Ford Explorer Shocks and Struts
Shocks and struts are essential to your vehicle's suspension. Your Ford Explorer would bounce continuously during your ride if you did not have shock absorbers. Before you choose these components for your Explorer, you should recognize the difference between the two.Are shocks and struts the same thing?
Struts and shocks are a part of your Ford Explorer’s suspension system. Although similar in appearance, the shock absorbers differ in their function. Struts mount on the Explorer’s frame to support the vehicle’s weight, whereas shocks contain hydraulic fluid to absorb shock and keep tires on the pavement. These components work with the truck's suspension to do the following:
- Soften impact
- Prevent excessive bouncing
- Ensure a safe and comfortable ride
Shocks operate by absorbing the impact of irregularities in the road. They remove easily without harming other parts. In contrast, struts provide stability and control and rely on other parts to function. Both components work in tandem with the springs.
- Shocks: Shocks help manage the vehicle’s bounce and keep the tires on the road. If your car or truck hits a pothole, a piston releases hydraulic fluid to ease the coil back into position.
- Struts: These components mount on the front end suspension. Struts consist of a coil spring, spring seats, and shock absorbers. They also include a strut bearing and steering knuckles. The shock absorber dampens the spring’s movement as it compresses and expands.
When shock absorbers are defective, you will notice a change in your Explorer’s suspension and performance. The truck will be difficult to steer and dive forward when braking. Not all problems with the suspension system are due to faulty shock absorbers, however. Any of the following signs indicate a potential problem with the struts or shocks.
- Control: Chances are your Ford Explorer has worn struts if it tilts when you make a turn.
- Stability: Small dips in the road and riding over railroad tracks have an extremely rough feel.
- Steering: The car feels unresponsive.
- Brakes: Your vehicle takes a nosedive when braking.
- Wheels: Your tires show an unusual and uneven wear pattern.
Experts recommended replacing shock absorbers on your Ford Explorer annually after the first 50,000 miles. However, there are other factors to consider. As mentioned above, you will need to replace these parts if you experience any of the warning signs. Other variables that could mean you replacing them more often include the following:
- If you carry heavy loads often
- If you frequently travel on unpaved roadways
- If you drive on salted streets for many weeks out of the year