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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-19-2009, 10:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Recommendations on Repair Jobs

Ok, I got this "Consumer Direct Warranty Services" after market warranty before I had my car go in for total inspection... it of course only covers specific parts and labor... after the diagnosis, I find out that NOT ONE of the repairs will be covered by this... big surprise eh? Anyways, I will list the repairs "needed," and the price the stealers quoted... and my question is, just like I did for my brakes, for any/all of the following, can I buy my own parts and ask a mech to install it for me to save on cost and get some nice quality parts?

(In parentheses are my local Firestone's quotes)

1.- Front wheel bearings…. $1168.46 +tax ($800)
2.- Rear wheel bearings…. $1224.75 + tax ($750)
[ These I NEED to get done because my car is vibrating a little while driving, harmonically, and the bearings are getting pretty loud now ]

3.- Front control arm bushings… $488.28 + tax ($493.38)
4.- Left rear control arm… $512.24 + tax (lower $487.72)
5.- Front tie rod ends…. $485.39 + tax (inner/out $660.42)
6.- 4 Wheel alignment…. $149.95 + tax (free)


Center console $337.47 + tax
I ordered a new leather center console cover, and it's a bit%& to do it myself, so I need to find some upholstery place to do it, but $330 is absolute madness.

Any input is appreciated! Thanks guys!
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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just my $0.02 but 150 is pretty steep for alignment, my cousin is getting his done for 30, another cousin is getting it done for 45, or you can always find a friend who is cool with the auto teacher at your old high school and get it done for free like me.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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just my $0.02 but 150 is pretty steep for alignment, my cousin is getting his done for 30, another cousin is getting it done for 45, or you can always find a friend who is cool with the auto teacher at your old high school and get it done for free like me.
Ya, that is standard stealer price i would say... but as i stated i get it for free at firestone, so no biggie there.. i have their lifetime alignment service.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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alright, i would have gon crazy if i heard of anyone paying that for alignment.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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for the sake of price comparison:

(you do the math coz the beer has gotten the better of me as of this writing) :-p

front bearings - say $202each x 2
front bearing change both wheels 2.3 hrs x (whatever ur shop charges)

rear bearings -say $79each x 2
rear bearing change both wheels 4.8 hrs x(shop labor charge)

control arm bushings- say $40 each x 4
labor to R/R = 2hrs x shop labor charge

tie rod kit -say $300(i think should be much less)
labor to R/R = 2hrs x shop labor charge

plus tax......

*parts you can obtain much cheaper from this site's sponsors-FOR SURE. that effectively drives down your cost too
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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for the sake of price comparison:

(you do the math coz the beer has gotten the better of me as of this writing) :-p

front bearings - say $202each x 2
front bearing change both wheels 2.3 hrs x (whatever ur shop charges)

rear bearings -say $79each x 2
rear bearing change both wheels 4.8 hrs x(shop labor charge)

control arm bushings- say $40 each x 4
labor to R/R = 2hrs x shop labor charge

tie rod kit -say $300(i think should be much less)
labor to R/R = 2hrs x shop labor charge

plus tax......

*parts you can obtain much cheaper from this site's sponsors-FOR SURE. that effectively drives down your cost too

Hot dang dude, all that when u r trashed??? You must be real scary when u r all sober... thanks a lot, good stuff, exactly what I wanted... although i wanna see the look on the mech's face when I show them the hours of labor stated, haha... but who might be the sight sponsor or main vendor I should be getting all these parts?
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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well :-p you can see my other posts - that is me when sober :-D

i get my parts fr FCP Groton. they are fair, and shipping is very fast. ask for a quote, tehn look around for shops in your area for a labor only quote.

btw, the quotes i gave you are nat'l standard labor times.. you cannot go wrong there ;-)

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Old 08-20-2009, 10:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Dude, Firestone is trying to rip you off. The only thing I would ever go to them for is for emissions. darkhorse is right. Order the parts yourself and get someone to throw them in for you. Better yet find a really good and honest indy, that's your best bet.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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honestly you dont have friends with the right tools or you cant do this your self? my friend just replaced the wheelbearings on his saturn only thing he had a shop do was press them. his came out just fine.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I do have a couple of highly recommended indys around me, so I was thinking, getting the parts and taking it there would be my best option...

Honestly, if i had the time, if i werent a freelancer, and if i had the patience, i would love to work on my car, i love mechanics overall, and i have tools that sometimes i dont touch for a year (so sad)... but the way i drive, i need to make sure whoever does it should be someone who has done this at least a few times, because "easy" is all relative i would think from my experience, and is just not worth the risk... besides the fact that my "community" frowns upon people working on their cars in the street... we have some older people here who have no problem calling people for things like that... i know, its stupid. So unless i can jack it, put in the bearings, and drop it in an hour or two, i wont even go there.. and no way am a rushing myself on a job like this.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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my neighbors call the cops when we work on cars in the street. but now they stopped calling on me... its weird cuz i had my car up on jack stand and all 4 wheels off allllll day they other day and no one said a thing.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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and you wouldnt happen to be in az? my uncle had a euro shop, he can do almost anything. almost being said cuz he told me he cant drop an n series motor in my 318ti
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Haha, worth an ask right? I am actually in FL, other side of the country, heh... and u know, I may be ok, but I just dont "feel like it" I guess because I have so much to do otherwise, and I honestly think I would spend more annoyance and time on working on my car than saving the money... I'll see what these indys say, and if they seem totally unreasonable, I guess I'll try for the easy one, like front bearings.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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really... it is highly unlikely all 4 bearing are defective. maybe 1 ... maybe 2. but unless the car has been abused??? it jst is not like BMW(though i know the rear bearings have some weakness).

you actually might wish to stagger repairs so cash-out is not heavy.

But... that is your choice ;-)
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, I do drive hard.. someone else asked me this too... something like "weird for a BMW with your mileage and year to have these problems..." I dont exactly speed too much, but I dont slow down much for turns I guess so there is a lot of stress on each turn I make...

Definitely, there is NO way I can fix it all anyways.... I am looking at the rear bearings first, because Firestone did not mention the fronts, so maybe the dealer is being ultra-conservative.... and then if it straightens out my vibration and the noise, well, I have to think... spend another 3k at this time, or save the 3k, put it to a another car and sell this... which puts me at around $7k-8k... I should be able to get a decent 2000 or 1999 BMW for that... but I'll decide that when I see what the repairs do...

The thing that really pisses me off is that just last year this guy REPLACED one of my rear bearings for like $460.... but now two mechs have said they are bad. I called that guy up and he's like no way! I dunno.... he is down about 35 miles away, so I dont think I will go there again.
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