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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went to Firestone Tire for a New York State inpsection and they failed me on suspension issues. They indicated I needed new control arms, upper and lower.
I purchased all the parts and tools....never needed 18mm, 21 mm for working on my car. BUT my garage is freezing so project on hold.
Just by chance look up official New York State Official Ispection Manual and see ball joints not part of inspection.
Font Screenshot Number Document Parallel

I call Firestone, they claim its at their discretion. Go to local stealership...they say the same thing.
Text the list to a auto mechanic client of mine and he kind of says the same thing but asks if the manual was updated. So he is confused. Then he thinks well the ball joint is not included but maybe the bushing is and maybe the bushing is bad.

So what gives??????
 

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Agreed. I was even told about 10 years ago the front wheel bearings on my Olds were completely shot (which I knew) and it still passed. Usually for an inspection, I drive into the shop, they scan my registration, give me a sticker and collect my $10 or $21 depending on the car. My Chevy dealer didn’t bat an eye regarding my lack of front plate on the Silverado. The good places will pre-inspect and alert you that you’ll fail before actually doing it, so you can keep your sticker.

Replace your parts, but find a different shop, preferably a small good ol’ boy place. Avoid Big Box places and dealerships for inspections.


Via the interwebs
 

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So I went to Firestone Tire for a New York State inspection and they failed me on suspension issues. They indicated I needed new control arms, upper and lower. [Did they put that in writing? BOTH sides? Did they identify an "upper control arm"? o_O :poop:]
... I call Firestone, they claim its at their discretion. [Did you ask them to cite the NYS Code or Reg?] ...
It's YOUR car. Haven't YOU owned it since new, or nearly so? Have you noticed any "play", "wander", or looseness in the steering, particularly on roads with significant "Camber Change" or pitch, side-to-side?
If NOT, then "play Bubba" or if your Bubba days are behind you, get some young, strong guy:
1) Jack ONE front wheel (other still on ground);
2) Grasp tire at 12 & 6 o'clock and try to rock it in-out; observe/measure movement; identify "loose joint";
3) Grasp tire at 3 & 9 o'clock and do same; observe/measure movement; identify "loose joint";
4) Repeat (1) - (3) for other front wheel; Dismiss Bubba (with appropriate compensation ;-)
5) Report your findings so we can ALL learn something.

Go to RealOEM.com and find "Upper Control Arm" on E9x/ 2006 325i. Please enlighten us if you FIND ONE. :eek: BTW, how are your front struts and upper Strut Mounts?
BTW, ANY Statute or Code Section that purported to give "Discretion" to a State Safety Inspector as to what he could inspect, and what he could reject/fail a vehicle for in that inspection would/SHOULD be unenforceable as being arbitrary, capricious, etc. Sounds like you should call the DMV or whatever NY Agency licenses State Safety Inspectors, and get correct information.
George
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's YOUR car. Haven't YOU owned it since new, or nearly so? Have you noticed any "play", "wander", or looseness in the steering, particularly on roads with significant "Camber Change" or pitch, side-to-side?
If NOT, then "play Bubba" or if your Bubba days are behind you, get some young, strong guy:
1) Jack ONE front wheel (other still on ground);
2) Grasp tire at 12 & 6 o'clock and try to rock it in-out; observe/measure movement; identify "loose joint";
3) Grasp tire at 3 & 9 o'clock and do same; observe/measure movement; identify "loose joint";
4) Repeat (1) - (3) for other front wheel; Dismiss Bubba (with appropriate compensation ;-)
5) Report your findings so we can ALL learn something.

