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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Four days ago I picked up my new Forester from a dealership almost a 2 hour drive from home.

Words can't describe how nervous I was, but maybe what I did can give a clue.

I had no idea that when I left their parking lot the car's emergency brakes were on by the person who brought the car into the lot (in 35 years of driving, I've only used emergency brakes once).

The car salesman explained all the interior features... except for the brake lever. Before getting the car, I read that some people experienced rattles with it, so while I was driving the car I thought the strange noise and feel was because of something from the way the car was built. I am farsighted, so I did not see that the red letters that were lit said "brake." Since the car salesman was in the car and made no mention of the light, I assumed all was fine for me to leave the place as the car was.

I drove for an hour and a half without knowing my new Subaru's brakes were on. I even went 60 mph with them on. I have not been able to sleep because of how sick I am with worry over not knowing how much damage could have been done to it.

Plus, I was told by dealers that there is no such thing as cars needing a "break in" period anymore. I'm afraid to leave my driveway now because I have no more confidence.

I'm even scared to post this, but pray that someone may somehow be able to give me comfort of some kind or at least say something comforting or give me some words of encouragement...
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
The worst you probably did is cook/overheat the rear brakes, but I'm sure that if you really cooked them, you would have smelled it. How "much" was the parking brake on, it might not have been on too much.

So to be honest, I'm sure that the worst you'll need is a rear brake job (if any). The fact that you didn't notice that the emergency brake was on gives me a clue that it probably wasn't on enough to make a huge difference. On my car, you can't even move without the rears locking when the parking brake is engaged fully.

Now, I'm not sure what year or trim level you bought, so I'm not sure if you have rear discs with emergency brake drums, or if they lock the disc caliper. Either way, I would either just check them or have them checked, but as far as damage to the drivetrain, I would assume it would be very little, if any. But just to be on the safe side though, I would just have the A/T fluid and rear diff fluids checked, just to be on the safe side as it's still early enough to change those if needs be.

Not to mention, if my Foz can take the beating I give it off-road on a daily basis, I'm sure driving with a slightly-engaged parking brake for under 2 hours will be fine.
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the thoughtful and quick reply Blue Fox.

I didn't smell the burning until I opened my window. There is black powder on my wheels. I wish I could wash all of it off so it doesn't remind me of what I did, but I can't get my hands into most of the areas (I might need to remove the tires to do so).

The car salesman asked me yesterday how things are going for me with the car. I told him and he told me not to tell anyone what I did. That's why I don't know if posting this is a mistake, but he didn't tell me either how I can know what damage was done to the car.

It's the not knowing that tears me apart. The year of this car is 2010 (its brand new-a rarity for me). I didn't get any options with it (so I guess the trim level is zero). It's a Forester 2.5X Limited.

How do I explain why I want my brakes checked on a brand new car?
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
The reason he told you not to tell anyone is "if" any damage occurred (to brakes or drivetrain), and you told the dealership, they wouldn't cover it (or they'd use it not to cover anything drivetrain related from there on).

I wouldn't take it to a dealer, I would take it to a trusted brake shop and tell them that the rear brakes need to be checked/serviced. (don't tell them what happened either, they don't need to know)

You said there's brake dust all over the wheels, that would be pretty much all of your pads then, which means you need the brake job. Look to spend a couple hundred (possibly) on new brake discs/drums, pads and labor, which is not bad, really. If you know how to change brakes, you could order the brake components from our vendors and have them shipped, if not, then have a brake shop do it.

THEN I would take it to the dealer and have them check A/T fluid and diff fluids (again, NOT telling them anything about it)

Again, I'm thinking that you really didn't do anything bad to the drivetrain, just ripped your rear brakes a new one, which is easily remedied and quite cheap (compared to someone blowing their engine by forgetting to screw on the oil filter, for example).
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Won't the dealership wonder why I want them to check A/T fluid and diff fluids, especially when the car has so few miles on it?

If they ask why, what do I say?
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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Won't the dealership wonder why I want them to check A/T fluid and diff fluids, especially when the car has so few miles on it?

If they ask why, what do I say?
Yeah, guessing they would.

