Suspension question

#1

i am told that the upper control arm and sway bars on my 2003 bmw 325xi need to be replaced. the car has 48k miles on it. how many miles should are car have on it before these parts are replaced? how much should it cost me to get it done?

#2

It really depends. Are you an overly aggressive driver…like every other BMW owner I know??? If so…then expect to replace some suspension part every 40-50k miles.

As for cost…Have no idea…check around. An independent will be a lot cheaper. And I suspect there are plenty of aftermarket parts due to the nature of the BMW drivers.

#3

I’ve never had to replace these parts on any car, regardless of mileage, and I’ve had cars with nearly 200K miles on them. Are you sure they didn’t say “sway bar bushings?” Unless the car has been in crash, or suffered physical damage to the suspension the control arm and sway bar should last the life of the car.

As far as cost goes, BMW = Break My Wallet.

#4

Hah hah hah! Those are great answers. You’ll be surprised to know that I’m not overly aggressive on the road, but I live in NJ so I am fending for my life on the roads daily. I think I’ll check out a couple of independents over the weekend to get some more feedback. Thanks a lot for the feedback.

#5

Hah hah hah! You’ll be surprised to know that I’m not overly aggressive on the road, but I live in NJ so I am fending for my life on the roads daily. I think I’ll check out a couple of independents over the weekend to get some more feedback. Thanks a lot for the feedback.

#6

Ask an independent if they really need to be replaced or are worn.

The truth is BMW’s have incredible handling and ride balance. However if suspension is not kept up with after 100k-150k they typically turn into everyday cars in this respect.

#7

these parts should last the lifetime of the car if not an abused vehicle. My 2002 330CiConvertible has 45,000 miles on it and it is as tight as a drum. I have owned
Corvettes, NSX, and other BMW converible and am not a shy driver, Bushings are much more likely to fail…not the metal.

#8

I’m not positive, but I think the reason for the upper control arm needing replaced would be because of a bad ball joint. I think that the upper ball joint and the upper contol arm cannot be seperated and need to be replaced as one unit on that vehicle.

#9

You’ll be surprised to know that I’m not overly aggressive

EXTREMELY SURPRISED.

#10

At 48k miles there should not be a control arm or sway bar problem. However, if one does exist the most likely causes would be prior collision damage, salt and/or heavy rain water doing them in, or a lot of miles on very rough roads. (especially washboard and expansion crack roadways)

Does the car have any particular symptoms and who diagnosed this problem?

#11

I believe that is lower control arm, very common to need replaced I have done many mostly for ball joint problems,replace entire arm,what problem are they citing?

Probably a 700-900 dollar job,ball joints get noisy,not really safety related.Must do entire arm.Sway bar links are also common, noisy,not safety related.

Think Macpherson strut,no upper control arm.

#12

In Jersey you would have to kill someone to be considered “overly aggressive.” If you want other Beemer drivers to think of you as aggressive, you have to break the sound barrier.

With the conditions of the roads in much of the state, this problem doesn’t surprise me at all…and cost?..you’re driving a Beemer for goodness sake!

#13

It’s a BMW, and something strange is always a possibility. There should be a second opinion available nearby. It’s as easy as naming a chemical company in New Jersey. Campbell’s Soup doesn’t count.

#14

How many BMW techs are responding to this post? I count 1.The ball joints make noise on both the xi and the non awd cars,I have done many more on the non awd cars