Can Upgrading the Shifter Bushings on a Subaru Impreza Yield Smoother Gear Changes?

March 11, 2024

Do you feel like your Subaru Impreza’s gear changes have become less smooth over time? Do you find yourself wondering if replacing the stock shifter bushings could restore that satisfying, seamless transition between gears? If so, you’re in the right place. We are going to dive deep into the topic and discover the potential benefits that upgrading the shifter bushings can bring to your beloved Subaru.

Understanding Shifter Bushings

So, what are shifter bushings? These are small rubber or polyurethane parts that isolate the shifter from the car’s frame to reduce noise and vibration. Over time, factory-installed bushings can wear and degrade, leading to less precise gear shifts. If you’ve noticed that your Subaru Impreza’s gear transitions are no longer as crisp as they once were, worn-out shifter bushings could be the culprit.

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Replacing your worn-out bushings with a new set can potentially restore the precision and smoothness of your gear changes. However, the type of bushing you choose can make a significant difference.

Choosing the Right Bushings for Your Subaru Impreza

When it comes to choosing replacement bushings, you’ve got options. The two most popular brands for Subaru owners are Kartboy and Whiteline.

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Kartboy bushings are known for their durability and performance. They’re constructed from a proprietary blend of urethane that’s designed to withstand rigorous driving conditions. They’re a great choice if you’re putting your Subaru Impreza through its paces on a regular basis.

On the other hand, Whiteline bushings are known for their affordability and versatility. Regardless of your Subaru model – whether it’s an STI, a WRX, or a regular Impreza – Whiteline has a bushing kit to match.

But how do these aftermarket bushings compare to the factory-installed ones?

Factory vs. Aftermarket Bushings

The stock bushings that came with your Subaru Impreza are likely rubber. Rubber is a good material for reducing noise and vibration, which is why it’s commonly used in car manufacturing. However, rubber degrades over time and can lead to sloppy gear shifts.

In contrast, aftermarket bushings like those from Kartboy and Whiteline are typically made from polyurethane. Polyurethane is more durable than rubber, meaning these bushings are less likely to degrade and can provide smoother, more precise gear shifts for longer.

However, it’s worth noting that polyurethane bushings transmit more noise and vibration than their rubber counterparts. That means while your gear shifts may be smoother, your ride could be slightly noisier.

The Process of Changing the Shifter Bushings

If you’re considering changing the shifter bushings on your Subaru Impreza, it’s important to know what the process involves. Front bushings are typically easier to replace than rear ones, but neither is particularly difficult for a seasoned DIY car enthusiast.

Both Kartboy and Whiteline provide detailed instructions with their bushing kits, and you can also find numerous tutorials online. The key is to ensure you have the right tools and enough time to perform the upgrades.

The Price of Upgrading Shifter Bushings

The cost of upgrading your shifter bushings can vary depending on the brand you choose and whether you install them yourself or hire a professional.

On average, a Kartboy or Whiteline shifter bushing kit will cost you anywhere from $25 to $100. If you decide to hire a professional for the installation, you’ll need to factor in their labor costs, which could potentially double the price.

To sum it up, if you’re experiencing less-than-smooth gear transitions in your Subaru Impreza, upgrading the shifter bushings could be a worthwhile investment. By opting for durable, performance-oriented bushings from reputable brands like Kartboy or Whiteline, you can enhance the performance and longevity of your vehicle. Just remember that while the results can be noticeable, they may come with a slight increase in noise and vibration.

Benefits of Upgrading the Shifter Bushings on Your Subaru Impreza

The advantages of upgrading the shifter bushings on your Subaru Impreza are manifold. Firstly, it can lead to more precise gear shifting. This is particularly beneficial if you’re driving a high-performance vehicle like the WRX STI. An upgrade can restore the smoothness and precision of gear changes, making your driving experience more enjoyable.

Secondly, replacing your worn-out bushings can extend the lifespan of your Subaru. Polyurethane bushings, such as those from Kartboy or Whiteline, are more durable than the rubber ones that are typically factory-installed. This means they are less likely to degrade over time, reducing the risk of sloppy gear shifts and potential damage to your transmission.

However, as previously mentioned, there is a trade-off. Polyurethane bushings can transmit more noise and vibration than rubber ones. If you value a silent, vibration-free ride, this may be a factor to consider. But for many Subaru owners who prioritize performance and longevity, this is a small price to pay.

The benefits of upgrading your shifter bushings can be yours at a regular price that ranges from $25 to $100 for the bushing kit. If you are a DIY person, this would be the only cost you will incur. But if you prefer a professional to do the installation, factor in their labor costs, which could double the total cost.

Conclusion: Is Upgrading Worth It?

After a detailed review of the advantages of upgrading the shifter bushings on a Subaru Impreza, it’s clear that the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks for many owners. Upgrading can restore the smooth gear transitions that make driving your Subaru a pleasure, whether you’re behind the wheel of a WRX STI, a Subaru Legacy, or a regular Impreza.

Moreover, opting for more durable bushings can add years to your Subaru’s lifespan. If you’re willing to tolerate a slight increase in noise and vibration, the enhanced performance and longevity are undoubtedly compelling reasons to consider an upgrade.

Ultimately, whether you’re traversing rugged trails in a Subaru Outback or zipping around town in a WRX, investing in quality shifter bushings can significantly improve your driving experience. Brands like Kartboy and Whiteline offer products that are not only a perfect fit for Subaru models, but they also come highly recommended by many Subaru owners.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to restore the smooth gear transitions in your Subaru Impreza, upgrading the shifter bushings is certainly a worthwhile consideration. This cost-effective modification could yield smoother gear changes, potentially improving your overall driving experience. It’s a small investment that could make a significant difference. So why not give it a try?