Maintenance: Subaru Periodic Maintenance Part 4:

Steering and Suspension:

Suspension ball joints and steering tie rod ends may develop looseness or their protective boots may split open. Looseness in the tie rod ends can usually be felt in the steering, while a worn ball joint is more difficult to spot in this manner.

To test for play in a front suspension ball joint:

• Raise the vehicle until the front wheels are off the ground.

• Grasp the bottom of the tire and move it in and out. If relative movement is observed between the brake disc cover and the end of the transverse link, the ball joint may be excessively worn.

• Grasp the end of the transverse link and move it up and down. Relative movement between the housing and the transverse link boss indicates the ball joint may be excessively worn.

• If relative movement was observed during these tests, the ball joint must be removed for further testing. Ball joint testing specifications are contained in the service manual.