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rob's garage

Hi there,

I read your section quite often, and really enjoy it. We own a VW Jetta with a two litre turbo engine. It has about 112,000 km on it and has not had any problem since buying it new in 2006 - really great car.

A couple weeks ago I went to do a scheduled service and when I picked up the car they told me they found a deteriorating bushing on the right control arm. Apparently it's not yet at the point where it can cause problems while driving but they told me it's getting there and would be quite expensive to fix. From what I have always known, bushings are not supposed to be super expensive.

What gives?

Fabrice in Montreal

You're right Fabrice in Montreal – bushings are one of only a few things that are inexpensive to purchase on their own, but can be very expensive to install.

By themselves, rubber bushings are not much more than a cylindrical piece of rubber with a steel sleeve through the centre and surrounded by an outer steel sleeve. The wallet-emptying part is getting at the bits and pieces that contain the bushings.

I'm wondering why your car requires a bushing replacement at all, considering you only have 112,000 kms on the odometer.

I like that you've questioned this because as we have always been told: If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right.

My suggestion, as always, is to get a second or third opinion. This is easy for a shop that repairs suspensions to investigate. Unless you can remember smacking into a curb or driving through a deep, sharp-edged pothole, my guess is that nothing will be found wrong. Before you schedule any repairs, make sure that your shop isn't recommending a service you don't need.

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