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If one strut leaks, must I replace all four?

Car tire on garage floor next to car's wheel well. (Photo: Flickr/Robert Couse-B

(Photo: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker)

If one strut leaks, must I replace all four?

August 08, 2012

Q: If I have one leaking strut, do I need to replace all four? (My car is a 2006 Subaru Outback wagon.)

A: Usually it's highly recommended to replace a pair of struts. For example, if the strut that's leaking is on the driver's side, then replacing both front struts is the thing to do. You always want to have balanced struts on each axle; otherwise you will have unstable vehicle handling.

If all four struts seem to be the same age and brand, I would replace all four of them and here's why: If they are all the same age and one is leaking, then the other three may follow and leak soon. Usually struts are replaced every 50,000 miles.

-- Answer from Ahmed Ibraheem, master auto technician on JustAnswer.

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