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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 11-23-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
mtromszc
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Front End Shake..more than CV Joint? Plase help

Hey Everyone,
I have a 2005 330Xi with about 85K miles on it.
So few days ago, my steering wheel started shaking really bad, it almost felt like a wobble after abou 20 min on the highway. I think I also heard a clicking noise on my passanger side. I pulled over, got really scared, and actually started doing research right on the side of the road thinking I might need it towed. I found the numerous posts on the infamous Dry CV joint problem. I slowly drove home, about 15 miles. And parked the car for about a week. Today I went to a local Mavis as it is the closest shop from my house. Surprisingly the car drove perfectly. Im guessing thats because the axle did not have a chance to heat up.
They are telling me I need
Both Axles $480
Control Arms $644
Control arm (torsion?) $220
Labor 190
Thanks over 1500
They said the use remanufactured OEM parts and give 12 months 12K mieles warranty on it
This seems like a lot, could a bad axle cause all this? Im I getting ripped off? My regular mechanic told me that my control arms were ok just 4 months ago.
Also, is it safe for me to drive about 20 miles to get a second opinion from my regular mechanic...its sounds really bad when Im driving
Thank You all in advance...
Michael

Last edited by mtromszc; 11-23-2012 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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20 miles should be fine to drive to your regular mechanic.. It sounds like a whole lot of cash to me. I would purchase your own parts and bring them with you. I do that all the time and it saves big bucks. OEM parts are overrated IMO. There are plenty of great aftermarket ones out there.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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If you heard clicking means the joints is gone. Means you need new axles no point in rebuilding. But you can also drive to another shop, the damage is already done lol.

You can pick up a set of OEM axles at about $300-450 online that's for one. I don't see how both have died but it's quite possible. There is some cheap axles for like $80-$100 a pop. I highly doubt this guy is using OEM parts and giving you both for $480..

Those one's hes giving you must the cheap EMPI ones that explode after 1k miles. Ask him what brand name they are.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...FILTER_TOOL=ON

No idea what a control arm torsion is.. Control arms, if there is no play in the wheels then I would say screw it. The mechanic is probably figuring he throw you some new control arms since he's down there already swapping an axle and make himself some more $$$$$.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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Oh so axles... If he's using OEM then that's an ok price.
Control arms. If they actually are bad that's an ok price.
Torsion control arm? Maybe he means sway bar? That's the only thing I could think of. I'm guessing your sway bar end link broke because that's REALLY common. However that would be less than $50 in parts and should be done for free with other work.
I'm assuming your prices are with labor. If not then run away
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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I would not take your car to Mavis. They probably don't know what they are talking about, because I find that even shops that claim to be BMW specialists don't know much either. A Mavis mechanic probably knows absolutely nothing about our cars. Find a good BMW independent mechanic. It will be hard to find one, but worth it when you find it. Then, when he diagnoses what you need, buy the parts online yourself and save over 50% and just pay him labor.

The axle price is okay
The control arm price is a ripoff. You can buy upgraded Meyle HD parts for much cheaper
Control arm torsion? not sure what he's talking about there. maybe the control arm bushings. 150 is a good price, 220 is not.

Last edited by WDE46; 11-23-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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if your having your front axels replaced (I assume you have an XI?) go OEM or GKN Loebrow only. Do not use DSS or ELDI or anything else. I had mine done using DSS to my chagrin, and they were trashed a month later. I have read mixed things about reman OEM's from A-1 cardone, so that may be a cheaper alternative.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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I just spoke to them again, A1Cardone for parts
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:21 PM   #8
jeepo23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtromszc View Post
I just spoke to them again, A1Cardone for parts
A1 cardone is not so bad.

Ask them if that price is including your core return. Because your old axles are worth something.

What I did is I picked up a rebuild A1cardone last year, I bought it took it to them to install (my front left was gone, torn boot). Of course they were sneaky and wanted to keep it I said no thanks, leave the old axle in my trunk.

I picked up a repair kit for $20 and I'm going to repair that torn boot and have a new OEM axle again, and I'll swap it back in place of that cardone. Only reason I didn't do it at the time was because I was on a time constraint so i needed it done. And they were willing to give me a $50 core on my axle.. and then probably resell it to the next customer for $300.

