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Greetings,

I had to get the front bushings of my forester replaced and the dealer also stated that my front calipers needed replacement pretty soon. I said I would handle it as I've replaced brake pads before (they wanted $250 to replace the pads). The mechanic stated that I should only buy OEM pads since aftermarket pads make a bunch of noise. I'm curious to hear other owners thoughts on this. Aftermarkets pads are considerably cheaper than OEM pads. I'd be looking at close to $150 in parts if I was to purchase OEM pads.

The mechanic also stated I should get the rotors resurfaced. Anyone have any thoughts on that as well? On my previous vehicles I never resurfaced the rotors when I replaced the pads and it didn't seem to cause any issues.
 

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2014 FXTT; '15 Legacy 2.5 CVT
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945 Posts
I've installed aftermarket pads a few times and never had a problem.

I just installed Power Stop pads and rotors on my '14 FXT and it's like I've got a new car (braking-wise!) Only a single pad was at the squealer (the rest had plenty of meat), but the difference was huge.

Anyway, I just checked my email and the total was $237.67 for front and rear rotors and pads.

The pins and boots looked good, so I didn't purchase new slide pins; however, the pad kit came with new bracket hardware kit (the metal part you pop into your bracket, into which the pads go)
 

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A young man I met awhile ago had just graduated High School. He went to a Automotive Vocational school, graduated and got a job at a local dealership. I ran into him recently and he was working at a local high school. Here is what he told me : The dealership charged roughly $100 /hour labor. They paid him $14/hour. When he confronted management they told him he got a commission on parts, if he wanted more money ,push more parts. He quit.
 

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2015 XT Touring CVT
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71 Posts
Seconding the powerstop kits from above. Had the z23 on my wrx and they were great. Also what are you putting them on. Your profile is incomplete.
 

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I used powerstop rotors and pads on my wife’s 2017 forester and thought it went pretty easy but kept getting a dragging sound from one of the brakes. I don’t have a lift and thought it was the dust shield but ended up taking to local mechanic and he said the rears needed to be replaced more than front. Anybody have this dragging noise? Just curios little defeated!
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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490 Posts
If the aftermarket rotors and pads last a lot longer than oem, great. If not, I would go with OEM. The oem pad kits come with better hardware and the proper grease. I’ve had good luck with oem pads and rotors.
 

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2014 FXTT; '15 Legacy 2.5 CVT
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945 Posts
If the aftermarket rotors and pads last a lot longer than oem, great. If not, I would go with OEM. The oem pad kits come with better hardware and the proper grease. I’ve had good luck with oem pads and rotors.
Probably the most idiot-proof thing to do, so long as you can afford them.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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490 Posts
I also see that the price of oem rotors and pad kits have gone up. Still, I will always use oem on newer MY Subaru vehicles. Proper replacement is also key., and don’t ride your brakes. ;)
 

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2015 Forester XT CVT
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371 Posts
I've installed aftermarket pads a few times and never had a problem.

I just installed Power Stop pads and rotors on my '14 FXT and it's like I've got a new car (braking-wise!) Only a single pad was at the squealer (the rest had plenty of meat), but the difference was huge.

Anyway, I just checked my email and the total was $237.67 for front and rear rotors and pads.

The pins and boots looked good, so I didn't purchase new slide pins; however, the pad kit came with new bracket hardware kit (the metal part you pop into your bracket, into which the pads go)

What are the part numbers? I want to replace the pad and rotors but not sure what to get. Thanks
 

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Premium Member
2014 FXTT; '15 Legacy 2.5 CVT
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945 Posts
What are the part numbers? I want to replace the pad and rotors but not sure what to get. Thanks
Here's everything from my order:

POWER STOP CRK6931 (Coated (Additional Protection For Rust Prone Areas)) Evolution Geomet® Coated Kit ; Click Info for full list of components, consisting of the following:

1. POWER STOP 161078 {Click Info Button for Alternate/OEM Part Numbers} [Brake Pad] Z16 Evolution Clean Ride Ceramic Info
Front; 2.0XT Premium; 2.0XT Touring

2. POWER STOP 171124 {Click Info Button for Alternate/OEM Part Numbers} [Brake Pad] Z17 Evolution Clean Ride Ceramic with Hardware Info
Rear; 2.0XT Premium; 2.0XT Touring

3. POWER STOP HS1078K [Disc Brake Hardware Kit]

4. POWER STOP JBR1318EVC [Rotor] Evolution Geomet® Coated Rotor Info
Front

5. POWER STOP JBR1702EVC [Rotor] Evolution Geomet® Coated Rotor Info
Rear
 

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2015 XT Touring CVT
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71 Posts
I had the z23s so a little more aggressive than the z16s above. They come with drilled and slotted rotors and an extremely low dust ceramic pad. Powerstop is z16 oe style, z23 street performance, z26 high performance street. They make track pads but that's a whole different animal. They have really good reviews on muscle car forums with those heavy cars. I think rockauto has full f+r kits+ones with calipers of you want red calipers..... i got mine on ebay after looking up the part numbers they were substantially cheaper.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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224 Posts
I'll preface by saying I know nothing about the Subaru world as this is my first. That said, brakes are a pretty universal concept. There is absolutely nothing special about OEM pads or rotors. Often you can get better parts cheaper. When it comes to aftermarket there are usually varying degrees of "good", the key is to do research (including cost vs. benefit). I've never ever replaced rotors or pads with OEM stuff on any of my vehicles. BMW, VW, Audi, Toyota, Acura. The mechanic is partially right, some aftermarket pads can be noisy. This can be due to them being an inferior designed product, or it could be because of their intended use. For example the higher the performance of the pad (track pads require heat to function properly) the noisier they are on the street. I am not sure of the type of pad that comes on the Forester, so I don't know how much it dusts. I've nearly always went to a low dust pad on my street cars to avoid having to wash my rims every week. Usually low dusting and performance are inversely proportional. Although I don't believe I've ever seen a pad that was specified to be less performant than the OEM pad. OEM stopping power is sort of the low end of the bar. Hell I'm even running a high quality low dust pad right now on my stage 1 MK7 Golf R with about 300whp/wtq.

When it comes to rotors, the only time you need to truly resurface them is when they are warped. If you're getting a ton of vibration when you're braking through the pedal, it's usually a good sign. IMHO it's unlikely to be the case on a SUV unless you drive it like you stole it. Otherwise there is nothing wrong with reusing your rotors with new pads. Just bed them in properly when you've got them installed. If your rotors are warped, or eventually wear down (below thickness spec), I would recommend replacing them rather than resurfacing. To be perfectly honest I haven't resurfaced rotors in 20 years. Parts are cheap enough now that if you're already pulling off a rotor, you might as well throw a new set on. The thicker (newer, less worn down) the rotor, the better it disperses the heat. I've always went with a high quality rotor on my "sportier" cars, something like Brembo. Then again I've used plenty of cheapo parts store OEM replacement rotors on Hondas and Toyotas with absolutely no issues.
 

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2016 Subaru Forester CVT
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21 Posts
I also installed Powerstop pads and rotors on my '16. No noise or problems. Just cleaned and lubed the appropriate parts.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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490 Posts
It’s amazing that China can produce a precision cast and machined rotor with Geomet? Coating for $31.00!
And ship to USA with tariffs and RockAuto makes a profit to boot.
 
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