BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, got a question from a friend who owns a 2008 X3. She asked me if I might know about this since I own an e46.

She recently discovered a leak under the car that she thought was from the power steering, but it turned out to be the front suspension bushings that are liquid filled. This is the first I heard of those and found a thread here on that. Interesting, it looks like the thrust arm and a strut arm that connect to the frame and the connection point has these liquid filled bushings.

At the same time the dealer said she needed new tires and that tires required an alignment. She didn't buy that and has been asking around. She figured the young lady who is her SA was being a bit anxious to make her name there.

My feeling is you don't need an alignment when buying new tires unless there is obvious reason for it like the tracking isn't straight or odd tire wear. And I've never done an alignment after new tires were installed on my e46.

But because the fluid filled front suspension bushings were replaced, that made me wonder if that required an alignment. But if it did, then the bushing replacement job should have included the alignment as part of the job. So maybe that's totally unrelated and the dealer is just trying to add on an additional unnecessary charge from buying new tires. Unless there is something about X3's I don't know about.

This is a good dealership. So I'm surprised this was going on. Thanks for any input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Hi,

I'm no tyre expert, but I have never bought 4 new tyres without a wheel alignment (and on the X3 I understand it's back and front). With different front suspension parts and new tyres it is unlikely the alignment will be correct.

Having said that, when I ordered my last lot of 4 tyres, the company price matched and threw in the back and front alignment to get the deal (about $120 worth).

It's to me at least, cheap insurance, why go to all the expense of getting new tyres and not get the alignment done? As they say, you pays yer money you takes yer chances...

And disclaimer YMMV of course.

Kevin
_________
 

·
Anti-Hack
Joined
·
5,128 Posts
Always align when getting new tires. The vehicle could be horribly out of alignment even if it doesn't pull one way or the other, and whenever you remove and reinstall new parts that directly affect alignment, an alignment is a given.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,860 Posts
We haven't aligned our X3 in 95000 miles, just consuming its second set of tires for us. Rotated every 10k.

Indeed, ymmv.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,574 Posts
Anything redone in the suspension says definitely "yes".

It's a good idea to have a realignment done when replacing the tires. But I too often don't if the old tires were wearing correctly and I don't sense an alignment problem. But on an older vehicle (yes, our X3s are getting to be such), a front end alignment should show if other parts need replacing in the front end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the replies. Well, if my friend's X3 had those bushing replaced when she had it in for service, I would have thought the alignment was done as part of that job. It wasn't until after they finished that job the dealer recommended getting new tires soon. The dealer doesn't install the tires, but wants her to come back to have the alignment job done after getting the tires installed.

I totally get the idea that with new tires, it's a good idea to check the alignment in case anything has gone out of spec.

For me, the tire wear on my e46 330ci has been even and I've never done an alignment after new tires are installed. The only thing I've noticed are the rear tires wearing a little faster then the fronts. But they wear even across the surface of the tire in the rear. I did have the lower control arm replaced and no alignment was done as far as I know.

Well, I guess it's up to her if she wants to do the alignment. She'll be talking to her regular service advisor Monday who was out sick when the young lady was there advising on the alignment job. The regular SA is more experienced and usually tells her straight what's really needed. Since the dealer replaced the front suspension bushing, they offered her a discounted price on the alignment, to $199.00 verses $250.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
That's strange. Around here when getting tired at a tire place an alignment is almost always included with new tires. Seems screwy to get tires and then drive back to the dealer for a most likely over priced alignment.

What's even stranger is that the dealership didn't align the car after doing the work initially. Any suspension/steering work must be followed by an alignment. Perhaps they forgot and instead of fessing up are trying to get her to come back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
That's strange. Around here when getting tired at a tire place an alignment is almost always included with new tires. Seems screwy to get tires and then drive back to the dealer for a most likely over priced alignment.

What's even stranger is that the dealership didn't align the car after doing the work initially. Any suspension/steering work must be followed by an alignment. Perhaps they forgot and instead of fessing up are trying to get her to come back.
Same here totally agree, different country though. A wheel alignment is done by the tyre companies when tyres are fitted and balanced. They have all the gear and the specs for most if not all vehicles. I've had MB C200. MB Kompressor coupes, VW golfs etc done no questions asked. You get a report with the alignment. When I have had 4 new tyres fitted the tyre dealership has always asked if I wanted an alignment as a matter of course.

Alignment is usually $70-ish so back and front at most $140. The dealer 'discount' isn't much of a discount.

Cannot comment on BMW dealership practices, although it is strange they didn't do the alignment at the time of repair or at least offer to do it. It's perhaps a 30 minute job so why make your friend return for that, just sayin'.

Kevin
_________
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Never done an alignment just for tires unless the tire wear called for it.

Suspension parts, typically yes, but I'm not enough of an expert to specify which ones would require it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for the additional comments. I don't know either if an alignment was even done after the bushing repair. I agree it seems it would be a requirement after the repair.
 

·
Anti-Hack
Joined
·
5,128 Posts
Theoretically you wouldn't need an alignment for the thrust arm because it isn't adjustable and is a finite length and angle, but good practice would align the vehicle, especially after enough miles to wear out the bushing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Just an update, my friend spoke to her regular SA and he said she could wait a while for the tires and alignment. He said it's a good idea to check and align the suspension after getting new tires. As you guys have said, good insurance ans practice.

However, it was interesting that the dealer's shop have their own way to do the alignment. I don't know if this was BS, but they do the alignment by loading the suspension first, then doing the alignment. I guess your average tire shop can't do that. :)

Edit: I just did a search and found that yes, the car is weighted to properly set the camber angles and such taking into consideration the driver and presumably a passenger. Interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Edit: I just did a search and found that yes, the car is weighted to properly set the camber angles and such taking into consideration the driver and presumably a passenger. Interesting.
That's interesting because I assume there are slight variations with different weights and the dealer is assuming Driver + Passenger. What if your normal load is Driver + 3 passengers, or driver only? I guess Driver + passenger is about the 'average' of likely loads.

And do they use standard weights for people (like the FAA who use 170lbs, I wish). Mine, FWIW, gets driven the majority of time with me on board and occasionally + 2 x 30kg boxers.

Kevin
___________
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't know the exact specifics of the process. I think you're right that there is an average weight BMW specifies to do the alignment. I'm assuming they use a driver and one passenger. Perhaps they just use the driver. More research is on order. :)
 

·
Anti-Hack
Joined
·
5,128 Posts
Alignment on a 4 wheel independent suspension vehicle changes every time the suspension compresses and rebounds, so the dealer is trying to estimate the amount of weight in the vehicle during most of its driving time. It is impossible to have the vehicle aligned 100% of its time. A vehicle aligned with no weight will be out of alignment once the driver sits behind the wheel.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top