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More than just comfort
Struts typically won’t last more than 60,000 miles. When they wear out, several vehicle systems are affected. First (and most obvious) is your suspension. Ride quality suffers since the wheels are not dampened properly, causing bounciness and excessive shock when hitting bumps. Your tires also wear prematurely due to a condition known as speed cupping – your wheels bounce along the road surface while driving, effectively hammering away at them, causing divits around the corners of the tire. This eventually leads to road noise, vibration, and a new set of tires. Also, with the suspension moving more than it should, bushings and ball joints wear more quickly.
Braking is also affected. Without the struts helping to distribute the weight of your Subaru, a higher than normal percentage of weight is transferred forward during braking. This puts a high amount of force on the front brakes, causing shortened brake pad life and warped rotors from the extra heat. Stopping distance is also decreased with worn struts because the rear brakes can not be utilized to their full potential – this can create a dangerous situation when emergency braking is needed.
Steering performance decreases with worn struts. When banking the vehicle left and right, excessive body roll occurs. With the weight transfer of the vehicle’s body out of control, you and your Subaru could end up in a spin or, even worse, possibly a roll-over. Again, safety is of concern here in an emergency situation. If evasive maneuvering is required, struts play a big role in avoiding an accident.