Front Arm Bushings and Rear Brake Cylinders

I recently took my civic hybrid to the dealership and they said I needed new control arm bushings and that the rear brake cylinders had a leak…to the tune of about 800…then I took my car to the mechanic who I bought it from and he said he didn’t see a problem…my question is how will i know when these things need replacing? what are the car symptoms?

Are you losing brake fluid? If so, you likely have a bad brake cylinder or something is leaking somewhere.
Bushings often show themselves in handling and you can look at them to see what shape they are in, if you know what to look for.

Perhaps get a second opinion from a trusted mechanic. It may cost you an hour labor but it could be worth it unless, of course, the dealer was correct. In that case, it would still be worth it: at least you know the dealer isn’t ripping you off.
Don’t tell him about the dealers diagnoses but ask them to look over your brake and front suspension. If it truly is bad, he’ll find it.

Recently I inspected a car for a friend who had it inspected at a chain shop that gave him and itemized estimate for nearly $1,400 in "needed"repairs including rear brakes, shoes, drums and wheel cylinders. Getting the drums off required a dead blow hammer and a slide hammer due to rust so it was no surprise that the rear brakes required no attention. And I pealed the boots back on each wheel cylinder and found them in good condition. The mechanic probably made a weak attempt to remove the drums and condemned everything when his efforts failed. Like a broken record I will again recommend finding an honest shop and developing a working relationship with the owner. Doing so will likely be very advantageous for most car owners.

+1 to both of the preceding comments.
The only thing that I can add is that “the mechanic who I bought it from” has a conflict of interests in this situation, and may not want to admit that the car needs repairs at this point. You need a disinterested (but competent) third party mechanic to do the inspection of your car.

You didn’t specify the year but since it is a Hybrid, it is not old enough to need control arm bushings and likely not old enough to need rear brake cylinders. Rear brake cylinders should last 10 years or more, control arm bushings about 30 years.

Mechanics love to show the checking (cracks) in the rubber of the control arm bushing as evidence that they need to be changed. The checking is normal and has nothing to do with the wear and tear of the bushing.