Tires & Front End


#1

My 2002 BMW X5 needs new tires. I really don’t want my shop to replace the tires as it will cost way more than at a tire place. My shop said I need to replace the bushings (I believe he said idler arm bushings) when I replace the tires otherwise any alignment and wheel balancing wouldn’t work and the tires would have uneven wear from the start. Is that true?? If so, can a tire place be trusted to do the bushing replacement?? Any idea of cost for bushings??
Thanks for any insight.


#2

Are all 4 tires worn? Or are the front tires worn oddly due to an alignment issue? U could cheap out and find 2 used tires for the front. Than all 4 would have same tread depth for your 4wd scheme. Real easy to find used tires with the Internet.


#3

First question: do the bushings really need replacement? What are the symptoms that indicate bad bushings? Do you trust the shop that told you they should be replaced? If not, get a second opinion from someone you trust.

If the bushings do need replacement, I would do that first, by someone you trust. What price has your shop quoted for that work?

Then you can get your tires and alignment from a reputable tire shop. You can also get tires directly from tirerack.com and have a local tire place mount, balance and install them, then do the alignment.


#4

Idler arm? No rack and pinion steering? If you do have worm and roller steering, then the idler arm bushing could be bad, usually they just replace the whole idler arm, not just the bushing, but it shouldn’t cost too much, but then it is a BMW.

Anyone can replace one, they are pretty simple if you have the right tools, like a pitman arm puller. It should not even affect the alignment, but you may still need an alignment if your tires did not wear evenly.


#5

Is there any misinterpretation about what bushing(s) are needed and you may be referring to control arm bushings? This vehicle should have rack and pinion steering.

If the control arm bushings are worn then this is a repair that needs to be done prior to alignment and tires.
The price can vary widely due to a number of factors but there needs to be a clear understanding of exactly what is needed first.


#6

Looked up BMW suspension “kits” online. Seems “bobs car world” has kits which include lateral links and tierods and so on. $1300 list on sale for $235. Really makes you wonder where they came up with “list” price? Is that for BMW oem parts vs Chinese knockoff parts? The X5 front suspension is quite elaborate. As is all BMW suspensions.