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Different from having "soft" brakes.

I find that not only are my brakes soft and mushy, there is a huge amount of "take up" before they start braking.

Now, I drive a '16 Mustang GT normally, and those are big brakes. But all brakes should start braking quickly, right? It's dangerous for me to switch to the XV now since I expect braking to start as soon as the pedal starts moving down. It feels like the first two inches give me nothing and the last two go from almost nothing to full ABS super fast. It's like an exponential curve. Yuck!

What would help this situation? Better brake pass? Better brake lines?
It feels like my brake lines are full of air! (I had the Subaru mechanic check at my 30k mile tune up. He said they were fine and they "just work that way" according to my wife.)
 

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That really does not sound right. If your mechanic checked it out and says it's fine, you may want to get a second opinion. I'm sure you've checked these things, but the obvious things that come to my mind is to verify your brake fluid level is correct and to test to see if you have any fade when the pedal is pressed indicating a bad master cylinder.

A slight amount of free play doesn't seem unreasonable, but no braking in the first two inches seems wrong. How far down is the pedal when it is fully engaged? I see you mention they do fully engage exponentially. Are the pads new? In any case, I'd take it to another mechanic or two for additional opinions. Maybe even test drive another Crosstrek at the dealership to compare what "normal" actually is.

Let us know if you come to any enlightening conclusions.
 

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Getting a master cylinder brace will help with the softness. Also (and just trying to understand your situation more) do you (or try to) drive your Crosstrek like your Mustang GT?

AWDfreak can provide more input into upgrading your brakes as he added braided brake lines etc...
 

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Old post, surprised I never saw it... but it's spelled "brakes", not "breaks", and it's "pedal", not "peddle". Editing your post was rather amusing.

Unfortunately, the XV Crosstrek's brake pedal feel is subpar, even compared to my previous Subaru. Stainless steel brake hose (such as those compatible with the 2008-2014 WRX) and a master cylinder brace (such as those compatible with the 2015 VA-chassis WRX and WRX STI) will seriously overhaul the feel from the brake pedal. Give it a shot, and I can almost guarantee you'll feel a better difference.

Though if you drive your Crosstrek as hard as your Mustang, you also may want to consider upgrading your brake fluid and brake pad compound.
 

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I can understand how the brace would help, particularly during hard braking, but how does the stainless steel brake hose affect feel? Is it simply that the steel sleeve resists hose expansion better, thereby directing more of the energy to the calipers?
 

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Ah, my dyslexia strikes again :) If it weren't for spell check, you'd probably have a difficult time upstanding me at all. Hah.

I'll keep you updated with the second opinion stuff and any upgrades I try. It's primarily my wife's car now, and it doesn't bother her.
 

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I can understand how the brace would help, particularly during hard braking, but how does the stainless steel brake hose affect feel? Is it simply that the steel sleeve resists hose expansion better, thereby directing more of the energy to the calipers?
Bingo! The stock hoses can and do expand to some extent. The stainless steel ones don't...they look trick also.
 

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Ah, my dyslexia strikes again :) If it weren't for spell check, you'd probably have a difficult time upstanding me at all. Hah.

I'll keep you updated with the second opinion stuff and any upgrades I try. It's primarily my wife's car now, and it doesn't bother her.
If she's the primary driver now, I would at the very least sneak in the master cylinder brace (it's far less labor-intensive than installing new brake hose) just in case you drive it again for some peace-of-mind.

Also, since these newer Subaru models are equipped with brake assist, if the car senses an urgent application of the brake pedal, it will apply full braking force (and ABS will kick in if vehicle speed is fast enough for it to be active). This is why in some panic-stop situations, the brake pedal has no resistance because the brake assist is active (not to be confused with the vacuum-assist of the braking system). So although the mushy pedal is definitely an issue for some, brake assist can help mitigate a bit of the long deadzone.


Seriously, there is a bit of flex at the bulkhead...

Here's a video of said bulkhead flex
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ILz0uJhdgg
 

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I've changed my brake pads to Endless MXRS brake pads and they impressed a Honda S2000 driver, which says a lot about my setup's improvement compared to stock.

Are you still considering adding the brace and stainless steel brake hose?
 
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