Complete Guide: How to Change Rear Brakes on a Subaru Outback 2010: DIY Maintenance Tips for Better Performance 🚗💡

Do you own a Subaru Outback 2010 and want to learn how to change your rear brakes? If you’re a DIYer and car enthusiast looking to save money on maintenance and repairs, this comprehensive guide is for you. In this article, we will go step-by-step through the process of changing the rear brakes on your Subaru Outback 2010, including the tools and materials needed, troubleshooting tips, and safety precautions to take.

Tools and Materials Required:

Before starting, make sure you have the following tools and materials at hand:

  • Jack stands or ramp
  • Floor jack
  • Lug wrench
  • C-clamp or piston retractor tool
  • Ratchet or breaker bar
  • Replacement brake pads
  • Replacement brake rotors (optional)
  • Brake cleaner spray
  • Lubricant

Steps for Removing Old Brake Pads and Installing New Ones:

  1. First and foremost, park your Subaru Outback 2010 on a level surface and engage the parking brake.

  2. Remove the rear wheels using a lug wrench and support the car using jack stands or a ramp.

  3. Use a ratchet or breaker bar to remove the caliper bolts and slide the caliper off of the rotor. Be careful not to damage the brake line.

  4. Remove the old brake pads from the caliper using a c-clamp or piston retractor tool.

  5. Spray brake cleaner on the rotor, caliper, and hub to clean them of any debris or dust.

  6. Install new brake pads on the caliper, making sure the pad clips fit properly against the caliper.

  7. Slide the caliper back onto the rotor and bolt it back into place.

  8. Repeat the process for the other wheel, making sure to use the same steps.

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How to Check and Replace the Brake Rotors if Necessary:

If you notice that your brake rotors are warped or worn out, it’s essential to replace them.

  1. To check the brake rotors, remove the wheel and caliper assembly.

  2. Measure the brake rotor’s thickness using a caliper to make sure it falls within the manufacturer’s recommended specifications.

  3. If it doesn’t, replace the brake rotor with a new one that meets the recommended specifications.

  4. Spray the brake rotor with brake cleaner and wipe it clean with a cloth.

  5. Reinstall the wheel and caliper assembly.

Tips for Troubleshooting Common Problems:

  • If you experience brake noise after installing new brake pads, it could be due to contamination or improper installation. Disassemble the caliper and clean everything thoroughly, and make sure you assembled the brake pads and clips correctly.

  • If the brake pedal feels soft or spongy, it could indicate a problem with the brake fluid or air in the brake lines. Try bleeding the brakes or check the brake fluid level.

  • If the brake rotors show signs of overheating (discoloration or cracks), it could indicate a problem with the brake system’s performance or braking technique. Try to avoid sudden stops and harsh braking techniques.

Safety Precautions:

When working on your Subaru Outback’s brake system, it’s crucial to take the following safety precautions:

  • Wear gloves and eye protection.

  • Always use jack stands or a ramp when lifting your car.

  • Avoid braking suddenly or sharply, especially during the first 500 miles after installing new brake pads or rotors.

  • Double-check everything before driving your car again.

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Changing the rear brakes on your Subaru Outback 2010 is a straightforward process that you can tackle with the right tools and instructions. By following this comprehensive guide, you can avoid costly trips to the dealership or repair shop and keep your Subaru running smoothly. Remember to take safety precautions seriously and don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.


Q: Do I need to replace both the brake pads and rotors?

A: Not necessarily. If your rotors still meet the recommended specifications and aren’t warped or worn, you can reuse them with new brake pads. However, if your rotors are worn, it’s essential to replace them with new ones to ensure optimal brake performance.

Q: Can I reuse my old brake pads?

A: While it’s possible to reuse your old brake pads, it’s recommended to replace them with new ones for optimal brake performance. Old brake pads may be contaminated, worn out or warped, which can lead to reduced braking power and noise.

Q: How often should I change my brake pads and rotors?

A: It depends on your driving habits, environmental conditions, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, brake pads should be changed every 30,000 – 70,000 miles, while brake rotors can last up to 70,000 miles or more. However, always follow your Subaru Outback’s maintenance schedule and consult with a professional if you’re unsure.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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