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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-10-2011, 08:46 AM
riisor riisor is offline
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How often do Front lower control arm bushings fail?

Yesterday I had new tires (Continental ExtremeContact DWS) installed on my '07 530xit. The car has fewer than 36,000 miles and though the tires still had much usable tread left, the inside edge of the right rear tire had obvious and unusual wear (alignment indicated?) and the steel belt ultimately popped thru the rubber and the tire failed. The work was performed at a Sears Auto Center in Elmhurst Queens, NY.

Once on the lift I noticed the service technician take a pry bar, approximately 3ft long, and forcefully pry the front control arms in an apparent attempt to check its serviceability. Guess what? I was told that the car needs front lower control arm bushings (apprximately $800 repair).

This came as a surprise to me since the car has relatively low mileage and because I never noticed any unusual front end behavior nor heard any strange clunking noises. Nor did the front tires show any unusual wear--they were still quite serviceable.

Now, I'm wondering whether the tech damaged the suspension by forcing to the point of failure the pry bar between the chassis and the control arm.

Questions:

- Is using a pry bar in this fashion a legitimate way to check the front end?
- How common are control arm bushing failures on E60 BMWs with 36,000 miles?
- How much should I expect this repair to cost?

R
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2011, 09:04 AM
pcy pcy is offline
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I doubt you can damage control arm bushings with the pry bar between the chassis and the control arm. The control arm will flex a little and go back to it's normal position when the pry bar is removed. The technician may be trying to see if there are any cracks in the bushing.

Control arm bushings are known to fail - life of bushings depends a lot on the type of suspension (sport vs. non-sport), the type of roads where the car is driven and other factors.

If you aren't noticing any suspension noises/issues, just keep an eye on them and continue driving.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2011, 09:17 AM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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+1 - When you feel an unusual amount of shimmy is the time to be concerned. The tech is probably checking for excessive slop down there... probably wihout even realizing that unlike some cars, the bushing is not a solid poly or rubber mount. It is a hydromount thus will give a lot more than a solid but recover quickly.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2011, 09:45 AM
Beemerican Beemerican is offline
Hey man, check this out..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riisor View Post
Questions:

- Is using a pry bar in this fashion a legitimate way to check the front end?
- How common are control arm bushing failures on E60 BMWs with 36,000 miles?
- How much should I expect this repair to cost?

R
I recently dropped about $1200 on this repair on my 08 550i with only 54K on it. Just out of warranty when the BMW service center tells me the car had needed this repair for so long that it had ruined much of the suspension components up front. When I bought it at 33K, the car had a shimmy in the front end and I was told it was due to bent wheels, then it was blammed on tires, tire pressure, the active steering system...excuse after excuse. I took the car on a VERY long road trip and when I got back, I was out of warranty, at that point, the service advisor pointed out the real issue...and what I had to pay to fix it!
Changing out the thrust rods, all bushings and getting an allignment on a car with active steering will run you about 1200 and 2 days at the BMW center. good luck!
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Last edited by Beemerican; 11-10-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2011, 12:28 PM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcy View Post
I doubt you can damage control arm bushings with the pry bar between the chassis and the control arm. The control arm will flex a little and go back to it's normal position when the pry bar is removed. The technician may be trying to see if there are any cracks in the bushing.

Control arm bushings are known to fail - life of bushings depends a lot on the type of suspension (sport vs. non-sport), the type of roads where the car is driven and other factors.

If you aren't noticing any suspension noises/issues, just keep an eye on them and continue driving.
+1
from experience, if there is little play on those bushing/control arm you have about a year before it clunk/creak on bumps etc

