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.
Car Problem Reports
Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Premature Tire Wear Due to Cracked Lower Control Arm Bushings
Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Problem
Average Mileage: 125,000 mi (115,000 mi - 140,000 mi)
Visitor, 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK230, 140,000 mi
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.