Go to RealOEM.com and find "Upper Control Arm" on E9x/ 2006 325i. Please enlighten us if you FIND ONE. :eek: BTW, how are your front struts and upper Strut Mounts?
BTW, ANY Statute or Code Section that purported to give "Discretion" to a State Safety Inspector as to what he could inspect, and what he could reject/fail a vehicle for in that inspection would/SHOULD be unenforceable as being arbitrary, capricious, etc. Sounds like you should call the DMV or whatever NY Agency licenses State Safety Inspectors, and get correct information.
George
When I spoke to the auto mechanic client of mine I actually stated to him that of all the systems in the car, the suspension actually felt like day 1 when I bought the car. No drift, wander or loss of stabilty. I feel extemely confident taking a 25mph turn at 50mph. The car holds the road like a champ. He stated that he has seen such situations yet the ball joint is "blown out" without the owners knowledge. I mentioned about checking it the way you mentioned. He said its best to check it under load using a crow bar placed I don't know where. He also mentioned listening for clunking noises over rough road or potholes. I don't recall that.
But I will say as I mentioned in another thread of mine, there is a slow creep factor that occurs without your knowledge of deterioration. I gave the trunk and hood struts as an example. The deterioration occured so slowly over the years that I was unaware of the pending failure. I grew accustom to the feel not realizing how much more difficult it was to open the hood and trunk. But I do believe the suspension handling is as good as new, EXCEPT I never recall the car "bottoming out" as often when I go through intersections with dips in the road traveling over 40-50mph .
As far as naming the parts, they actually got the parts incorrect. I call them upper and lower control arms, or I can call them thrust arm and wishbone arm as well. The term radius is new to me.
Font Material property Paper Number Document

I put this in another thread the other day. The part was wrong and I called them on it. They corrected it to read radius and wishbone, forward and rear or both control arms.
So the issue is for me, considering , baby its cold outside, I really rather confirm that shops in NY have the right to fail safety inspections on "control arms".
As far as the strut mounts and checking the knuckle the way you suggested, I certainly will try all that.

And again I mentioned to all party's that I spoke to today that I was reading straight from the OFFICIAL NYS Inspection Manual. They all said its at their discretion. I plan to follow up with the Department of Motor Vehicles on Monday.
 

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The only part of the heading of your first attachment which I can read is "Services not Authorized by Customer, and the text BELOW the Line Item for "Steering & Suspension" is "Preventive Maintenance - Suggested". You may call me "picky", BUT as a retired lawyer with an engineering degree, IMHO, WORDS are supposed to MEAN Something. :giggle: :geek:

In my "Lexicon", work NEEDED to Pass Inspection, is NEITHER "Preventive Maintenance", NOR "Suggested" repairs. A "Safety Inspection" is conducted (ostensibly) for the safety and welfare of the owner of the vehicle, his passengers, and other users of highways who may be affected by owner's operation of that vehicle. "Rejection" of the vehicle in the inspection should NOT be arbitrary or used as "leverage" to extort money from the "mark/Inspectee" ;) (You IS the "Inspectee/ Stuckee ;-).

As you noted in earlier thread, the two part #s in the invoice are Dorman Part#s, NOT BMW part #s, and the First number is NOT correct for 2006 325i. Entering that number (520-919) in Amazon Search quickly discloses that. So that's SEVERAL warning lights going off regarding your "Invoice", and my BS Meter is pegging.:) Personally, I would conduct my OWN inspection, and NOT rely upon that Shop for ANYTHING, unless prior business relationship suggests the current "misunderstanding" can be corrected, and Shop takes steps to do that in a fair and "Transparent" (hate that buzz-word -- HONEST actually is the correct word ;-) way.

If a test such as shaking a "jacked wheel" discloses excessive play, the NEXT step is Identifying the component that needs to be replaced. Leaking fluid from a "Liquid-filled bushing" on the Radius Rod/Tension Strut can identify an issue with that bushing that results, will soon result, in excessive movement at the bushing. But there MUST be some demonstrable, objectively-determined, fault in the "Steering & Suspension", to "Reject" the vehicle in a Safety Inspection. Any Safety Inspector I have ever had find an issue with anything will SHOW me what he found.

I ONLY have a vehicle inspected at facilities such as a gas station where I can stand at the Service Bay door and respond to any questions or issues, and I get to know the inspector, or his predecessor, and make sure they know I do my own repairs. I don't mind shops knowing "I'm Cheap" -- that saves a LOT of $money$.

I realize that "Customer NEVER seeing the tech" is the formula used by many/most shops these days. THAT is maddening to someone who understands his vehicle and does his own work. The "coincidence" that SA (Service Adviser) are the first two letters of "SAlesman" MAY actually NOT be a coincidence, at least in some shops.:giggle:

"Bottoming" suggests shocks and/or struts getting worn, but unless there is "bouncing" or "Un-damped" spring movement, that is NOT really a safety issue, and certainly has NOTHING to do with the two suspension parts named in the "Suggested Preventive Maintenance".

