Subaru Control Arm Bushing Repair

The newer Subaru models changed the type of lower control arms that was used for year in the early legacy’s and up to 1999 or 2000 Legacy Outback’s. Both suspension types are fine but these newer ones are having control arm bushing failure. Don’t be fooled into replacing the control arm just because the bushing is bad.

subaru torn control arm bushing

2003 Subaru Legacy Outback front lower rear control arm bushing that is starting to tear. The rubber just starts to seperate from the bushing housing.

The reason I state this is because it’s common for other repair shops that don’t have the proper equipment or experience to sell you the whole control arm, that is because they cannot press the bushing in and out properly. Well the control arms are almost $200.00 a side and the bushings are less than $20.00 so you tell me, which would you rather do. There is extra labor but that way the technician working on your car is happy cause he’s getting payed good labor and most important the customer is happy because the job costs them over $200.00 less than replacing both front lower control arms.

On the Subaru’s you usually only have to replace the front lower rear bushing, the other bushing is real small and not under as much stress so it is almost always fine. Take a look at the photo below so you can see what the bushings look like when they start to fail. The rubber tears from the bushing housing allowing the control arm to shift, changing your cars alignment. After repair an alignment could be recommended but I always tell my customers not worry about it and have never had a problem, as long as someone didn’t try to align it with the worn out suspension parts.

Now, for replacing these bushings I am going to tell you how I do it. I have the bushing pullers and pushers but they just take too long for something simple like this. Just get your air hammer and some earplugs cause it’s going to be loud. Use a chisel bit and slowly start rolling the bushing housing sides in and as you go around working it like that it will eventually break free and you can push it right out. The last part is even simpler, just use the old bushing to push the new one in, you of course need a shop press like this one or something similar:

shop press mdhmotors

50 Ton Shop Press

Well thank you again for reading and good luck on your Subaru repairs, you can always contact me for question or appointments if needed. Don’t forget to like my page and subscribe to my feed if you like the articles and want to stay up to date. Thanks Again ☺

This post was written by: Martin Hand


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About Martin Hand

ASE Certified L1 Advanced Mastertech. Martin Hand has over 15 years experience in Asian and European Import Auto Repair. Specializing in electrical diagnosis, engine performance, AT/MT transmission repair/rebuild. Martin is also pursuing a degree in Computers Science & Information Systems starting at Portland Community College while he plans to transfer to OIT. Certified in Java application level programming, experienced with other languages such as PHP, Ruby, JavaScript and Swift. Martin has future plans of automotive diagnostic software development.


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