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2019 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 (Gen 5)
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Discussion Starter #1
I put on a 19 mm Subaru OEM sway bar about a week ago. My wife was driving on the highway and hit a bump while going around curve, hit a bump, and said she basically lost control of the car for a moment and almost ran into the concrete barrier center divider. She is freaked out about it and I am wondering if it has anything to do with the sway bar I installed. It was probably raining or wet, so that may have had something to do with it, but she said it was definitely the back end that lost control. I told her to drive at least 5 mph below the speed limit if it's wet or raining, but the speed limit in Montana is ridiculous, probably 75 mph (in between 4th of July Pass and St. Regis, MT) if I recall correctly.

Has anyone regretted putting a sway bar on their vehicle? If so, what's your story and/or reasoning?
 
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That bump tho.

Have you seen the size of that bump??!? ...but really.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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Pull it off and sell it here or on EBay. At least the next accident won't be your fault.
Personally, I have a 20mm ...
 

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2019, Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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I put on a 19 mm Subaru OEM sway bar about a week ago. My wife was driving on the highway and hit a bump while going around curve, hit a bump, and said she basically lost control of the car for a moment and almost ran into the concrete barrier center divider. She is freaked out about it and I am wondering if it has anything to do with the sway bar I installed. It was probably raining or wet, so that may have had something to do with it, but she said it was definitely the back end that lost control. I told her to drive at least 5 mph below the speed limit if it's wet or raining, but the speed limit in Montana is ridiculous, probably 75 mph (in between 4th of July Pass and St. Regis, MT) if I recall correctly.

Has anyone regretted putting a sway bar on their vehicle? If so, what's your story and/or reasoning?
Tell wife to keep hands on steering wheel.
What she felt was most likely the lane centering kicking in and she tried to over correct.
 

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2018 Limited 2.5i
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I have a 20mm RSB and strut brace, my fiancé drives the car regularly and she’s a Jeep owner. No complaints from her or any negative feedback, she loves the ride- actually looking at possibly moving her to a forester
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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If anything, the 19mm RSB improves handling in most conditions. Large bumps on a wet road at higher speed not so much.
 

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18 Outback 3.6r Touring
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My guess is your wife needs a lesson in driving an AWD on wet and snowy roads. Your description has nothing to do with the sway bar. When she started to lose control on the slick road she probably took her foot off the gas as most people do. She needs to learn and practice to give it gas so the cars AWD system will pull itself straight. It does take some practice as both instincts and what we’ve been taught says otherwise.
 

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Bumps in a corner can be difficult to deal with... anything different that day other than weather? Like a heavy load in the back, low tire pressures, etc?
 

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2017 Outback Premium 2nd Subaru owned
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228 Posts
The 19mm sway bar is a improvement in handling. I would have gone with the 20mm however I would have had to replace the links which I did not want to do. I think the issue was not with the car but with the bump or the driver reaction to the bump in the road.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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Has anyone regretted putting a sway bar on their vehicle?
I haven’t found any disadvantage with a 19mm rear bar on our 2016 Liberty (Legacy) 3.6R or 2019 Outback 3.6R. That bar mostly gave an improvement to the four Subarus I have had it fitted to. However, when I transferred that 19mm bar from our SH Foz XT to our SJ Foz XT I did pick up a negative behaviour when cornering on a certain road condition that the stock 16mm didn’t show at the same speed.

Because our cars also gets driven by my better half, I like to make sure any changes I make won’t impact the handling in a negative way for safety reasons. To test any changes I make I have a few different types of roads where I carry out back to back testing.

One of these roads is a bitumen surfaced road that has a fast bend with up & down surface undulations throughout the bend which the SJ Foz XT with the stock 16mm bar handled very well at speed. However, with the 19mm bar fitted it unsettled the rear of the Foz requiring constant steering corrections through the corner to keep it on line. This was when driving repeatedly quite fast through the bend; at slower speeds it was fine. Putting the standard 16mm rear bar back on & driving through the same bend at the exact same speed the car was perfect; it could handle the undulations without issue.

Possibly if the Foz was driven much faster with the 16mm bar fitted it would also become unsettled, but I suspect that speed would be ridiculously fast for that bend. Except for a slightly harsher ride over badly pothole repaired roads/streets, in every other respect the 19mm rear bar on that Foz showed an improvement even with a quick hard dab of the brakes through a fast corner, providing the road had a good surface.

That same 19mm rear bar on our 2016 Liberty 3.6R & on our 2019 Outback 3.6R didn’t cause any unsettling on that same bend at the same speed. The SJ XT had stiffer stock suspension & was well balanced compared to the SH Foz XT, the Liberty & the Outback, so I suspect this could be why the 19mm bar caused the Foz to do what it did.

