Experiencing shaky steering wheel when you lightly hit the brake? Could it be the bushings? One common problem under the suspension is the control arm bushings failure. The suspension wear and tear problem starts to develop at 100k. Normally, suspension parts linked to the steering knuckle would need to be replaced, and that includes the bushings. Have shotty BMW bushings? Front control arm bushing failure is a common problem for BMW 3 Series models like the E30, E36 and E46.
So how can you determine if your control arm bushings have failed? You can find out if the bushings are shot by jabbing on the brakes or stepping on the brakes softly while moving the car slowly, and have someone to observe the movement of the wheel.
One indication that the BMW bushings are shot or no longer in performing to its purpose is when you apply the brakes lightly and the actual wheel move back about two inches in the wheel housing. Control arm bushing failure makes a pounding or clanking noise that can be heard from the inside as you pan along with your car.
This is a common issue with control arm bushings, and normally the result of age. If your BMW is not feeling as sharp as it used to and notice the car to have that loose feeling when turning, these are indications that your bushings and ball joints are no longer functioning. Worn down bushings can no longer keep the motion of the suspension in check, and you will notice the car wandering more when cornering. Well-performing BMW bushings are the key to a comfortable ride and great handling.
Check the control arm bushings and tie rod ends at every BMW inspection. Generally, rubber bushings can last for more than 100k miles, but this depends on how you drive your car. For city driving with frequent stop and go, with the addition of various loadings, you should anticipate these bushings to show signs of wear and looseness. Ignoring the signs of bushing failure will eventually cause excessive tire wear.
The solution is to replace those shotty bushings with top-of-the-line control arm bushings. You can replace those worn out bushings with polyurethane BMW bushings. These are high quality replacement bushings that can effectively take shocks and vibrations. These new solid polyurethane bushings will bring that comfortable feel back and increase your BMW’s handling performance.
What makes polyurethane bushings the best replacement for the stock BMW bushings? They last longer than the stock rubber bushings. If the problem is more than bad bushings, your car may need a complete control arm overhaul to bring the suspension back to its precise condition.
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