Subaru brake pads are designed to provide years of smooth, trouble-free stopping power. But the day will come when you need to change them out, whether because they're worn or because you want to make sure your Subaru stops on a dime, even during the rainy season. Whether you decide to do it yourself or have the dealer handle it, here's how to change Subaru brake pads.

Removing the Brake Pads

Step 1

You will need an automotive jack to raise your vehicle high enough so that you can remove your Subaru brake pads. Most jacks are designed for easy setup. If you have difficulty, consult your owner's manual or do a quick Internet search on how to use an automotive jack. 

Step 2

Take off the wheels and tires on the front using a lug wrench, then remove the studs from the wheel lugs. Remove all of these lug nuts carefully. Don't damage or lose them; you'll need them later! If possible, get an assistant; one person should be at each end of your car holding up one side while you loosen each lug nut on that side of your vehicle.

Step 3

Drive the pistons into the calipers. While pushing down on your brake pedal, use your hands to push back against both brake pads. Be careful not to press on just one pad, as that can damage your caliper. Remember that you're pushing back against each of them equally with both hands. Do not clutch or compress either pad with only one hand while pushing on it with another; doing so will cause uneven pressure inside your caliper and lead to improper performance.

Step 4

Remove both bolts holding brake calipers to brackets using a socket. Usually, you're going to need a 17-millimeter socket. Once you've removed both bolts, slowly and gently lower the calipers from their position on top of your tires and remove them completely from their mounting brackets.

Step 5

In order to access the brake pads, lift up the caliper and separate it from the disc. You should not let the rubber hydraulic hose hang from the caliper.

Remove the brake pads by pulling them off the mounting bracket. Make sure you note where the retaining clips and backing plates are located.

Installing the Brake Pads

Step 1

Replace the brake pads by inserting them into the brake pads retaining bracket. Install the retaining clips and backing plates in the same location where you removed them.

Step 2

Place the brake caliper in the mounting bracket.

Step 3

Using a socket wrench, securely fasten the two bolts holding the caliper to the bracket. When tightening the bolts, use a torque wrench and tighten them to 25 to 33 foot-pounds.

Step 4

Lift the wheels and attach the lug nuts with a lug wrench.

Step 5

Lower the vehicle.

Step 6

Use lug wrenches to tighten the lug nuts.

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