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2018 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dealer replaced my brake pads & rotors, all 4, today on my 2018 Forester.
I questioned why rotors as i only have 26K miles on car, was told due to age of car rotors rust and pit, plus Subaru manufactures rotors thin to reduce weight for assisting in lower emissions, and they can't be surfaced. This all told to me before anybody looked at the car. Plus, received PS safety inspection 2 months ago and told then the pads should be changed before winter due to readings of 3 mil front & 2 mil back.
Anybody ever hear that rotors should be replaced with pads regardless of proper working conditions at time of replacement? What are the real Subaru guidelines?
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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3,358 Posts
You either have the rotors turned at the same time pads are replaced, however if the rotors are too thin then they need to replaced at the same time. And as a DIYer, I usually replace rotors at the same time due to rotors being so inexpensive, and turning the rotors make them thin enough that they may shudder or warp. Rust and pitting as mentioned means slightly less surface area available for the pads to contact as well.

However I do find 26k miles a bit low even for pads....I would expect to get 40k miles out of pads....But then that is my style of driving.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,384 Posts
When I had my first brake job done at 30-something-thousand miles (I think?), the dealer had suggested replacing the rotors (well, more than just suggested - it was part of the job). This was mentioned because it was better to have new/fresh rotors with no wear and tear for better braking. This was mentioned as being the Subaru guidelines. It could also be maybe just the way some (most? all?) dealers read the "inspect, replace if needed" part of the maintenance schedules.

Instead, I went to a local wheel/tire/brake/suspension shop and got a quote from them - the rotors were fine and had minimal (no?) scoring or wear and a light resurfacing would be fine. Half the price, too.

Moral of the post - get a 2nd opinion from a shop you trust (or have heard/read good/great reviews about) and see what they say/suggest.

Yes, the newer rotors are thinner on the Subie (but really on many other cars, too) for saving weight and - therefore - allowing for better MPG.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5 Premium, Black
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127 Posts
At 26K miles, most of the time, you dont evan need pads. They fed you a line of BS, & replaced everything cause they thought they could.
 

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2018 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You either have the rotors turned at the same time pads are replaced, however if the rotors are too thin then they need to replaced at the same time. And as a DIYer, I usually replace rotors at the same time due to rotors being so inexpensive, and turning the rotors make them thin enough that they may shudder or warp. Rust and pitting as mentioned means slightly less surface area available for the pads to contact as well.

However I do find 26k miles a bit low even for pads....I would expect to get 40k miles out of pads....But then that is my style of driving.
bman400,
I understand the need for turning the rotors when pads are replaced, but I'm confused by the dealer telling me the following, especially prior inspecting the car;
1. The original factory rotors are made too thin to resurface, due to reducing weight & therefore emissions,
2. After three years, the rotors are pitted and rusty and then need replaced - again prior looking at them

So, are Subaru rotors subpar thinner than aftermarket rotors?, and require replacement at each pad replacement. That is my real question.
 

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Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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3,358 Posts
@tmb756 As others have mentioned the newer vehicles for weight savings likely come now with thinner rotors. My 2001 Forester comes in at 3195 lbs curb weight. While your 2018 Forester comes in at 3717 lbs curb weight. Blame that on safety items, emissions systems, slightly larger dimensions (width, height, length), etc....So anything they can do to trim vehicle weight......
 

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FOTM Moderator
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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So, are Subaru rotors subpar thinner than aftermarket rotors?, and require replacement at each pad replacement. That is my real question
The answer is yes and no. Yes, most current OEM rotors will be thinner than some/most/all after market rotors. Some aftermarket rotors may also be made of different materials and have better (or worse) wear response and show more damage from normal usage.

No, they do not require replacement with pads (please see my other post) but the dealer service department may recommend it - even without inspection - because that's how some service departments work. Most may also suggest replacement of rotors because -

1 - they make more money that way
2 - they limit their liability if you have a braking issue soon after the work is done
3 - they make more money that way
4 - they're going with a law of averages that there is a possibility of pitting/rust on the rotors
5 - they mak e more money that way

I can't stress 1, 3 and 5 enough. On 4 - pretty much any/all steel or iron rotors will show some surface rust just because - well, you know, iron and steel and oxidization. In the 3 to 4 years your 2018 Forester has been on the road, there is a pretty good chance that the brakes have gotten wet and have had some surface rust that could have caused pitting. That would be part of what I refer to as "minimal scoring or wear" in my first reply above.

It's the same reason why most shops will suggest replacing your air filter WITHOUT INSPECTING IT when doing routine maintenance. I used to go around and around with a shop I trusted for other repairs each time I did a tune-up (plug replacement) back in the 80s before we had hundred-thousand-mile plugs.. They'd always push the air filter based on miles and I always said "NO" because I would have purchased a new filter a day or a week prior and replaced it myself. They never even looked at it.

Moral (restated a 2nd time) - get a 2nd opinion from a trusted shop.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i
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308 Posts
So, are Subaru rotors subpar thinner than aftermarket rotors?, and require replacement at each pad replacement. That is my real question.
[/QUOTE]
i personally think original rotors that come on new cars are crap. my last 3 cars they warped before 40 thousand miles. maybe my driving is a little too hard on them but i don't believe my driving is all that maniacal. anyway after i change them out to raybestas everything is just fine. they're probably not any thinner just inferior
 

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2018 Forester XT Premium
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110 Posts
The dealer resurfaced my 2014 rear rotors at 60k and didn't even bring up replacement. They were rusty looking enough that they could have just pushed for replacement, but not needed. My experience with aftermarket rotors (like rock auto middle shelf) is single use only, as in one good emergency stop or trip down a mountain before they are warped and you can change them again.

With Subaru and Honda, in my stupid experience, I've found OEM is superior to most aftermarket, unless it's an upgrade that you are consciously paying more for. You don't end up with better than OEM by accident.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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710 Posts
Maybe it's because my two primary Subarus had brakes that were upgraded from the factory, but I've only had issues with the rotors if there were other issues with the braking system. (2011 Outback 3.6R which uses bigger brakes than the 2.5, and 2017 FXT which also uses bigger brakes than the 2.5i.) My FXT has 67k miles now and is on the original rotors, though I replaced the pads back in May before a long trailer-towing trip. There was still plenty of life left on the pads, which I think were replaced by the dealer before I bought it used with 27k. The 3.6R has warped a couple of front rotors, but in both cases, it was caused by a caliper pin freezing up. Daughter's 2014 Impreza 2.5i needed calipers, pads, and rotors, again, one rotor was warped because of a frozen caliper pin, but she had also let it go until metal was grinding.
 

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2018 Forester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To all who responded, thank you, all good information and duly noted, I agree with all points made, but feel the need to investigate further. Basically, I feel the rotors should have been inspected prior to determining replacement was required.
I'm going to seek information from Subaru through a assistance web site, will post any response concerning this topic.
Something about this still has me concerned.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium CVT
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379 Posts
2016 2.5i Premium. 125K miles. All original rotors. I change the pads early and often. Minimal scoring and wear.

StanF
 
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