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We are having an issue with our '98 Outback's brakes. It seems that they will randomly decide not to work. It is winter here, but the problem occurs after the car has been warmed up and driven. Usually occurs during slower driving. It feels as though when the brake is applied it wants to kick back making it hard to apply any pressure. We've already run a couple of stop signs. Next thing you know its gone, no problem. Happens about once a week. Any thoughts?

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There was a recall on some models for doing just that. Check with the dealer, it's a master cyl, booster problem.

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We are having an issue with our '98 Outback's brakes. It seems that they will randomly decide not to work. It is winter here, but the problem occurs after the car has been warmed up and driven. Usually occurs during slower driving. It feels as though when the brake is applied it wants to kick back making it hard to apply any pressure. We've already run a couple of stop signs. Next thing you know its gone, no problem. Happens about once a week. Any thoughts?

 

You mention "It feels as though when the brake is applied it wants to kick back". To me, this sounds like the ABS is actuating when it's not supposed to. I'll bet you've got a wheel speed sensor that's starting to fail; that "tricks" the ABS into coming on for no reason during low speed stops. And when that happens, the car will slowly roll to a stop (and right into intersections), even if you're putting all of your weight onto the brake pedal. Does the ABS warning lamp come on while driving or stay on longer than it used to after starting the engine??

 

There was a recall on brake master cylinders for these cars (we've also got a '98 Outback) but the symptom of a bad master cylinder is the brake pedal sinking to the floor when brakes are applied. What you're describing (brake pedal "kicking back") sounds like an ABS problem..........

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