hopefully the dealer knows how to properly install those rotor's, and you wont have to talk to them again for a while.


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