Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I drive a 2011 Outback 2.5i. The other day, it was raining hard, I took a bad left, and hit a curb at probably 15-20mph.

3 tires blew out (not sure how, only 2 of them hit the curb) and it was pretty nasty (photos attached in this order: front of car, front right, front left - notice the sidewall punctures, back left). I was able to back the car off the curb and then drive it onto a flatbed.

Now, the mechanic is saying the tires need replaced (unsurprising) and that the front left wheel needs replaced (also not that surprising).

However, he's worried about subframe damage and is having his buddy who does body work come look at the car. Is the car totaled with subframe damage? There seems to be some debate on this online.

Thanks,
Guy who drove his outback into a curb

486687
486688
486689
486690
 

·
Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
·
10,854 Posts
If you did that much damage by smacking a curb checking out the sub frame is definitely a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If you did that much damage by smacking a curb checking out the sub frame is definitely a good idea.
Thanks Brucey, good call.

Mechanic just called back w/ his body buddy, they said I broke a control arm and additionally that they'll need to rebend the subframe. They're talking about a bill in the $1500-2000 range (including tires and wheel replacement), which lines up pretty well from what I have been seeing in my online research. Does that seem fair to you guys?

Additionally, sorry for what are probably very stupid questions - I don't know a ton about cars (I'm a young driver) and I just want to make sure I'm not getting scammed/overcharged and that these aren't things I can do myself (I think I could change tires, but anything involving the subframe and control arms is very clearly out of my depth).
 

·
Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
·
10,854 Posts
Thanks Brucey, good call.

Mechanic just called back w/ his body buddy, they said I broke a control arm and additionally that they'll need to rebend the subframe. They're talking about a bill in the $1500-2000 range (including tires and wheel replacement), which lines up pretty well from what I have been seeing in my online research. Does that seem fair to you guys?

Additionally, sorry for what are probably very stupid questions - I don't know a ton about cars (I'm a young driver) and I just want to make sure I'm not getting scammed/overcharged and that these aren't things I can do myself (I think I could change tires, but anything involving the subframe and control arms is very clearly out of my depth).
I'm not a mechanic but have done my share of car maintenance. I could change a sub frame/control arm a lot easier than a tire.

Mounting the tire and balancing it is best left to machines worth several thousands of dollars or someone with access to them.

The price seems fair for 1 wheel, 4 tires, a control arm, and a sub frame re alignment.

Make sure to change all 4 tires and get an alignment once you're done too.
 

·
Registered
'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
Sorry for your mishap. Stuff happens, equipment was damaged but no one was hurt, and if you learn from this, it's for the good!

I'm not sure what you mean "I think I could change tires."

Do you mean "I think I can change a flat tire by myself"? That's great, and I recommend practicing so you know you can change a flat. It's not really hard to do if your equipment is all there and in good working order - the jack (and its crank or handle), lug wrench, and a sound and properly-inflated spare tire) - but it does need to be done carefully to be safe because it's all too possible for a car to fall off the jack with potentially disastrous results. Find, read, and understand the instructions in your owner's manual before starting, and if you know someone with experience doing this properly who can watch and supervise (and probably offer some very useful tips), that would be best. This is a skill that just about every driver should have, but pitifully few do anymore. I made each of my two daughters change a flat before they were allowed to get their DLs (I'm such an old meanie!), and both have needed to be able to do that a few times (and impressed their friends) over the years ("thank you, daddy!")

If you mean "I think I can buy a replacement wheel and four tires and put them on myself to save some money here", forget it. You can't. Period. Don't even think about it. [See Brucey's reply for the reasons.]

If that quoted price includes the replacement wheel and four tires, and the frame straightening is really needed, it doesn't seem unreasonable. Unless your tires are nearly new and you're getting identical replacements, you need to replace all four. Fixing cars can get very expensive very quickly is one thing many of us learn through situations like this!

