Things to Know About Vehicle Brake Maintenance & Repair - Subaru Service Questions in Olympia, WA

Subaru models are equipped with a number of amazing safety features designed to keep you protected. But, despite all these advances, the brakes are still some of the most important safety features on your vehicle. As such, it's a very good idea to make sure they're in the best condition. At Hanson Subaru, we want to help you learn more about how to keep your Subaru in great shape, so we've put together pages like this one. If you follow these four tips below, you're much more likely to have a long-lasting brake system.

New brake rotor installed

4. Avoid Driving in a Way That Can Damage Your Brakes

Slamming on the brakes repeatedly isn't just unpleasant for you and your passengers: it can damage your brakes. Hitting the brake pedal too hard can overheat the brake pads or damage other, more expensive parts of the brake system. In addition, putting too much weight in your vehicle could put extra strain on the brakes.

To avoid overloading, check to see how much weight your car can handle. As for avoiding hard braking . . . we'll admit that it's sometimes unavoidable when you have to react to sudden obstacles. But if you find yourself slamming on the brakes at every stoplight, try lightly applying the brakes earlier.

Master cylinder with brake fluid reservoir

3. Have the Brake Fluid Flushed

The brake system in your Subaru is a hydraulic system that relies on brake fluid. This fluid transfers the power created when you press the brake pedal to the brakes themselves, stopping by the master cylinder. But brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it easily absorbs moisture. If too much moisture gets into the fluid over time, your stopping power may be compromised. That's why we recommend having your brake fluid drained and replaced at the recommended intervals that you'll find in your owner's manual.

2. Get Regular Brake Pad (or Shoe) Changes

This is one of the most important brake services you can get, because the brake pads (if you have disc brakes, as all modern Subaru models do) and brake shoes (for drum brakes, which some older models might use) play a vital role in protecting the rest of the system. Since both types work in a similar way, we'll focus on the more common disc brakes. Braking is achieved when the calipers press the brake pads against the rotors, creating friction and stopping the vehicle. The brake pads bear most of the force of the braking, so they have a lining that's designed to wear down. If the lining wears down completely, two pieces of hard metal will rub against each other, causing damage from the friction. At this point, you'll have to have the calipers and rotors refinished or replaced entirely.

New brake pads with rotors

1. Have Your Brakes Inspected Regularly

Regular brake inspections are crucial. When your Subaru has a brake pad inspection at an authorized Subaru service center, the technicians will check the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and brake fluid. They'll also inspect other parts of the system that may not get as much attention, including hoses, parking brake cables, master cylinder, and more. A brake inspection is part of regular service at Hanson Subaru. If you're changing your own oil or replacing brake pads on your own, it's still a good idea to get a regular brake inspection to make sure everything is as it should be.