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2008 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Forester 2008. I'm looking to change the brake pads on the rear axel as they are worn out, I have the correct tools for the Job (torque wrench, ratchet, brake grease ect), torque specs and have watched a few youtube videos on it. However a few people have told me that changing brakes is dangerous and could lead to serious injury if not done by a trained professional.

The alternative is paying a mechanic £100 per axle to change the brakes. I don't really have the income to be throwing around £100 for repairs that could be done myself.

Is the risk significant and how likely is it that something could go catastrophically wrong and i end up being paralyzed because I didn't change the brakes properly?
 

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'14 Forester XT Touring
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879 Posts
Welcome,
Those few people need to get their hands dirty, and get their head examined.
Youtube research is great and spot on. You can always buy the proper tool if need be. Also buy brake cleaner.

You'll be fine. Mechanical parts go in one way. if at any moment they don't fit right, it's going in wrong. Just like a usb drive. Flip once, flip it twice, and the third time it goes in.

If all goes wrong just read/watch the step by step videos again or the official Subaru repair manual. Google it you'll find out how to repair everything in your Forester.

As far as risk goes, if 18 year olds at the quicky lube places are doing brake jobs as the basic work, I think you can do it as well. Just remember to tighten all the bolts.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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1,618 Posts
Nervousness is a good sign, because it means you want to do a good job. The key to safety is to properly raise the vehicle and have it rest securely on jack stands. You want to have a good floor jack and 2 jack stands. Its a good idea to place the tire you remove under the car as a further safety move. Basically I encourage you to become familiar with the jacking points, and were to place jack stands for your model. I think Mr Subaru has such a video on his youtube channel.
Also always remember righty tighty and lefty loosy. And make sure your parking brake is not engaged when trying to remove the rear rotors, assuming you will replace those as well as the pads.
 

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No rear rotors on our Base '08s, @Quadraria10, only shoes. I'll second your motion that properly raising and stabilizing the vehicle is a key to safety. I had a wrecking yard once and always made sure vehicles were sturdily based and evenly raised before getting under them.

Pansies, is what I will call those who gave you such advice regarding not doing your own brake job, @ropes712.

Just take a photo of each side prior to disassembly to make the install easier.

You may want to get one brake hardware kit, just in case, since I assume you live in rainy England and knowing what rust can do. Just a suggestion.
 
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2004 FXT 4EAT
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1,030 Posts
Of course... There are several things you can do that might be dangerous.

Like using a poopty jack on a sloped surface, without blocking the wheels, and putting your head under the car without using a stand to support the weight of the vehicle.

But then again, a tree could kill you!

So...please consider the following:

Use blocks in front and behind the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle you're working on. (most of the weight will be on them)

ALWAYS use a stand. Do NOT depend on a jack to hold up your vehicles for more than a minute (swapping summer/winter wheels doesn't require you to put body parts in danger) and release the jack so that the vehicle weight is completely on the stand.

Take (many) pictures of the "before" situation. That way you have something to refer to if you can't remember how to put it back together. Also gives you a way to compare your "after" to how it was.

Make sure that your pads can "glide" freely in the caliper bracket. (when the caliper applies pressure to the pad to brake, the pad needs to be able to move away from the rotor when you take your foot off of the pedal. This often requires removing the glide-clips and taking a file or steel brush to the surfaces where the clips "live".

If you don't have the correct tool, and are failing at using an alternate tool: go and buy the correct tool. Your time, effort and frustration levels is worth more than the price of that tool!

If you have any questions. Feel free to post here. Include pictures to illustrate the area you have questions about
 

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2012 Forester 4 speed auto
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1,174 Posts
The key to doing a good brake replacement is using clean parts free of rust and corrosion. Rust and corrosion are the major reasons a brake get stuck, makes noise, or wears unevenly. Also lubricate the parts intelligently. Don't over do it. If in doubt consult an experienced person for advice.
 

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2017 Forester Premium
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3,098 Posts
I have a Forester 2008. I'm looking to change the brake pads on the rear axel as they are worn out, I have the correct tools for the Job (torque wrench, ratchet, brake grease ect), torque specs and have watched a few youtube videos on it. However a few people have told me that changing brakes is dangerous and could lead to serious injury if not done by a trained professional.

The alternative is paying a mechanic £100 per axle to change the brakes. I don't really have the income to be throwing around £100 for repairs that could be done myself.

Is the risk significant and how likely is it that something could go catastrophically wrong and i end up being paralyzed because I didn't change the brakes properly?
Best advise i can give here is to buy OEM parts.. the Subaru one may cost a little more but will fit perfect and make the job easy. aftermarket pads don't exactly fit sometimes and may need some filing of the ears at contact points you wont have this problem with OEM parts. my 09 ate rear pads fast, there so small. I haven't needed to replace them yet at 31k on the 17 yet.. was certified preowned so may have been done before i got it at 13k
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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1,030 Posts
Oh, btw... Subaru brakes are probably the easiest brakes I have ever done! (and I've replaced a few)

You could get away with only taking off the calipers (and putting them aside. "hang" it to the strut using a bungy strap or piece of wire so it's not dangling down, pulling on the brake hose). But it might be easier to clean up the glide surfaces if you also took off the bracket.
 
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