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2008 Subaru Outback lo mileage strut leak?

Just had my car at the dealer for the airbag recall and was told one strut and one shock are leaking. the car only has 66,000 miles on it and i don’t drive it that much as i also have an electric Fiat. This sounds a bit unreasonable to me. will definitely take it to an independent shop for 2nd opinion. total at dealer plus alignment around $1300?

The price for that at the dealer is about right, BUT…

When it comes to shock or strut replacement one NEVER replaces one side only. Both are always done.
The only exception to this rule would be on a very low miles car still under factory warranty. In a case like that warranty only pays for one side.

It’s very unusual for Subarus to suffer shock and strut problems so I would advise getting another opinion. Or two.
If this leak is only an oil stain of sorts and the car does not bounce like a ping-pong ball going down the road I’d probably let it go for the time being. Hope that helps.

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You are doing the right thing in seeking a second opinion. I experienced the same problem as shop I had been a customer for over 20 years. I was told that my struts were bad. I crawled under the car and found no leaks. I tried bouncing the car and the struts snubbed the motion right away. I took the car to the Toyota dealer for its next oil change and inspection. Nothing was found wrong with the struts. I also had a tire repaired at my independent tire shop. They said that the struts were o.k. My original independent shop had changed managers and began suggesting all kinds of servicea such as injector cleaning when the car was running fine. The shop lost a customer. Be careful of chain shops as they like to recommend struts and shocks. A female friend took her car to a chain muffler shop and saw the mechanic squirt oil on the shocks of her car. A few minutes later the manager told her that her shocks were defective. She then said to the manager “If my shocks are bad, why did your mechanic go to the trouble of oiling them?”


Definitely get a second opinion from and independently owned and operated shop.
You would not be the first to have a dealer try to get some extra revenue when a car comes back for a recall.

By the way, OK4450 made an excellent point, as always. Never replace only one damper. You’ll have an imbalance, even if you don’t realize it.

Ideally the struts would last the life of the vehicle, I have seen vehicles with over 200,000 miles with the original struts.

Not all struts are of equal quality, I have replaced many struts and shocks under warranty. How bad are they leaking?

As I’ve mentioned previously on this forum, I’ve worked for 3 Subaru dealers over the years and I can probably count on one hand the number of bad Subaru struts I’ve replaced due to a wear problem.

I have replaced a lot of them BUT it was most often due to damage from a car wreck, hard curb strike, etc.

I am currently driving my third Subaru, and none of them have ever needed strut replacement–even after as long as 12 years, and as many as 145k miles.
But, as was said, in the event that a strut needs to be replaced, you ALWAYS replace its twin on the opposite side in order to retain balanced handling and ride qualities.
This situation screams out for a second opinion.

Have you discussed this with the warranty administrator at you shop? Thousands of individual struts and shocks are replaced each year without ill effect or complaint.

The price quote the OP mentioned seems to be for four struts.

Things have changed over the last 20 years. I still have the original struts on my Stratus with 230,000 miles but I have replaced many struts and shocks on late model Lexus vehicles, the picture is of a common 2010 RX350 leaking shock. I doubt that Subaru is immune to failure.