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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

Reading through some of the threads on brake troubles, there seems a general resignation that it is par for the course with the Ascent. This is in contrast with the earlier CVT harness troubles for which arguments where offered about why only a small number of cars were affected.

I've a little more than two years with my 2019 Limited but less than 9k miles (thanks pandemic). I've not had problems with the brakes so far. Is this more likely a case of "if I made it this far I am probably okay" or am I likely to see problems as the miles accumulate? (Problems beyond the normal wear that one expects.) For what it is worth, I've not done any towing.

In case this sounds a little downbeat, I like the car and I think Subaru has done right by the CVT harness and other issues. I don't think anyone considering a newer model should be put off by the growing pains others have endured.

thanks!
 

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It really seems to depend on how the front brake pads bed in to the rotors. There's numerous people who've went the entire lifetime of their pads, without issue. I'm not one of them, but, I've watched them run 50K+ and get them replaced due to regular wear.
 

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I'm at 30K miles on my original pads and rotors from Feb 2019. If you listen too close they "grind" a bit on hard braking but I think that's actually quieted down as they wear in. No pulsing or issues stopping. I've had pulsing issues on my 2 prior Mazdas but not with the Ascent. I guess if you were picky you might like more quiet pads but they work great... never felt the need to ask for service despite reading all the other reports. I have had fixes for other things common to 2019 (Transmission replacement, PRG controller, Hood TSB, eyesight housing rattle). I towed for the first time a 5x8 Uhaul a few hundred miles last month. Many prior road trips through mountains loaded with gear and passengers though.
 

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Our brake pads, both the factory pads and the third version pads, do "growl" a little bit on hard stops. But that, fortunately, has not devolved into a continual grinding noise or any rotor pulsation.
 

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2019 bought on Jan/2019. The brakes work the same as in any other vehicle I’ve owned. Pads were inspected last time last January during the 40 thousand km service and we’re still at 50%. We live in Toronto, so lots of stop and go traffic mixed with half of the year winter driving.
I really believe that not all, but a lot of brake issues have to do more with drive style than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really believe that not all, but a lot of brake issues have to do more with drive style than anything else.
Greetings,
Thanks to you and the others for the replies. It's nice to hear that the problems are not inevitable.

Both you and Robert allude to driving style being a factor by affecting how the pads "bed in" the rotors. This sounds reasonable to me.

Which leads to my more specific follow-on question for those who had problems: At what mileage did the problem manifest?

Do the problems tend to show up around (say) 10K miles? 20k? Or perhaps they are really all over the place depending on individual situations?
 

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Mine started that off and on again pulsating at 14,000-15,000ish miles. I drove with them like that until a little over 22,000 miles, when they resurfaced the rotors. They began pulsating again at 48,000ish miles. I didn't do anything about that, since they were nearing the end of their life, anyway, and instead replaced them at 52,000 miles with the second revision (PN ending in "B"). I am almost exactly 16,000 miles in, and, at worst, experience a slight vibration on some drives, and maybe the louder than normal stopping, but, that could also be my light truck tires, which were put on at about the same time. I am running the same rotors as "day one".

These brakes are MUCH nicer than the originals.

But, also, they were broken in a LOT differently. I literally picked up my car from the dealership service center, drove 20 miles home, packed the car, and drove to Florida. So, about 1,400 miles of mostly highway driving and gas stops.
 

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Mine were grinding around 6k miles, it went away, and around 11K miles they started grinding and shuddering. They were replaced at that point, and at 18-19k mes now are grinding again, but not as bad as at 6k. It's not always noticeable, so I'm going to sit on it for a while.

Some things can be traced to a design issue, or misuse, but there are so many variables involved with brake wear to say what the cause is on the brakes having these issues (although my understanding is there is now an improved pad). However my dealership did acknowledge it was a fairly frequent occurrence and replaced them for me.
 

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I have 17k on my 2019 and never noticed anything wonky from the brakes. I took it in for front end noise/rattle/buzzing. They couldn't find anything with suspension but said the brakes were pulsing so machined the rotors.
 

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I have a 2019 with now 58k, my brake grinding issue, especially when going on a downgrade started within around 2K miles, took it to the dealer, they said that was "normal". Took it back to the dealer with the same complaint a while later and they claimed to adjust the calipers, ok that worked for a while. Took the vehicle to a tire shop and they said my rotors needed to be replaced, great, did that. Zoom forward to now at 58k, the brakes still grind and vibrate when braking on a downhill grade. The pump braking method helps a little.
 

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Greetings,

Reading through some of the threads on brake troubles, there seems a general resignation that it is par for the course with the Ascent. This is in contrast with the earlier CVT harness troubles for which arguments where offered about why only a small number of cars were affected.

I've a little more than two years with my 2019 Limited but less than 9k miles (thanks pandemic). I've not had problems with the brakes so far. Is this more likely a case of "if I made it this far I am probably okay" or am I likely to see problems as the miles accumulate? (Problems beyond the normal wear that one expects.) For what it is worth, I've not done any towing.