Price out axles for the front and have them install it, they will jack up the price because they gotta make a dime on the parts as well not just labor.

Last edited by jeepo23; 11-23-2012 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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Also for $540 from pelicanparts you can have 2-front axles shipped to your door. Take it to them to install. The $60 price difference is going to be worth it and not you having to go back 6months later to get a new axles after this A1 fails their selling you.

If their price is $480 including labor that's different then, but these are very simple to install. You can do it in your driveway with BASIC TOOLS!
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #10
mtromszc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepo23 View Post
If you heard clicking means the joints is gone. Means you need new axles no point in rebuilding. But you can also drive to another shop, the damage is already done lol.

You can pick up a set of OEM axles at about $300-450 online that's for one. I don't see how both have died but it's quite possible. There is some cheap axles for like $80-$100 a pop. I highly doubt this guy is using OEM parts and giving you both for $480..

Those one's hes giving you must the cheap EMPI ones that explode after 1k miles. Ask him what brand name they are.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...FILTER_TOOL=ON

No idea what a control arm torsion is.. Control arms, if there is no play in the wheels then I would say screw it. The mechanic is probably figuring he throw you some new control arms since he's down there already swapping an axle and make himself some more $$$$$.
By the damage being already done, Im guessing I can get them rebuilt. However, how risky is it for me to drive for a 2nd opinion? I asked the guy if I can "drive home". The guy is telling me "I wouldnt do it, your fornt end is bad, dont hit any potholes" Is he trying to scare me into leaving the car with them?
Thanks again,
M
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
jeepo23
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Originally Posted by mtromszc View Post
By the damage being already done, Im guessing I can get them rebuilt. However, how risky is it for me to drive for a 2nd opinion? I asked the guy if I can "drive home". The guy is telling me "I wouldnt do it, your fornt end is bad, dont hit any potholes" Is he trying to scare me into leaving the car with them?
Thanks again,
M
Big scare.... Unless your stuff is physically broken/hanging/loose sure, don't drive. Otherwise your fine to go to your 2nd mechanic.

If you heard the axle clicking, that means the joints are most likely gone so you need new ones.. can't rebuild them. That's a sign if their gone is if they click, some people can catch these in time and when they see torn boots they can swap them out before the grease escapes/dries all out so they can rebuild them.

If you have a jack, put the car up and take some pictures with a camera of the front end. Show us your axle boots and other steering related stuff.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
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Clicking noise is definitely axle.

As far as shaking while driving, lift front end up and put a pry bar against your lower control arm and try to move it, if there's barely any play it is okay, but if it moves around easily, it may need replacing and I would replace the thrust bushing as well (maybe this is that 220$ part he was talking about? OEM is cheaper..)

I bought LCAs and thrust bushings from Mike Kent at bmwpartsstore for around 500 I believe, not bad price imo.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtromszc View Post
I just spoke to them again, A1Cardone for parts
DO NOT install these. Only go with OEM or GKN axles. My A1-cardone axles lasted 25K miles only. I suggest buying the axles only and having them install them first. Should fix your problem and give you some time to possibly address other problems in the future.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:12 PM   #14
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You really have to watch all these shops and how they bill out estimates and repairs as they double dip all the time.

The shops claim they estimate out each repair separately, a la carte, as they do not know which repair or repairs you may choose to do.

For example if you get a new water pump installed, many shops will also suggest replacing belts, they give you an estimate for belts with labor and a water pump with labor. This is double dipping, the belts should be a parts only cost as the belt Removal & Re-installation labor is already rolled into the water pump labor!

Then it gets a bit trickier for example if you want to install a new fan clutch when you are having your water pump replaced. Again the shop will probably write the estimate for a complete fan clutch R&R. When in reality the swapping the fan on the clutch is probably 4 bolts and at most 15 minutes of labor that should be added to the water pump job.

So keep the monkey's in the shops honest!

They are thinking they are Lawfirms and they can bill 120+ hours for each person for a 40 hour work week!! I would love to bill as 3 people for my time!

Good luck.
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Last edited by jfoj; 11-25-2012 at 10:13 PM.
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