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Registered
2003 Forrester 2.5XS Manual
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Afternoon,

03 Forester having an issue with hill holder. It seems to be locking my brakes when on a hill ( I know that is normal). The issue is that when I try to drive off the front left brake is locking. Sometimes i can get it free with a brake pump or two. Well for the second time i have had to be towed. Had him drop me off in a parking lot so i could attempt to fix it. Long story short. I have changed the caliper after the first incident, no joy. Second time i was sure i was stuck. Decided to try to bleed brake pressure off by removing the master cylinder cap. Pumped brakes with it open and bang...released and make it home. Here are some other things i have noticed.
1. Only happens on hills.
2. operation is incorrect, i do not even have to depress clutch to engage it. All i need to do is stop on a hill with my foot on the brake.
3. Its very frustrating, how do i disable the system?

Thanks anything is appreciated it.

I am capable of doing this work on my own, so please lay it on me
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,064 Posts
You could also try simply disabling the hill holder. There is a adjustable cable just below the brake master cylinder, back off/remove the nut on the cable and zip-tie the cable out of the way.
 

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Registered
2003 Forrester 2.5XS Manual
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I went out and look at it. I seems like i can just freely pull and move the cable with the lock nut on itabout 1-2 inches. Also. there is a spring on what looks like a valve that i can just move. What is the best way to know i have disabled that system?
 

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Administrator
2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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20,395 Posts
Mine got locked because the spring broke and the valve wouldn't return to its open position.. Temporary fix was to disconnect the cable and tie the valve arm back with a zip tie in the position where the spring would have held it.
 

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Registered
2003 Forrester 2.5XS Manual
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All i had to do was look at this picture... spring is SPRUNG!!! way to loose! gonna try to pick on up at ACE. Thanks so much! Ill definitely spend more time in this forum! Always wanted a Subaru and now i know why they say you'll never forget your first!
 

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Registered
2003 Forrester 2.5XS Manual
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks

Hey thanks... never been into a forum before, but i am glad i came across it. Thanks for all you help. You should be seeing me around here some more.
 

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Registered
2003 XT 5 speed MT
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1 Posts
Hill Hold Brake Lock

Just drove 950 mi w/overnight stop - Subaru 2003 Forester 5 speed Manual Transmission - car great, no idiot lights. Stop for lunch break, leave car in gear with emergency brake on - back in car - WILL NOT MOVE! Super locked up brakes. Tow truck driver had me put it in neutral, start w/foot on brake, rolled a bit, then ran fine. Go 50 miles on Interstate 4 - stop and go, foot on brake on and off near Orlando--car (brakes) dragging, grinding, smoking from wheels. Get to Goodyear - guy does new rotors, calipers, pads - says I need master brake cylinder, can't get for 3 days - but 'should be okay'. Go less than a mile - grinding, smoking - get flatbed tow back to Goodyear. Master brake cylinder on order. Rent car to get to FL west coast. Google and find your post about Hill Hold causing brake lock. Call Goodyear guy, tell him - 'oh no' - he knows the master brake cylinder is 'it'. After master brake cylinder in, they test drive - talk to him again - oh, NOW I have 'another issue' with Hill Hold feature - fixed, car now better. Anyone want to bet that I didn't need the $$$$$ rotors, calipers, pads and master cylinder? Auto repair guys like doctors - treat what the problem 'usually is' - do not LISTEN to what you tell them, do not solve the real problem until batted over the head with it - it's not their money!
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
Joined
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8,064 Posts
..... Auto repair guys like doctors - treat what the problem 'usually is' - do not LISTEN to what you tell them, do not solve the real problem until batted over the head with it - it's not their money!
Just like many other industries. The art of the diagnosis process is a fading one. Many repair techs have not learned how to properly diagnose. They understand the process of elimination but only via throwing parts at some thing until they finally replace what it really is. This isn't diagnosing, it's guessing.

Diagnosing you rule out what it is not in the system, working to the items it could be. From there you eliminate more of what it is not until you are left with the problem part.

Sure, you may spend more time isolating the real cause VS the shotgun approach of throwing parts at it but you drastically reduce your total parts cost.

There are times when shotgunning a problem is the appropriate way VS diagnosing. Typically when the parts total is less than the labor it would take to diagnose it down to one part in the troubled area.

Automatic transmissions are one I see shops often say it needs to be replaced or rebuilt, when the reality of it is that it usually turns out to be one or two $120 solenoid/s or a simple wiring fault that can be fixed with some solder and heat shrink.
 

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2003 Forester X 5 speed
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5 Posts
Disabled the Hill Holder 'feature'.

I had my left front brake locking-up too. But I don't think that had anything to do with the HH feature. I think that was actually the left front hydraulic brake hose.
I needed brake work (on the front) anyway, so I replaced both front: hoses, rotors, calipers, and pads. Then, I deactivated the HH feature. The return spring was weak anyway - as it was not allowing the actuator arm to return back to it's full-off position.
After removing the lock nut, and the adjusting nut, I removed the end of the HH cable from the actuator arm pivot. Then I put both nuts back on the shaft and snugged down the lock nut (in case the next owner wants re re-enable it). Then I put the zip ties on: one to keep the end of the cable secured, and the other to keep the actuator in the off position. See photo.

 

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