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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 03-28-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
E46kitten
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York
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My Ride: 325xi 2003
Need Help ASAP - axle fell apart

Hi guys.. Need some advice. Back in Sept I stupidly took my 325xi to dealer to get oil change...while there they told me left front axle needed to replaced bcuz I can cause an accident if it fails. Having had that experience on right side I decided (STUPIDLY) to have it serviced. Now March while at car wash the wheel came off. I look under the car and I see control arm hanging..axle ball popped and green fluid all over. After a nightmare trying to transport car back to dealer they tell me warranty doesn't cover this wreckage... Clearly the axle ball exploded making control arm pop out leading to wheel fall off..at least this is what I think happened. Has this happened to anyone?Click image for larger version

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Last edited by Solidjake; 03-29-2015 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:17 PM   #2
Statik330
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Need Help ASAP

They would have had to remove all of that to do the half-shaft replacement, how many miles between this and the service? If it were my car, the dealer's GM would be hearing from me...

PS, judging from marks on the axle, plus this incident in itself, I'm saying they screwed up putting it back together. Maybe part failure(s) also played into this, but being that they were just working on those same components, they need to take some accountability here. Luckily it was low-speed in a parking lot, not at 80mph on the freeway!

Last edited by Statik330; 03-28-2015 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
jmo69
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I've only done one axle and I never had to do anything involving the control arm and ball joints.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:03 AM   #4
My325XI
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+1 on what Statik330 said. Plus the part has a 2yr warranty from the dealer.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:36 AM   #5
Statik330
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And I believe dealer labor is also covered, meaning if the parts aren't faulty but work was done improperly you're covered. Within certain mileage of course, I'm not sure what that is though. 12k maybe?
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:08 PM   #6
E46kitten
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I put less than 300 miles since the service because i don't like to drive in the snow. They are saying that as a good gesture they will warrant the axle but I have to pay another $1800 to fix the control arm and ball joint. I just feel like towing it elsewhere and having it fixed than put a claim in against BMW. Either way I get screwed.
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:11 PM   #7
E46kitten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I've only done one axle and I never had to do anything involving the control arm and ball joints.

You are right. I only replaced the axle on the right side w another mechanic and never again had a problem with it. Can't ever trust the dealerships.
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:14 PM   #8
Statik330
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Nope, you tell them the car had zero issues before they replaced the axle, supposedly as a PM, and now 300 miles later this happened. 100% their fault. Throw the word lawyer around if need be because that hackjob created a HUGE safety issue, and they're liable. When those components fail, they don't fail in the way yours did.
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:54 PM   #9
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statik330 View Post
Nope, you tell them the car had zero issues before they replaced the axle, supposedly as a PM, and now 300 miles later this happened. 100% their fault. Throw the word lawyer around if need be because that hackjob created a HUGE safety issue, and they're liable. When those components fail, they don't fail in the way yours did.
+1.

Lawyer.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
jc179
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Wow, never seen a failure like that.

Usually the ball joint pops out , but in this case that didn't happen. Looks like someone monkied with the control arm/ball joint.

Though, thinking the lower ball joint is held in with a rubber press fit bushing (basically hopes and dreams to me).. makes wonder if that's such a wise design...

Sorry to see that OP
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:28 PM   #11
e46alfonso
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this isnt an axle failure, its a control arm failure causing the wheel to extend outside and the axle to pop out. thats dangerous as hell.
check what brand the control arm is.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:37 PM   #12
Kubica
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Originally Posted by e46alfonso View Post
this isnt an axle failure, its a control arm failure causing the wheel to extend outside and the axle to pop out. thats dangerous as hell.
check what brand the control arm is.
Yeah I bet the tech used a pickle fork on that ball joint to remove the axle. The ball joint is intact and was pulled right out of the control arm.

It's also odd they told him the axle was the safety issue when a failing ball joint is much more dangerous.

I generally abuse my suspension and run through parts, but I have never had a failure like that and I've never seen anyone post anything like that. There would be other carnage to the car if this was from road damage. The wheel and tire would be destroyed if you hit something with enough force to take out the arm like that.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:28 PM   #13
zander271
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Op the dealership needs to cover the parts and the labor. That is barnyard work they did on your car.

I've done both CV axles on my XI, Kubica is correct in the fact there would be other damage to the car if you hit something to cause this.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:46 PM   #14
jfoj
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All dealer repairs carry a 24 Month/Unlimited Mileage Warranty. This is to cover the replacement part, not necessarily a part that was not replaced that failed after the repair.

The problem is it does not look like the lower control arm was replaced. It may have been disturbed/removed, but does not look like it was replaced.

If you have only put 300 miles on the car since the repair, I would question what happened in the past 300 miles for the ball joint to come out of the lower control arm and why the dealer did not see there could have been a problem about the happen.

Good luck, dealer is not likely going to do anything in this case for you.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:02 PM   #15
EJ713
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It may have been a bad ball joint the entire time and the tech misdiagnosed it. As other's have said, never saw that before. Is that an OE control arm or aftermarket?
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