I have a 2006 Forester 2.5X L.L. BEAN with 95K miles and my struts were just replaced at Mavis. After, we drove it about 800 miles and then noticed it looked low in the back. When I asked about it they said my rear springs must need replacing.
It turns out that the mechanic didn’t know that the LL Bean Edition has self-leveling in the rear suspension (sls) and requires a different strut (and spring) than those found on a regular '06 Forester.
Should I do what the Mavis mechanic is recommending and replace my sls-springs with standard ones to match the standard strut that was installed in error? Or should I have them do what Subaru is recommending and put in proper, new self-leveling rear struts (and the springs that go with them). A standard kyb strut and a stiffer spring (an oem non-sls spring) is quite a bit cheaper than those sls struts. I would have just done sls if I had been asked in the first place.
As I understand it, SLS struts “pump up” to increase the pressure and stop the back end from sagging with a heavier load. They use a weaker spring and use the strut to control ride height. If you replace the SLS struts with conventional struts without changing the springs to a stiffer version, the car will ride several inches too low. This is what is happening to me.
If I follow their advice I will save money but will I also be risking other problems? (like distended struts? tire wear?). Is it advisable to just put in the oem sls struts and springs?
Any advice here is appreciated. I am leaning toward returning the car to stock. Subaru has confirmed that the '06 Forester LL Bean is a self-leveling suspension off the lot.