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I'm taking my 2020 Ascent to the dealer for pulsating and noisy brakes while driving at highway speeds. I've seen rumors of a 4th revision brake pad. Has anyone encountered this yet?
 

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I believe it was on a Facebook group however I've been unable to find it again. I searched the part number and it comes up with limited information. I just want to make sure I get the most up to date parts.
 

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I believe it was on a Facebook group however I've been unable to find it again. I searched the part number and it comes up with limited information. I just want to make sure I get the most up to date parts.
check with the Ascent forum's parts guy (I do not recall his name or contact, but it is here). Maybe someone will chime in with his name and contact info.
 

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Hmm...it is in the electronic parts information on the website, and has a price...but it looks like there's not any vehicle application information yet. The "C" pads are still listed for the Ascent if you look up by vehicle. If you change the parts suffix to "E", then it says the part number is not found...so the "D" part number does appear to be legitimate.
 

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Hmm...it is in the electronic parts information on the website, and has a price...but it looks like there's not any vehicle application information yet. The "C" pads are still listed for the Ascent if you look up by vehicle. If you change the parts suffix to "E", then it says the part number is not found...so the "D" part number does appear to be legitimate.
Sherlock would be proud.
 

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The part number would leave me to believe, as you all also speculated, that this may be another version for the Ascent. If so, once the parts database is updated to reflect supersessions, the info pages will show the proper info. That can sometimes take a little longer.
 

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The part number would leave me to believe, as you all also speculated, that this may be another version for the Ascent. If so, once the parts database is updated to reflect supersessions, the info pages will show the proper info. That can sometimes take a little longer.
I am curious as to what has changed in the design for each revision. I recall one revision included removing some pad area (cutout). I do not know what the other revisions included, nor what this one might include. As a novice mechanic at best I can not figure out why the design is so difficult to get right. Brake pad design has been around for a long time. Why in the world would this original design have to be so different to require four revisions? In my mind this points to poor design processes such that the design did not go through proper testing prior to release. I hope and suspect they are not only getting the design right on this 4th revision but also reworked the design process. I am sure most of us do not appreciate a Microsoft software release approach.
 

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As our 3rd revision pads are still intermittently noisy, I, too, cannot figure out why this has been so difficult to nail down for Subaru. I was telling my wife the other day that, unless there's yet another version of this brake pad, that I'd probably just pay to put aftermarket pads on our car if they get consistently loud again. They squeal, but only intermittently. I had it at the dealer last Friday (that was the fourth time it's been to the dealer in the past few months!) and I was able to get them to see the hood shaking at highway speed but, naturally, the brakes were completely silent that day.

If the pictures are any indication, the Power Stop pads (the only aftermarket brand I'm aware of) do not have the same chamfer the 3rd revision pads have. I don't know if the Power Stop pads are any better or not in terms of noise. Unfortunately, I guess that'd be a try-them-and-listen sort of thing.
 

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Hmmm... I've seen arbitrary pricing on things not yet in the parts channel before. At CompUSA, our system would "penny price" things that weren't yet assigned details. Employees would know that, and try to pre-purchase things on the night inventory came in, before the selling date the next day. I've seen other companies that price at the other extreme, with ridiculously high prices, like "$99,999.99" for a ten dollar part.

I suspect we will know soon. Please share anything you learn in the next couple of weeks. ;)

Looking up the part number on Subaru DCS (our online software connection to the manufacturer in Canada) shows the following:
Unknown what it means yet as it's priced really high, has an asterix beside it and no stock @ depot.

View attachment 11682
 

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Hmmm... I've seen arbitrary pricing on things not yet in the parts channel before. At CompUSA, our system would "penny price" things that weren't yet assigned details. Employees would know that, and try to pre-purchase things on the night inventory came in, before the selling date the next day. I've seen other companies that price at the other extreme, with ridiculously high prices, like "$99,999.99" for a ten dollar part.

