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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The front brakes on my '15 2.5i just started a light squeak, typical warning indicator. I knew they were getting close, so not a big surprise.
When I checked them, the left inboard pad is worn at an angle, with the bottom (indicator end) being thin. On average, there would be about the same left as the other 3 pads. This is the one just touching the indicator.
The pads are very tight in the clips, so it could just be a sticking issue, although the outer pad seems just as tight and is worn straight. It does not appear to be dropped off an edge so it can't retract. I also pushed on both pistons and they both gave about the same with the same force (hand squeeze), so I'm not thinking a stuck piston although I suppose it could be possible.
Anyone seen this?
They've got 100k on them (original), so I'm not concerned with the life I got. I just don't want the new ones wearing like that right away.
Thanks for any input.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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You got 100k miles on set of pads? But yes I would consider the pads are sticking to produce this angled pad wear.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah. Could have got a bit more (maybe 5k?) if the one pad wasn't angled and winter wasn't coming. Really don't want to do it at 0°F. Got about 70k on the rears of the Subbie. Replaced the rears with Raybestos Element 3 and their coated rotors. The are looking real good (less than half worn by eyeball) at about 30k. I plan to use the same on the front.
I got almost that (really could have) on my '09 Silverado on all 4. I live in an area with mixed driving, and I usually coast down every chance I get and try to avoid hard braking. Not likely to get that kind of mileage in DFW area.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium CVT
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Make sure the caliper slide pins are moving freely. Clean and grease them up with some silicone grease. Also put a light coating of anti seize on the pad contact points and install new mounting clips hardware.

StanF
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I always do that stuff at pad change, and sometimes re-lube in between (usually if it's apart or close to it for something else). I have been known to use anti-seize on the pins. I know it's not what's recommended. I've never had a problem with damaging the rubber and it's always there and slick the next time.
 

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Same here @commonme. I like to inspect and relube the brakes at least once or twice a year, even if I'm not changing the pads. It's good preventative maintenance.

StanF
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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710 Posts
Since it seems like you've eliminated it being the pistons, it sounds like you've got a slide pin that's seized up. I've (temporarily) rescued a few over the years by breaking them free, lubing them, and replacing the rubber sleeves. Or replacing the pins if they're in really bad condition.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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Like you guessed either a stuck ear tab, or a sticking caliper pin most likely. Three cheers for the Element 3 rotors and pads. I installed mine last summer , and they still look good. I really like the brake feel with them. I think they are a really solid value for the money, and its great that they come with new hardware.
Its also worth ordering a spare set of caliper pins for front and back. I had a bad pin in both front and back. Frankly I was surprised the brakes still worked as well as they did.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i
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I was into this very scenario yesterday while doing my 2016 rear brakes. It appears that the lower guide pin has a rubber bushing on it that WILL swell and distort if routine service isn't accomplished and or incorrect lube is used to grease it. Some say to just remove the rubber bushing as it has nothing to do with safe operation of the brake system and leads to a jammed guide pin with the resulting slanted wear. So that's where I'm at...
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@StanF Interesting article. Some of it seemed to contradict itself a bit. I said brake grease is good for fast moving parts. Not sure what I would grease in a brake system that moves fast. Maybe just a different definition of fast. It also said anti-seize is good on the center of the rotor, then not to use it on the hub. Maybe I've been lucky, but so far I haven't experienced and damage to boots or hardening on the slide areas with the silver anti-seize. It also seems the pad to hardware interface is a pretty tight fit. I know a guy that does his at least once a year. I have never been that vigilant, more just if I'm there anyway. Not that it isn't a good idea.
@Quadraria10 Forgot to mention in my OP the pins seemed pretty free and I could see no damage. I guessing stuck tab. Something may have gotten in there at some point to start it.
Thanks to all, I was just wondering if someone had seen something odd and looking for a little confirmation.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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@commonme I use anti-seize as mentioned on the center of the rotor. I bought my 2014 Mercedes used. I went to rotate the tires. As you know European cars when you undo the bolts(not nuts), the wheel should just fall off. My vehicle apparently had spent some time up north in the Chicago area. And all 4 wheels just sat their on the rotors!!!! You can bet that once I got the wheels off I put anti-seize on all areas between the wheel and rotors contact each other!!!
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do that to unless I have coated rotors/drums until the coating wears. Especially a problem with aluminum rims as galvanic action works there, too. Pretty standard up here at tire shops to brush the corrosion off the wheels and rotors when rotating, which helps get them apart and keeps the wheels on tight (ie. less lug "loosening"). A good kick or 4 on the tire will generally break them loose if they stick.
Having lived in your area for a few years, I know you don't have the issues we do up here (across the state from Chicago).
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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LOL, I kicked the tires, wheels and even used a rubber mallet on all 4 wheels multiple times, and it was still a struggle to get the wheels off!!
 

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2015 SJ 2.0XTP HTLCVT
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The mechanic who does my state mandated annual vehicle inspections pointed out that the front pads on my "15 XT were worn extremely unevenly at about 20K miles and suggested replacement, which we did with Centric ceramic pads and vented but non-slotted rotors (on disassembly he found all of the guide pins in various states of seizure).

Since I already had an upcoming recall appointment with my Subaru dealer, I asked the service writer if that was unusual and he said "No, and we recommend lubricating the brake guide pins twice a year". I wouldn't have bought the car if I knew it needed to have the brakes serviced twice a year (full disclosure, I do live in the "rust belt").

Not wanting to give the dealers lying, blood sucking service department any more of my money than absolutely necessary, I now have my mechanic lube all the brake guide pins when he does my annual state inspection. I'm now up to 20K miles again, with no sign of uneven wear under this new regime.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@bman400 I think I used a tap or 2 with a sledge once. Just made darn sure I was on the tire, not the rim. Might of held a 2x4 across it with my leg, don't remember. I don't like doing that stuff.
@asleep Twice a year seems pretty often. I've had Chevy's and Dodges and never had too much issue with the pins. All the boots look the same, I wonder if they really are?
I got to thinking about the ring on one of the pins. Most of the ones I've seen are more of a plastic (nylon, maybe) than rubber. I'll have to look at these a bit closer. I thought the rears were more the plastic, but it's been awhile. Based on this thread, I should probably take those apart and lube everything.
I still wonder why GM got away from the design they had in the '70 and '80's. The 2 caliper bolts doubled as the slide pins and the pads had fingers to adjust so the snapped onto the caliper. Much easier than the current system everyone is using, which is closer to the Chrysler mess of that time.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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This article covers potential reasons for different types of pad wear. Similar articles pop up from time to time.
 

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2005 Subaru Forester XT
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i can attest to using standard brake grease on the slide pin with rubber ring and it does swell and stick. The grease said it was suitable for slide pins, but clearly it means slide pins without rubber.
also; a badly worn hub bearing can cause play between disc and pads, as the disc is on the outer shell and the caliper on the inner. i suspect you would have noticed the play in the wheel or heard it when you got the weight off the wheel, but if you get stuck for ideas that is worth looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I will definitely double check all of this when I do the job (parts ordered). Right now I'm thinking it's likely simply the bottom of the pad stuck. At my mileage, never hurts to give everything a good shakedown.
@22PTM22 Great thought on the possible bearing. I would think it would have been making noise by now, but stranger things have happened.
 
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