What is a strut and what if breaks?

I have leaking strut on Subaru Outback; safety hazard?; can it break, if so, what happens at 75mph?

A strut won’t actually break or separate.
What you will have is a car that bounces, and forces the other good strut on that axle to work harder to keep the car under control, which then causes it to wear out faster, which then leads to having a car that is hard to control.

Also, with one bad strut, you will cause additional wear on the other components, like the wheel bearings, the ball joints, and tie-rods, and cv-joints. Your alignment will be out with the car sagging on that side, and your tires will get chewed up.

So, you can ignore the leaking strut, and wind up paying many hundreds to a thousand dollars later to replace all the components, or you can replace both struts now, and save your vehicle’s longevity.


Thanks BC–it has 410,000 miles on it and we are probably buying another used Outback (next month) to finally replace it. Gary

Just curious,has anyone ever tried to sell you struts? for this vehicle to make 410,000 miles it must have seen many mechanics (I don’t believe it was your skills that got it to that mileage,you would not have asked about a strut breaking if you were technicaly competent).

I have one Subaru place (Nice Car 4 U in Fort Collins–great guys and trusted service) that has taken care of my car. I don’t pretend to be a mechnica, nor want to be a mechanic (I wholly support our service industry-haha). I put “oil and gas” in it, when I hear a noise I take it to the experts. Struts never replaced; transmission once; other than that routine replacements you would expect for 410K miles. I would thank Subaru for making a great car!

Few Subaru’s or anything else ever see 400,000 miles. They might want to use your car in an advertisement…

“Struts” replaced “shock absorbers” as cars evolved…