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Old 05-01-2008, 09:36 PM   #1
WRBLueGD2
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Exclamation Serious E-Brake issues

I've posted about how my E-Brake seems to kill my car if the car idles with the E-Brake on. The car will just sit and run down like the battery isn't being charged. The car will start to sputter and eventually die off. I thought maybe a bad cell in the battery and IllSTi said the same thing.

Today and the last few nights (Since I've put my new exhaust in) I've been having another weird issue involving the E-Brake. When I come out of work at night and start my car, I will drop the E-Brake, the car starts squealing. The wheel turns very hard and if I try to drive off, the car squeal like crazy. As soon as I lift the E-Brake even one notch, the squealing STOPS and the car turns fine. If I pull up to a light and try turning the wheel a bit either way, it squeals again and the BRAKE light comes of while I'm turning it and shuts off when I stop turning. Mind you at this time the E-Brake is NOT engaged.

What the hell is going on with this car?! These issues seem to all have my E-Brake in common and sprout from it. Any ideas guys? I really need this fixed.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:23 PM   #2
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Your alternator/power steering belt is slipping. It may just need to be tightened, or it may be worn out and in need of replacement. Check it ASAP, if you don't know how then take it to a shop but it's a very easy job as long as you have some basic tools and knowledge.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:35 AM   #3
WRBLueGD2
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Alternator / Tensioner / Both belts replaced less than 500 miles ago. Why does my E-Brake determine if it squeals or not?
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:18 AM   #4
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If your daytime running lights are still active, releasing the E-brake turns them on which puts a load on the alternator. If the belt is loose that load could be enough to make it slip. Also if the alternator is failing it may not be turning freely and that will also cause belt slippage. Even if the alternator is fairly new it could still be bad, it happens.
If you had a shop do the recent work take it back to them as this definitely sounds like it's related to those repairs. At 500 miles there should still be a warranty from the shop.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:01 AM   #5
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I replaced the alternator myself. My DTRL are disabled.

At this point, I'm just going to pay my Subaru dealer to look at it. When I explain this issue, I get the look like I have 2 heads.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:22 AM   #6
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which approach did you use to disable the DRLs?

Pulling the ebrake doesn't do a whole lot electrically, other than actuate the switch which tells the system to disable the DRL and turn on the "Brake" warning light.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:43 AM   #7
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I disconnected the wires up behind the glove box.

Last night around 9:30 I went to my car and it was starting to get moist in the air and it was as cold and when I start it, it's the worst I've heard it yet. It was a PITA to turn past a quarter turn and the squealing was insane.

I just drove to work and this morning when I came out, it was a tad groggy,wet, and cold. I started the car and no issues whatsoever. Turned fine, no squealing at all.

After the car warms up, the squealing issues go away but if I stop somewhere and put up the E-Brake, the car will just die after about 5 minutes.

So aggravating
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:20 AM   #8
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You have to inspect the belt to see if it has the proper tension. Also look on the contact side of the belt for signs of glazing from slippage, if it's glazed or cracked it will have to be replaced again even if it was done recently.
Remove the belt and make sure that the alternator and PS pump both turn smoothly and freely. If they don't something is wrong and must be repaired.
Finally the electrical system can be checked to be sure the battery and alternator are both working properly.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
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What kind of tool or method should I be using for tightening the tensioning pulley for the belt?
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:40 AM   #10
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All you need are basic wrenches and sockets. On the alternator there is an adjustment bolt and a lock bolt, you loosen the lock bolt, set the tension with the adjustment bolt, then tighten the lock bolt.
You can measure the tension with your thumb, when you press down on the belt midway between the pulleys it should deflect a small amount- about 1/8-1/4". Don't overtighten it, this can damage the alt and PS bearings.
Again, before you set the tension first inspect the underside of the belt and if it's glazed or cracked get a new one. If you do need a belt get it from the dealer, the OEM's are superior to the ones you get in the store and they aren't that expensive.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:48 AM   #11
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Good looks. Will check that out tonight. My dealer loves me now after all the crap I've been replacing...

Will report back with a status update. Thanks again.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:54 PM   #12
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So the belts are fine. How about this... I popped open the hood and proceeded to remove the old belts and the tensioner for the alternator (lifts the left side of the alternator) is missing the bolts that holds the alternator to the tensioning bolt. WTF? So the tensioning bolt and the little contraption that connects them are just dangling doing nothing and there is more than I'd say is reasonable for tension on the PS and Alternator. So this could be causing my squealing all along?
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