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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2013, 04:31 PM
srtudas srtudas is offline
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Location: Kansas
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X5 4.4i
Thumbs down What is the matter with the control arms?

Hey everyone we have a 2004 X5 4.4i and a 2008 535XI. The X5 has about 116,000 miles and the 535XI has about 60,000 they were both CPO's when we bought them. We had to replace the control arms in the front and rear on the X5 about a month ago and it was $2600 dollars then we also had to replace the front control arms on the 535XI. The 5 series was still under CPO warranty so that was okay but still what is the matter with BMW and control arms? When we were getting the X5 repaired the dealership said they also had another E53 X5 having the control arms repaired. Why is BMW so bad at building control arms?
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2013, 06:29 PM
dryflyguy dryflyguy is offline
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Location: Marin County, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 X5 4.8iS
It's no that they're bad or poorly designed. That wonderful connected feeling that we experience when driving a BMW is due in large part to those control arm bushings. Realistically if you own a car for 100k miles, you should only have to change them twice. You are waisting money having a dealer replace the entire arms. Its the $80 bushings that go bad. A reputable independent mechanic can change the bushings in their sleep.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2013, 08:07 PM
sktn77a sktn77a is offline
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It's the bushings. Unfortunately, nobody replaces bushings any more ($150-$200) - they replace the entire control (thrust) arms ($500-$800).

Who charged you $2600 for replacement control arms???
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:06 AM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
It's the bushings. Unfortunately, nobody replaces bushings any more ($150-$200) - they replace the entire control (thrust) arms ($500-$800).

Who charged you $2600 for replacement control arms???
Stealers.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:36 PM
!Achtung! !Achtung! is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 M54alloverthefloor
It is not just in the Thrust Arm Bushings. Yes, the bushings are replaceable in thrust arms, most dealerships only replace the bushings. E53 X5 also suffers from lower control arm ball joint play in the front as well as rear upper control arm ball joint play and rear lower ball joint play ---those items have to be replaced as control arms because the ball joints are part of them and are not a pressable item!!!! All which are items that are very high strung due to the suv's capability handle nearly like a sedan and still weighing as much as a typical small-midsized SUV.....please take out your buddies Ford Explorer and tell me it can corner like an X5.

Your E60 535 also suffers from front thrust arm bushing issues as well as occasional tie rod and lower control arm problems in the front and upper and lower ball joint in the rear. Geometry in the E60 and E53 rear end is VERY similar. Bringing your car to a "side walk Sam" independent shop is something you do at your own risk, a dealership will stand behind the repair, if something gets ruined in the process they will take care of it in a professional fashion, your independent will find the cheapest way out.

BMW's are high strung cars when it comes to engines/suspension. You drive them on bad roads and drive them hard - they will need repairs.

Last edited by !Achtung!; 02-01-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2013, 08:28 PM
srtudas srtudas is offline
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Location: Kansas
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X5 4.4i
Quote:
Originally Posted by !Achtung! View Post
It is not just in the Thrust Arm Bushings. Yes, the bushings are replaceable in thrust arms, most dealerships only replace the bushings. E53 X5 also suffers from lower control arm ball joint play in the front as well as rear upper control arm ball joint play and rear lower ball joint play ---those items have to be replaced as control arms because the ball joints are part of them and are not a pressable item!!!! All which are items that are very high strung due to the suv's capability handle nearly like a sedan and still weighing as much as a typical small-midsized SUV.....please take out your buddies Ford Explorer and tell me it can corner like an X5.

Your E60 535 also suffers from front thrust arm bushing issues as well as occasional tie rod and lower control arm problems in the front and upper and lower ball joint in the rear. Geometry in the E60 and E53 rear end is VERY similar. Bringing your car to a "side walk Sam" independent shop is something you do at your own risk, a dealership will stand behind the repair, if something gets ruined in the process they will take care of it in a professional fashion, your independent will find the cheapest way out.

BMW's are high strung cars when it comes to engines/suspension. You drive them on bad roads and drive them hard - they will need repairs.
But we do not drive on bad roads or push the car to its limit. We just use this car to get to and from a job and the store. It is driven about 20 miles each day. We also do not take hard turns. We slow down when we are making a turn. This car should be able to withstand the average life of an American on American roads.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:00 PM
!Achtung! !Achtung! is offline
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Very well, although 100k is about the life span of E53 suspension components especially with 4.4 motor as it is a very torque filled engine. Your average Ford Explorer, Chevrolet S10 will need front end parts way before 100k. Yes it will be cheaper to replace parts on those vehicles, but once again, compare the two to an X5 - handling, ride comfort, agility and performance is not even close to be matched. Cheaper overall price tag of the vehicle usually yields that the repair will be cheaper and expensive price tag - expensive to repair. Do not expect that since you paid $50k for a car, it will last longer - it is just the same mechanical beast as the Hyundai Accent for 9,999 new, only it has wood grain, nav, leather and lots of engineering put into its chassis.


E60 535 that needed the front thrust arm bushings? An item that has common failure due to the high strung chassis geometry. Yes I know they fail, I have seen front thrust arm bushings last over 100k in E60s and fail as low as 50-60k miles like yours, short driving and abrupt braking will kill them. (i am not picking on your driving style, I am giving an example).
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2013, 03:43 PM
srtudas srtudas is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X5 4.4i
I understand and it may have been because of the owners of both vehicles before we bought them. The people who leased the car before us could've driven the car hard. We never know. All I can say is that both are fixed on the X5 and the front are fixed on the 535XI. We will probably not have the X5 much longer because we are having more and more things malfunction with the car. If it was built in 2003 and the model year is a 2004 it was built about 10 years ago. This car has served it's purpose and was a great car when it was under 100,000 miles. And another thought is that we are comparing the new X5 3.5i to the ML350. My conclusion is that the X5 is much more expensive than the ML class and there are a lot more options available on the ML.

As for the 5 series we bought it a year ago and out about 7,000 miles on it since the day we bought it which was December 4th, 2011. We bought it as a CPO and it has 62,000 miles on it. I cannot believe that we are already having issues with the car. From my parents experience I do not think I will ever buy another BMW, once they are done with the ones they currently have. This is a sad conclusion but there are too many problems with their cars once they hit 100,000. We had a 2000 Volkswagen passat with 115,000 miles on it. Never had a single problem with the car. I am not saying this should be with every car but I would expect that it would not have as many problems as it does at 100,000. I really like both cars but I do not think they were the best option out there. Leasing a brand new BMW would be great. BMW's do not get problems until after 60,000 which is right about when people buy them as CPO's. Buying a CPO may not be the best decision now. I hope my parents realize this. I hope we do not have many problems with the X5 so we can keep it as long as we can without dumping money into a ten year old car.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2013, 08:00 AM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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You can either dump money into a 10 year old BMW or have monthly payments and higher insurance for a brand new car. Me I buy my car with 100% down and no monthly payment and only have liability and collision insurance.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2013, 04:05 PM
srtudas srtudas is offline
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Location: Kansas
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X5 4.4i
Yes that is the decision to make now. If I had it my way I would buy a new car. Even though you would have a monthly payment, the repair bill for the X5 has definitely added up to what it would cost to own a new car. So they are about equal but the one difference is you will have a brand new car with new features and updated technology for about the same price as the repair bill from a ten year old car.
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