I have a 2002 Subaru forester with a grinding noise coming from the rear brakes when braking. The brakes work fine and when I brought it to a brake shop they said there was nothing wrong with the brakes, and that the pads had a lot of wear left in them. Of course they did not pull the drums to look inside.
First, I am confused. Did the mechanic actually check the rear brakes? If so, and if your vehicle has drums (I think it has disc all around, like by Legacy), then they had to pull the drum and check the shoes, to verify your complaint.
That said, I can also tell you that our Legacy had a similar issue, and every brake inspection by my trusted mechanic came out OK. We later changed to new aftermarket ceramic pads and that solved the issue. I think that maybe OEM pads that year weren’t very good or caught a lot of dirt at times, which then is lost and not around for the mechanic to inspect when the car is brought in. I based that on the intermittent problem we observed – never consistent enough to see a cause & effect.
The mechanic claimed to have checked the rear brakes-it does have rear drum brakes- so he must have just checked the thickness through the adjusting hole in the drum. This is the second time we have had it checked and it seems quite honest of them to say the brakes are fine when I am willing to pay them to do the work. I suspect something is scraping in there but the mechanic at the brake shop says it is obvious that the brakes are fine! Still there is the scraping noise- and the mechanic heard it, but had no explanation…
I may be judging your mechanic a bit harshly, but you need to find another brake specialist. It will cost, but ask that they clean and inspect your rear brakes. If there is an issue, it should be apparent when they do the cleaning.
Secondly, is this a scraping or grinding noise? Scraping could be an easy adjustment issue; grinding sounds is what I described above.
I’m a Subaru mechanic at an independent shop.
I only use OE pads. Because they come w/ new hardware that help to reduce brake noise.
Brake rotors can have ridges of rust near the edges of where the pads contact them and cause vibrations which result in noise.
Aftermarket pads that I’ve seen don’t have the necessary spring clips/hardware that keep the pads from vibrating.
Some aftermarket pad friction materials are so hard that they actually wear into the rotors creating ridges that can cause the pads to be noisy.
I’ve seen several Subarus in which this problem was caused by a combination of glazed brake shoe linings and moisture.
It does not necessarily mean anything is wrong but it is aggravating to listen to.
While attending a Subaru service school one time I chose to drive a new demonstrator rather than the wisdom tooth pulling feeling one gets on an airline flight.
That Subaru was grinding for the first half dozen or so stops every single morning of that week and this particular car only had about 600 miles on it.
Just my opinion, but I think based on your complaint the shop should remoe the drums and make double sure there is not a real problem there. I don’t know how they determine the brake lining is fine without removing the drums.