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This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the rear shocks in 2007-2013 3 series sedans (E90). Even though we used a 2011 335i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2007-2013 3 series sedan with minor modifications to the repair steps.
See all vehicles this article applies to
E90 3 Series M3
E90 3 Series 318d
E90 3 Series 335i
E90 3 Series 335xi
E90 3 Series 335d
E90 3 Series 330xd
E90 3 Series 330xi
E90 3 Series 330i
E90 3 Series 330d
E90 3 Series 328xi
E90 3 Series 328i
E90 3 Series 325xi
E90 3 Series 325i
E90 3 Series 323i
E90 3 Series 325d
E90 3 Series 320i
E90 3 Series 320si
E90 3 Series 320d
E90 3 Series 318i
E90 3 Series 316i
E90N 3 Series M3 CRT
E90N 3 Series 318i
E90N 3 Series M3
E90N 3 Series 335xi
E90N 3 Series 335i
E90N 3 Series 335d
E90N 3 Series 330xd
E90N 3 Series 330xi
E90N 3 Series 330i
E90N 3 Series 328xi
E90N 3 Series 330d
E90N 3 Series 328i
E90N 3 Series 325d
E90N 3 Series 325i
E90N 3 Series 325xi
E90N 3 Series 323i
E90N 3 Series 320xd
E90N 3 Series 320i
E90N 3 Series 320d ed
E90N 3 Series 320d
E90N 3 Series 318d
E90N 3 Series 316i
E90N 3 Series 316d
A BMW E90 rear shock replacement is an easy repair for the home mechanic.
The rear shock absorbers on 2007-2013 3 series vehicles are in charge of stabilizing the rear end of your BMW and keeping the tires firmly connected to the road surface. Unlike the front struts on E90 sedans, the rear shocks are not an integral structural part of the suspension - rather they are an independent component that keeps the rear of the vehicle from skipping while controlling back-end body roll.
Signs that the rear shocks on your BMW E90 are failing are vigorous hopping or shaking from the rear wheels, excessive rear body roll, hard ride over bumps in the pavement, clunking sounds from the trunk when turning, and poor handling characteristics...especially at high speeds. Worn-out rear shocks can also cause excessive tire wear.
Depending on driving your driving habits, the normal lifespan for BMW E90 rear shocks is approximately 100,000 miles. This will of course vary depending on road surfaces and aggressiveness behind the wheel. Always replace the shock mounts when replacing the shock absorbers on your E90 sedan. The BMW E90 rear shock mounts are an integral part of the shock assembly - not replacing them is like changing your motor oil but not installing a fresh filter.
A BMW E90 rear shock replacement is a fairly simple repair...even for the home mechanic. After the rear of the vehicle is jacked and supported with the wheels removed, the shock absorbers simply unbolt from the body of the vehicle with minimal tools. We give full step-by-step instructions below, along with a video of the repair and detailed parts list.
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View the video version of this repair.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Section 1 - Removing the BMW E90 rear shock absorbersRemoving the rear shock absorbers from 2007-2013 3 series sedans (saloons) is a relatively simple repair, even for the home mechanic. The rear of the vehicle must be raised and supported and the rear wheels removed in order to complete this repair.
- Raise and support the rear of the vehicle. Remove the rear wheels.
- Remove the floor panel and the battery hatch cover from the trunk.
- Using a metal pick, remove the two plastic covers concealing the phillips screws on the top of the rear trunk trim. Use a phillips screwdriver to remove the screws.
- Using a trim removal tool, remove the four plastic rivets anchoring the backside of the rear trunk trim to the body of the vehicle. Remove the rear trim panel from the trunk.
- Using a trim removal tool, remove the three plastic rivets anchoring the left lateral trim panel to the body of the vehicle. Remove the plastic storage tray, then remove the lateral panel from the trunk.
- Remove the four plastic rivets anchoring the right lateral trim panel. Remove the panel from the trunk.
- Remove the two rubber plugs concealing the top shock mounts. Locate the upper shock mount and mounting nut.
- Support the wheel hub with a floor jack below before proceeding to the next step.
- Using a 16mm open-end wrench, remove the shock's upper mounting nut. Use an adjustable wrench or 5mm open-end wrench to keep the shaft from spinning as shown below.
- Remove the old upper foam shock mount.
- Using a 17mm socket, remove the lower shock mounting nut. Keep the shock absorber shaft from spinning with a 15mm open-end wrench as shown below.
- Grasp the rear shock absorber and remove from the vehicle.
- Install a new shock absorber and shock mount using the following torque value: Lower mounting nut (shock to rear axle) - 38 NM (28 ft-lb) Upper mounting nut (shock to the body of the vehicle) - 27 NM (20 ft-lb) Wheel bolts to wheel hub - 120 Nm (85.5 ft-lb)
BMW E90 Rear Shock Replacement Finished