In case this sounds a little downbeat, I like the car and I think Subaru has done right by the CVT harness and other issues. I don't think anyone considering a newer model should be put off by the growing pains others have endured.

thanks!
I got my Ascent in Jan 2019 and I just passed 60k miles, I drive a lot and Covid only increased that. My brakes are still good, passed another annual inspection in VA. They said will need to replace by next Feb 2022. The trunk issue is the most annoying thing on mine, has happened twice. Now I have a wrench in my car to pop the bat cable off. I drive fast and use my brakes hard. My 2011 Outback changed brakes every 60k because of wear like clockwork and I got that to 180k before getting the Ascent.
 

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I'm at 36k miles on my 2018 and have towed about 5,000 miles of that near the limit of towing capacity and my brakes are in great shape. No noises/shudders/etc. Also have done some offroading too.

So no, not all Ascents will have brake problems, even with severe usage.
 

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Greetings,

Reading through some of the threads on brake troubles, there seems a general resignation that it is par for the course with the Ascent. This is in contrast with the earlier CVT harness troubles for which arguments where offered about why only a small number of cars were affected.

I've a little more than two years with my 2019 Limited but less than 9k miles (thanks pandemic). I've not had problems with the brakes so far. Is this more likely a case of "if I made it this far I am probably okay" or am I likely to see problems as the miles accumulate? (Problems beyond the normal wear that one expects.) For what it is worth, I've not done any towing.

In case this sounds a little downbeat, I like the car and I think Subaru has done right by the CVT harness and other issues. I don't think anyone considering a newer model should be put off by the growing pains others have endured.

thanks!
I have a 2019 Ascent Touring. We purchased it used with about 18k miles. We did have the grinding noise on the brakes but it seems to have gone away.
Just a tip, if there is no other problem but noise, try slightly pumping the brake pedal when slowing down similar to how you might slow when it’s slick. It seems to help with badly seated or otherwise noisy pads.
 

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We just turned 50k miles on our 2019 Premium. Our brakes have had a warped-rotor type shudder for a while... the dealer just pronounced them good two weeks ago and they stop the car just fine with no pull or fade. I guess that counts as a problem if we're picky, but we're fairly tolerant people, I guess.
 

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Greetings,

Reading through some of the threads on brake troubles, there seems a general resignation that it is par for the course with the Ascent. This is in contrast with the earlier CVT harness troubles for which arguments where offered about why only a small number of cars were affected.

I've a little more than two years with my 2019 Limited but less than 9k miles (thanks pandemic). I've not had problems with the brakes so far. Is this more likely a case of "if I made it this far I am probably okay" or am I likely to see problems as the miles accumulate? (Problems beyond the normal wear that one expects.) For what it is worth, I've not done any towing.

In case this sounds a little downbeat, I like the car and I think Subaru has done right by the CVT harness and other issues. I don't think anyone considering a newer model should be put off by the growing pains others have endured.

thanks!
My 2019 Limited has a little over 13,000 miles on it. No brake problems at all. When I take it in to the dealer for scheduled maintenance they do the brake inspections. They tell me the pads are wearing slowly. I firmly believe a person's driving habits have a lot to do with wear & tear on a car. Of course, if you tow frequently the pads will wear faster. It's all a matter of physics.
 

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I have a 2019 (Jan '19 mfg date) and drive a mountain road nearly every weekend. I noticed early on that the brakes would grind once they get hot - and they can get "hot" with one panic stop on the freeway. As for the mountain road, I try to use engine compression (downshift) as much as possible, but a 4 cyl can only do so much with a car this size. I believe the brakes are probably a bit undersized for this vehicle. I had a similar problem with my 2001 Sequoia and when the rotors had warped enough times that they could not be turned I replaced them with aftermarket slotted rotors and the problem seems to have been resolved. The slots make some noise themselves, but the rotors quit warping. Maybe this will be a future remedy for the Ascent. I recently had the "C" suffix pads installed by the dealer (FOC) and I dont think the problem has gone away. That pad mod was designed for "squealing", which mine weren't doing, but I thought I'd try it anyway.
 

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The pad mod was not designed for "squealing". It was designed to assist in proper break-in so the pads would not grind, squeal, vibrate or pulse-deposit pad residue on the rotors that make it seem like the rotors are warping.

As for the rotors, they are one of the largest in the class; bigger or the same size as Honda's, Toyota's and Acura's comparable offering, for instance.

The questions I am more interested in are, why is this not affecting most owners, and, what's the differences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I got my Ascent in Jan 2019 and I just passed 60k miles, I drive a lot and Covid only increased that. My brakes are still good, passed another annual inspection in VA. They said will need to replace by next Feb 2022. The trunk issue is the most annoying thing on mine, has happened twice. Now I have a wrench in my car to pop the bat cable off. I drive fast and use my brakes hard. My 2011 Outback changed brakes every 60k because of wear like clockwork and I got that to 180k before getting the Ascent.
Are you referring to the battery draining because the rear gate is open? There is a lot of useful information about that on threads such as this:
 

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I try to use engine compression (downshift) as much as possible, but a 4 cyl can only do so much with a car this size.
When I was a mechanic, people would ask me if they should downshift instead of braking. I told them the same thing whether they had automatic or manual. Which costs more to replace? The clutch/transmission or the brakes?
 
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