Guide to Subaru Brake Safety Features

Reliable braking systems are essential to a vehicle’s safety and risk-mitigating capabilities. As part of our commitment to safety, Subaru has developed a wide range of innovative braking safety features designed to keep drivers and passengers secure on the road. From standard anti-lock brake systems (ABS) to more advanced features like Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), these technologies work together to deliver responsive braking under various conditions. 

Let’s explore Subaru brake safety features designed to offer greater confidence and peace of mind behind the wheel.

Subaru Brake Assist (BA)

Our brake assist (BA) feature enhances braking performance in emergency situations. In everyday situations, you might typically use your brake pedal to slow down or stop, applying braking as gently as possible to avoid jolting forward. Under ideal circumstances, you’re able to identify your braking needs early enough to decelerate smoothly. But sometimes, factors out of your control necessitate a sudden slam on the brakes to prevent an accident. 

This is when brake assist helps. As soon as the system detects sudden braking, BA automatically applies maximum braking force, helping to reduce stopping distance to avoid a potential collision. The system also alleviates the burden on drivers to apply substantial force to the pedal in critical situations, allowing for greater focus on steering. Additionally, brake assist can help you maintain control and stability when you need to brake suddenly, especially in wet or slippery weather.

How Does Brake Assist Work?

Advanced sensors in the braking system make brake assist possible. Sensors can differentiate between the gentle, gradual braking of routine deceleration and sudden, aggressive braking that indicates immediate necessity. Additionally, the Subaru 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System helps brake assist to operate successfully by rapidly pumping the brakes during any hard stop, preventing the dangerous skidding and sliding that could occur if your brakes lock up.

Subaru Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Anti-lock brakes have long been an essential safety feature across the automotive industry. As its name suggests, an anti-lock braking system helps prevent wheels from locking up in moments that require hard braking or emergency stop. 

Without ABS brakes, if you were to slam on your brake pedal out of necessity, the wheels would immediately stop turning and lock up—but your car wouldn’t immediately stop. Instead, the vehicle would keep moving forward at its current speed. However, without its wheels turning, you’d lose control over steering and likely skid out of control. ABS solves this issue by modulating brake pressure to the wheels so that they continue to rotate, maintaining traction and steering, allowing you to keep control of your vehicle.

How Does ABS Work?

In your Subaru, ABS works similar to a domino effect. As you press the brake pedal, speed sensors track wheel rotation, sending signals to your vehicle’s computerized Electronic Control Unit (ECU) when they are about to stop rotating. The ECU responds by triggering brake pumps and valves to modulate pressure to the wheels in short, rapid bursts, preventing lock-up and enabling continued steering.


Subaru Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

Electronic brake-force distribution is a technology that works in cooperation with ABS to create stronger, more effective braking functionality. With the understanding that not every wheel requires the same amount of braking force, EBD monitors and takes into account factors like speed, road conditions, and weight distribution. It then disperses brake force intelligently to each wheel, applying optimal resistance to maximize effectiveness.

How Does EBD Work?

Consider how a factor like luggage or camping gear might affect your vehicle’s braking needs. If your trunk or rear storage space is packed full of heavy cargo, the rear wheels will require more braking force (resistance) to account for the heavier weight they’re carrying. 

Applying identical braking force to the wheels in such a situation could cause your front and rear wheels to brake at different rates and potentially lead to loss of control. Generally, applying more resistance to the rear wheels than to the front is preferable even with balanced weight distribution, as it can increase overall braking capacity at high speeds.

BA vs. ABS vs. EBD

Comparing BA vs. EBD vs. ABS is tricky, because in reality they are all part of the larger braking operation in your Subaru and work together to offer a safer driving experience. 

  • BA, or brake assist, assists with applying braking power during emergency stops.
  • EBD, or electronic brake-force distribution, distributes the right amount of braking force to each wheel.
  • ABS, or anti-lock braking system, prevents the brakes from locking up. 

These technologies all work in harmony, providing their own unique functions while enhancing the others.

Advanced Subaru Braking Features

In addition to mechanical systems that make safe braking possible, we offer several other advanced features that further enhance braking capabilities.

Pre-Collision Braking

As part of our EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, Pre-Collision Braking uses a network of exterior facing cameras and sensors to detect vehicles or pedestrians in your path. The system can alert you to potential dangers on the road and apply the brakes, if necessary, to help avoid a crash.

Reverse Automatic Braking

Reverse Automatic Braking is an available Subaru feature that uses radar and other sensors to detect objects behind you or in your rear blind spots when you’re in reverse. This feature can apply your brakes as-needed to help avoid a rear-end collision.

Brake Override System

The Subaru Brake Override System is a standard feature on all models, designed to prevent accelerating in error in the event you accidentally press the brake pedal and gas at the same time. This system applies the brakes and also limits engine output to help prevent your vehicle from speeding forward.

Bringing it All Together: Brake Safety Overview

Advanced braking features, along with ABS, BA, and EBD, are just some of the features we pack into every Subaru vehicle as part of our commitment to safety. Others, including EyeSight® and SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security, provide added peace of mind whether you’re adventuring on the road or off-road. It’s all part of our unwavering dedication to reliability and durability that have shaped the Subaru ethos for as long as we’ve been making cars.

Relying on Braking Features

Intelligent Subaru braking systems and features offer added support when driving – but it’s important to remain alert on the road at all times. Drivers should never rely solely on braking features to prevent collisions and avoid other hazards.

Find Your New Subaru

Subaru vehicles emphasize safety, reliability, and innovation – including a variety of braking features designed to put you at greater ease behind the wheel. Explore our full lineup to find the right Subaru for you, ready to accompany wherever the road takes you. 

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