Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In 2020 I found out I needed new brake rotors and pads. I had them replaced with StopTech rotors recommended by a local and highly-recommended Subaru mechanic (not a Subaru service center).

About a year later (~8,000 miles) the car developed some shuddering when braking at highway speeds. It came and went for a while but then became more common. I had the Subaru mechanic check it out and they couldn't find anything wrong. Got the tires balanced, rotated, but didn't do much to help things. An OBDII scanner was throwing off a C0074 error, but no problems were found with the ABS system.

A few months ago a grinding noise started with the rear brakes. It was bad -- people stared when I was driving by. I took it in and I had a stuck pin, which required the replacement of the rear rotors and brakes. At the same time, they cleaned the ABS sensors, which seemed to fix things regarding the shuddering.

A few weeks ago the shuddering started up again. I took it to a Subaru service center and they noted significant, uneven wear on the front rotors and recommend I replace the front rotors and brakes. These had less than 14,000 miles on them.

Anyways, any idea what could be causing these brake/rotor issues? Have I just been unlucky? The car sits for most of the week and is only used on weekends for city driving; it probably only gets significant highway usage once every two or three months.
 

·
Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
Joined
·
5,111 Posts
I used to run for rear brake pads, EBC HH Sintered pads on my 2010 BMW R1200RT motorcycle. I could stop the bike from 40mph without using the front brakes and did not have to press the rear brake lever hard at all. But guess what, I wear out rear pads probably once per year and rear rotors? Gosh once every 2 years(8000 miles-15000 miles), and the rear rotor cost $125!!! So yes putting track type brake rotors and brake pads on your Subaru may look nice and fast, but you pay the price in terms of longevity or lack there of. But you gain in crazy braking performance. I started using organic pads on the rear of the BMW, I don't take it to a track. Provides a much softer brake lever feel, I now have to push harder to get the same effect, and I'll likely not have to replace the rear rotor every 2 years.

So you either live with what you got, nice hard biting brake feel and put up with eating rear rotors and pads or stop using the StopTech rotors and pads. The fact that you have stuck caliper pins is a sign of rust, inadequate caliper maintenance and poor quality caliper pins or caliper. Same applies to your uneven front brake pad wear.

If it was me, I would toss out all that StopTech High Performance stuff and just go for plain street performance hardware and be done with. How often do you even take it on the track or through the twisties that you start getting pad fade? Every weekend? If Yes then deal with the pad and rotor wear, it's a part of life.
 

·
Super Moderator
2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
I don't object to high performance components but the contract on that calls for high performance maintenance. It's not unusual to change brake fluid before every race even in the amateur racers. I'm not doing that kind of thing in my system. Once a year is plenty for me. A "stuck pin" is unthinkable on a high performance system. Clean and grease it?

So anyway, the harsh reality is you'll probably get more satisfaction from more forgiving system components.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The closest this Forester has come to the track has been watching kids drift their WRXs on the Jackie Robinson -- I use it for weekend driving in NYC. (Start and stop with most trips under 5 miles.) I do take it to a Subaru performance shop and these rotors and brakes were what they recommended for my Foz (knowing that it was basically a casually driven car).

I'd seen a lot of places mention that Subaru OEM rotors were thin and prone to warping so I figured the more robust rotors would be a good idea -- is this not so?
 

·
Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
Joined
·
5,111 Posts
Well, IMHO, your mistake was taking it to a Subaru performance shop and what they sell to the usual performance crowd is what you got. I would consider some of the following for your 5 mile or less driving(Casual grocery getter)"
  • Akebono Pads (What I put on my 2014 ML 350 Bluetec). Ceramic
  • Centric Calipers, Pads and rotors (This is what I put on my 2001 Forester S.
  • Powerstop Evolution and NOT their Street Warrior or Track Day
  • Raybestos Element3

Basically Brake Pads that are Ceramic to keep your wheels clean and not so hard and abrasive like my EBC HH.

