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Hefty Suspension Bill: Control Arms £270 each?


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2010, 2.0l Petrol, Manual SH model.  

Been quoted £270 each for suspension control arms and I need two of them, as well as rear link rods & some other bushes, so looking at a hefty bill.

Is that £270 valid? Car mechanic ( whom I trust) saying that they can not source front control arms from any where other than Ian Grieve Subaru in Falkirk. Mechanic says he can get aftermarket parts for all the other bits but no one does control arms. Does that sound right? He said the front bushes can be replaced but rear bushes are built-in to the arm and whole arm must come out. Again, is that correct?

I'm new to Forester ownership and was expecting to have to put a couple of things right but a near £1k bill for suspension work is scaring me. I will need to source second hand and do the mechanical work myself from now on, to try to make savings. Feeling I should have listened to those who told me Subarus cost a fortune to maintain.

Only had suspension checked out because I want to have underside treated with anti-rust ( Dinitrol) process and wanted any suspension work done first. Looks like Xmas will be "subject to efficiency measures" chez Wulbert this year.



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No doesn't sound right to me.

You can get pattern arms (about 60 to 100quid)
Best always keeping quality original arm if clean and fit new bushes (front and rear bush press fitment)

Febi Bilstein do the bushes at around £22 for front control arm rear bush

With bushes got be fussy on brands, Febi Bilstein, Febest pretty good products with good lifespan .

Bushes be around £50 per arm and I could fit bushes to both arms in hour and a half so that around £220 , if needed drop link or ball joints as extras that pretty cheap .

I would need see car be specific or at least pics to confirm part numbers but doubt you need spend much more than £420 do all that work

Subaru suspension parts are cheap as most bushes cross at least 3 models and quite a few good brands do the parts .
Main issue is many mechanics don't know the cars or part options well thus you pay for their lack of experience .

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Cheers Mr B.  

Sounds like I am paying for mechanic's ( and my own) ignorance of where to source parts. I should have heard the alarm bells when dropping off the car when he told me they often had to source parts via the main dealer as "you just can't get some parts". He must have meant from his usual suppliers. 

An expensive part of my education into Forester ownership. I think it will be DIY for me from now on. With the help of this forum and the University of YouTube I feel I could tackle most repairs.

I wonder if I should ask for the old arms to keep them for future repairs?

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yeh don't scrap the oem arms, worth keeping or selling .

If you need bush part numbers PM ne pic of arm

as a rule of thumb just about all arm bushes, lower ball joint and drop links front and rear are around £20 mark each .

japanpart and NTY do patern arms (I don't use them unless oem arms damaged , choice of bushes is huge from firstline, adl, febi bilstein, delphi, febest, japanparts, fai, moog, 555, etc etc .


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I kept the old arms,  know someone who wants them. I'll PM pics to you, Mr B. to see if you can ID what bushes go with them

The car handles beautifully now and is much quieter over ripples & bumps in the road. 

I hand't realised it before buying a Forester just how lovely they are to drive. The steering is sweet and very rewarding to drive. Much, much better that my previous Honda CRV which had a rather dead feel in corners. Nice torquey engine too. The 2.0 T & 2.5 T must be a joy to drive.

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Yeh the turbo a joy unless do mpg calcs 🙂

Coming up to time of year you really start loving a Forester .

I'll post links to front arm bushes and balljoint, know which ones they are as common failure due to crappy design on later models (earlier design of rear bush way better) pic just so we 110% .

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Heres some part numbers (use numbers and google and you find online and alternative brands via likes of autodoc.co.uk or even eBay

Bushes front control arm

front bush: Febest SAB-018

rear bush:  Febest  SAB-017 or Febi Bilstein 42787

ball joint:    555 japan SB-6642

Both bushes and a ball joint cost under £50 per arm for decent branded (555 BJ's top quality)

control arms complete  (would not recomend aftermarket arms unless corrosion or accident damage and don't want pay oem price)

front right: Spidan 58191

front left:   Spidan 58190


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Thanks Mr B. I shall look into these for any future repairs. Below (hopefully) pics of what came off the car. Replacement arms, from Subaru main dealer, were £270 + VAT each! So £330 odd. Painful. My mechanic is good and trustworthy, even gave me a discount off some other parts to soften the blow and only charged what he paid for the arms. But maybe I can help him source cheaper Subaru "hard to get" parts in future.







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Doesn't take long, either use hydraulic press or bush forcing screw tool set .
With bush forcing screw tool set and air hammer we can do some bush replacement without removing suspension arms fully thus saving time and parts needed .

If can't get them out in one, push rubber out first, then cut wall of metal sleeve with air hacksaw or recip sawsaw and tap it out, decent air hammer super useful here .

It takes me about 2hrs max remove rebuild and fit front pair lower arms, cheapest option is the pattern arms around £66 and just bolt on but quality not good enough for my liking on cheaper whole arms want use that route .
It a must for safety, end result drive feel and long life thus better long term value use better quality only for suspension repair .

Those horizontal mounted rear bushes don't last long, awful design when used on rovers decades ago and euro trash used it too, older design subaru front arms rear bush way better but not as cheap make 😕

too many accountants and not enough engineers in modern manufacture 😞

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