Please pardon the RANT, and please let us know how this turns out.(y)
George
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually I was so pissed off that day that I failed to look at page 2 until this morning,
I assume the "steering, suspension and front end" is a from an official NY State list of failure items. So thats a broad basket BUT according to the manual should not include "ball joints". It can include struts, and maybe a vehicle that sufferd a front end crash etc.
So back to the original issue.
Font Parallel Paper Paper product Document
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The only part of the heading of your first attachment which I can read is "Services not Authorized by Customer, and the text BELOW the Line Item for "Steering & Suspension" is "Preventive Maintenance - Suggested". You may call me "picky", BUT as a retired lawyer with an engineering degree, IMHO, WORDS are supposed to MEAN Something. :giggle:
:geek:

The official failure is on page 2 . My bad, as they say!

In my "Lexicon", work NEEDED to Pass Inspection, is NEITHER "Preventive Maintenance", NOR "Suggested" repairs. A "Safety Inspection" is conducted (ostensibly) for the safety and welfare of the owner of the vehicle, his passengers, and other users of highways who may be affected by owner's operation of that vehicle. "Rejection" of the vehicle in the inspection should NOT be arbitrary or used as "leverage" to extort money from the "mark/Inspectee" ;) (You IS the "Inspectee/ Stuckee ;-).
I interpret the guidelines that they can't fail me but should issue a rejection or advise me of the need for the repair. The rejection is unofficial and purely informative.

As you noted in earlier thread, the two part #s in the invoice are Dorman Part#s, NOT BMW part #s, and the First number is NOT correct for 2006 325i. Entering that number (520-919) in Amazon Search quickly discloses that. So that's SEVERAL warning lights going off regarding your "Invoice", and my BS Meter is pegging.:) Personally, I would conduct my OWN inspection, and NOT rely upon that Shop for ANYTHING, unless prior business relationship suggests the current "misunderstanding" can be corrected, and Shop takes steps to do that in a fair and "Transparent" (hate that buzz-word -- HONEST actually is the correct word ;-) way.

If a test such as shaking a "jacked wheel" discloses excessive play, the NEXT step is Identifying the component that needs to be replaced. Leaking fluid from a "Liquid-filled bushing" on the Radius Rod/Tension Strut can identify an issue with that bushing that results, will soon result, in excessive movement at the bushing. But there MUST be some demonstrable, objectively-determined, fault in the "Steering & Suspension", to "Reject" the vehicle in a Safety Inspection. Any Safety Inspector I have ever had find an issue with anything will SHOW me what he found.

I ONLY have a vehicle inspected at facilities such as a gas station where I can stand at the Service Bay door and respond to any questions or issues, and I get to know the inspector, or his predecessor, and make sure they know I do my own repairs. I don't mind shops knowing "I'm Cheap" -- that saves a LOT of $money$.
I am with you 100% on that. In the summer the garage doors are open at Firestone and I'm right there watching and asking questions. I could see my car from the waiting room window but it was 5 bays down. When I saw him repeatedly going back to my car I got increasingly concerned.
Also why I hate the dealership with no way of keeping an eye on ones car. I'm sure I am not the only paranoid soul out there who would appreciate the installation of video cameras to view ones "little baby" during treatment.


I realize that "Customer NEVER seeing the tech" is the formula used by many/most shops these days. THAT is maddening to someone who understands his vehicle and does his own work. The "coincidence" that SA (Service Adviser) are the first two letters of "SAlesman" MAY actually NOT be a coincidence, at least in some shops.:giggle:
So when I went to the dealship this morning asking the service manager about failing ball joints as a reason to fail a safety inspection, the SA really didn't want to get into it. He mentioned the word discretion. Shut up when I showed him the list of items that cannot cause failure. At that point he recommended making an appointment for a reinspection. I then mentioned that the website offered a free coupon for a SECOND OPINION if you bring in an invoice from another shop. He walked away and told me I can make the appointment on their websie.
For newbies like me, I also went to the parts department because I didn't realize the nut for one of the bearing bolts was intentionally oval. I could not understand why I couldn't thead it on the bolt. And of course its supposed to be that way. What fooled me was that the captured nut for the other bearing bolt easily threads onto the bolt.


"Bottoming" suggests shocks and/or struts getting worn, but unless there is "bouncing" or "Un-damped" spring movement, that is NOT really a safety issue, and certainly has NOTHING to do with the two suspension parts named in the "Suggested Preventive Maintenance".