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hey all,

Thank you for the replies, and vote of confidence in the mechanic's assessment (at least economically). I was referring to changing a flat tire haha, I obviously couldn't change a wheel or do any sort of real mechanical stuff.

and @skipw - I think you'd get along with my dad; I'm paying for these repairs out of pocket, and on the return of the car I'll probably be told to go make that turn where I messed up a couple hundred times in a row before I'm allowed to drive around again :)
 

·
Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
·
10,854 Posts
Hey all,

Thank you for the replies, and vote of confidence in the mechanic's assessment (at least economically). I was referring to changing a flat tire haha, I obviously couldn't change a wheel or do any sort of real mechanical stuff.

and @skipw - I think you'd get along with my dad; I'm paying for these repairs out of pocket, and on the return of the car I'll probably be told to go make that turn where I messed up a couple hundred times in a row before I'm allowed to drive around again :)
I've smacked a curb sideways at 25+ mph due to snow, ice, and the wrong tires.

Didn't even knock the tires out of alignment.

But I was young once too. I get it. :)
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
13,779 Posts
From one hyper driver to another, I'm not buying it.

I'm reluctant to believe the subframe is damaged. That needs a really hard hit to bend. There may be dings from the curb, but as far as bending it to affect the drivetrain alignment and frame, doubtful.

Maybe you should get a second opinion before you spend money possibly on the unnecessary side. Got pics???

I've never seen a control arm break. Bend yes. At most I could see a bent outer tie rod and bent control arm. Easily replaced and miniscule when compared to a subframe.

4 tires, control arm, inner tie rod, alignment and roll it. I'd bet that's all it needs.
 

·
Premium Member
2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
Joined
·
618 Posts
You might need a steering rack too.
 

·
Registered
'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
and @skipw - I think you'd get along with my dad; I'm paying for these repairs out of pocket, and on the return of the car I'll probably be told to go make that turn where I messed up a couple hundred times in a row before I'm allowed to drive around again :)
Good for him! ;) I do think we'd get along.

Seriously, though, once all this is straightened out (both literally and figuratively), ask him to assist while you practice changing a tire. It sounds like he'd know what he's doing and can help you do it safely and probably offer tips. It's much easier to figure this out for the first time when it's sunny, level, and not on the edge of a highway. He may be pleased that you want to do this, too.

I'll defer to cardoc's assessment of likely damage. This is right up his alley, and, at the least, that suggestion to get a second opinion is certainly a good idea. We've had a couple of good mechanics, who we trust, for years, and more than once they've told me I don't need an expensive service I thought I might when I asked. When they say "this needs to be done" I'm confident that it really does need to be done, but not everyone has that luxury.
 

·
Registered
'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactive
Joined
·
438 Posts
I agree with what others have stated. Most suspension components are engineered with weak points in them for these cases. They are meant to yield (read: break) before other major components break like a subframe.

I'm not saying the mechanic is wrong and his price seems pretty good, I'm just saying the a new control arm and/or tie rod potentially could fix it and bring everything into spec in regards to alignment.

You could always ask them to show you the subframe damage. If there is clear visible damage to the subframe then go ahead with the job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hey all,

Thank you so much for being so hopeful - seriously, it means more than you know.

I'll go down to the body shop in a couple days and have them show me where the subframe is damaged. Additionally, they're now talking about wheel bearing damage as well.

What should the mechanic show me to prove there's subframe damage?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
They should be able to show you the specific part that's bent compared to the straight version on the other side. Would you mind posting pictures here of the damage?
For sure. I’ll get in touch with them again and see if I can come in a little earlier so they can show me what’s going on.
 

·
Registered
'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactive
Joined
·
438 Posts
Wheel bearings are also something that typically would go bad from an impact like this (I had two rear bearings fail after going off the track in my Toyota) but if they are not bad at the moment then you could keep driving them until they go bad.

If the wheels do not have play in them and they are not roaring then I'd say save your cash until they go bad. They likely will fail prematurely however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
From one hyper driver to another, I'm not buying it.

I'm reluctant to believe the subframe is damaged. That needs a really hard hit to bend. There may be dings from the curb, but as far as bending it to affect the drivetrain alignment and frame, doubtful.

Maybe you should get a second opinion before you spend money possibly on the unnecessary side. Got pics???

I've never seen a control arm break. Bend yes. At most I could see a bent outer tie rod and bent control arm. Easily replaced and miniscule when compared to a subframe.

4 tires, control arm, inner tie rod, alignment and roll it. I'd bet that's all it needs.
Absolutely get a 2nd opinion from a certified repair shop. I took a 60mph hit directly to the rear axle and it didn’t move the frame. It would take a heck of a hit, in my experience, to bend any frame on any car, especially a SUBARU. Isn’t your insurance covering this?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top