Ultimate Guide: Rebuilding Subaru Brake Calipers Like a Pro – Save Money and Enhance Performance! 🚗🔧

Are you a proud Subaru owner? Do you enjoy tackling DIY projects and taking care of your vehicle? If so, then this article is tailored just for you! Today, we will delve into the fascinating world of rebuilding Subaru brake calipers. Don’t worry if you’re new to the process or have some prior experience – we’ll cover everything you need to know.

Rebuilding Subaru Brake Calipers: What You Need to Know

A Guide for Subaru Car Owners and Brake Enthusiasts

Whether you’re a budding automobile aficionado or simply looking to save some bucks, rebuilding your Subaru brake calipers can be a rewarding and cost-effective endeavor. By following our step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to give your brake calipers a new lease on life. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

  1. Tools and Equipment Checklist
  2. Disassembling the Brake Caliper
    • Step 1: Removing the Caliper from Your Subaru
    • Step 2: Taking Apart the Caliper Assembly
  3. Inspecting for Wear and Damage
    • Step 3: Analyzing Caliper Components
    • Step 4: Identifying Worn-Out Parts
  4. Replacing Damaged or Worn-Down Parts
    • Step 5: Sourcing Replacement Components
    • Step 6: Carefully Installing New Parts
  5. Cleaning and Reassembling the Caliper
    • Step 7: Thoroughly Cleaning the Caliper
    • Step 8: Precisely Reassembling the Caliper
  6. Properly Bleeding the Brake System
    • Step 9: Bleeding the Brakes: Ensuring Safety and Performance
    • Step 10: Double-Checking for Leaks and Functionality
  7. Troubleshooting Common Issues
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  9. Conclusion
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Tools and Equipment Checklist

Before diving into the process, gather the necessary tools and equipment to ensure a smooth rebuilding experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Brake caliper rebuild kit (specifically designed for Subaru models)
  2. Wrenches and socket set
  3. Brake cleaner
  4. Wire brush or toothbrush
  5. Brake fluid
  6. Brake bleeding kit
  7. Rubber gloves
  8. Safety glasses
  9. Shop rags or paper towels
  10. Jack and jack stands (for safely raising your Subaru)

Step 1: Removing the Caliper from Your Subaru

Begin by securely raising your Subaru using a jack and jack stands. Once raised, remove the wheel to expose the brake caliper. Carefully disengage the brake line and remove the caliper bolts. Gently detach the caliper from the rotor and suspend it using a wire or rope to prevent damage.

Step 2: Taking Apart the Caliper Assembly

Using appropriate wrenches, carefully remove the caliper slide bolts or pins. This will allow you to separate the caliper halves. Take note of the orientation of each component as you disassemble them. Store the parts in a clean, organized manner to facilitate reassembly later on.

Step 3: Analyzing Caliper Components

With the caliper disassembled, thoroughly inspect each component for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Pay special attention to the caliper piston, seals, boots, and slide pins. If any part appears compromised, it is crucial to replace it promptly.

Step 4: Identifying Worn-Out Parts

During your inspection, look for signs of uneven or excessive wear on the caliper piston and seals. Damaged piston surfaces or torn boot seals can hinder proper brake operation. If you find any issues, consider purchasing a brake caliper rebuild kit, which typically contains all the required replacement parts.

Step 5: Sourcing Replacement Components

Acquire the necessary replacement components based on your inspection findings. It’s advisable to use a Subaru-specific brake caliper rebuild kit as it will ensure a perfect fit. These kits usually include new pistons, boots, seals, and caliper slide pins.

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Step 6: Carefully Installing New Parts

Using the detailed instructions provided in your brake caliper rebuild kit, follow the steps to install the new components. Take extra care in properly lubricating the seals and slide pins. Lubrication is vital to ensure smooth caliper movement and prevent binding.

Step 7: Thoroughly Cleaning the Caliper

Before reassembling, use a quality brake cleaner to remove any residue or debris from the caliper components. A wire brush or toothbrush can be helpful in reaching tight spots. Ensure that all surfaces are clean and dry before proceeding.

Step 8: Precisely Reassembling the Caliper

With your cleaned and lubricated parts in hand, meticulously reassemble the caliper in the reverse order of disassembly. Refer to any diagrams or instructions included in your kit, ensuring that each component is correctly aligned and tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Step 9: Bleeding the Brakes: Ensuring Safety and Performance

Properly bleeding the brake system is essential to remove any air pockets that may have been introduced during the rebuilding process. Utilize a brake bleeding kit and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to complete this step. Bleeding the brakes will enhance the overall braking performance and ensure your safety on the road.

Step 10: Double-Checking for Leaks and Functionality

With the rebuild complete and the brake system bled, it’s crucial to perform a final check for leaks and ensure all components are functioning properly. Look for any signs of fluid leakage from the caliper or connections, and test the brakes for proper engagement and response before taking your Subaru for a spin.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with careful adherence to instructions, unforeseen issues may arise during the rebuilding process. Here are some common problems you may encounter and how to address them:

  1. Sticky Caliper: If your caliper is sticking or not engaging properly after the rebuild, double-check the seating of all components and ensure that slide pins move freely.
  2. Brake Fluid Leaks: Inspect all connections and seals for signs of leakage. Tighten any loose fittings and replace faulty seals.
  3. Mushy Brake Feel: If your brakes feel spongy, you may need to repeat the bleeding process to eliminate any remaining air bubbles.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How often should I rebuild my Subaru brake calipers?

A: The frequency of caliper rebuilds largely depends on various factors, including driving conditions and personal preference. As a general guideline, it is recommended to inspect and rebuild your brake calipers every 50,000 to 75,000 miles or if you notice any signs of wear or decreased performance.

Q: Can I reuse any components during the rebuilding process?

A: Reusing certain components, such as caliper slide pins, is possible if they are in good condition and exhibit no signs of wear. However, it’s generally advisable to replace most parts to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Q: What are the benefits of rebuilding Subaru brake calipers?

A: Rebuilding your brake calipers offers several benefits. It promotes cost-effectiveness by avoiding the expense of purchasing new calipers. Additionally, it allows you to maintain the originality of your Subaru while giving you a sense of accomplishment and control over your vehicle’s maintenance.


By following this complete guide, you’ll acquire the knowledge and skills to successfully rebuild your Subaru brake calipers like a pro. Remember to take your time, pay attention to detail, and prioritize safety throughout the process. Rebuilding your brake calipers can be a rewarding experience that saves you money while enhancing your vehicle’s performance. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and get ready to give your Subaru the care it deserves! 🚙💨💪

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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