View Full Version : Rear suspension parts need replacement?

05-05-2008, 12:13 PM
I just had a mechanic friend replace the control arms and bushings on my 2002 325i that has 74K miles. Should I get the rear parts replaced too before getting an alignment or have a shop inspect and let me know what needs replacing?

05-05-2008, 01:35 PM
Have a shop check it out. You will save labor cost in the long run if you drop your suspension once rather than multiple times. I am not familier with the E46 suspension system. In the E31 the whole subframe gets lowered most of the time as well as the exhaust.

05-05-2008, 02:17 PM
I just had a mechanic friend replace the control arms and bushings on my 2002 325i that has 74K miles. Should I get the rear parts replaced too before getting an alignment or have a shop inspect and let me know what needs replacing?

I've always gone with the idea of, "if it's not broke - don't fix it."

Based on my knowledge of the E46, the front suspension typically needs replaced well in advance of the rear. A good alignment shop will be able to see if you actually need to replace any parts, and if they need replaced, they will be able to physically show you why.

05-05-2008, 02:54 PM
Also...When did you have your last Inspection II done? A lot of serviceable items could have been the result of it.

Inspection II
(BMWs 1988 - Present)

Change engine oil and filter while engine is at normal operating temperature.
Check transmission for leaks.
Check rear axle for leaks.
Visually check fuel tank, lines and connection for leaks.
Check condition, position and mounting of exhaust system. Examine for leaks.
Check power steering system for leaks.
Check steering for absence of play, condition of suspension track rods, front axle joints, steering linkage and joint disc.
Inspect front and rear disc brake pads, check overall thickness. Examine brake disc surfaces.
Grease wheel centering hubs.
Check brake system connections and lines for leaks, damage and incorrect positioning.
Check for free movement of the parking brake cables. Adjust parking brake if necessary.
Check all tire pressures (including spare). Correct if necessary.
Check condition of tires (outer surfaces, left/right), tread wear, readjust wheel alignment if requested (invoice separately).

Engine Compartment

Read out diagnostic system
Check engine cooling system/heater hose connections for leaks. Check coolant level and antifreeze if required
Check brake fluid level. Add fluid if required.
Check windshield washer fluid level and antifreeze protection. Add fluid if required.
Check air conditioner for operation
Reset service indicator

Body / Electrical
Check battery electrolyte level and add distilled water if required.
Perform battery load test.
Check lighting system, i.e.; headlights, fog lights, parking, back-up, license plate, interior (including map reading lights), glove box, flashlight, illuminated makeup mirrors, luggage compartment lights.
Check instrument panel and dashboard illumination.
Check all warning indicator lights, check control.
Check turn signals, hazard warning flashers, brake lights, horns, headlight dimmer and flasher switch.
Check wipers and washer system(s); wiper blades, and washer jet positions.
Check condition and function of safety belts.
Check central locking/double lock.
Oil hood, trunk and door hinges. Grease hood, trunk and door latches. Check operation of all latches.
Check heater/air conditioner blower, rear window defogger, replace filter if applicable.
Check rear view mirrors.
Install oil service reminder.
Replace spark plugs.
Replace intake air cleaner element.
Half-shafts: Check for leaks at flexible boots.
Replace fuel filter.
Change oil in rear axle while at normal operating temperature.
Change oil in manual transmission if applicable.
Change auto transmission fluid if applicable.*

Final Inspection
Road test with check of brakes, suspension, steering clutch/manual transmission or automatic transmission

*Automatic transmissions with LIFETIME TRANSMISSION fluid in the transmission are NOT included.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-07-2008, 10:13 PM
RTABs have a short lifespan as well. (These are the rear toe bushings.) With 74K you should replace them before getting an alignment.

05-08-2008, 06:14 AM
Rear subframe failure is common in E46s even for vehicles that have never seen a DS or autox course. My bro is dealing with this FUBAR with his.

Has BMW ever built a 3 series without a major issues ie E30 had the profile gasket failure in the 318 and the 335i has issues with high oil temps. E36 Coupes had roofs that collapsed and the E36M3 had engine issues. E46 also have problems with their doors etc.

the Ultimate Repair machine?

Dave Apker and the collies

05-08-2008, 09:44 AM
the Ultimate Repair machine?

The ultimate quote. LOL.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-08-2008, 09:22 PM
Rear subframe mount failure is a real easy fix if you pay any attention to how your car feels. When the initial failure occurs, you'll hear creaking and the car will feel like shit. That means it's time to get it inspected.

At that point, get it welded back together and install the Turner kit.

(I've had subframe mount failure in 2 out of 3 RWD E46es and I *still* don't think it's a big deal.)

05-09-2008, 06:36 AM
Actually it is a big deal it show BMW moving away from the Ultimate Driving Machine to a vehicle with cupholders, I drive and internet access.
Moving away from its core values to chasing tech trends and the reliability of simple mechanical components has suffered ie rear subframes, cooling systems and engines to name a few.

As a result R&D dollars are spent on vehicles like the X6 and we will soon have BMW drivers try to text message, talk on the phone and access the internet all at the same time. Might be time to change my views on raods that drive the car for you. Maybe they can get a tie in deal w/ Nintendo so BMW dirvers cna play WII and drive at the same time.

Rear subframe failure also is big deal to normal BMW owner who doesnt know the symptoms and cant DIY it. Especially if the car ahs never been tracked. It just shitty and stupid engineering.

Dave Apker and the collies

05-09-2008, 02:11 PM
Not sure if I replied to the Inspection II question. Yes, I had this performed in 2007 and the mechanic did all the standard stuff plus change my plugs, but no mention of any suspension issues at that time.