What are the BMW suspension Problems?(+5 Pro Tips for massive savings)

In this brief article we are going to discuss what are BMW suspension problems, what causes them and how to effectively deal with them.

How do you know if your BMW suspension is damaged?

To know if your BMW suspension is damaged, here are the of warnings you could observe in your car:

  • Pulling to one side
  • Experiencing even the small of bumps
  • Hard to steer the car
  • Sitting low to one side
  • Experiencing more Lean back, Nose dive and Roll
  • Tire shaking or vibration after hitting holes or bumps

A Damaged suspension system almost always leads to an uncomfortable ride, on top of the fact that it could also lead to expensive repairs in the near future. It would therefore be wise to address these at the earliest. Once you have observed the above symptoms in your BMW, the next step would be to do a thorough inspection of the suspension components. The reason could be one or more components that have worn out and need replacement. 

What are the causes for BMW 3 Series suspension issues?

The BMW 3 series suspension issues are:

  • Worn out or leaking Struts/Dampers
  • Worn-out Control Arms
    • Inner Hydraulic Thrust Bushing failure in xDrive cars
  • Control-Arm Bushing failure Rear-wheel drive cars
  • Control-Arm Ball-joint failure Rear-wheel drive
  • Rear Suspension Control-Arm bending and corrosion and Bush worn out

The rear Control-arms in the 3 series are made of Sheet-metal. Due to this, they tend to be weak and susceptible to corrosion. 

  • Control-Arm Ball-joint Rubber boot damaged subsequently leaking joint grease and allowing dust, water to enter
  • Worn-out Anti-roll bar Drop-links
  • Worn-out Tie-Rods

Even though replacement OE parts are the obvious next step for these issues, please go through the Pro-tips before you go about your repair. By following these tips, you stand to gain much in savings as well as suspension service-life.

How do I effectively solve BMW suspension issues? (+5 Pro tips for massive savings on your BMW Suspension Repair)

  • Thrust arm Bushing failure

Switch to M3 Thrust arm. The M3 Thrust arm has a Solid-Rubber Thrust Bushing instead of Hydraulic Thrust Bushing. It therefore gives you almost double the service life. The M3 bushing will look like this:

  • Front suspension Lower-rear Control-arm Bushing & Ball-joint failure in Rear-wheel drive cars

While replacing the Control-arm, replace with the M3 model equivalent part which is of the exact fitment dimension. The only difference being that the M3 Control-arm uses a spherical inner joint, and is far more durable. It also has an increased Camber which improves handling.

  • Rear Suspension Control-arm Bending, Corrosion and Bush failure

The rear Control-arms in the 3 series are made of Sheet-metal. Due to this, they tend to be weak and susceptible to corrosion. 

While replacement, similar to the earlier suggestions, replace these parts with the equivalent M3 parts. The M3 parts are made of cast aluminium and are therefore stronger and far more durable.

  • Rear Shock Absorber failure

During replacement of the rear shock absorbers, make sure to replace:

  • The Shock Absorber top mounting bushes, as these are soft and tend to wear out quickly.
  • The Shock absorber Bottom mounting bushes
  • The Suspension Shock Bump-stop Failure

These Bump-stops these tend to have a shorter life and are one of the first components to fail in the rear suspension. So each time you do a rear Shock absorber replacement, make sure to replace the Bump stops as well. This would extend the life of the new shock absorber as well.

Other articles about  BMW you may be interested in

BMW Chassis Codes Explained

BMW X1 Suspension Issues Explained

BMW Chassis Mounted Shifter Explained


In this brief article we have discussed what are BMW suspension problems, what causes them and how to effectively deal with them.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): BMW Suspension System?

Does BMW have good suspension?

The BMW’s unique suspension design results in one of the world’s best ride quality in any car. Many of BMW’s competitors use lower control arms and a single ball joint, but the BMW uses dual-link struts with their individual ball joints.

How much does it cost to fix BMW suspension?

The cost to fix a BMW 328i Suspension is as follows: 

Labor costs can range anywhere from $350 to about $500. The  parts could cost around $1,600. 

Again, this range depends on the chassis number and how old your BMW 328i is.

How long does BMW suspension last?

A BMW that is regularly inspected and maintained suspension could last 10 years or longer. The BMW suspension including the struts, springs, steering, and other components, are actually engineered to last this long. 30-40k miles could be taken as the ballpark life expectancy of a front Damper strut. For the rear Damper assembly you could expect a maximum life of 80k miles.

The most important variable involved in a vehicle’s suspension service life is always the owner’s habits and driving style, meaning is it more aggressive or subtle. The more aggressive are the driving habits, the lesser will be the suspension life. The second most important factor would be the environment where the vehicle is used, namely terrain and also whether it is a place close to the ocean with salt and moisture in the air.

How do I know if my BMW shocks are bad?

You can know if your BMW shocks are bad if you find any of the following symptoms:

  • During normal driving over bumps or potholes, you notice that the suspension bounces more than usual before settling
  • When going over a bump you notice a thumping noise. It might be a failure of the shock top mount
  • When inspecting your shock absorber, you find oil at the lower tube of the shock absorber as shown below