I'm wondering if the ABS brake system on newer Subarus has improved
over the ultra-sensitive ones I have on my 2003 OBS.
I find my brakes have always been super-sensitive, and I've read
others make similar comments. In winter, I often roll right through
stop signs if I'm not careful. I've always thought that there must be
a better way for the system to make decisions. How is the system on
newer Subarus in comparison?
Tires stop your car, brakes stop your wheels.
That said, I THINK there is a 'recall'/TBS for ABS systems on some
late 90s/early 2000s soobs. I don't think it was ever a 'safety'
recall - but it does allow for some tweaking of the ABS.
anyone recall specifics?
Well, it appears the issue was with 2002, 2003 WRXes, though maybe a
dealership can confirm;
******Satisfaction program 06-35-05R. this is not a recall.
A response to concerns about ABS performance on 2002-03 WRX 5spd of a
feeling of a delayed response when ABS is activated during inital
braking over bumps, potholes or other low friction road surfaces. With
assistance from Subaru, NHTSA conducted over 11,500 tests to
investigate this report and while NHTSA and Subaru did not indentify a
problem that would require a recall, they did identify a certain ABS
performance characteristic that might cause some driver's to identify
a delayed response feel during the first second of braking. Following
this analysis, Subaru developed an alternative method of calibrating
the ABS to address this performance characteristic.No perceptible
improvement in overall stopping difference will result. If the driver
of an affected vehicle encounters this set of conditions and is
uncomfortable, a complimentary ABS with different calibration is
This is not mandatory, rather this service is being offered to enhance
customer satisfation. Only some owners will experience this ABS
characteristic and SoA will contact owners of eligible vehicles by
mail through October 2005. ******
Ah! I think I know what is being described here. When the ABS kicks
in, the very first sensation is one of no brakes - as the brake pedal
heads to the floor. Then it seems that the system "picks up speed" so
to speak, and the car really starts to slow down. I never saw this as
a defect, but simply as a feature of the system since it always
I wonder if WRX owners tend to be a little more performance oriented
drivers, and that's why the bulletin specifies WRXs. Maybe the two
systems really aren't different?
I fully agree that tires make a big difference. I very much remember
experiencing the first snow of the year about a week after getting my
new Subaru. I bought winter tires right away as a result.
However, I still feel the ABS brakes on my car are too sensitive.
They kick in for any minor bump in the road, and always have. (while
braking of course) When I needed them, they have worked amazingly.
However, when coming up to a stop and my speed is down to 10kph, the
last thing I need is for ABS to try and save my bacon. I've developed
an instinct of grabbing the handbrake to drag the rear wheels. I see
this will not be possible on the 2010 vehicles. Not sure how I feel
about an electronic ebrake. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a
brake that you can mechanically engage. Anyway, I'm off topic. I'm
hoping that ABS systems are smart enough now to figure out that if
speed was less than x before the tires stopped turning, and I still
have traction on at least one tire on each side of the vehicle, don't
engage the ABS. Or something like that.
The abs on my 2008 STi don't seem overly sensitive. They do seem to
move the pedal a lot which feels a little weird, but I've tested their
response at higher and lower speeds with slippery roads and get the same
response. I've never noticed the system kicking in unexpectedly when
slowing for a simple stop either.
I wonder if you have a tire that is significantly smoother than the
others or if one of the abs sensors is defective. When the computer
gets different information from one wheel than from another, the vehicle
stablility system might engage thinking you are sliding. That can
actuate the abs. Just some ideas.
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