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View Full Version : Desperate for Help - 97 Legacy Brakes Suddenly Not Working



lovesthesubaru
09-19-2009, 01:52 AM
Hello everyone!

I admit to being a long-time lurker on this board, as my beloved Subaru Legacy hadn't given me any serious problems that I couldn't solve by reading your helpful posts.

But now I have a serious brake problem and I really hope that one of you will help me understand what's going on with my Legacy:

I bought the car used, in pretty darn good condition. It's had some minor work here and there (last year the front rotors -- I think -- had to be changed and I think some brake pads were changed then as well. I can probably find out for certain what was done by rummaging through my glove compartment). I've been good about keeping the fluid levels where they're supposed to be.

About a month ago, a spark plug blew out of my transmission while I was traveling. That was pretty strange (to me anyways) but it was fixed (the threads were still inside, so it was an easy fix).

My brakes used to squeak whenever I pressed on them, when I first bought the car. After the above brake work, my Subaru stopped squeaking for awhile. It then started squeaking again, but not nearly as badly as before so I didn't think much of it. I'd heard that "all Subarus squeak." I swear, that is a direct quote.

Now the other day, pretty much out of nowhere, my brakes stop working. I mean, I'm pressing them to the floor and almost nothing is happening. The weird thing is that if I'm driving slowly and I tap the brakes, there is pressure and the car does slow a bit. But if I try to "full on brake," then that is when pedal to the metal = no brake response.

I'm assuming that there's some sort of issue that caused my beloved Subaru to leak out all of its brake fluid. Am I wrong in this assumption?

I don't know a whole lot about cars, but I am a really excellent learner and am more than willing to try my hand at any ideas you may have (I don't have the money to even try and take it to the repair shop and I'm having a tough time being without a car).

Oh by the way, it is an automatic transmission; 97 Subaru Legacy 4 door sedan with about 200,000 miles on it (but bear in mind that it has been well cared for -- with the exception of this brake thing).

Any help and/or insight you can offer me is so greatly appreciated!

Thank you all in advance!

Scorpion8
09-20-2009, 11:05 PM
Hello everyone!

I admit to being a long-time lurker on this board, as my beloved Subaru Legacy hadn't given me any serious problems that I couldn't solve by reading your helpful posts.

But now I have a serious brake problem and I really hope that one of you will help me understand what's going on with my Legacy:

I bought the car used, in pretty darn good condition. It's had some minor work here and there (last year the front rotors -- I think -- had to be changed and I think some brake pads were changed then as well. I can probably find out for certain what was done by rummaging through my glove compartment). I've been good about keeping the fluid levels where they're supposed to be.

About a month ago, a spark plug blew out of my transmission while I was traveling. That was pretty strange (to me anyways) but it was fixed (the threads were still inside, so it was an easy fix).

My brakes used to squeak whenever I pressed on them, when I first bought the car. After the above brake work, my Subaru stopped squeaking for awhile. It then started squeaking again, but not nearly as badly as before so I didn't think much of it. I'd heard that "all Subarus squeak." I swear, that is a direct quote.

Now the other day, pretty much out of nowhere, my brakes stop working. I mean, I'm pressing them to the floor and almost nothing is happening. The weird thing is that if I'm driving slowly and I tap the brakes, there is pressure and the car does slow a bit. But if I try to "full on brake," then that is when pedal to the metal = no brake response.

I'm assuming that there's some sort of issue that caused my beloved Subaru to leak out all of its brake fluid. Am I wrong in this assumption?

I don't know a whole lot about cars, but I am a really excellent learner and am more than willing to try my hand at any ideas you may have (I don't have the money to even try and take it to the repair shop and I'm having a tough time being without a car).

Oh by the way, it is an automatic transmission; 97 Subaru Legacy 4 door sedan with about 200,000 miles on it (but bear in mind that it has been well cared for -- with the exception of this brake thing).

Any help and/or insight you can offer me is so greatly appreciated!

Thank you all in advance!

First thing to check is "if" you have any brake fluid in the resevoir. If not, then you gotta find out where it leaked off to and get that fixed. Don't drive it! If there is still plenty of fluid, then you either have a brake master cylinder issue or a major vacuum issue in the vacuum boost.

As an aside, there are no spark plusg in the transmission. Perhaps you refer to a sensor, or O2 sensor in the exhaust?