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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i PZEV Special Edition
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, fellow Outbackers!
I just took my new (to me) 2009 2.5 PZEV Outback in for its government required Motor Vehicle Inspection here on the East Coast of Canada and the shop has informed me that the left front ball joint and right front tie rod is in need of replacing. This isn't unexpected but my question is should I bite the bullet and replace the parts on the opposite side as well (i.e right front ball joint and left front tie rod) or just do the required work? I do plan on keeping the car until the engine dies so I think I'll have it for quite some time. If it helps I'm a student with a limited budget so I don't want to do anything "unnecessary."
TIA!
 

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2001 Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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250 Posts
To be budget friendly I would suggest just doing the repairs needed, somethings on suspension are recommended in pairs (like struts and springs) but if only one ball joints is worn, replace that one, same for the tie rod, just replace the worn parts, the other sides may fail soon or maybe 2 years from now, who knows, by then you might be able to budget for those repairs when it comes instead of spending twice as much on parts now.

Others might say otherwise but that's what I would do with a budget in mind.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i PZEV Special Edition
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To be budget friendly I would suggest just doing the repairs needed, somethings on suspension are recommended in pairs (like struts and springs) but if only one ball joints is worn, replace that one, same for the tie rod, just replace the worn parts, the other sides may fail soon or maybe 2 years from now, who knows, by then you might be able to budget for those repairs when it comes instead of spending twice as much on parts now.

Others might say otherwise but that's what I would do with a budget in mind.
Thank you very much Grum! Just didn't want to aggravate issues with the AWD system if I could avoid them!
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactiv
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730 Posts
I agree w/ Grum you dont save any labor by doing them all at once vs just one side at a time.

except you will need an alignment after the tie rod is replaced.

If it turns out you have to replace the other side next year well you will have to pay again for an alignment. Six to one, half a dozen to the other, choose your gamble and where you want to spend your cash. If money is tight, I'd only do one side. If you have the cash then do them all now.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i PZEV Special Edition
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree w/ Grum you dont save any labor by doing them all at once vs just one side at a time.

except you will need an alignment after the tie rod is replaced.

If it turns out you have to replace the other side next year well you will have to pay again for an alignment. Six to one, half a dozen to the other, choose your gamble and where you want to spend your cash. If money is tight, I'd only do one side. If you have the cash then do them all now.
Thank you very much. Doing maintenance to a vehicle that I actually care about and isn't just a beater is a new thing for me so I have a lot to figure out.
 

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2020 Outback Premium
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182 Posts
Some places that do alignments offer a "plan" where you can get it re-aligned for free within some period of time.
I lost out on that deal because I bought their 3-year plan. Then my job closed up & I moved 500 miles away so I'm not going back there for an alignment... YMMV
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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1,924 Posts
I'd say go ahead and change both tie rods since it has to be realigned. They are not very expensive; about $20 USD.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i PZEV Special Edition
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd say go ahead and change both tie rods since it has to be realigned. They are not very expensive; about $20 USD.
It's just the labour that would bite me in the butt
 
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