Do I need shocks/struts?


Old 08-09-07, 02:06 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Maryland
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Do I need shocks/struts?


I've got a 2000 Ford Taurus wagon, front-wheel drive, with 130,000 miles on it, and the ride is very rough. I just had 2 new tires put on the front (balanced, etc.) and the front end aligned, and if possible the ride seems bumpier than before. I feel like every pebble and wrinkle in the road is jarring. I've always thought that if the shocks weren't good, the car would bounce a lot when hitting bumps, which it doesn't seem to do. I'm afraid to take the car to the shop and ask if I need shocks, because I expect them to decide that I do just because I'm a woman and an easy target.

Can you give me any tips to determine whether I need new shocks, or if there's something else that could be the problem?

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Old 08-09-07, 02:36 PM
AxlMyk's Avatar
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Every car I've owned (Fords), I have replaced all 4 struts after 50k miles.. Factory parts are not made to last any longer..

In case anyone wants to call me on the carpet over this, I spent 35 years working for the company and spent many of them at Dearborn research/engineering, where this was explained to me..
Old 08-09-07, 02:59 PM
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Blown struts usually make some noises when going over bumps.

Typically, if they are gone, the car should feel as if it's floating, like a boat, but not always.

Push down on the front end of your car, it should not bounce but be quiet stiff.

If your springs are worn enough, they may not have enough "spring" to make that boat feeling.

Also, did they replace the tires with the same size? If it's a smaller tire (sidewall), you will feel bumps alot more.
Old 08-09-07, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Taurus struts/springs are notorious for causing tire and ride problems......As the spring ages it sags and the car looses camber (goes negative) causing tire wear.........Most of the time you can replace JUST the struts .......or struts and strut plates..........but on a Taurus I find I do my custpmer a disservice if I don't recommend replacing the springs this usually pulls allthe alignment angles back into focus
The good news is that Monroe makes Strut/spring assemblies that make replacing them a DIY job because you won't have to dismount the springs from the old struts to place on the new
Old 08-10-07, 11:05 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 516
I hate to inform you that you've already been ripped off by getting a wheel alignment done with having worn front end parts. Any decent shop would not do a wheel alignment before doing whats necessary to bring the auto into specs so the wheel alignment could be done properly. If you decide to go for the springs and struts you should negotiate for them to redo the front end for free.
Old 08-11-07, 06:31 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 228
Thanks for your advice!

Thanks a lot for your tips/advice. I drove 70 mph for a few hours yesterday and noticed that I still have some shimmy in the driver's side front tire/area (which is why I took the car to the shop in the first place). I called and left a message to tell the service guy that I was going to bring my car back in to get it fixed next week. I will certainly make sure they check the shocks/springs/struts, and I'll do everything I can to get the front end re-aligned for free.

I wish I could fix it myself, but I wouldn't know a strut if it strutted right by me. ;-) My expertise is limited to changing oil and filters, and the men in my family aren't mechanically inclined, so I'm at the mercy of service people. I appreciate all your assistance, & will let you know how it turns out.

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