Signs of Suspension Issues in BMW and How to Fix Them
While BMWs are recognized as incredible machines, issues will still come up from time to time and require repair. When BMW drivers perform ongoing maintenance in alliance with scheduled services recommended by the manufacturer, many common issues are avoidable and preventable, including suspension problems. Suspension issues can manifest in different ways, and therefore can present different symptoms that will become more noticeable over time. Generally-speaking, the longer issues go unfixed the more damage will occur—affecting other areas of your vehicle. Repair bills can become expensive, and ongoing maintenance can spare you some of these costs in the long run. Of course, preventive maintenance is the best way to address these common issues, but other factors can affect your BMW’s performance including driving habits and road conditions. For instance, the more frequently you drive your BMW long distances the more likely it is that you’ll need more frequent, in-depth maintenance. Here are some of the most common symptoms of suspension issues and what you can do to address them effectively:
Tire Wear Patterns
The condition of your tires can tell you a lot about what parts of your vehicle may be suffering or in need of some attention. Healthy tires have a good amount of tread, and the wear pattern should be down the center of the tire. Most commonly when issues occur with a BMW’s suspension the tire wear pattern will be off-centered. In order to address this issue your suspension should be thoroughly inspected and problem areas must be repaired. Depending on the level of damage that the tires have sustained, they may also need servicing. Sometimes a rotation will suffice, and other times the tires may be close to becoming flat and dangerous at high speeds. Significantly damaged tires should be replaced.
Car Pulls or Drifts
Another area of your vehicle that will indicate suspension issues is your wheel alignment. Symptoms of faulty wheel alignment usually manifest in steering problems. Alignment can be affected when you run over a bump at high speeds or over a curb. You may notice that while facing straightforward the emblem on your steering wheel is off-centered, indicating misaligned wheels. Furthermore, because most roads are not inherently flat it is normal for your BMW to drift or “pull” to one side or the other; however, if you notice that even on flat patches of road, such as in parking lots, your BMW is still pulling to one side, you will most likely need a wheel alignment. A suspension inspection should be performed to detect any further problems with your suspension requiring replacements or repair.
Leaking shocks are problematic for a number of reasons, but mainly they indicate that the shocks are damaged. If your shocks are leaking you may be able to observe that they look almost greasy or slimy. Most BMWs are too low to the ground to be able to see the shocks outwardly—they must be on a car lift. Unless you suspect that your shocks are leaking and you bring your BMW in to your reliable automotive specialist, you may not know there is an issue until the symptoms become worse. Routine suspension inspections are recommended to ensure optimal performance at all times.
Bouncy shocks are probably the most-noted symptom in suspension issues. Shock absorption usually occurs when you drive over a rough road, through dips, or over speed bumps. You may notice that it takes an extended period of time for your car to absorb the shock, leaving your BMW “bouncing.” This symptom occurs due to worn out or damaged suspension parts, and indicates that your BMW requires maintenance and repair.
Our Philosophy on Suspension Maintenance and Repair
Here at Munich West, our focus has been on the safety and well-being of our clients and their families in the Decatur, Atlanta, GA areas who have been coming to our shop for over four decades. Our philosophy on suspension maintenance and repair for the European brands we specialize in is that the quality of our work and level of dedication should match the integrity of the vehicles we service. BMW is just one of the luxury performance vehicles we maintain, and we aim to uphold their name. Contact us today to schedule a suspension inspection or simply speak with one of our professionals. We look forward to hearing from you!
BMW steering wheel image credit goes to: Nickbeer.