I told her to drive at least 5 mph below the speed limit if it's wet or raining, ...
At least. Drive to the road conditions, not the speed limit. See suggestion in the next post.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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She is freaked out about it and I am wondering if it has anything to do with the sway bar I installed.
A suggestion. If that corner isn’t too far away, compare how the Outback drives through that corner & hit the same bump with the 19mm bar fitted, then try the same with the 16mm bar fitted at the same speed. You may need to swap the bars a couple of times to get a good comparison. If you don’t notice any difference let your wife drive the Outback through the same corner & bump at that speed & compare both the bars, but don’t tell her which bar is fitted (placebo effect).

This may give her some confidence back & may put your mind at ease.

Swapping the rear bars over is only a 30 minute easy job.
 

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This has nothing to do with how his wife was driving. He said his wife "Lost control of the car" This to me is a malfunction and has nothing to do with driving style. Too many members on this forum try and hot rod their Outback which in all respects is a family car. When you change what the engineers designed to your own personal liking whether its aesthetics or perceived drive improvement, its 100% on you if anything goes wrong. So if anyone gets into an accident and the insurance company inspects the car and finds it was modified, there is no way in **** they will cover you. These perceived improvement can cost you your life.
 

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This has nothing to do with how his wife was driving. He said his wife "Lost control of the car" This to me is a malfunction and has nothing to do with driving style. Too many members on this forum try and hot rod their Outback which in all respects is a family car. When you change what the engineers designed to your own personal liking whether its aesthetics or perceived drive improvement, its 100% on you if anything goes wrong. So if anyone gets into an accident and the insurance company inspects the car and finds it was modified, there is no way in **** they will cover you. These perceived improvement can cost you your life.
+1, I've been saying that for years in this forum. OB owners swap to a larger rear sway bar totally clueless as to the possible consequences. All they know is someone sitting in their basement posted how it made their OB handle like a Corvette and now they should also go buy a Jackie Stewart hat.

The OP's wife experienced one of the consequences, going around a curve on an uneven road surface is going to produce unpredictable results. The bigger bar prevents the rear suspension from working as designed.
 

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'17 OB 3.6R Touring [ex-'09 OB Ltd. (2009-16); ex-'01 Audi A6 Avant (2001-2009)]; '14 Impreza Sport Premium
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I’ve had one on my ‘17 for 4 years.... in no situation I’ve seen including some bad roads, do I think my 19mm bar would cause that.

...points noted above are correct but minimal as applied to the difference tge 19 makes on mine. That’s why I didn’t go any larger, I am aware of and wanted to avoid the unintended consequences.

Have over 1,500 miles of on track driving time fwiw.
 

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I drive this stretch many times for work, there are some bad bumpy overpasses and a really terrible one near the exit for the Hiawatha.

There are also some really bad pothole sections that can pull the car around.


Honestly sounds like your wife needs to slow down especially if it was bad weather.
You can tell her some random guy in the forum said that, so you don't get in trouble lol ;)

My Silverado handles those much more gracefully than the outback does. Just drove our '18 through there a couple days ago. Bad section of road.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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I drive this stretch many times for work, there are some bad bumpy overpasses and a really terrible one near the exit for the Hiawatha.
There are also some really bad pothole sections that can pull the car around.
...
... Just drove our '18 through there a couple days ago. Bad section of road.
If it’s that bad the stock 16mm rear bar may be more suitable for that section of road. The increased stiffness of the 19mm bar (~100%) could be taking a bit too much of the rear suspension’s independence away to handle that road section compared to how it would with the 16mm bar. One downside of going from a 16mm to a 19mm is the rear will ride firmer over potholed roads.

The other obvious solution, as mentioned, is to drive slower over that section & similar sections of road.
 

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Seems to me there are an awful lot of folks on here that have absolutely no idea what they are talking about when it comes to cars. Even more need to get a defense driving or SCCA class and learn how to drive!
Maybe the Subaru stereotypes are dead on.
 

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19 2.5i OB LTD w/SSD Strt Twr Brc + OEM 19mm RSB
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Anyo,
You wrote: I put on a 19 mm Subaru OEM sway bar about a week ago.
What kind of vehicle was your wife driving prior to this?
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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There is a stretch of road around me that is not maintained and is almost like going offroad. I hit the road going about 60 mph. I braced myself for drama. It turned out my Outback was bored by the challenge. The engineers apparently tuned the car for this type of situation. In come the group-thinkers who know better with their stiffer sway bars. Unfortunately, a stiffer sway bar is not ideal in every situation, just like any type of tuning is not ideal in every condition. The situation in the original post is just one of those situations where a stiffer sway bar is not ideal. Get over it.
 
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