As for rotors, unless you want looks, don't get drilled or grooved rotors. I also take the "Subaru rotors are thin" with a grain of salt. And warping? Unless you drive them to glowing red and then splash through tons of water OFF-Roading doubt your driving style will cause warpness. In fact a lot of so-called warpness is caused by depositing brake pad material on the surface of the rotor unevenly, Improper torqueing of wheel nuts is more likely.

I should also add, I agree with @donkpow about high performance means more high performance maintenance to keep things running smoothly, ie uneven brake pad wear for example.
 

·
Registered
1999 Forester S, 2006 WRX, 2011 Forester, 2013 Outback, 2014 Forester
Joined
·
3 Posts
I use powerstop rotors and pads on all my subaru's including my wrx. I have no complaints. I don't know if they are similar to stoptech, but maybe.
 

·
Registered
2001 Forester S auto
Joined
·
379 Posts
Not one you'd traditionally associate with Subies, but my vote calls for Wagner Thermoquiet® pads and rotors. Wagner is mostly a domestic brand OEM supplier, but probably not for the Thermoquiet® line. I installed mine over 15K and 2.5 years ago. I do mostly city driving in my Foz, and they've been holding up just fine with no fading or warping. I installed them on the fronts of both of my cars. I'd buy them again even if they cost more than OEM or Akebono.
 

·
Registered
MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
Joined
·
3,393 Posts
It sounds as if your calipers need looking at to see if they are sticking causing the uneven and premature wear/failure of the parts - This was fairly common with previous generations of Foresters with mild steel pistons and only a coating to help resist corrosion.....With inevitable results - Not sure if Subaru saw the error of their ways with the newer generations.

Do you drive in an area that sees road salt or a coastal location that is likely to experience corrosion from salt etc ?

Performance pads wont kill rotors in a few months unless you're taking them on a track, which you say you aren't - Unless the calipers are sticking/binding.

I've used EBC Bluestuff Track oriented pads on OE style Brembo discs and had no issues with heat.

No idea what Stoptech are like for quality as I've only heard of them in the North American markets where it can be argued standards are...... Different to the rest of the world. See if you can find some R90/GGG compliant pads, like the Brembo OE spec pads and pair them with a quality rotor/disc, such as the Brembo offerings But make sure your calipers are free and greased or the best parts in the world installed in sticking calipers wont last long.

For balance, other brands like Performance Friction and DBA (Disc Brake Australia) are also very respected and great options, especially if they have extra corrosion coatings on the rotors/discs. - Your Subaru Specialist would have heard of these brands too.

Brembo amongst other brands are available from RockAuto for very fair pricing
 

·
Registered
2022 Forester Sport
Joined
·
233 Posts
I'd seen a lot of places mention that Subaru OEM rotors were thin and prone to warping so I figured the more robust rotors would be a good idea -- is this not so?
That is really not true. Subaru is one of a few automakers where the rotors are thick enough to be cut at least once before needing to be replaced.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of the info and advice, everyone. I had never known caliper service to be part of a maintenance routine -- how often should they be cleaned and lubricated?
 

·
Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
Joined
·
5,111 Posts
Thanks for all of the info and advice, everyone. I had never known caliper service to be part of a maintenance routine -- how often should they be cleaned and lubricated?
If you live in snow/salt belt, every year right after winter. For us here in TX, maybe once every other year as it's soooo dry here and they don't use salt much here.
 

·
Super Moderator
2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
The calipers need to be able to slide in the bracket, as do the pads. Just take the caliper off, clean and inspect all, reassemble with proper grease. I've indicated lube points. I like to do my parts annually. I don't get to them every year but I do peek at them when I am under the car.

Product Font Slope Line Parallel
 

·
Registered
MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
Joined
·
3,393 Posts
In addition to @donkpow
It would be worth checking the seal, a3 in this diagram to make sure there's no splits or letting moisture past to the piston.
Organism Font Line Auto part Parallel

If you go to the effort of rebuilding the calipers if the seals a3 have perished etc, it would be worth using aftermarket stainless steel pistons instead of OEM. Just make sure you know what grade of stainless steel is used as some will still rust in salty environments (304 grade or called A2 sometimes will rust for example - 316 grade, sometimes called Marine Stainless will resist corrosion much better))
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top