Distributed in the United States from 1997-2003 the BMW e39 5-series included Sport, Sedan and Touring models known as the 525i, 528i, 530i, 540i and M5. These high-performance vehicles can still be found on the road, and now that they are aging some common problems are being discovered. For example, the thrush arm bushings often need to be replaced around 75,000 miles or sometimes as soon as 40,000 miles.
The thrush arm bushings (sometimes called thrust arm bushings) are part of the suspension system, and they help nullify the vibration a driver feels while applying the brakes. They are under a constant load and help control the smoothness of a ride, the handling of the vehicle, and braking efficiency. They are made of rubber, so as they age they start tearing or cracking in areas, which can lead to complete failure or breakage. This is a common problem among high-mileage e39 Bimmers, even those that have been routinely maintenance during the BMW 1 and and BMW 2 inspections. If not properly repaired, it could lead to dangerous situations in the future.
Be on the lookout for these symptoms: a shimmying or shaking when applying the brakes, especially at higher speeds; loose steering or lack of handling control; uneven tire wear; and in some cases a loud clunking sound. These symptoms could be caused by the Anti-Lock Braking system or other areas of the suspension system, so you should see a professional to have it properly diagnosed. Contact a local BMW repair shop to inspect the vehicle.
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