I suspect we will know soon. Please share anything you learn in the next couple of weeks. ;)
Other than the chamfer on one of the revisions, what else was changed?
 

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I wish I knew... possibly the pad compound? Backing plate design? There's a number of things that may help break-in, I'd guess. The trick will be to make changes that help break-in, but don't hinder stopping distance.
 

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I’ll be following this one. I guess I’m waiting till we know more and/or they become available before I head to the dealer. I don’t want the dealer to forget about me; it was early-pandemic days last time I was there!
My pads are either a or b revision and the pulsating I had early on is coming back a little when they’re warm...
 

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Brake pad design has been around for a long time. Why in the world would this original design have to be so different to require four revisions? In my mind this points to poor design processes such that the design did not go through proper testing prior to release.
Or, it's the path of cheapest resolution for a different root cause. Maybe the rotor metallurgy, design or manufacturing is wrong. Maybe the caliper slides don't properly align the pads. Maybe the caliper pistons are introducing a non-parallel force to the pads.

The inconsistency of the issue would point to a variable that the pad replacements aren't addressing. The recurrence of the issue after updated pads are installed points to that variable not being addressed ie, elsewhere in the brake system or even the environment or driving conditions.
 

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I am very sure the inconsistency is human. How the pads initially bed will determine the entirety of how they operate for the particular owner. Every change Subaru has made seems to be geared towards the human inconsistency, whether the chamfers or locations for lubrication.

I'm literally having different results on Version B of the pads than others. And those results are definitely different than I had on my original pads. Only difference is, I broke them in totally differently. My originals were broken in, during stop and go Long Island work commute rush hour traffic. My "new" (version B) pads were broken in on a road trip from Long Island to Florida. It was literally "drive home from the dealership, pack the car, and leave - then drive 1,400 miles of largely highway and gas stops". That was 20,000 miles ago.

I suspect that had I broken them in the same was as my original set, I'd see somewhat similar results.

So, I think the goal seems to be (from what changes they're making) to make pads that break in and bed better for more people. It's not like Subaru hasn't had experience making calipers for a car in this weight class. The Ascent may be the heaviest Subie to date, but, just barely. The Tribeca was 5,700 pound GVWR compared to our 6,000 pounds.
 

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Or, it's the path of cheapest resolution for a different root cause. Maybe the rotor metallurgy, design or manufacturing is wrong. Maybe the caliper slides don't properly align the pads. Maybe the caliper pistons are introducing a non-parallel force to the pads.

The inconsistency of the issue would point to a variable that the pad replacements aren't addressing. The recurrence of the issue after updated pads are installed points to that variable not being addressed ie, elsewhere in the brake system or even the environment or driving conditions.
the bad news is that for many the issue persists (I have not had any brake problems for my 2019). The good news is that clearly Subaru is working the problem and takes it seriously. They have a built in incentive to find a fix, as it cost them more to fumble around with revisions that do not work. It is frustrating for owners interacting with dealerships who are as stumped as anyone. they do not control the brake products and can only go by what the Subaru engineers suggest as solution pathways. The dealerships would prefer to fix it the first time. If I had this problem, I would demand that Subaru extend the brake warranty with a focus on both pads and rotors (but not limited to these) including the option of using aftermarket products.
 

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I am very sure the inconsistency is human.
Is what I was alluding to when I wrote
...even the environment or driving conditions
Trying to avoid owners taking umbrage assuming that their driving behavior could cause a mechanical issue.

Back when I was a mechanic and had the same people coming back repeatedly for alignment re-do's with their lifetime warranties, I'd ask them to take me for a ride. Often, their driving habits (hitting curbs, speed bumps etc) did in fact contribute to their alignment and suspension problems.
 

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They have a built in incentive to find a fix, as it cost them more to fumble around with revisions
Never underestimate the power of the accountants in this equation. Forty years at the three largest technology manufacturers in the world, I can tell you that engineering frequently lost battles to accounting. Even when the fix was readily implementable and inexpensive. Accountants never have to wear the egg on their faces.
 
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