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Let's take a guess on the mileage and MY of the pic I took when I did my brake job this morning 11/6/22. The other side is the same.

  1. What MY
  2. How Many Miles
  3. Do I need to worry replacing it.

The winner got my gratitude and an "at the boy/girl!"

Automotive tire Vehicle Bumper Motor vehicle Automotive exterior
 

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The lower control arm bushing on the family's previous MY11 Outback looked like that at about 30k. Dealer, as usual refused warranty replacement. You can rebuild the arm with a new factory ball joint and bushings for about $80 in parts. For most, it can be a daunting task pressing bushings/joints in an out. New arms are about $200, IE plug and play. Nice Bilsteins. How do you like them?
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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805 Posts
IMO, raising the car by the body, which unloads the suspension, will only accelerate bushing wear. I use a drive on ramp and when I switch wheels I do one corner at a time and use a jack to lift the wheel off the ground while keeping the suspension loaded. Same when I do brakes. No need to lift the car 1' just to get the wheel 0.5" off the ground.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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805 Posts
I don't know how to keep the suspension loaded while changing tires or service brakes, could be just me.....
Stick a hydraulic jack under the lower control arm as close to the inner wheel as possible. I use a piece of wood for scratch protection and to mitigate the load on any sharp edges. You literally only need to lift a couple inches after contact and the wheel will come off the ground while keeping the suspension loaded.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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805 Posts
Okkkk, not my style but you do you.
:unsure: Not sure what that means, just trying to help a guy out. It's MUCH easier on the vehicle. You are not stressing the uni-body either by lifting one corner sky high while the other three stay on the ground. I've never unloaded the suspension on any of my cars over the decades when swapping wheels or changing brakes. Never felt the reason to.

could be just me.....
I concur.
 

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2021 Ice SIlver Sport
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1,595 Posts
Okkkk, not my style but you do you.
Agreed. It's not like you can only do one corner at a time. When you rotate, you have to use jack stands unless you have multiple jacks. Certainly not putting a jack stand on a control arm. Not to mention it is pretty sketchy to do when a jack is already on it and in the way.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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805 Posts
Agreed. It's not like you can only do one corner at a time. When you rotate, you have to use jack stands unless you have multiple jacks. Certainly not putting a jack stand on a control arm. Not to mention it is pretty sketchy to do when a jack is already on it and in the way.
When you have two sets of wheels, one certainly can do one corner at a time with simply one jack. I rotate when I switch between summer and winter wheels. Makes rotating easy. Both of our daily drivers have two sets of wheels for summer and winter. My other cars run different sized wheels front and rear, so one can't rotate. I agree though, with only one set of wheels it makes rotating not as easy. Although I do have numerous hydraulic jacks, so it's still not an issue -for me-.

Anyway, just wanted to point out that when you articulate your suspension to the max when lifting one corner sky high one corner at a time, it will put stress on all your rubber control arm bushings.
 

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2021 Ice SIlver Sport
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When you have two sets of wheels, one certainly can do one corner at a time with simply one jack. I rotate when I switch between summer and winter wheels. Makes rotating easy. Both of our daily drivers have two sets of wheels for summer and winter. My other cars run different sized wheels front and rear, so one can't rotate. I agree though, with only one set of wheels it makes rotating not as easy. Although I do have numerous hydraulic jacks, so it's still not an issue -for me-.

Anyway, just wanted to point out that when you articulate your suspension to the max when lifting one corner sky high one corner at a time, it will put stress on all your rubber control arm bushings.
Rotate is with the actual set on the car. Switching them out is not rotating. You are twisting words. I understand where you are coming from but that is not what we were talking about. I have a second set as well but the tires on the car usually need rotated before changing them out for the winter season.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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805 Posts
Rotate is with the actual set on the car. Switching them out is not rotating. You are twisting words. I understand where you are coming from but that is not what we were talking about. I have a second set as well but the tires on the car usually need rotated before changing them out for the winter season.
In that case I would then use two jacks and with using the OEM suggested lifting points on the body raise one side/end of the car at once and at the same time. So I'd go back and forth between both jacks lifting one side as one in order to eliminate the crazy articulation caused by simply lifting a single corner off the ground. You would be unloading the suspension, but at least not causing unneeded articulation.

Although with having to cross the rears to the front, this method probably won't work. In this case I would probably put the whole car on jack stands by using the same method I described above but by using my crossbeam adaptors.

I have a 3.5 ton low profile jack with a pair of crossbeam adaptors that allow me to raise one side of a vehicle using one jack.

 

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XV Crosstrek 2014 Premium 2.0i 6MT
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263 Posts
The bushings on my 2014 with stock height looked exactly like this at 130 000km. Now I'm dropped and at 160 000km and they still look the same. I asked my mechanic to inspect them and he said none need to be replaced. I hope this helps.
 

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Have you looked at the front, lower arm, rear bushing? Also known as the stupidest design ever. You will see that it started life with 4 "bars" holding the bushing. You may notice broken "bars" even at your low mileage. Replacement is a science project for the bushing with a $700 snap on tool or replacing the entire control arm which of course retains the stupid designed bushing that's going to last for maybe 30k miles before starting to break.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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805 Posts
Stick a hydraulic jack under the lower control arm as close to the inner wheel as possible. I use a piece of wood for scratch protection and to mitigate the load on any sharp edges. You literally only need to lift a couple inches after contact and the wheel will come off the ground while keeping the suspension loaded.

Photos of what I am talking about above. This is a '21 Acadia, as I just put on her winter wheels this past Sunday.

Wheel still on ground, jack contacting rear lower control arm.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Hood



Wheel off the ground ready to be removed.


Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive lighting


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle



In a matter of a couple inches the wheel is off the ground without having to unload the suspension and put unneeded stresses on the body of the vehicle. Easy, peasy.
 

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2021 ISM Crosstrek Ltd
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239 Posts
Again back in the day when various resources were not available, one made do. Bushings, including engine and trans mounts could be made stronger and stiffer using materials available… including nails. But the bushing in question would be cleaned then totally filled with 3M Windshield Sealant. Wait until dry. Better than new.

Do it yourselfers on a low budget do things most won’t. Money no object? New arms with pillow bushings. That bushing’s design is a POS. It begins to fail the moment the car leaves the factory.
 
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