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Crosstrek XC 2013
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2013, 85,000 miles.
this is my first Subi, only had it 6 months. I know that I need rear brakes. I took it into a brake alignment place because I thought I had a rock stuck in my brakes (horrible sound). They didn’t find anything. They did let me know about the rear brakes. They quoted $600 and change for rear rotors, pads, and calipers.
I took it to a Subaru specialist and they found the horrible noise, part of a ski jacket had gotten wrapped around the drive shaft 🤦. We all had a good laugh. Then they said the same thing about brakes. But $850 for all which includes the e-brake shoes.
This sounds like a lot of $$$$$
Thoughts?
My good friend and his brother are long time subi owners. They said “nah, the calipers never fail. You just need rotors and pads.”
My front rotors show a very even wear pattern. Those brakes are good.
The rear, passenger shows uneven wear. The drivers rear rotor shows almost undetectable wear on the outer visible side of the rotor. that leads me to think that the rear right caliper is not functioning properly. I’m mechanically inclined but brakes are one thing I always mess up. Well, drums… never done disk.
1: thoughts on calipers at 85,000 miles. Carfax did show it lived in New York for 2 years… when I installed the tow hitch there was decent surface rust underneath.
2. Price difference of $600 for a generic tire service to do rotors, calipers, and pads. Versus a Subaru specialist for $800 rotors, calipers, pads and e-brake shoe with all Subaru parts.
3. Listening to my friends and just doing rotors and pads. Not calipers, not touching the e-brake shoe, and doing all of that for $200+.
thanks!
 

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Where are you in NY? Big state. We are up in Syracuse. I went through, each year a set of rear pads and disc rotors due to salt up here and at 88,000 miles went too far to destroy a set of calipers [which I could have bought rebuilt for $350 USD].. I paid in an emergency, a MIDAS discount for $995.00 plus labour, tax to replace calipers + pads + calipers. Normally I replace pads and rotors under $250 w/my own labour. 1/5th
 

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Crosstrek XC 2013
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Where are you in NY? Big state. We are up in Syracuse. I went through, each year a set of rear pads and disc rotors due to salt up here and at 88,000 miles went too far to destroy a set of calipers [which I could have bought rebuilt for $350 USD].. I paid in an emergency, a MIDAS discount for $995.00 plus labour, tax to replace calipers + pads + calipers. Normally I replace pads and rotors under $250 w/my own labour. 1/5th
I didn’t live there. I just saw it was there for maybe 2 years on the Carfax.
 

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2013, 85,000 miles.
They quoted $600 and change for rear rotors, pads, and calipers.
I paid last year same MY 2013-2016 for Calipers, Brake Pads and Rotors rear total $890.00 USD. We were in a bind, two vehicles down at the same time getting to our jobs. One of us walked 1.6 miles, the other rented a vehicle for a week 54 miles round trip. The calipers could have been shipped for $450 pair new or a rebuild kit which we have all the basement tools to do. Or rebuild with core charge for $80 USD ea.. The issue is always the slider pins on the capilers. These need to be lubricated every year with lithium solid grease. The slide pins allow the caliper to float evenly during brake applications. PLUS you must bleed these systems periodically. Here in canadian borders, once a year.
 

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Vancouver, BC, CGK 2018 Ltd EyeSight
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You need to lube your caliper pins periodically so they can float freely. If they stick or freeze due to salt and grime, then your pads and rotors will wear unevenly leading to premature replacements.
 

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2021 Ice SIlver Sport
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Why are they wanting to replace the calipers and parking brake shoes for a standard brake job? The parking shoes should really never wear out. They grip the inside of the rotor like a drum brake but don't wear because the car is generally not moving when they are applied.. And as for the calipers, if the piston isn't sticking that is also not needed. You clean the rust off the slide areas and carry on. I live in a heavy salt use area and have never changed either in hundreds of thousands of miles. Just the rotors and pads and a good cleaning of the relevant areas on the caliper and mount along with proper lube.
 

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If your pins are the cause of the seeming caliper issue, the bracket can be replaced. The entire caliper should not need to be.
As has been said, proper caliper slide pin grease has to be applied every brake job, and in cruddy environments, at least once a year, and as a New Englander, I can say this with confidence lol. Also, the pad slides, the little metal clips, require caliper pin grease. This prevents the pad from hanging up.
You may also have a failing brake hose. They will cause poor caliper function and the occasional caliper sieze.
One of these fixes is your most likely issue, and neither requires caliper replacement.

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2020 Crosstrek Limited
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Why are they wanting to replace the calipers and parking brake shoes for a standard brake job? The parking shoes should really never wear out. They grip the inside of the rotor like a drum brake but don't wear because the car is generally not moving when they are applied.. And as for the calipers, if the piston isn't sticking that is also not needed. You clean the rust off the slide areas and carry on. I live in a heavy salt use area and have never changed either in hundreds of thousands of miles. Just the rotors and pads and a good cleaning of the relevant areas on the caliper and mount along with proper lube.
The reason is 'Profit'.
The mechanic can replace the old parts with new parts for more profit with less time invested. Cleaning and re-lubricating the old parts is much more labor intensive than just replacing with new.
 

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If you are doing rear rotors and pads, you will have the ebrake shoes exposed anyway, so inspect and replace if necessary. I don't really see a reason they would be worn unless you actually used them to drift/slide around/stop in actual emergency.

uneven pad wear, as mentioned above is normally an issue with the lubrication/dirt/rust on the slide pins. Your description of the wear makes sense, since the piston presses on the inboard pad. Hard to imagine your caliper actually needing to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update:
I was in a pinch and had a Subaru specialist do my rear brakes. My original plan was to do it myself.
they quoted me at $850 which hurt.
I went to pick it up and they said the calipers were good as well as E-brake shoes. So it ended up being $540. Still a lot, but it is what it is.
 

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loosen the ebrake adjuster. and don't forget to reinstall the rotor so that you can reach the adjuster through the hole.
Every year to 18 months we were replacing rear pads, discs and finally calipers toward the end. I would get? 2 years out of the discs up front but yearly replace the discs.



https://imgur.com/FhedgAy


 

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Unlikely the calipers are bad, so I call BS on that. TL;DR: Check out RockAuto.com for a decent set of pads and rotors and save yourself a boatload of money.

The caliper slide pins are a cleanable part, and can be replaced separate from the calipers. Note that Subaru uses wind-back pistons in their calipers. You can't push them in without also turning them. This has caught inexperienced people thinking they are stuck. I have a pair of needle nose pliers I cut the tips off to wind them back. You can also get a specialty tool. My rear pads go bad every 2 years from what I suspect is the hill holder feature (even on the CVT model). Also need 1 can of brake cleaner, some slide pin grease (I like permatex purple myself), and a flat file to clean any rust from the caliper backplate ear slots. When it's time for rotors and pads I'll be doing the work myself.
 

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Every year to 18 months we were replacing rear pads, discs and finally calipers toward the end. I would get? 2 years out of the discs up front but yearly replace the discs.
Yikes, that's a lot of build up. In your case hammer persuasion could be handy lol. I've found most stuck rotor cases you can still pop them loose using bolts in those two threaded holes.
 
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