Irregular and premature tire wear can be caused by the lower control arm bushings cracking, resulting excessive movement at the control arm pivot point. Ball joints can also wear out prematurely, causing similar tire wear symptoms. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Premature Tire Wear Due to Cracked Lower Control Arm Bushings
Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Problem
Average Mileage: 121,800 mi (115,000 mi - 140,000 mi)
purchased car 2 years ago...bushings done shortly after and had uneven tire wear. Had to purchase new tires.
Visitor, 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK230, 119,000 mi
Outer tread wear on front tires due to cracked lower control arm bushings; replaced two new tires,
four wheel alignment, and new ball joints and drag link--total cost $1700
Visitor, 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK230, 115,000 mi
Front tires were balding on the edges; to remedy problem I had to purchase new tires for
the front, 4 wheel alignment, plus Both front Axle Lower Ball Joints, Center Steering Link with
tie rods. Cost was $1376.31 plus two Michelin Pilot tires, $466.00.
Replaced control arm bushings at 50,000
Replaced front ball joints @ 72,000
I was just told that controll arms bushings are torn and need to replace control arms at 140,000
Visitor, 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK230, 115,000 mi
Front tires showing premature wear on inside and outside treads. Told I need front axle lower ball
joints on both front sides and center steering link with tie rods. Total cost with new tires-$2100.