Last week I picked up a 2001 Outback and Im in the process of freshening it up a bit. I took it to a trusted import repair shop to have it checked out, especially the brakes. The pedal effort seems unusually high but they still have enough power to activate the ABS. The mechanic agreed that the pedal effort was high but couldnt find anything out of whack with the braking system. This is my first Subie but Im guessing the high brake effort isnt normal. I suppose, in time, I could adapt but Id sooner adapt the brakes to me. So where would you start? The pads and rotors are okay but Im not opposed to replacing/upgrading them on general principle. The hoses appear in good shape and my mechanic thinks the master cylinder is okay. If it were your car, where would you start?