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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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May 10, 2005

Yesterday I got a call from the parts department with news that not only had the dealer's service manager agreed to replace the defective rim, the rim had arrived in inventory -- just in time for my appointment today.

(Image: Control Arm Bushings)The road force numbers were slightly better (lower) than last time. One tire was less than 2 lbs (effectively perfect), while the others were 4, 7 and (gulp) 14. However, the highest reading was due to a very slightly out-of-round rim, not the tire itself. The problem rim was on the right front, but my mechanic moved it to the right rear in an effort to reduce its effects. Frankly, I didn't feel it when it was on the front, and following some driving, I can't feel any vibration with it mounted on the rear either.

Thankfully, the rhythmic noise coming from the front end is gone (it was indeed a result of tire wear) and the steering is a bit more more neutral -- not that the old tires tramlined to any significant extent. The steering also feels a bit more "insulated" than it did previously, but that may have something to do with the new control arm mounts.

It may be hard to see from the picture, but my old mounts had started to crack (and one was cracked nearly half-way through), so my mechanic's advice turned out to be correct. If you're wondering when you should replace your mounts, I think it has a lot to do with your driving habits and/or the number of potholes you've cursed, but 100K indeed seems to be a good point to replace them. As usual, the labor cost isn't cheap, but the mounts themselves are reasonably priced -- especially given how long they last.

Fortunately, I can at classify a bulk of the expenses on this latest maintenance binge as "scheduled" or "routine". Tires wear out, and there's nothing much you can do about that, short of not driving the car...and to a BMW owner, 'dems fightin' woids!

Labor: $427, Parts $30, Total $485, Total Mileage: 116193.