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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5sp Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
I live in Southwest Michigan, and on my way to dinner last night driving my 98 OB, I was going down a hill, that curves to the left, and then back up hill. At the bottom of the hill is a street that goes off to the right.

I start sliding as I was trying to slow down for the curve. I tried to correct it and keep turning to the left, that wasn't happening and I was headed right towards the curb. I decided to turn to the right to try to go down the side street. Had I done that first I would have been alright, but it was too late, as I start to turn my wheel slams into the side of the curb. I bounce off and spin across the street and take out a split rail fence.

The fence didn't do any damage outside of a few scratches. The curb however really messed the car up. First off the wheel is scuffed really bad around the edge(I have 7 spokes off of a 09). When I backed out of the snowbank, it sounded like maybe a flat tire and I was on the rim. Not the case, outside of the scuffing, the wheel is alright. So I get out to look and notice that the drivers side front tire is sitting really far back in the wheel well, so I get down to look and see if I can see something broken. At first I can't then I realize its the lower control arm.

I call a tow truck, due to the weather it takes 5 hours for them to get there... I had it towed to the Subaru dealer for inspection.

The result is as follows:
Broken Lower Control Arm
Strut
Bushings
Axle
and something else that I can't remember off hand
Alignment

The total is $1325.00 He said the strut could possibly be saved, but they won't know that until they get it torn apart. I told him I would call back later and let him know what I wanted to do.

No, I love my car. I bought it in March with 112k miles, for $4700 out the door. It now has 130k miles. I have been finding metal shavings in the oil, so I am concerned there. My question is what do I do?

Do I pay to have everything replaced just to have a possibly severe engine problem?

Do I buy anothe car and fix it myself(what I would normally do outside of time restraints), take the time and do it right for cheaper?

Do I just say eff it and part it out?

I'm so lost I don't know what to do...

I know someone will ask about insurance, and I only have basic liability coverage. So the damages would not be covered by insurance(was just thinking the other day I should but comp and collision on for the winter... too late now...):(
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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I'd say see if you can find a cheap, running beater for $1000 or under to beat around in for a while, while you fix your OB up properly. Then, when OB is fixed, either sell the beater for probably what you have in it (or more, used car market is nuts nowadays), or just keep it around as a backup for just such an emergency.
 

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Get a quote from another mechanic who you can trust.
Dealer labor rates are high.
Then decide.
You have to look at how much it would cost to get another reliable vehicle with unknown history, or pay to have this fixed.
Tough decision, but only yours to make.

O.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5sp Manual
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Discussion Starter #4
I have been browsing craigslist in the area for any parts cars. I would really prefer to do the work myself. I personally don't have the garage space to work on it. I do have a buddy who might let me work on it there. Even if I could find a running OB to drive for a while, while I fix mine(preffered choice). It all comes down to time and money, I need something pretty quick but the dealer estimated late next week finish time, because they have to special order all of the parts. So even if I go that route it won't be quick.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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You don't have to have an Outback for a beater... too expensive in this case. Find a cheap Cavalier or Corolla or something. Just something that will run and drive for a while, maybe throw a set of good tires on it. Remember you won't be keeping the car forever.
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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Thats a tough choice. You have already got 18K on the car so you know that it is reliable. So I would go ahead and have the dealership do the repairs. Won't they give you a loaner car?

Having the car towed to an independent place is a non starter unless you have established a relationship with one. Doing it yourself? That's a lot of work and you don't know what you are getting into. So have it repaired.
 

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i really doubt that you really need to replace anything other than the control arm. get one off a yard for a few buck and slap it on and see.

the control arm did exactly what its designed to do. Deflect and distort so the frame does not take the brunt of the damage.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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This a day's worth of work. Take a vacation day tomorrow, rent a car, and get the work done over the weekend after you collect parts tomorrow. If it's too cold outside, hopefully you have a friend who will let you squat in their garage for the weekend.
 

