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They're giving some light squeal again. It's rather intermittent. Of course, it doesn't happen when it's at the dealer. I took a ride with a tech to demonstrate the hood flutter (we have the problem where the hood skin is not bonded to the structure correctly) and I could not get the brakes to make any noises during that drive. But they're somewhat noisy intermittently when the tech is not in the car!

I don't know what I'm going to do about it yet. I really wish someone like Raybestos or Centric or Akebono would come out with a replacement pad for this application. So far, only Power Stop has pads that fit and I haven't had any experience with them.
the foundational problem may not be the pad. As you probably know Subaru has updated the original pad design twice and coming out with a third revision soon. I suggest you at least get a record of your concern with Subaru of America so when it is duplicated they can take care of you. Make sure you also note on the record the pad thickness.
 

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the foundational problem may not be the pad. As you probably know Subaru has updated the original pad design twice and coming out with a third revision soon. I suggest you at least get a record of your concern with Subaru of America so when it is duplicated they can take care of you. Make sure you also note on the record the pad thickness.
Yes, I should at least email SOA. I understand the dealer is not excited about replacing parts that they can't verify squeal (and potentially be at risk of warranty rate denial by SOA), but SOA may help me out with a customer service replacement or, at the very least, it'd be another data point on the 3rd version of the pads still making noise.
 

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the foundational problem may not be the pad. As you probably know Subaru has updated the original pad design twice and coming out with a third revision soon. I suggest you at least get a record of your concern with Subaru of America so when it is duplicated they can take care of you. Make sure you also note on the record the pad thickness.
My thoughts too.


I got a new 2019 when the Ascent first came out. I followed the correct break-in procedures for a new car (engine/brakes/etc) The brakes started squealing after about 2k miles. It was REALLY annoying but intermittent. Like @hokiefyd said, I knew that if I brought it in, I wouldn't be able to replicate it with a tech because that's how life is.

Around 12k miles I started to get a really bad pulsating when braking downhill or from highway speeds. This is when I brought it in to the dealer since I knew I could replicate this issue. The dealer verified my issue, turned my rotors and put on new pads. I didn't pay attention to the part # of the pads. Everything seemed good as new, but we only had it for a few hundred miles before we traded in our 2019 for a 2021.

Our 2021 started squealing pretty quickly like with the 2019. The pulsating started happening again and I've only put about 4k miles on the car.

I've thought about trying some different rotors/pads from a reputable third party to see what happens.
 

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I've thought about trying some different rotors/pads from a reputable third party to see what happens.
This is likely going to be my next move, assuming SOA doesn't have a better idea for me. We do have a few aftermarket brake rotor choices. But we seem limited to just the one pad manufacturer.
 

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I've done quite a bit of searching and this is the best list of front pads I can come up with:

POWER STOP 162170 Z16 Evolution Clean Ride Ceramic
POWER STOP 172170 Z17 Evolution Clean Ride Ceramic with Hardware
BENDIX CFC2170 Copper Free Ceramic; Hardware Included
DYNAMIC FRICTION 1551217000 5000 Advanced; Ceramic
POWER STOP Z232170 Z23 Evolution Sport; Carbon Fiber-Ceramic; Includes Hardware
R1 Concepts® - Optimum OEp Brake Pads
Carquest Standard Organic Brake Pads # NAD2170


These are all listed for the 2019 Ascent. Most of these will not come up for the 2020+ Ascent except for the Power Stops; they show compatibility for all years. I've come upon review fatigue reading about Power Stops. People either love them or hate them. Since I'd be replacing a part that is covered under warranty, I need more of a sure thing.


Dynamic Friction and R1 are the same company. I've read mixed'ish review on both of them as well. The Carquest Organic organic pads seem iffy at best. I believe the OEM pads are ceramic, so going "backwards" in pad technology doesn't sound like a good idea.

I really wish Akebono made front pads for our car.

This leaves me with Bendix. They showed compatibility for 2019, but not 2020 or 2021. I'm guessing this is because Subaru keeps revising their pads and they're just sitting back and waiting for a "final" revision. The little bit I've read about them, people seem to really like them. I emailed them to get some feedback on their 2019 Ascent pads and if they can provide any feedback. I'm really close to just buying the Bendix and trying them out with some new rotors.


Why not just take it to the dealer? This question always seems to come up so flippantly. It would be great if it was that easy. My wife and I both work, we have small children, our dealer is 30 min away. Taking the car to the dealer is a HUGE PAIN. I cannot reiterate that enough. Also, I simply don't trust that Subaru has fixed the issue yet. I trust Subaru as a company and I trust their desire to fix the issue, I just don't trust it's been done yet.

I can change the rotors/pads myself for 45 min in my garage and not waste an entire day. Even still, I might just take the car into the dealer because it's beginning to be more of a pain to find parts.
 

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I've had Power Stop rotors on a car before, but not their pads. The rotors were cross-drilled with chamfered holes. I must say, the rotors were pretty good. I usually use Akebono pads when available, but I currently have Centric pads and rotors on our Ridgeline and those have been good. I'd try the Bendix ceramic model for the Ascent if I can't get any satisfaction from the dealer. I did email SoA today, so we'll see what they say. After the fourth version of the pads now (coming out soon), I also am not confident they know what the issue is. On the other hand, if it's apparently this difficult for Subaru to get right, does Bendix or anyone else have the answer, either? It's much easier for me to do a pad slap in my garage on a Saturday morning than doing the dealer thing.
 

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I've been following all of those, and, I am leary of buying any brake part that claims "better stopping distance" yet refuses to cite ANY stopping distance. Hoping the new OEM pads resolve things... in the meantime, mine are doing pretty well. We'll see what they're like when I get back from my cross country off roading adventure.
 

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After the fourth version of the pads now (coming out soon), I also am not confident they know what the issue is. On the other hand, if it's apparently this difficult for Subaru to get right, does Bendix or anyone else have the answer, either?
This is my biggest reason I haven't jumped at buying third party pads. It's not like Subaru is some new company trying to figure out how to build brakes. They've been doing this for a while and better than most, which is why this is a little puzzling for me. Revising a brake pad on a new model; understandable. Revising a brake pad for a fourth time in such a short period of time; a little odd.

I've been following all of those, and, I am leary of buying any brake part that claims "better stopping distance" yet refuses to cite ANY stopping distance. Hoping the new OEM pads resolve things... in the meantime, mine are doing pretty well. We'll see what they're like when I get back from my cross country off roading adventure.
Yeah, when a company claims better stopping distance (or whatever really) with essentially an oem replacement part, I become a little hesitant to buy that product. It feels like they're trying to sell me snake oil.

Good luck on your trip.
 
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