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1999 Outback. 95000 miles. Noticed spots on the driveway for the past few weeks. All on the left side. But a couple have also shown up on the right side recently. Clearish liquid. Looked underneath and the only things that appeared to be leaking and in line with the spots on the driveway were the front control arm bushings. There appear to be posts here about replacing these. Local dealer wants $450 for both (parts and labor). I would like to know what are the pros and cons of delaying replacement. Don't understand what these do. I'm not going to replace myself. Likely go to dealer or subaru specialty shop (which is closed till 1/2 so don't know how much he wants). Images of two bushings attached. Thanks.
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.2 5spd
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32 Posts
1999 Outback. 95000 miles. Noticed spots on the driveway for the past few weeks. All on the left side. But a couple have also shown up on the right side recently. Clearish liquid. Looked underneath and the only things that appeared to be leaking and in line with the spots on the driveway were the front control arm bushings. There appear to be posts here about replacing these. Local dealer wants $450 for both (parts and labor). I would like to know what are the pros and cons of delaying replacement. Don't understand what these do. I'm not going to replace myself. Likely go to dealer or subaru specialty shop (which is closed till 1/2 so don't know how much he wants). Images of two bushings attached. Thanks.

There isnt anything in the control arm bushings that can leak.You might have something higher,brakeline,coolant line ect that is leaking onto the bushings or it could just be water from road,rain,snow ect.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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860 Posts
Actually those are liquid filled bushings and they commonly do leak over time. Not sure why Subaru used this design.... but they aren't very hard to change as they are only held on by a couple bolts and bit of manuevering to get the new lower control arm bushing assembly in. You can also replace just the bushing with some polyurethane ones off ebay, but they will make the ride more harsher..
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,107 Posts
having done this, I strongly suggest you leave them as-is until they actually begin to crack and allow movement of the LCA. The oem parts are expensive, OEM style inserts are pricey and need a press to replace, and poly bushings will give you increased harshness.

my advice, save up for OEM replacements and wait until the parts are noticeably deteriorated. Only use the poly bushings if you MUST save every dime - and be prepared for increased NVH.

you'll need a heavy duty torque wrench too.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
they're only attached by a few bolts, do it yourself and then have a shop finish with the alignment if you think you loose it.

there are Subaru OEM bushings on ebay, for example:
$90 each shipping included
Subaru Front Control Arm Rear Bushing Left Side | eBay

look them up online - local dealers can meet the online pricing (or within pennies) if they want to, you can ask.

no immediate danger at all - like they said, it's common. you'll start hearing thunks and noises before tire wear and such becomes an issue.

2000+ models you can buy the entire control arm new aftermarket -
 

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96 OBW 2.5; 2016 Outback 2.5 Premium
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117 Posts
Jack stand on this bushing

I don't have any problems with these control arm bushings on my 96 OBW but I do have a question. I've always placed my jack stands directly under these 2 bushings after lifting up the car with a floor jack. I then move the floor jack to the rear to raise the rear end to rotate tires. Been doing this way for 16 years on this car without causing any problems. Do you guys think I should not place the jack stands under this bushing to prolong its life? I didn't know it's liquid-filled. Mine have always been dry.
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.2 5spd
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32 Posts
Actually those are liquid filled bushings and they commonly do leak over time. Not sure why Subaru used this design.... but they aren't very hard to change as they are only held on by a couple bolts and bit of manuevering to get the new lower control arm bushing assembly in. You can also replace just the bushing with some polyurethane ones off ebay, but they will make the ride more harsher..

Thanks,didnt know that.Is that on all of them or certain years?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,107 Posts
seems to be across many models for many years.

when I saw drips from the driver's side on our 03, the fluid seemed slightly greenish and a little sticky. I don't recall a smell. I wasn't sure what it was until I had read online about them being fluid filled.
 

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96 OBW 2.5; 2016 Outback 2.5 Premium
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Thanks,didnt know that.Is that on all of them or certain years?
I looked it up online. 1996 - 2004 legacy/outback use the same parts for this application. So if his 2003 is liquid-filled, all 1996-2004 legacy/outback models use liquid bushings.
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.2 5spd
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32 Posts
Thanks for the info! Ive done them before at work and never knew they where liquid filled.
 

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The original bushings are very durable. They can to serve for a long time! More than 160000 mile.
Liquid from them like a glue - transparent, sticky and stretches to the ground.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,439 Posts
They have been using the liquid filled ones since the first gen legacy. My 93 has liquid filled. Replaced them 2 years ago with fresh ones. It makes a noticeable improvement in ride and handling.

They are pretty much shot on my 01 Outback and in the queue for things to be done.
 
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