Please pardon the RANT, and please let us know how this turns out.(y)
George
Thanks for the input! (once again) You give me hope for humanity.
 

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Here's the list from the NYS DMV page on inspections:


You're in NY; again, if you're choosing a location that actually looks at anything, you're going to the wrong station. That said, your success rate with a station depends on your demeanor. Walk in appearing nervous, scared, or combatant, expect an issue. Same for pompous. Come off as calm, cool, and the type of guy who could date the shop owner's daughter, and you'll walk out with a sticker.

Get your lifetime wheel alignment at Firestone. Get your warranty work at the dealer. Get your inspection done at Lou's. Shops lose money on every inspection they do, but inspections are a cost of doing business, so it is in their best interest to find work to be done as a result of failing you; Firestone failed you for something that may or may not need to be done, but now they took your inspection sticker and are holding it hostage. But, if you need suspension parts done, you need them done. You could drive around for years with an expired sticker (I know of guys driving around with stickers that expired in the 90s), but no sticker is a blatant "pull over."

Where in NY are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Here's the list from the NYS DMV page on inspections:


You're in NY; again, if you're choosing a location that actually looks at anything, you're going to the wrong station. That said, your success rate with a station depends on your demeanor. Walk in appearing nervous, scared, or combatant, expect an issue. Same for pompous. Come off as calm, cool, and the type of guy who could date the shop owner's daughter, and you'll walk out with a sticker.

Get your lifetime wheel alignment at Firestone. Get your warranty work at the dealer. Get your inspection done at Lou's. Shops lose money on every inspection they do, but inspections are a cost of doing business, so it is in their best interest to find work to be done as a result of failing you; Firestone failed you for something that may or may not need to be done, but now they took your inspection sticker and are holding it hostage. But, if you need suspension parts done, you need them done. You could drive around for years with an expired sticker (I know of guys driving around with stickers that expired in the 90s), but no sticker is a blatant "pull over."

Where in NY are you?
Here's the list from the NYS DMV page on inspections:


You're in NY; again, if you're choosing a location that actually looks at anything, you're going to the wrong station. That said, your success rate with a station depends on your demeanor. Walk in appearing nervous, scared, or combatant, expect an issue. Same for pompous. Come off as calm, cool, and the type of guy who could date the shop owner's daughter, and you'll walk out with a sticker.

Get your lifetime wheel alignment at Firestone. Get your warranty work at the dealer. Get your inspection done at Lou's. Shops lose money on every inspection they do, but inspections are a cost of doing business, so it is in their best interest to find work to be done as a result of failing you; Firestone failed you for something that may or may not need to be done, but now they took your inspection sticker and are holding it hostage. But, if you need suspension parts done, you need them done. You could drive around for years with an expired sticker (I know of guys driving around with stickers that expired in the 90s), but no sticker is a blatant "pull over."

Where in NY are you?
So I went through the list you posted and it indicates the need to inspect all suspension parts. So what do you make of the ball joint exclusion? And how does that relate to control arms. The ball joint could be failing but thats OK, but if the bearing is leaking thats a failure? I watched all the videos, bearings do move in normal function.
Maybe you are right about how they select victims. I was the only person in the waiting room walking around and being nosey. I truly have an issue with the way automotive mechanics conduct business. I know from my own profession that so many issues fall in a gray zone and its up the provider of services to make the choice based on several issues including monetary gain.
I live in Huntington.

Maybe I am reading something incorrectly. Here is my link to the list..
 

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So I went through the list you posted and it indicates the need to inspect all suspension parts. So what do you make of the ball joint exclusion? And how does that relate to control arms. The ball joint could be failing but thats OK, but if the bearing is leaking thats a failure? I watched all the videos, bearings do move in normal function.
Maybe you are right about how they select victims. I was the only person in the waiting room walking around and being nosey. I truly have an issue with the way automotive mechanics conduct business. I know from my own profession that so many issues fall in a gray zone and its up the provider of services to make the choice based on several issues including monetary gain.
I live in Huntington.

Maybe I am reading something incorrectly. Here is my link to the list..
That is a good find. Unfortunately, they have your sticker. In their reason for failure, they didn't mention ball joint, they mentioned worn front suspension components, which they are "supposed to" inspect.

