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I am getting slowly mad. '08 Tribeca with 133k miles, second coil spring just broke in only 3 months.
First I come back after 2 weeks vacation, clunking noise in the front. Turned out to a a broken coil spring in the front. Just the top half winding broke off, it actually fell out while going around a slow corner. Trusty mechanic says it's right in the top and still safe, in the housing. Ok. Still, the car was just sitting there, nobody touched it.

This morning over a standard bump in the road, heard something in the back. Thought it was my "cargo" in the trunk. A few miles later, stupid lazy road construction people don't bother to close their holes, another bump from a cut in the asphalt. Maybe 10 mph over it: Another noise, then ongoing grinding and one clunk with every tire rotation.

Towed to mechanic, called back and said: rear coil spring broken, strut broken, strut mount damaged, wheel slightly damaged.

Is there a pattern? Did they put in crappy parts and I can expect the remaining two springs to break next week?
Anybody else has weird and unexpected issues with this?
 

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There have been a few instances of rear struts breaking where the top threaded portion is welded to the shaft.
 

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This the first I've heard of tribeca or subaru springs breaking. I wonder if a) Struts were replaced and springs not installed properly or b) aftermarket spings were installed at some point in its life.

I certainly need new struts, but at 130k, that's expected. No noise, just more bouncy than before.
 

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when the upper strut mount bearing go bad, turning the wheel can wind up and uncoil the spring instead of allowing it to turn. this adds to fatigue.

surface rust from nicks in the paint or salty environments can also cause a stress riser that can propagate into a crack/failure.
 

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Is there a pattern? Did they put in crappy parts and I can expect the remaining two springs to break next week?
Anybody else has weird and unexpected issues with this?
This doesn't sound normal to me.

1. Have any suspension components have ever been removed, replaced, or disassembled before?
2. Has the vehicle ever been in a rust prone area - does it current have rust?
3. Has it ever sat for an extended period of time (6 months or so)?

At this point I would assume there's been some compromising event in the past and get all new OEM/KYB struts, springs, and top mounts. Don't get aftermarket top mounts, some are terrible.
 

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I need pictures, I have a hard time believing a coil spring broke during normal operation. There are too many other parts in there which are far less robust, which could break long before a spring broke a coil off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am the original and only owner to the car. No major work has been to the suspension before, except some ball joint (forgot the exact part name), but that was at another wheel.
I am in WI, so fair share of salt on the road, obviously. Not really significant rust that I can see. I cannot imagine the spring rusting through before the rust shows up more significantly in other places.
Longest it ever sat was about two weeks during some vacations.

The little piece that fell out three months ago was the only broken spring piece I saw. And one was a clean cut from production, the end of the spring. The other was a diagonal break, with a consistent rusty brown surface. That, however, may be because it has been broken off for a couple of week and been exposed.

The recent break I didn't see, forgot to ask the shop to keep it. They said it was a clean break, no surface rust on the break area or part of it. But he couldn't tell for sure if it had maybe a crack and that the last bump gave it the final deadly shot.
Could have been several hits in the past that contributed to the final failure.
If the next one goes in 3 months, I think I have to talk to Subaru...

Picked p the repaired car up this morning, $600 all in, pretty much 50/50 parts/labor.
 

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I just have notice broken rear left spring. 261kkm, nothing been done with rear struts assembly. I spoke with other Tribeca's owners in Poland and some of them had broken rear left springs.

 

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I'm thinking these may be caused, or heavily influenced by, rust or struts/age/weight. There's rust at the failure point in the photo (nice pic of the broken spring!) and the original poster lives in a prime rust prone area. Although third party relay of information said it wasn't rusty.

Also - how old are your struts? I have heard people say that weak struts can put additional strain on the springs, so if we're riding around on 10+ year old 100k or aftermarket struts, we may be inadvertently putting more strain on the springs.

If you have one fail you might look for signs of rust and if that appears a likely culprit, consider replacing the others when you do the struts.

Springs for other Subaru models are cheap so if it appears these don't age well on Tribeca's or in rust prone areas it might be worth just replacing them on tribeca's.

They are over a decade old and considerably heavier than any other vehicle subaru ever made. It wouldn't be out of the ordinary to expect them to have more wear and tear.
 

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Are coils for the Tribeca only available through the dealer?
I can't seem to find them through any 3rd party parts sellers.
 

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Are coils for the Tribeca only available through the dealer?
I can't seem to find them through any 3rd party parts sellers.
They're very inexpensive from the dealer, I'd just get those.

Specifically, I haven't looked but wouldn't be surprised if "tribeca springs" are dealer only. Low production, low key model which isn't advantageous for aftermarket suppliers.

If that's true, other Subaru models have the same issue, but we routinely buy springs for those. All you need is the diameter, style, and spring rate you want. The FSM may show what the tribeca spring rate is. You may be able to call the spring companies and ask if they know. Here's where I buy them, 170-250 pound spring rate is common across other, lighter Subarus.

https://groundcontrolstore.com/collections/springs
 

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Been there done that. Subaru must have used subpar springs in these cars to have so many people with the same problem.
 

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~ $70 from Subaru Dealer


2006 - 2009 Front Spring:[original:20330XA00A changed to:] 20330XA00B (All)
2010 - 2014 Front Spring: 20330XA01A (All)

2006 Rear Spring:20380XA00A (All 2006)
2006 Rear Spring:20380XA01A (7St only)
2007 - 2009 Rear Spring: 20380XA02A (All 2007,2008, 2009 )
2007 - 2009 Rear Spring: 20380XA03A (2007 E/M 7ST, 2008 Premium, 2009 Limited/Premium)
2010 - 2014 Rear Spring: 20380XA04A - LH
2010 - 2014 Rear Spring: 20380XA05A - RH
 

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Thank you for posting the numbers. So rear springs are different between LH and RH sides starting in 2010, but the struts and strut mounts apparently didn't change, at least in aftermarket catalogs (I checked RockAuto).
If so, both lower and upper spring seats are the same between all years. Perhaps those side-specific rear springs can be retrofitted and are the ones that really solve the problem.

~ $70 from Subaru Dealer


2006 - 2009 Front Spring:[original:20330XA00A changed to:] 20330XA00B (All)
2010 - 2014 Front Spring: 20330XA01A (All)

2006 Rear Spring:20380XA00A (All 2006)
2006 Rear Spring:20380XA01A (7St only)
2007 - 2009 Rear Spring: 20380XA02A (All 2007,2008, 2009 )
2007 - 2009 Rear Spring: 20380XA03A (2007 E/M 7ST, 2008 Premium, 2009 Limited/Premium)
2010 - 2014 Rear Spring: 20380XA04A - LH
2010 - 2014 Rear Spring: 20380XA05A - RH
 
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