Subaru Knocking Noise

One of the most common faults with a wide range of Subaru vehicles is an issue caused by the splitting of the rear most suspension bush on the front lower control arms. For some this is technical jargon and for others it may answer the question of “is my mechanic selling me stuff my car does not need?” The answer is No. This fault is very common and if left un-rectified can be rather dangerous.
It can cause steering, suspension and wheel alignment issues if left unchecked. The torn bush can allow the front arm to move freely, preventing the vehicle from steering correctly, braking correctly and in short can make the vehicle quite unsafe to drive.
Many workshops have different views on the correct repair procedure for this. Some shops will opt to replace the compete front control arm. This is not a bad approach as it results in all the front bushes getting replaced with new ones and can save the customer labour on pressing out bushes and pressing in new ones. The Catch is, this can be a very expensive exercise. Sure you can purchase cheap arms off eBay with unknown metal quality and bolt them in your car. Personally I believe you would be better off with a chewed minty for a bush, rather then a inferior quality arm.
The other option, and the way we prefer to go, is to remove the arm from the vehicle, then press out the old bush and press in the new one. Again there are options for the brand of bush you choose to work with here. Our experience is that any of the aftermarket urethane bushes are poor for this task and fall apart very quickly. Additionally the genuine Subaru bush is about the same retail price as the after market ones.
In this situation I advise for the best value for money and the safest option is to replace just the bush, with the genuine Subaru product.
COST: At last check the genuine Subaru bushes retail for around $120AUD for the pair. The Labour to do this repair should not exceed three hours. (some mechanics may argues they can do this quicker and if so good for them: remember, your not paying for time, your paying for expertise)
After this repair is carried out it is strongly advised that the wheel alignment be checked and adjusted. Some argue that the bolts and components removed do not effect the wheel alignment. They are wrong. Whilst no alignment adjusting components have been removed to do this repair any work carried out on suspension or steering should have the alignment checked and adjusted by a reputable wheel aligner.
It is also of note that the Subaru front sway bar link pins are common for developing a knocking noise over bumps. Now is the perfect time to replace these and save on some labour costs as they have to come out to remove the front lower control arm anyway.

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