How to Replace Subaru Legacy Brake Padsby Jeffrey Caldwell
The Subaru Legacy utilizes disc brakes in the front of the vehicle. The disc brake system is made up of a brake rotor, which is attached to the wheel hub and rotates along with the wheel. A brake caliper is mounted over the rotor and holds the brake pads. When the driver presses down on the brake pedal, the caliper squeezes the brake pads against the rotor, slowing the vehicle down. Vehicle owners who change their brake pads regularly reduce the risk of damaging the rotors and incurring more costly repairs.
Removing the Brake Pads
Raise the vehicle using an automotive jack and support with jack stands placed underneath the front frame.
Unscrew the lug nuts on the front wheels and tires using a lug wrench. Then pull the wheels off the lug studs.
Drive the pistons into the calipers. Place a C-clamp over the caliper with the bottom on the inboard side of the caliper and the top on the back side of the outboard brake pad. Close the clamp to drive the piston into the caliper.
Unscrew the two bolts that secure the brake calipers to the mounting brackets using a socket.
Lift the caliper up and away from the brake disc to access the pads. Do not allow the caliper to hang from the rubber hydraulic hose.
Pull the brake pads from the mounting bracket using your hands. Be sure to note the position of the backing plates and retaining clips.
Installing the Brake Pads
Drop the new brake pads into position in the retaining bracket. Reinstall the retaining clips and backing plates in the same position as you removed them.
Slide the brake caliper into position in the mounting bracket.
Screw in the two bolts that secure the caliper to the mounting bracket, using a socket. Torque the bolts to between 25 foot-pounds and 33 foot-pounds using a torque wrench.
Lift the wheels onto the lug studs. Then screw the lug nuts onto the lug studs using a lug wrench.
Lower the vehicle.
Retighten the lug nuts using a lug wrench.
Start the engine and pump the brake pedal a few times. This will adjust the position of the piston inside the brake caliper.
- "Chilton Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-96 Repair Manual"; Chilton Book Company; 1996
- “Haynes Subaru Legacy, 1990-1998: Includes Legacy Outback and Legacy Brighton Repair Manual”; John Haynes; 1999
- If your front brakes are noisy, but there is still a good bit of material on the pads, look for a product called Disc Brake Quiet at your local auto parts store. Spray this product on the back side only of the brake pads, to reduce brake noises.
Things You'll Need
- Automotive jack
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket set
- Torque wrench
- Always follow the instructions listed in the owners manual when lifting and lowering a vehicle. Failure to do so could cause injury or death.
- Never use compressed air to clean brake parts. Some brake linings may contain asbestos, especially in older vehicles. Using compressed air can cause asbestos fibers to become airborne.
Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Trails.com. Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.