The wishbone control arms have their ball joints built-in, so replacement of the arm/bushing replaces its ball joint. The thrust arms have separate ball joints.

If you're on LI, Western NY, or the Hudson Valley, I can recommend places for you to take the vehicle to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
That is a good find. Unfortunately, they have your sticker. In their reason for failure, they didn't mention ball joint, they mentioned worn front suspension components, which they are "supposed to" inspect.

The wishbone control arms have their ball joints built-in, so replacement of the arm/bushing replaces its ball joint. The thrust arms have separate ball joints.

If you're on LI, Western NY, or the Hudson Valley, I can recommend places for you to take the vehicle to.

Sure, I will take the recommendations. As you stated I am without an inspection sticker. Like a sitting duck. Not to mention I am an aggressive driver for some unknown reason. Put the two together and I am screwed.
I was hoping to go skiing soon so need to resolve the issue. Nothing like driving around small villages with their own police force. I have all the parts, but it is cold in my garage, and the repair looks simple, but I never did it before so I know there will be isssues.....seized nuts.
I will get the car reinspected at one of your stations.
As I said above, I live in Huntington at the border of Nassau and Suffolk counties on the north shore.
 

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1. Grew up in PA. The ‘safety inspection’ was/is a scam.

2. No idea why you went to Firestone.

3. Like smog, you need to find/develop a relationship with “Lou”….

4. What is your point? Do you think you will find a magic document that will cause Firestone to say “Oh, our bad- here’s the sticker”????? Thinking you can shame them into capitulation is pointless. They are shameless bovines.


I would tell Firestone they need to give you an ACCURATE estimate/failure report. What failed, what part they are proposing to replace it. THAT is required by state law. If the part numbers dont agree with the descriptions of what is bad, they have not (IMO) properly completed the work order.

Then you replace it, get it re-inspected (perhaps elsewhere- but make sure you have the (corrected) Firestone report to show them)…

You aren’t gonna win a pissing match with Firestone- UNLESS (and I am not sure of this) you want to go to the state for a full inspection with their referee or other process)
 

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I read the inspection requirements and saw few / no objective measures, merely many uses of the word “excessive”.

At 115K miles I am on the look out for objective measures of the need to replace suspension components. I believe that chronic stress due to common alignment practices fatigues the elastic / elastomer components.
 

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Text the list to a auto mechanic client of mine and he kind of says the same thing but asks if the manual was updated. So he is confused. Then he thinks well the ball joint is not included but maybe the bushing is and maybe the bushing is bad.
So take the car to him, have him repair the car as he sees fit, then have him do the reinspection. If he's a client of yours, you both should have a level of mutual respect, so let him determine what things are or are not in compliance, then have his inspection give you the sticker. If you trust him to do only the work needed, you should come out ahead overall.

BTW, ANY Statute or Code Section that purported to give "Discretion" to a State Safety Inspector as to what he could inspect, and what he could reject/fail a vehicle for in that inspection would/SHOULD be unenforceable as being arbitrary, capricious, etc. Sounds like you should call the DMV or whatever NY Agency licenses State Safety Inspectors, and get correct information.
You either left off the "sarc" tag or you haven't dealt with many government inspection situations. As they cannot provide a hard measurement for many situations (which will vary by vehicle), they include statements such as "All steering linkages - check for tightness or binding, excessive wear and/or looseness in parts,..." to allow certified inspectors to make the appropriate determinations on a per-case basis. "Discretion of the inspector" situations exist in all kinds of inspections. I perform pharmaceutical cGMP / cGLP compliance inspections for many of my clients, either against their internal facilities or those of their suppliers. The first question I will ask is how big of a pain in the ass they want me to be.

I've been on the receiving end of this as well, when I was the DEA compliance officer for the company where I was working at the time. I took a DEA inspection team (one old guy, one young guy) through on an inspection tour, continually seeing the older agent give the "calm down" wave to the younger one. At the end of the tour, he asked me, "So, what do you think?" I handed him a list of what I though our deficiencies were, what our correction plans were, and a schedule. He looked at and said "Fine. We'll go over this list next time we're here. If you haven't cleaned them up, I'm going to turn him (pointing to the younger agent) loose." There were 3 corporate VPs in the room at the time, and my budget for repairs flew through the capital committee, as he could have easily shut down all the effected operations.

