Piston Slap: Keeping A Low Profile on Boston Streets?

bump.  Paul Rushton, Shutterstock user

TTAC Commentator slance66 writing :


The B&B helped me choose a car three or four years ago, and now I’m thinking of changing it early. I bought a 2007 BMW 328xi CPO which was in near mint condition at 67k. I only drive 8,000 miles a year with a 3.5 mile trip each way, so it should last a long time. I love the car and plan on keeping it for a few more years, but I don’t know if it will survive the potholes.

I live in ex-urban Boston, and six months out of the year we have what some might call roads, and others might call random bits of asphalt on a bumpy road as a pattern. I can exceed the front suspension travel on the 3 series only on certain manhole covers. Hitting real potholes produces a huge shock/bump. The car is good at dodging them, but you can’t miss them all, as well as oncoming traffic. Neither do the RF tires as I have 4th generation versions which are a huge improvement.

Since I buy used cars that are 2 or 3 years old, I thought I’d ask which 2013-14 car, truck, or SUV would be better equipped to survive on roads like this. Gas mileage matters a bit, so a half-ton V8 might be off my list, but otherwise I’m open to just about anything if it’s got four doors, heated seats, is reliable, and isn’t smaller than the BMW. Crossovers may be fine, but while my wife’s RX350 feels better on those roads, it costs us two bushings and two spacers, so durability is a factor. I thought the B&B would know which vehicles can really take this punishment and not punish the driver. No, it’s not a Panther.

Sajeev answers:

I’ve been to Boston several times, I can see your concern. That said, right Panther? No truck? · Seriously ?

Chances are your BMW won’t survive Boston without tearing your wallet apart: to the tune of new lower control arms, struts, strut mounts(?), various bushings and who knows what else. If you like the BMW, by all means replace worn struts as they fail. · On the contrary…

Well, get over the German-tuned suspension for something more third-world friendly. Seriously, how can you not want a Grand Marquis now? Good. I can imagine the cold and loveless world of Panther that you clearly live in.

And while I would never live in such a dreary place, I would recommend a like a panther world. A car that has had a good track record (recently) of profitable suspension engineering, tested in fleets of some kind. No police cars, no limousines… maybe rental cars. Maybe a Camry LE with the big sides on 16″ wheels. Maybe any CUV with the base wheels, with as many sidewalls as you can find. ZOMG I CAN’T DO A RENTAL CAR AFTER MY BEEEMER!

Long story short: remember when all cars came with those things called rims? Its ratio of rubber to metal wheels was definitely more suited to Boston. I recommend finding a vehicle with more sidewalls and a reputation for stronger suspension. Even if it’s not a Panther.

[Image: Shutterstock user paul rushton]

Send your questions to [email protected]com. Don’t skimp on the details and ask for a quick resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Source : thetruthaboutcars.com

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