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  #1  
Old 08-07-2018, 12:46 PM
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Have you had to replace your rear subframe?

I just bought an '03 X5 (3.0) and thought, other than needing new tires, that it was in great condition. When I brought it for the safety inspection, it "failed" because of the tires and a brake light being out. They jacked up all four wheels/tires and used a prybar & tugged/pulled on all 4 wheels ...with no issue.

I brought the vehicle to a different repair shop to get the tires etc. and have them go through the vehicle, do a detailed inspection. They got me the tires, but, also said that it needed lower control arms and 2 rear subframe bushings. I approved it when I paid the bill, was ...aggrevated with myself that I did not take a different approach on the LCA's and subrame bushings. A little over $1,000. AND, in the notes of the work order when I paid the bill, they said I needed a new rear SUBFRAME.

???

How often do you all have to replace your rear subframes? I climbed under the rear of the vehicle and ...I admit there's a little surface rust, but, nothing that would give me concern that I would need to replace it. I can only imagine how much that repair would cost; $1,500 - 2,000??

I'm kinda thinking I got taken to the cleaners. (Obviously, for those of you reading this post, you didn't inspect the rig before I brought it in to the second repair shop). But, I jacked up all 4 wheels and gave each a solid yank/pull. I felt very little, if any, play. Same with the inspection shop - and I know them and think they're good. Even driving the vehicle gave me no indication I had such "issues" needing repair. No 'clunking' going down the road, no drifting on the highway; just the opposite - nice & tight. And not for nuthin, but, when I climbed under to visually inspect it myself (after the repairs) I was shocked to see one of the muffler support brackets, bolted under the subframe bushing ...and it was beyond loose; almost had a 1/2 inch left to go. NOT EVEN HAND TIGHT!

I know it's rather minor, but, I found it puzzling that one of the other list of things I should get fixed, (ideally with them), was a "frozen" rear windshield wiper arm. Which I knew was wrong because I had it going before I brought it in. And when I checked it after I got it home, it worked fine. I just think they didn't know how to turn it on......
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:14 PM
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The subframe is not a wear and tear component. It would only need to be replaced when damaged badly such that safety/alignment, etc aspects of the vehicle is compromised.
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X5only View Post
The subframe is not a wear and tear component. It would only need to be replaced when damaged badly such that safety/alignment, etc aspects of the vehicle is compromised.
The OP already noted that there was rust on the subframe. whether the rust has already compromised the integrity of the subframe is something that we aren't sure of. The garage that inspected the car had already made the recommendation that the subframe is replaced. I had an Isuzu rodeo that looked perfect from the outside, but the frame had rusted to the point that the frame was perforated with holes. Isuzu had a recall for this problem.

Plus the OP is from the Northeast, a known area where salt is used on the road.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:39 PM
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Simple, go back to shop that provided that diagnosis and make them show you why that was their determination. Works every time for me to keep them honest.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:59 PM
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Yup, as said normally just bushings but you would be feeling that if you were looking out for it, and rust is also a possibility.

Bottomline, you need to take a look for yourself to make sure.

EDIT: off topic alert! Upallnight, you didnt get a Cayenne yet? I've been away here a bit since I got a Subaru and I thought you would have gotten one by now. A first gen turbo is still on my wish list someday.
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Last edited by g300d; 08-07-2018 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:08 PM
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Thanks all.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:09 PM
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Removing the rear sub-frame looks like quite a task!





Pix from BMWxMAX - here: -

https://www.drive2.com/l/492756032666206240/

And it seems pretty substantial - the corrosion would have to be bad to compromise it...
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:41 PM
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Thanks all.

I went back to the original shop where I got my rejection sticker and asked him about possible need for control arms and/or subframe bushings --- and his eyes popped open wide (I know him well, he's very honest, thorough, good). "No, it did not have any play in the front and I didn't feel anything in the rear that would make me thing you needed those bushings"....

I have been underneath the vehicle and as mentioned there is minimal surface rust on the subframe. Maybe in 5 or 6 years I may have to reconsider. I'm pretty sure the repair shop fraudulently took advantage of the situation. There's no way they could've "missed" not tightening the muffler support that bolts to the subframe bushing. And they should not be in business if they don't know where to look for the air duct to the throttle body. And to say that the rear windshield wiper was frozen once more shows incompetence (assuming that they just didn't know how to turn it on - it works fine for me). Thinking of calling the Better Business Bureau.
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpilk99 View Post
Thanks all.

I went back to the original shop where I got my rejection sticker and asked him about possible need for control arms and/or subframe bushings --- and his eyes popped open wide (I know him well, he's very honest, thorough, good). "No, it did not have any play in the front and I didn't feel anything in the rear that would make me thing you needed those bushings"....

I have been underneath the vehicle and as mentioned there is minimal surface rust on the subframe. Maybe in 5 or 6 years I may have to reconsider. I'm pretty sure the repair shop fraudulently took advantage of the situation. There's no way they could've "missed" not tightening the muffler support that bolts to the subframe bushing. And they should not be in business if they don't know where to look for the air duct to the throttle body. And to say that the rear windshield wiper was frozen once more shows incompetence (assuming that they just didn't know how to turn it on - it works fine for me). Thinking of calling the Better Business Bureau.
Clearly, you were funding someone's summer family vacation or something The rear subframe typically has surface rust here and there. Mine had and I'm in Seattle area (car has been here all its life) where we hardly get snow and therefore very limited road salts. Just cleanup the rusty areas (you will notice that it's only on the surface and no further) and lightly spray black Rust Tough, a Rust Preventative Enamel.
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Last edited by X5only; 08-10-2018 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:20 AM
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I'm a little confused; the shop after replacing sub-frame bushings said the actual sub-frame was compromised? it's conceivable they discovered the likes of a bad weld while replacing the bushings, etc. I've never heard of such on an X5 but they are starting to get pretty old.
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