325XIT with both rear springs broken at 47K miles?

Hello everibody,
I have a 325 XIT model 2002, that I bought in November 2001. It has 47K miles and I found today that both rear springs are broken!
It is normal that to happen for that car's age? I always use the car in the city or highways and never off road.
The long story:
Today I was installing mud guards for front and rear when I have noticed that one rear spring is broken. The last ring from the bottom of that right side spring was broken. Only the contact surface where that ring would connect with the rest of the spring was rusted, nothing else on the rear suspension was rusted. Then I've checked the left side suspension and I found that the spring on the left side has the same problem. This time the last ring of the spring was not detached, it was still placed on the rubber support. I live in New England and I am aware that is more humidity and salt here on the reads then elsewere, but do you think that's normal for a 4 year old car?
The car made a squeaking noise when I lifted it on the jack, but otherwise I didn't hear a sound. Are these broken springs a safety problem?
Do you know if it was any recall from BMW for these suspension parts that I was not informed?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, it is not "normal" for springs to break on such a low mileage, young car. I would check with the local BMW dealer to see if there is any kind of an unofficial recall or service bulletin out on those springs. In any case you will definitely be wanting to get them replaced and even though you are probably outside of the new car warranty, this being such an obvious design defect you may want to press for some warranty relief from the dealer on the job
--
-Fred W

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How fast do you go over speed bumps?
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If that made a difference I'd expect it to take out the dampers first.
But in the UK with my E39 on standard suspension, taking speed bumps at over the nominal 20 mph causes the front spoiler to ground on the way down.
--
*One of us is thinking about sex... OK, it's me.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Hi Mark,
I always drive carefull over the speed bumps: maybe 2-3 mph. And in the whole life of the car , maybe I went over 10 or 20 speed bumps. Another thng is that I didn't mention was that I never overload the trunk with heavy things. The fact that both rear springs are broken in the same place (first ring from the botton) sounds more like a mechanical manufacturing failure.
aMIC.
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FWIW, my wife's 2000 E46 had the same thing - about 1 1/4 turn from the lower perch. Also, there was a report of this on at least one E39.
I think BMW's incoming QA on outsourced materials , well, sucks, given issues such as e39 ABS controllers, door handles, radiator necks, radiator expansion tanks, fan clutches,etc, etc, etc.
There is a real problem when stuff like this passes incoming QC.

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FY wrote:

When I bought my 2001 M3 with 30k it had a broken spring. ..at least that's what the dealer told me when I had to take it back with a list of problems but what do they know? My '96 740 has two broken rear springs but it is a bit older. I've never really heard of broken springs until the last few years where it seems to be not uncommon on many makes of car.
Use it as an excuse to get some eibachs :-)
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I would agree with you that this certainly sounds like some kind of manufacturing defect. Overheating the wire during spring winding could cause the metal to be coarse grained and brittle. If this is the case the fractures should have happened pretty early in the car's life and the broken ends of the wire should be pretty severely corroded. The biggest problem with this explanation is that it should have happened to several thousand other people although I guess the ride height may not have been affected very much by the failure at the first coil. Perhaps this is more widespread than we know. The only other thing I can think of that might lead to this failure would be if there was some pretty corrosive chemical trapped between the rubber pad and the spring - but I think it would take something like hydrochloric acid or bleach to lead to such a severe attack. Do you happen to drive the car through an industrial area routinely or is there any other signs of corrosive attack under the car??

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Hello Jack,
No, I don't live, or drive or park the car in an industrial area where it could be exposed to corrosive chemical. Under the car are no other signs of corossion or rust. On the area where the last coil separated from the spring is a lot of rust but since I am not an mettalurgical expert I believed that was caused only by salt on the roads and wet weather here is NE. I would like to show you some pictures of the fractured section, but I don't know how to post them.
I don't know how spread this problem is, but I found on a different forum http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t 4357&highlight=broken+spring
that are few people that experienced a similar problem. Since the simptoms are not less obvious (1inch less on hight?) many people may have this problem.
Thanks, aMIC.
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I've heard quite a few e36 owners through our website have had the last coil of the rear springs break off, and that's been on newer cars with siilar mileage - so I wouldn't say it's completely unheard of. It's the first thing many people check if they hear a metallic rattling coming from the rear wheel area.
Don't know why this happens, nor do I agree it's right to expect them to break - but it does seem to be commonplace on many 3's in my opinion.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I have a 2002 325 xiT with just under 40k miles. It's a fabulous driving machine. The all wheel drive is fabulous and I hope I will never buy another vehicle without it. Lately I have noticed wpring noise at the rear end so will get to my dealer (Crown BMW - Charlottesville, VA) and have it checked out - the warranty expires in June 2006.
I also have a 2001 530 iA and it too is fabulous.
I have had a few minor warranty problems and worry about the cost of repairs once the warranties expire but so far so good.
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