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i agree, buy some parts from a parts yard and slap them on. it will be cheaper than buying new parts or a replacement beater even if it isn't easier.

the control arm is the big part and it is designed to fail in this sort of event. it saves lots of other parts from abuse.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

put in your zip and sort by distance. for speed you will want parts that are close to home. see what you find. a used control arm and axle might get you back on the road.

for the price you could buy all of the parts listed plus a tie rod and tie rod end. but i would be surprised if you need them all. dealers are cautious, and maybe they think you have insurance to cover it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thats a tough choice. You have already got 18K on the car so you know that it is reliable. So I would go ahead and have the dealership do the repairs. Won't they give you a loaner car?

Having the car towed to an independent place is a non starter unless you have established a relationship with one. Doing it yourself? That's a lot of work and you don't know what you are getting into. So have it repaired.
I haven't checked into a loaner car yet, might be worth a look. As far as the work is concerned I am rather experienced in suspension work, so I know it will be tough, but I've done it before.

i really doubt that you really need to replace anything other than the control arm. get one off a yard for a few buck and slap it on and see.

the control arm did exactly what its designed to do. Deflect and distort so the frame does not take the brunt of the damage.
I know the axle should probably be replaced it has a bad boot on it, I have been clamping it back down every so often but it doesn't hold well. I think this is the route I might go, replace the axle and control arm and see where that takes me. I know I can do it for a lot less than 1300.

i agree, buy some parts from a parts yard and slap them on. it will be cheaper than buying new parts or a replacement beater even if it isn't easier.

the control arm is the big part and it is designed to fail in this sort of event. it saves lots of other parts from abuse.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

put in your zip and sort by distance. for speed you will want parts that are close to home. see what you find. a used control arm and axle might get you back on the road.

for the price you could buy all of the parts listed plus a tie rod and tie rod end. but i would be surprised if you need them all. dealers are cautious, and maybe they think you have insurance to cover it.
I will definitely check that site out. A local junk yard charges 20 for a control arm and 35 for an axle. Question is if they have any available, Subaru's are pretty common around here so they likely will.

Just need to find a buddy with the garage space, where I'm living now the landlord/roommate has the garage full, so although my tools are in there I can't get my car in there. I think this will be the best alternative for the time being.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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the other part is probably the front sway bar. if the control arm got bent, it probably did too. the bushings you mentioned would be for that. you can drive without it but it will be different than what you are used to so take it easy.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5sp Manual
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Discussion Starter #12
Car is finally finished, except for an alignment. I ran into all sorts of problems getting it moved to a location where I could work on it. The work itself only took a few hours and it was done. All I did was, replace the axle(both inner and outer boots were torn), and the control arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also the ABS light is on, I know the ABS did not kick in while I was sliding. Not sure what that is all about at the moment.
 

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Car is finally finished, except for an alignment. I ran into all sorts of problems getting it moved to a location where I could work on it. The work itself only took a few hours and it was done. All I did was, replace the axle(both inner and outer boots were torn), and the control arm.
good job.

Now you can give the vasiline the dealer was gonna give to you, back.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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Also the ABS light is on,
the ABS sensor is magnetic. this could be as simple as iron particles or rust clogged up on the end of the sensor.

IF IF IF you can remove the bolt and the sensor from the knuckle without busting anything, just check / clean it up.

if too rusted to pull the sensor then you can remove the brake caliper and rotor to check it out.
 

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And next time, just before impact release the brakes and point the wheel at the curb. Maybe even goose the gas a bit.

I have gotten away without damage after some pretty hard hits that way, in a variety of vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
the ABS sensor is magnetic. this could be as simple as iron particles or rust clogged up on the end of the sensor.

IF IF IF you can remove the bolt and the sensor from the knuckle without busting anything, just check / clean it up.

if too rusted to pull the sensor then you can remove the brake caliper and rotor to check it out.
I had the rotor pulled, and there was a small metal piece that was kind of half attached to the sensor that fell out, I am not sure exactly what the piece was and I didn't have my camera with me. How big of a gap should there be between the sensor and the gear looking thing(Idk what that would be called).

And next time, just before impact release the brakes and point the wheel at the curb. Maybe even goose the gas a bit.

I have gotten away without damage after some pretty hard hits that way, in a variety of vehicles.
I thought I was going to miss it, the snow game me a false sense of depth perception. My buddy that was with me told me the same thing though after I had already messed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
good job.

Now you can give the vasiline the dealer was gonna give to you, back.
Who knows I might need it later on when something else goes wrong anyway!
 
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