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69 Firebird convert, 95 Suburban, 99 ML320, 02 Audi A4 Quattro, 06 ML500, 07 E350W4
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Just returned from a B service visit at 82000 miles. SF Bay Area dealer claims that the "rear" front control arm bushings are cracked. Is quoting $2200 for repair as he claims bushings are integral to this pair of control arms (unlike the other pair of control arms where the bushings can be squeezed off and replaced) so the whole arm must be replaced on both sides and then 4 wheel alignment.

Can anyone comment on this?
 

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2009 ML350
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Just returned from a B service visit at 82000 miles. SF Bay Area dealer claims that the "rear" front control arm bushings are cracked. Is quoting $2200 for repair as he claims bushings are integral to this pair of control arms (unlike the other pair of control arms where the bushings can be squeezed off and replaced) so the whole arm must be replaced on both sides and then 4 wheel alignment.

Can anyone comment on this?
Do you feel your steering wheel vibrates when you drive?

I don't know the answer to your question but I would suggest you take it to an independent shop specialized in MB for a second opinion. My experience is that the control arm bushing is a 'favorite' repair item recommended by dealers. Sometimes they are right and sometimes not. One time I had a dealer quoted over $1K for a control arm bushing repair from an BMW dealer, when I took my car in for a BMW recall repair. I went to my trusty mechanics and he charges less than $300.
 

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2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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Agree its time for an independent 2nd opinion.

Not sure if your problem is upper or lower control arm, but it doesn't much matter. The pivot bushings on the lower control arm are such a casual thing to access that its my understanding they have to be disconnected to make enough clearance to remove the shock. Its only 2 bolts which are used as hinge pins.

As for bushings not replaceable? The fact they are bushings means they were not there when the control arm was cast or forged. Therefore any good machine shop can replace them even if they have to machine new parts to do so. The automotive aftermarket in the USA is very good at providing high quality replacement parts that vehicle manufacturers do not want to bother with. Bushings are easy, there will be one that fits, or one that is close enough that minor mods will make it fit. Ball joints are harder to retrofit.

I don't now how they saw a cracked bushing? Perhaps the bushing is in an elastomer ("rubber") pressed into the control arm and what they are seeing is the outer exposed elastomer is cracked? If this is the case do not ever go back to that dealer again beause there is no such thing as an 80,000 mile automobile that doesn't have this elastomer cracking.
 
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