Today we are going to shine a bit of light on suspension issues on most European vehicles. Typically these problems can start occurring as early as the 55 thousand mile marker. Most euro vehicles these days are equipped with hydraulically filled rubber suspension bushings. Typically most issues with them go unnoticed until you’ve put 3 sets of tires on within a couple years and taken it to several shops with much dismay. It’s due to the fact that new cars are new cars! They are more sophisticated than your average 1991 Honda Civic. In the pictures you will see a broken down front end of a 2010 Mini Cooper. The control arm bushings are circled in red. Imagine them being loose, when you are driving down the road they will let the tires “sprawl out” and cause excessive inner tire wear. Many people would misdiagnose this tire wear reading for a possible camber or alignment issue due to the fact that the bushing is not actually broken, but if you look closely at the old dirty control arm bushing you will see some hydraulic oil that has seeped out and left a stain (red arrow). After the control arm has leaked the hydraulic fluid it is compromised and should be replaced.
Here at Wilhelm, we have certified technicians in all 7 of our stores that have regularly worked with all kinds of European vehicles like BMW, Mercedes, Mini, Volkswagen, and Audi already have tire wear issues due to there sporty suspension so keeping up on suspension issues is vital to your tire wear.