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2010 Forester automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2010 Forester, and I purchased my first new set of tires about a month ago. At the time, the repair shop told me that I also needed to replace my struts because "there was some old on them". Everything that I have read says that I should not need to replace the struts this early and that some oil on the strut is normal. I have not noticed any change in control or bouncing over speed bumps or anything. Actually, after buying new tires, I noticed a much better ride.

Should I really need new struts this soon? Wouldn't I have noticed a change in the ride if my struts were wearing out? Thank you for all of your help.
 

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2015 XT-P
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639 Posts
Wipe the struts clean. Run as tank of gas through the car. Look at the struts again for any signs of significant leakage. Still serviceable struts may have minor seepage that collects road dirt, however they will be fairly clean for a while after a wipe down. Post pictures if you are uncertain.

Bad struts usually fail to control vertical motion of the car at that corner, sometimes they make noise too.
 

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2010 Forester automatic
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am not a DIY car person because of simple lack of knowledge. Is wiping the struts clean something I could easily do at home?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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If you trust the shop then listen to them. Would you trust our advice over someone that's actually seen the car?

Your car has struts in the front and shocks in the back -- are they wanting to just do the front or rear too? Ask them how they know the struts need to be replaced. Did they at least drive the car?

Stan
 

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2010 Forester automatic
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They only said the front struts needed to be replaced. They told me the reason they knew the struts needed to be replaced was because "there was a little oil on them". I have read that some oil is normal. The shop is a national chain, so I can't say I necessarily trust them.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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My 2010 has 67K miles, struts are fine. You will know when they are bad, the car will continue bouncing after running over a bump in the road.

I though had struts all around on this car... not rear shocks.

A little oil on them is normal.. and one of the oldest tricks to get you to buy new. They will try this scare while doing your brakes as well especially if you have drum brakes.

And welcome to this forum!
 

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2010 Forester automatic
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the advice. I am having my brakes looked at again this weekend. I replaced the brakes and resurfaced the rotors in the spring of 2012. This March I had to replace the brakes and rotors, and my brakes are already squeaking and sometimes making a grinding noise. Same shop. Any advice?

Sorry to keep asking you guys. Before I bought my Forester in 2010, I had driven the same 1995 Camry through college and law school. I know very little about cars, so I am an easy mark for an opportunistic mechanic.
 

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'19 Forester LTD CVT
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Thank you all for the advice. I am having my brakes looked at again this weekend. I replaced the brakes and resurfaced the rotors in the spring of 2012. This March I had to replace the brakes and rotors, and my brakes are already squeaking and sometimes making a grinding noise. Same shop. Any advice?

Sorry to keep asking you guys. Before I bought my Forester in 2010, I had driven the same 1995 Camry through college and law school. I know very little about cars, so I am an easy mark for an opportunistic mechanic.
I'd think about getting a second opinion from another shop. When they did brakes, did they do front and rear the first time? Or did they do one (in 2012), and then the other the second time (in march)?

How much do you drive a year? It is unlikely that you should have to get new brakes/rotors every year or two unless you ride the brakes and/or drive a lot.

Depending on your location, there may be a nice Subaru Specialist around. They almost always have much better prices than a dealership (not quite Jiffy lube prices), but are much more experienced with Subarus than any national chain would be.

Keep the questions coming! We don't mind!
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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They only said the front struts needed to be replaced. They told me the reason they knew the struts needed to be replaced was because "there was a little oil on them". I have read that some oil is normal. The shop is a national chain, so I can't say I necessarily trust them.
Can you see the oil yourself? Another user suggested wiping off the oil and re-checking after several hundred more miles. Good suggestion.

When you said 'national chain', I would strongly suggest getting a second opinion. Try a local garage - not a national chain.

Their is a highly technical 'bounce test' which you may be able to perform, depending on your weight. If you're too light, have a heavy friend do it. Press down on a front corner of the car and then release. Does the car 'bounce' or does it promptly come back to original rest position without bouncing? Bounce is bad - simple return to rest position is good.

With your low mileage, I'm betting the struts are fine.
 

