need advice about dealer request for suspension parts change

hello, I have a 2002 525i sport. All stock. the tires are making lots of road noise so I brought the car in for repairs (I figured car needed alignment or something minor). Car has
about 48k miles.
Dealer service advisor calls me today saying I need a bunch of parts changed on the front and rear suspension (bushings and control arms in front and rear, new rear tires - says the tires are worn out as well as bushing and more suspension parts in rear suspension).
Now this seems very odd to me.
I've had other cars before this (american and japanese). AT 48k miles, they didn't need major suspension work!! I saw the tires and they did NOT look worn out.
I'm wondering if this is a scam job to suck money out of me.
I'm pretty sure it needs alignment but the rest of this stuff just seems absurd!! This is the bmw dealer of houston north
http://www.bmwofhoustonnorth.com /
Has anyone dealt with this place before?
Also, am I correct in my suspicion about 48k miles seeming very early for changing suspension parts like bushings and control arms? I don't race this thing, it's my daily work car!! I drive 30 minutes to work in traffic - maybe 65 mph. No racing, no potholes - pretty nice streets where I live.
I've had ford mustang, mazda rx7 turbo, honda crv - all of these didn't need major suspension work until 80-100k miles (shocks wearing out - only shocks were changed). ball joints were changed around 120k or so. I only changed bushings on rx7 due to complete suspension rebuild for making it a track car!!
thank you,
Oskar
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wrote:

It's not unknown for dealers to replace things where you might have thought it would do you for another 6 months or more.
BMW suspension, esp on the bigger ones, involves a lot of balljoints and a few rubber bushes and they do wear. It's possible, certainly on the front, that some work needs to be done and I'd say it was unlikely the rears need doing *unless* it's the rear upper strut top bushes which can go quite early on.
Suspension wear, particulary on the front can lead to judder on braking and uneven tyre wear. I'd maybe look at takign your car to a general garage and getting a second opinion.
Just which bits do they want to replace? www.realoem.com
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Did you look carefully at the inside edge? Rear tires on BMW's wear on the inside edge way before the rest of the tire.

If you really feel this way - you may be happier with a Lexus.

Actually it isn't. 50k is a usual mileage for the lower control arm bushings on the front end to start leaking (they're fluid filled) and before too long you'll have a wobble in the front end at 50-70 MPH that will drive you nuts. It's usually more cost effective to replace the entire arm with the bushing since the ball-joint also wears, and isn't replaceable.
The rear suspension normally doesn't cause problems at this low a mileage, except there are some reports of sway-bar links starting to bind at around 50-60k miles.

No - you're wrong. The way BMW gets the combination of ride and handling leads to a suspension that is very susceptible to wear. This is especially true of the 5 series. Maintained they are a wonderful car, great ride combined with great handling. Ignore one - and it becomes a loose wobbling beast.

Well - you'll probably be happier with one of those cars, so perhaps you should bail on the BMW while you can.

you're welcome.
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Hello, I'd like to post the result of what happened so other people can be aware of these things. When I bought the car I got the 100k mile warranty from dealer. It covers all major parts - I only pay for consumables (brake pads, tires, oil changes, wiper blades, etc).
I asked to see the old parts and they did show them to me. BMW suspensions (at least on 5 series cars) are very complicated. A lot of the bushings are fluid filled instead of solid material - this is how they can manage to get great handling on a racing track but still very nice ride on the street. Most cars can't do this. You get either great track suspension but stiff ride or great street ride but poor track handling.
The total cost of repairing was about $1200. They replaced the bushings and wishbones on front and rear. It is normal for these parts to wear out around 50k miles. Since I had the warranty, I paid $137 for taxes. The rest of the bill was covered by warranty!!
My suggestion to anyone buying BMW is GET THE EXTENDED WARRANTY!. This warranty has saved me 2 times already. I paid about $2500 for it. I'm still far away from 100k miles!
I have mixed feelings about luxury cars. This is my first luxury car. Repairs are very expensive!! Major suspension parts need to get replaced more often (this issue is also true of Lexus).
I love the ride quality. Just didn't know how complicated it is to achieve this ride quality! My friends have 2 Mercedes. Those cars are worse!! They have lots of major problems with electrical systems. Cars are very expensive and very unreliable!! I've seen 7 series bmw's also have similar problems.
Japanese sure make more reliable luxury cars. Other friends have Lexus and Acura. These barely have any problems - for years now.
I'm praying my car doesn't cause any problems. I looked on consumer reports - the 5 series with 6 cylinder engines are far more reliable than the 8 or 10 cylinder models. I have the 6 for exactly this reason.
Hope this helps,
Oskar
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So what's this all going to cost?
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wrote:

So what's this all going to cost? -----
Anybody else smell that?? Dealer bullshit! Did you ask them to show you the worn parts? Just get a lifetime alignment from a reputable shop and move on. If the tire aren't worn uneven and they make a lot of noise, try a different tread pattern (read: new tire brand). As some patterns/brands wear, they make more noise.
Bill in Omaha '86 535i
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