Slightly damaged wheel control arm


When I brought in my BMW 528xi for regular maintenance, my dealer told me there is damage to one wheel’s control arm and needs to be replaced, which they say costs $1000. I’m having no problems with the car. Dealer says part is at risk of cracking completely but picture of the damage shows only about a tenth of the width of the piece missing. Is there really a significant risk? I can email the picture if it helps to answer the question.

I would fix any defective suspension part, no telling what might cause it to fail (pothole, etc.). I would also make sure nothing else is damaged. I would see if an independent BMW shop would do it for less. You’ll also need an alignment afterwards, I imagine.

Thanks so much for your input. They’ve already called me again and brought the price down so I guess I’ll take the hit and do it.

I think you’re making a wise choice. Parts like this when damaged can fail catastrophically and result in a fatality or an accident that could change your life forever.

If the engine isn’t running right you can quibble about whether to fix it, but parts that allow you to control the car and to stop the car should never be neglected. The potential cost of an accident is way too high.

Yes, there is a risk that is much bigger than 10%. 10% off could mean 60% chance that the control arm will just fold up during a turn and the car will go off the road and run into a deep ditch. The car will be found in one week or ten years.

On the West coast area between Lompoc and Buellton Ca. I saw an old Dodge Monaco being pulled up the slope to the road. What was left of the driver after about eight years didn’t look so good. There are a lot of bad places for uncontrolled cars to go. The cars find them a lot more often that you might believe.

I would not be surprised if the 528 had aluminum control arms. Aluminum frame and suspension parts are plenty strong as steel and lighter. The drawback is that, but they tend to fail without warning after relatively minor damage compared to steel.

This kind of damage seldom occurs without the driver being very much aware that something very bad just happened…