As far as tire uneven wear, go get alignment; you or someone driving your car may have hit pothole/curbside etc and toe-in/out is messed up for example.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2011, 07:54 PM
Otrunyou Otrunyou is offline
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Mine went out at about 70k but I put another 30 k before it got so bad I thought the wheel was you g to come off. I bought a mid grade part online for 100 bucks and paid Autotire 70 bucks to put it on. BMW wanted almost 500
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2011, 01:28 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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Not all brands [control arm bushings] are of same quality. Lemforder and few others are good. If you buy some cheap bushings on e-bay, they won't last long. Control arm bushing is one part I won't try to save money - I buy the best quality product I can buy on-line and take the car to a mechanic who can install them for a reasonable price.
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  #8  
Old 11-11-2011, 03:41 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otrunyou View Post
Mine went out at about 70k but I put another 30 k before it got so bad I thought the wheel was you g to come off. I bought a mid grade part online for 100 bucks and paid Autotire 70 bucks to put it on. BMW wanted almost 500
Hopefully those are higher quality than BMW OEMs because the original parts only cost $80 for the pair.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2011, 07:44 PM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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I just had bushings and lower control arms replaced on my 535 with 69,000 miles.
Total cost was $1,000 including $228 for each lower arm (OEM), $80 for the bushings, the rest for labor and alignment.
It was performed by an independent high performance shop as I do not trust the stealership to A) do a competent job, and B) charge honestly for actual time and materials.
I do not have active steering.
The car now drives like new and should be good for another 50-70k miles.
Replacing spark plugs tomorrow. Bosch Supers. Might be Nube who referred me to a link @ $10 a piece. Stealership quoted $260 for a set of 6, I didn't ask about installation as they are easy to replace with proper tools.
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2013, 10:23 AM
x54.4blue x54.4blue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
Hopefully those are higher quality than BMW OEMs because the original parts only cost $80 for the pair.
Is it $80 each for the complete lower control arm or just the bushing?
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  #11  
Old 10-14-2013, 11:33 AM
pcy pcy is offline
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Set of Lemforder bushings (both left and right control arm bushing) cost around $60 to $80 depending on where you buy.
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2013, 12:03 PM
Abuilder2 Abuilder2 is offline
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How often do Front lower control arm bushings fail?

Mine went bad at about 40k I had an extended warranty and they covered it, but I was told that it was a $1200 repair from BMW, the car now has 110k on it and the bushings are still holding up.


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  #13  
Old 10-14-2013, 04:26 PM
x54.4blue x54.4blue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcy View Post
Set of Lemforder bushings (both left and right control arm bushing) cost around $60 to $80 depending on where you buy.
I am seeing a much higher cost, $200 each:

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/BMW_E6...0685-86e6x.htm
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2013, 05:58 PM
Cre8 Cre8 is offline
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Watched a vid on youtube on installing new control arms... Looks simple if you have some nice jacks. And why are they replacing the bushing and charging for the control arm? Isn't the bushing part of the old arm which you can just press the bushing out and reuse the arm (not recommended).
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2013, 06:48 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x54.4blue View Post
I am seeing a much higher cost, $200 each:

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/BMW_E6...0685-86e6x.htm
You're looking at control arms

He's talking about replacing just the bushing that most often fails. It has to be pressed out but can be a cheaper way of fix it that works just fine if the ball joint on the other end is fine

Last edited by schpenxel; 10-14-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2013, 06:49 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cre8 View Post
Watched a vid on youtube on installing new control arms... Looks simple if you have some nice jacks. And why are they replacing the bushing and charging for the control arm? Isn't the bushing part of the old arm which you can just press the bushing out and reuse the arm (not recommended).
You can do it either way. Cheaper to do just the bushing but personally I'd probably replace the whole thing if I'm going through the work of getting it off. The ball joint on the other end can wear out as well
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  #17  
Old 10-19-2013, 08:03 AM
x54.4blue x54.4blue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
You can do it either way. Cheaper to do just the bushing but personally I'd probably replace the whole thing if I'm going through the work of getting it off. The ball joint on the other end can wear out as well
How long should the ball joints last?
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  #18  
Old 10-19-2013, 08:35 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Not a clue...
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  #19  
Old 04-25-2014, 11:59 PM
beemerbwoy beemerbwoy is offline
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When I checked my car with the pry bar and I didn't had much play in the components except the bushing. Like it would move with my own hand but there not cracked or broken. Does that mean I need to change them?

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