Another thing you could do is check the transmission fluid yourself (like checking oil if you've never done it before). Smell it and see if it smells burnt, or if it's extremely dark red or brownish. If it is, I would have a trusted shop do a transmission flush on it ASAP. Also, if it is burnt, I would have the diff fluids changed by the same shop.

If you check it and it's bright red, and smells like normal tranny fluid, then you should be fine.

Again, if you don't know how to do this, I would take it to a trusted shop you've been to before to do the work for you.
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for guiding me in what direction to go. I've learned that often times trouble snowballs. That's why I want to prevent whatever future trouble might possibly happen.

I'm hoping I'm worrying for no reason, but as to what's too much brake dust on wheels?... I sure am not an expert! All I know is that when I wiped my finger on the wheels, it left a visible trail.

I feel kind of nutty talking about black dust on wheels after looking at your photos from your "Almost" drowned thread.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
^^ LOL. Yeah, I sort of beat mine up a bit (and almost paid for it big time). Due to the mud incident, my timing belt skipped 3 teeth (one more and it would have been game over or my 9,000 mile old engine). I was literally chipping the mud out of the grooves of the sprockets. Scary stuff.
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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I've driven a few cars while in la la land with the e-brakes on back in the day. All i did was changed to pads cause they glazed over. Brakes are easy and about $40 will fix your mishap if you can hold a wrench.
 

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2008 Forester AE
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I wouldn't make yourself sick over it. mistakes get made.
Just take it in for it's next service and see what the % brakes left come back as.

You could be extra nice to your new car for the next while to make up for it.. bubble car washes, lots of admiring it, driving nice and mellow. :biggrin:

I'm more worried about you driving without being able to see :icon_frown:
 

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2006 Forester LL Bean Auto
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23 Posts
Don't beat yourself up, it'll all work out. You've received some good sound advice above! Be happy!
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I must say that these responses to my post definitely are helping me to recover from the pathetic mental state I've slipped into. It's not normal for me to worry like I've been doing.

I feel extra odd after seeing so many posts expressing the joy people experience when getting a Forester and I've been wanting so much to do the same. I wonder if it could be that I'm feeling like I don't deserve something so nice?
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,015 Posts
I'd suggest that if you take it to the dealership for any sort of service... play the concerned owner car and mention that the e-brake didn't seem to be holding properly and you'd like them to check it out.
But if your transmission fluids check out alright, then I wouldn't worry at all. If they seem "burnt" then do a fluid flush and carry on until your next major servicing. At 30k miles the dealership will service your brakes for you anyways.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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In the grand scheme of things its not worth worrying and affecting your health over. Take it to a trusted Mechanic or preferably take it to Subaru..tell them what happened and then hopefully you can work out a deal with them. Again...not worth the aggravation.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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I'm sure the car is fine, forget it, drive the car and have fun. I would suggest always using the parking brake though when you leave the car parked, that's what it's there for. Only time I wouldn't use it is at the track where the brakes get super hot and can seize/warp from parking brake applied.

Stan
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As soon as I can find someone trustworthy to check my car and hear an opinion on the condition the brakes are in, I'll post the results here.

Thank you again for your feedback and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wouldn't make yourself sick over it. mistakes get made.
Just take it in for it's next service and see what the % brakes left come back as.

You could be extra nice to your new car for the next while to make up for it.. bubble car washes, lots of admiring it, driving nice and mellow. :biggrin:

I'm more worried about you driving without being able to see :icon_frown:
I gently hand washed it two days ago and admire it in my driveway from my window. I know I'll drive it again someday, but definitely not when I'm as tired as I now am from not sleeping at night.

I need time to adjust to this change in my life. It's been a very long time since I've experienced something of this magnitude.

I don't have trouble seeing things that are not close up in front of my face, but when something is about one foot in front of me then I usually need my reading glasses. I need to get familiar with the dashboard and its lights.

I normally keep a car for a few decades and this one will be no exception.
 

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2011 Forester X AT
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4,235 Posts
I am more concerned about you not being able to see the dashboard. Is this normal for farsighted drivers???
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am more concerned about you not being able to see the dashboard. Is this normal for farsighted drivers???
I have not a clue what's normal. I do know that once I get familiar with what I'm not accustomed to in the new car, I'll be fine.
 
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