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Bushings & Ball Joints

I recently was told by my long time mechanic (5+ years) that I needed to have the bushings & ball joints replaced on my 1997 Mercedes c230. My husband said he thought we had already had that done. The mechanic told me, no they were originals.

I keep all my receipts and found the one showing the bushings & ball joints had been replaced 4 years ago. I called the mechanic and told him. He seemed surprised and looked it up in his computer and confirmed it. He has asked me to bring the car by so he can take another look at it. My husband wants me to take it to the local dealer and let them have a look first. I am really concerned that the work was never done in the first place. What do you think?

Thanks. And by the way, I love reading your column in the paper.

4 years is plenty of time to wear them out again depending on mileage,road conditions, and driving style. Seems unlikely but probable so a second opinion diagnosis is a great idea here.

Second opinion yes,using the Dealer for second opinion ,no.

This would be a classic apples to oranges condition.

Independants and Dealers do not think the same in diagnosis ,pricing,and how complete they must do a job before they will warranty it.

Not only will the Dealer look at the items requested you will get a list of items you never dreamed were a problem,further complicating your decision.

I would be extremely dissapointed in my mechanic of 5yrs for not remembering that he had already put ball joints in my car.

What problem were you having that ended up with the bad ball joint diagnosis?

yes hes correct,GOD forbid taking it to the dealer , and find out ALL the things wrong with the car, your mechanic never mentioned.

HMMMM! sounds really bad! "Dealer look at the items requested you will get a list of items you never dreamed were a problem,further complicating your decision:) ( ABOVE look up)


was for oldschool,the one who talks so much of backflagging(well theres a reason techs get backflagged,the reason is poor work,and superior comebacks.

the advice he gave you was terrible,just imagine you have an unsafe car,and you never get told about it through your regular mechanic,maybe because he can not fix said problem (or just does not have the knowledge)or will not spend money on new and improved tools.whatever the case may be.

I dont want you on the road with me .

2nd opinion is a GREAT IDEA! and no IM not talkin about inj service,brake flush,a-c service.I dont sell that stuff unless there is a reason or the manf recommeds it.


It’s quite possible ball joints and bushings(?) could fail within 4 years depending on the road surfaces and environmental conditions.

So your mechanic is the one who replaced these originally and claims that he hadn’t; they were the originals?
One would think you’re a regular customer he would have checked his files on your car before feeding you a line of BS.

I agree with your husband; and getting a list of items that need repaired does not mean they’re gouging you. Only a shoddy operation would get a repair order that stated “Check ball joints” and fail to inspect everything else.
Most of the time people are blissfully unaware they actually need a number of things repaired.


Second opinions are good and since this is a semi free country go to a dealer and get thier opinion. Others are correct is stateing they will give you a list of other recommended repairs but if you do not want them simply tell them no.
Independant shops are no better or no worse than dealers ( although they do have cheaper labor rates), it all depends on the person you are dealing with or the companies knowledge and/or integrity.

I try to do all my own work but when I could not I have been treated better by dealers then by independants. It is no crime to go to the dealer for an opinion.

I am going to disagree with the majority here. On a '97 Mercedes, you probably have something on the order of 125k miles by now. If your roads are a less then perfect, you might just about be due for your FIRST replacement of bushings and ball joints at 125k on a small Mercedes. If they were replaced four years ago, that would have been earlier than expected unless you are rolling up a lot of miles. If they are failing again after only four years, you must be rather hard on cars, or something fishy is going on.

I am not quite as dealer-averse as some, but if you are near a major metro area, there are a lot of good German specialty shops out there that you could use.

Actually, when I told him no on replacing them for now. He said it wasn’t absolutely necessary, just that we were entering rainy season and it could affect my being able to handle the car better in the rain.