While there are many cut and dried fails, there are numerous situations where you can pass or fail a situation with justification for either option.
 

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As I said above, I live in Huntington at the border of Nassau and Suffolk counties on the north shore.
I missed that above. Western Suffolk/Eastern Nassau is a great place to find "Lou." Look for a shop that seems to have a decent daily/weekly turn-around of cars parked outside, but also one that is a little but "grungy" with at least a few old (like decades old) cars outside. Shops that deal only with newer cars or have corporate liability to answer to may think the slightest bushing deflection is the end of the world, but guys who deal with rotted junk all week won't bat an eye at a soft bushing. As the post above me illustrates, the "greener" techs often nit-pick; we deal with that on yearly hull inspections on our vessels. The young USCG guys crawl all through the bilge and look for every drop of oil and look for a no-sail, but their commander will reign them in, issue a couple of 835s, and tell us "see you next year."

I may have missed it, but have you actually raised the front tires off the ground to check for play.sound yourself? A bad ball joint will very quickly prove itself to actually be bad, qualitatively. Listen for the slightest "tink" sound, or ANY deflection between the control arm and steering knuckle (swivel bearing in BMW-speak). Grab the tire at 6 and 12 o'clock and shake, then repeat at 3 and 9 o'clock. With your hand between the tire and the floor, don't rely only on a jack to keep your fingers inflated.

Video of my worn wishbone balljoint failure after only 10-15k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I've been on the receiving end of this as well, when I was the DEA compliance officer for the company where I was working at the time. I took a DEA inspection team (one old guy, one young guy) through on an inspection tour, continually seeing the older agent give the "calm down" wave to the younger one. At the end of the tour, he asked me, "So, what do you think?" I handed him a list of what I though our deficiencies were, what our correction plans were, and a schedule. He looked at and said "Fine. We'll go over this list next time we're here. If you haven't cleaned them up, I'm going to turn him (pointing to the younger agent) loose." There were 3 corporate VPs in the room at the time, and my budget for repairs flew through the capital committee, as he could have easily shut down all the effected operations.

While there are many cut and dried fails, there are numerous situations where you can pass or fail a situation with justification for either option.
[/QUOTE]


I
I would have liked to seen with my own eyes and heard the thinking on why they failed the car. I don't expect much from a Firestone mechanic. This guy was an older gentleman and maybe a career employee. I'm sure they have lots of turnover. I think when the SA said to me he could have also failed me on the tires,, but he'll let it go, that was his way to rationalize failing me on the control arms without feeling a like a bad person. The tires have been replaced so many times over the years due to the incredibly crappy roads here in NY, that I have to also recheck that assessment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I may have missed it, but have you actually raised the front tires off the ground to check for play.sound yourself? A bad ball joint will very quickly prove itself to actually be bad, qualitatively. Listen for the slightest "tink" sound, or ANY deflection between the control arm and steering knuckle (swivel bearing in BMW-speak). Grab the tire at 6 and 12 o'clock and shake, then repeat at 3 and 9 o'clock. With your hand between the tire and the floor, don't rely only on a jack to keep your fingers inflated.
[/QUOTE]

Haven't done that yet. George suggested the same. I have the parts so I will probably do the repair and document it for other newbies like me when we get back to above 40 degrees. I will also document doing what you and George suggested for the record. Again just to be clear, if my car FELT like there was something wrong I would have never made a big fuss. But it doesn't. I don't know why, and I wish I could change it, but I'm an aggessive driver, not in terms of intimidating others on the road, but I drive fast and take turns and highway entrance loops very fast. I enjoy my car. I NEVER feel any sense of wander, loss of control or instability. I still use the original Turanza run flat tires. Thats how I started with Firestone. They are owned by Bridgestone. I have lost many tires to the crappy roads in NY and amazingly to nails in the sidewall.

As far as the YouTube video you posted, in theory I can't be failed on ball joints.
 

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As the post above me illustrates, the "greener" techs often nit-pick; we deal with that on yearly hull inspections on our vessels. The young USCG guys crawl all through the bilge and look for every drop of oil and look for a no-sail, but their commander will reign them in, issue a couple of 835s, and tell us "see you next year."
I had a buddy in the merchant marine. He told me that they would typically leave one or two easily corrected things for the inspectors to find, just to keep them from digging until they found something no one was expecting.
 
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