I’ve been told I need to replace both the shocks and struts on my 2000 323i BMW. The car has 74,000 miles on it. Has anyone experienced this same problem?
Who told you you needed these things, and what, supposedly, is wrong with the shocks and struts on the car now?
It’s possible they are worn out, but it’s also possible someone is trying to sell you something you don’t need. There are lots of vehicles with two or three times the mileage of your BMW still doing quite well with their original shocks and struts.
I suggest you get another opinion from another mechanic.
Good you posted and asked,way to early for this work,I will ask if your noticing any handling problems or do you notice what is called cupping on your front tires? (let me know of any odd/uneven wear pattern on any tire).
Lower ball joints fail early on your model car,the only sympton is noise over bumps,this is expensive to get repaired $500.00-$750.00.
Dealer or Independant BMW garage? or a “general” garage?
I put new struts on my '97 328 at 225k miles, and on my Volvo sedan at 275k miles. They were overdue, but not (in my opinion) unsafe. The cars felt better with new struts.
You can run shocks/struts that are past their peak performance, but if they start to leak oil, replace them ASAP, because they are about to get unsafe to use. Look them over and see if there is any evidence of leakage on the outside of the struts.
If you are a purist and you drive a BMW specifically because you love the way it handles, then you may want fresh shocks at 75k miles, especially if you drive rough roads.
Parts cost for all new shocks/struts should run about $600 on line. They are not difficult to install if you have the tools, and you know how to use a spring compressor without losing a finger. If you have a place to work on the car, you can do it, or perhaps you can find a friend willing to do it for a few bucks.
I keep hearing the 3-series BMWs tear up ball joints, but I have three high-miles 3-series BMWs in the family, and none of them has had a new ball joint yet.
The mechanic who works on my car said the shocks and struts are worn out. I have been going to this garage for over 10 years. I called two BMW dealers for an opinion. One service manager said he has never seen this happen in over 25 years on the job. For $100, he will do a diagnostics test to determine if I need the work done. The other service manager said it would be unusual but he would have to do a diagnostics test for $50 and estimated the cost of the work at $1900. My mechanic gave me an estimate of $1200. I plan to keep the car but certainly want to be sure I need this work done. Right now, I’m thinking I should spend $50 and have the BMW shop look at the car. Does this make sense to you?
The tires are fine and the car handles OK. A little rougher now that it is almost 10 yrs. old, but that’s it. The garage that I use specializes in foreign cars and is one that I’ve used for over 15 yrs. I’d like to think the guy is honest. I called two BMW dealers and the service managers seemed skeptical. I can take it to one of them, pay a fee for a diagnostics test, and get a second opinion. That’s what I’m considering now.
I haven’t noticed any oil leaking, but I will double check. The $600 for the parts is about what was quoted, so that’s good to know. I would have to pay to have the work done. My mechanic quoted $1200. A BMW dealer who hasn’t seen the car yet estimated $1900 for the work. These costs include labor.
You are right about different experiences with e-46 (and 36) ball joints,when I worked in Milwaukee we did several sets a week,my friends here in Tucson (also Dealer mechanics never did any)one tech on The Old Wrench said he did quite a few, same with techs on Flatratetech.com,I have no explaniation,we did so many in WI. we got a special visit from the Tech Rep,we were cleared of any wrong doing.