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Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by jessepj, Sep 27, 2012.

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    I have an '03 530i with 130K miles. I'm thinking that I may need new shocks. Have any of you had yours replaced and if so what clued you in that they needed changing?
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    Push down on each corner, and see if the shocks are damping the springs. If shocks are completely blown, the car will just bounce. Shocks wear though, so such a curbside test is hardly definitive. If you can feel the wheel bouncing when driving after hitting bumps, shocks may be needed. @ 130k, you might be due for other front end suspension pieces too - control arms, ball joints, drag links, bushings, etc etc.
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    At 130k miles, I guarantee they need changing if they are the originals. You probably can't feel the difference any more as the change is incremental over a large span of time. Change them and you will notice a big difference. Conversely, if your rear is sensitive, you can perceive an inconsistency in the damping between front and rear or side to side. One corner/side/end moves out of sync with the rest of the car. I noticed my front struts were starting to get soft around 110-120k miles. I held out and the ride was much harsher in the front at 130k. The suspension got gutted and tossed at that point and it's much better for comfort and handling now.
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    Terry Sayther

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    Nick is correct about the incremental wear. I think he's a Koni guy; I'm a Bilstein guy. Either one will serve you well. Sometimes we'll put in fronts alone and the driver will see such a difference that rear shock replacement HAS to be done next. You'll love the difference---Terry

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