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2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
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With your low mileage, I'm betting the struts are fine.
Ditto on the second opinion and the condition of the struts. As for the brakes, that's another popular scam from dishonest shops. Personally I have never had to have brakes redone in less than 50k ( generally much more) on any vehicle I have had. If they aren't making noise, they generally aren't "broke". My last vehicle had 175k on it and was only on it's 3rd set of pads/shoes. the rear drums and front rotors had been turned once ... at 110k.
 

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2010 Forester automatic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks you all for your advice. It has been extremely helpful. I will ask a friend to help me perform the bounce test. As for the brakes, my husband says that I shouldn't need brake work already, but I hear the grinding noise. I will see what the shop says, especially since the prior brake work is still under warranty. I may not know a lot about cars, but I do know a lot about going after people when it comes to the law and warranties.

Thanks again!
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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There should be no oil on the struts, if it's coming from the struts chances are they are blown. If you attack speedbumps without slowing down, it is possible for the dampers to be blown at 67K.

Rears are shocks on the SH and SJ, SF and SG have struts all around.

Stan
 

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2004 forester xt 4eat
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Thanks you all for your advice. It has been extremely helpful. I will ask a friend to help me perform the bounce test. As for the brakes, my husband says that I shouldn't need brake work already, but I hear the grinding noise. I will see what the shop says, especially since the prior brake work is still under warranty. I may not know a lot about cars, but I do know a lot about going after people when it comes to the law and warranties.

Thanks again!
I agree, almost no way you should need brakes again unless you have a caliper that is sticking. I would also go to another shop for an opinion, something sounds strange.
 

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2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
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. As for the brakes, my husband says that I shouldn't need brake work already, but I hear the grinding noise. I will see what the shop says, especially since the prior brake work is still under warranty. I may not know a lot about cars, but I do know a lot about going after people when it comes to the law and warranties.

Thanks again!
Sounds like maybe the pads weren't actually replaced. When I have anything replaced, I insist on seeing the old parts, and the new ones, before the new ones are installed.
 

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I don't have my Forester yet, but my Impreza WRX has a lot of the same "innards". Grinding noise that come from the area of the brakes can be a rusty brake backing plate rubbing against the rotors, an annoyance, not a threat. I cure mine by "aggressive cornering" to grind the rust off for a while. There is no more fun way to fix your car. Winter salt really makes the problem worse quickly. Find a trusted friend to recommended an independent garage, the chains are corporate big business whose financial model is to fatten their bottom line any way they con, oops, I should say can. Makes typical dealerships look like angels.

Sexist, but true: have your husband take the car in to deal with the service writer. When my wife takes her car in, I send a note specifying what I want done, anything else, they need to call and explain to me why and how much. Return all replaced parts for my inspection.

Good luck in your law career.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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If you hear grinding when applying brakes, chances areit is your pads. They are wear item and are cheap to replace. Bounce test will not work well on a Forester, best way to tell if dampers are shot is to have someone that knows what the car should feel like on good dampers drive it. You could get a second opinion but it doesn't sound to me like you are being taken for a ride. Both brakes and dampers are wear items and will make the car less safe if worn.

Stan
 

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2010 Forester automatic
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The brake pads were worn down after only 16K miles, so they pads were under warranty. I still had to pay for labor ($140), but I found it interesting that there was absolutely no mention of needing to replace the struts. I have driven over a few speed bumps, and I notice no extra bouncing.
 

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it also depends on where you live, too. In NYC, the roads suck and can affect the longevity of struts. Also, with a lot of stop and go traffic, you can wear down your brakes quicker than people who travel on a highway for the better portion of their commute.
 
2010 Forester 4EAT
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The brake pads were worn down after only 16K miles, so they pads were under warranty. I still had to pay for labor ($140), but I found it interesting that there was absolutely no mention of needing to replace the struts. I have driven over a few speed bumps, and I notice no extra bouncing.
If they were under warranty and you had taken it to the dealer you would not have had to pay anything lol. You need to get away from this shop. It sounds as though you are constantly being ripped off by them.
 
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