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      07-03-2022, 12:44 AM   #1
co_spgs_f15x5
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Puzzling Failures - Front Control Arm Bushings and Rear Spring / Strut

My father (age 87) recently purchased a 2017 X3 xDrive35i used with approximately 5k miles. It showed a clean Carfax and BMW of Myrtle Beach, SC did a pre-purchase inspection and reported no issues.

Less than 30 days and 500 miles later, the passenger rear spring failed and damaged the strut. Also the front end got sloppy and the dealer inspected and stated ďfront thrust arm bushings failedĒ.

What would cause these types of failures on a low mileage 5-year old car. It appears the vehicle was purchased and kept in FL from 2017 - 2022. I question whether there was water / flood damage that was not reported.

Unfortunately Iím 1700 miles away in Colorado so Iím not able to see the vehicle in person.

Oh, the dealer charged $700 labor to replace the two front thrust arms and $700 labor to replace the passenger side spring and strut. That seems excessive to me. Front control arm install for a similar vehicle at a Colorado Springs dealership was $350.

They also wanted $200 to dismount 4 tires and another $200 to mount ; new tires purchased through the dealership. Iím used to paying about $22 / wheel (not $100!) for mounting and lifetime balance. And these are 245/45/19 tires so weíre not talking about a razor thin sidewall.

Last edited by co_spgs_f15x5; 07-03-2022 at 12:49 AM..
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      07-03-2022, 07:50 AM   #2
Opie55
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Dealer pricing varies widely by location and dealer, but is always higher than an independent mechanic, sometime grossly higher. There is just no reason to go to a dealer for things like tires or suspension work. Any competent shop can do that stuff. A BMW control arm is not really different to swap than a KIA or Chevy.

As for why they failed, hard to say at such low miles. Unusual for sure.
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      07-03-2022, 08:01 AM   #3
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Very unusual failures at such extremely low mileage. I have read posts on this forum about rear springs failing, several instances, but usually those cars had many miles on the clock.

Thrust arm bushings on BMW cars are rubber and are fluid filled. Over time and use the rubber will deteriorate/crack and fluid leaks out- but again that is typically at high mileages, 75K or often much higher.

BMW dealers are notoriously expensive for parts and labor, better to find an independent euro car shop going forward.

I presume no warranty on the vehicle, so your father is SOL, darn. Seems the inspection should have turned up the bushing issue- the spring failure is sort of random quirk.
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      07-03-2022, 07:46 PM   #4
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I wonder how much of this could be fabricated by the dealer taking advantage of your dad.
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