Maintenance Inspections for Subaru:
Take the vehicle for a road test to see how the brakes perform. Does the vehicle brake straight and even, with no signs of pedal pulsation or brake squeal? Does the ABS light go off after the vehicle is started? Check the adjustment and pedal travel. Does the pedal seem low or spongy?
Check the brake fluid reservoir. Is the fluid low? A low fluid level may indicate a brake system leak or brake pads or shoes that have worn excessively.
Does the brake fluid look discolored or dirty? Dirty, contaminated or water-saturated brake fluid may cause premature failure of expensive brake system components, like the ABS actuator.
Remove the wheels to inspect the condition of the brake linings and shoes. A quick inspection of the brake pads can be performed by looking through the inspection hole in the caliper. For a more comprehensive check, remove the caliper to gain access to the pads. Catching worn brake pads before they have a chance to damage the rotors will save the customer from unnecessary parts replacement expenses. Minimum pad thickness specifications can be found the Subaru Service Manual.
Did your road test reveal any steering or handling problems? Does the vehicle pull to one side or the other? Look for irregular tire wear that may indicate a wheel alignment problem. Excessive looseness in the steering wheel may signal worn steering system components, such as outer tie rod ends. With the vehicle on a lift, have an assistant turn the steering wheel from side to side while you watch the steering linkage for signs of worn components.
Check the ball joints, as well as all other suspension bushings and components, for wear. Torn ball joint grease boots will let the grease out and will let dirt and moisture in. The same goes for the front and rear drive axle CV boots. Check these for tears or other signs of leakage or damage.