Forum Chat #64 – Suspension wishbone bush wear

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Welcome to Bamford Rose, and it’s forum chat time. This week, I saw a discussion on suspension bush wear, bush creep, as it’s been known to be called. And this is a picture of the upper suspension arms on a 2010 era V12 Vantage with about 23,000 miles.

What we’re looking at there is the gap that is developing between the suspension wishbone arm, and the outer cover face of the bush. You can see that the bush has walked out and it’s pressed up against the brackets of the subframe. This is about maximum bush wear and the suspension wishbone arm must be replaced.

The poster is indicating that it will try and get this covered under warranty. But even, you know, one of the best warranty policies out there, the Aston approved used timeless scheme, this is a wear consumable item, and there’s absolutely no way that this is going to be covered as part of a warranty claim.

One owner has commented and asked the question, “Do these failed regularly?” Well, yes, they do. Depends how it’s been driven. Certainly see this amount of bush wear in our car that’s been driven spiritually on the road in sort of 5 to 10,000 miles. So, unfortunately, depending on if it’s driven hard, this can happen quite quickly. Maybe if the car is driven normally, quite sedately on roads, no track days, then this sort of bushwhack is going to occur about 30 to 40,000 miles. So, certainly, if you’re looking at purchasing cars upwards of 40, you really want to be seeing receipts for suspension wishbone arms, because undoubtedly, they’re going to need changing.

It’s quite important that this issue isn’t overlooked at point of purchase, because the upper arms retail at something like £280 plus VAT. Lower arms are retailing at something like 375, depending exactly on each model, because each model is different. But then when you factor in the hour and a half labor per arm with geometry, then it becomes quite an expensive repair.

Someone else who’s commented has said that he was unaware of this issue throughout when his car was in warranty. And then, hey, presto, when the car pops outside of warranty, take it back for service that first time, and something that obviously must have been present beforehand is suddenly present now, and it’s going to cost money to repair, rather than it being on a warranty. Of course, that’s not the practice of the factory, and the franchise dealerships approved use a timeless scheme because that is perfect. That’s going to cover you in every eventuality. That sort of shenanigan is the practice of independent resellers.

So, where do you draw the line when you have to replace them? Well, if we go back to the picture of the suspension wishbone arms in the forum post, then although the bush creep is at its maximum, then the car is still going to pass an MOT, it will still get you from A to B, it will not break down. It’s not safety critical. There’ll be no knocks, no bangs, nothing’s going to become detached.

What happens is when the bush is not 100% in the housing, then that change of direction from left to right can become a bit slow, less precise. And if you go over sleeping policemen, humps, bumps, that sort of thing, well, you’ve seen that the rubber is now fully pressed out against the arm of the subframe, and you get a little bit of creaking as you go over humps and bumps.

Owners that have all 8 arms replaced take their car away from here, and comments that it drives like a completely new car. This is because the car is much more precise on turning, much sharper. And as your car was deteriorating because of the wear in the suspension bushes, you just become accustomed to how the car drives. Unfortunately, due to the materials and due to the construction process, some sort of aftermarket bush like a power flex isn’t possible. So, pretty much all the repair that is available is replacing like for like. I hope you enjoyed that forum chat. As ever, really helps us if you can comment, subscribe, and click us alike and we’ll see you on the next forum.

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