How to Find Out if One of Your Crossmembers Needs to be Replaced

Got a hunch that one of your crossmembers is bent or broken? Are you not sure where to start? Step this way. We’ll show you how to thoroughly inspect the crossmembers on your Subaru.

Subaru crossmember

The Symptoms of a Damaged Crossmember

The symptoms listed below are commonly associated with a damaged crossmember:

  • Misaligned wheels
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Additional force to close the doors
  • Unusually sized gaps in door openings (too large or too small)
  • Creaking or squeaking noises coming from the chassis

The Consequences of Not Replacing a Damaged Crossmember

Driving with a bad crossmember for a prolonged period of time may result in poor wheel alignment, suspension damage, frame damage, and more. Depending on which crossmember is damaged, some of the following may happen:

  • The wheel alignment is thrown out of whack and causes the tires to have noticeable camber. The car does not drive straight.
  • Without support from the crossmember, your coils, suspension struts, and shock towers could get bent.
  • The transaxle gets twisted, which can damage it's output bearings if not fixed right away.

Basically, a bent crossmember that’s not replaced right away often leads to thousands of dollars in damage in various parts of your vehicle.

Inspecting Your Crossmembers

The best way to prevent serious issues is to inspect your crossmembers as soon as you suspect that there’s something wrong with one of them. All it needs is an eyeball test. To do this:

  1. Lift your Subaru. You will be sliding underneath the car, so make sure it’s done safely and that there’s enough room for you to inspect the crossmembers comfortably.
  2. Shine a flashlight on the crossmembers and inspect each one for dents, cracks, or bends. If you see any abnormal dents or ripples, then the crossmember needs to be replaced.
  3. Sometimes a crossmember is so slightly bent that it’s hard to tell just by looking at it. If your crossmembers don’t have any visible damage, but you still believe that one of them is bent, then you can use a straightedge to see if it is straight. Also, it might helpful to compare your crossmember to one on a friend's car. You can measure the distances between mounting points and compare the two vehicles.

Replacing Your Crossmember

Replacing crossmember

Image Credit: froshmasta

If you find that there’s indeed a bent crossmember on your Subaru, but it hasn’t caused any serious damage to your frame, you can replace it yourself at home. Doing so will save you a lot of money in labor. You’ll also save quite a bit of money if you buy a genuine OEM crossmember from us. For example:

  • Part No. 50515FE012 (for 2002-2007 Imprezas) usually costs over $450 at dealerships, but you can get it from us for only $368.
  • Part No. 20152AE00B (for 2000-2004 Bajas, Legacies, and Outbacks) usually costs $340 at dealerships, but you can get it from us for only $236.
  • Part No. 20152AE03A (for 2004-2006 Bajas) usually costs $370 at dealerships, but you can get it from us for only $300.

You can find a tutorial for replacing the crossmember on your Subaru model online, usually on YouTube. If you own a Legacy, you can use our comprehensive tutorial on replacing a Legacy crossmember.