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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2018 Escape Titanium 4WD has about 66K miles. I noticed the ride is fairly straight, the alignment is good just had it checked, have new tires and wheels. With that said , I noticed plenty of bouncing and some vibration while driving, no matter the road conditions. I also notice the vehicle to pull hard in bad wind conditions, more than a vehicle that size should, which I heard could be a symptom of bad struts.

The tire shop I had the tires installed at said they couldn't verify the bouncing or vibration.

My question is, besides possibly physical or visual inspection, how can you tell if struts are worn out ? My hunch is I have bad struts or something related.

Also, I noticed this before the new tires, so I doubt it's the tires.
 

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My 2013 had a clunk at the right front tire, I assumed I needed new struts, but found it it was the stabilizer link that was causing the clunking.
Went to the tire shop a few days ago to get the tires rotated and the guy pointed out that all four tires are worn on the inside edge, the back two worse than the front ones. He said it was caused by worn struts.

I have noticed a roughness when driving lately, more of an up and down "hop" like an out of round tire.
The car had new tires put on when I bought it, so all that wear was from 3K of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My 2013 had a clunk at the right front tire, I assumed I needed new struts, but found it it was the stabilizer link that was causing the clunking.
Went to the tire shop a few days ago to get the tires rotated and the guy pointed out that all four tires are worn on the inside edge, the back two worse than the front ones. He said it was caused by worn struts.

I have noticed a roughness when driving lately, more of an up and down "hop" like an out of round tire.
The car had new tires put on when I bought it, so all that wear was from 3K of driving.

when I bought the car about 1 month ago I had to have Ford replace an inner tie rod, I made them replace it at their expense. how can you tell the difference between a bad stabilizer bar and struts?
 

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how can you tell the difference between a bad stabilizer bar and struts?
Worn stabilizer mount bushes or end links will normally result in a knocking/ rattling noise, particularly when driving over uneven ground. If your handling/ ride is really bad it could be other suspension bushes worn or (as you said) the struts/ shock absorbers. Given the distance your Escape has traveled the struts and shocks are likely to be worn.

PS: The rear shocks are really easy to change- you could try doing them first and see if there's an improvement.
 
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how can you tell the difference between a bad stabilizer bar and struts?
The anti-roll bar does just what it's name implies, it restricts the amount of roll the vehicle is subject to when corning. If the shocks are bad then the vehicle's suspension will continue to rebound repeatedly after initially compressing from travelling over an undulation in the road because they have lost the ability to dampen the spring action. If you suspect the shocks are failing then one can jounce the corners to test/check the shocks reaction to the springs movement. A good shock should allow the spring to initially compress once, then rebound, then dampen the entire movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The anti-roll bar does just what it's name implies, it restricts the amount of roll the vehicle is subject to when corning. If the shocks are bad then the vehicle's suspension will continue to rebound repeatedly after initially compressing from travelling over an undulation in the road because they have lost the ability to dampen the spring action. If you suspect the shocks are failing then one can jounce the corners to test/check the shocks reaction to the springs movement. A good shock should allow the spring to initially compress once, then rebound, then dampen the entire movement.

what would the sound difference between bad and good shocks/struts be when doing the corner test ?
 

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Good shocks are not silent as they compress & rebound, they will give off a mild phoosh sound as the internal valving controls the fluid flow, poor shocks can fail from bad seals which can leak externally, the internal seals can give up & the valving loses the ability to control directional dampening.

If the housing seal(s) have failed one can see the fluid coating the outer tube up near the top where the piston extends out. All shocks make use of nitrogen gas, the gas cools the internals when shock action becomes extensive to prevent overheating & premature failure, it's the gas that gives the piston the ability to extend all on it's own creating the illusion that the shock is double acting. Most twin tube designs are single acting, that means they only dampen in one direction....extension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got a date with a repair shop that likes to take their time and actually try to figure out noises and what not. plenty of reviews of this shop have stated that they take pride in hunting down noises and pinpointing the issues. I think part of the issue is that either the tire shop I went to doesn't know much about suspension or they didn't look good enough. my dad says if a strut is just starting to go out it might not show obvious signs of failure. I'm not sure how accurate that is
 

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well your dad isn't wrong, a failing shock can look perfectly normal from the outside but one can't see what's going on inside. If the control valve can't do it's job properly 2 things can happen ...1. it allows fluid to flow past it in both directions with little to no dampening or 2. the ports become clogged and there no fluid allowed past in either direction & the shock goes hard. If the nitrogen gas escapes then there will be no extension of the piston after compressing the piston rod down into the housing. Pick up a worn out shock & do the compression test, if the piston doesn't extend on it's own after you press the rod down into the housing the gas has escaped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i doubt you need to replace them at 66k miles. but failures do happen.

I dunno. When I bought the vehicle at 64K and change, the inner tie rod had to be replaced, that seems premature for failure at 64K. Ford didn't catch it before they sold it to me.
 

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do you have theories to what the problem might be if its not struts ? I'm open to ideas. Thanks
my go-to would have been tire or wheel balance. next would have been the road surface. but you say you removed those as possibilities.

its really hard to diagnose NVH over the internet, because it is subjective. what you have might be normal, but your more sensitive to it, or some other local condition.

my suggestion is to get a second opinion and a ride along with some one who can "test" the struts to determine if bad. or test another 18 Escape to compare.

or just replace the struts. they're less than $100 each on rockauto.com probably another $100 each in labour to replace if you cant DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
my go-to would have been tire or wheel balance. next would have been the road surface. but you say you removed those as possibilities.

its really hard to diagnose NVH over the internet, because it is subjective. what you have might be normal, but your more sensitive to it, or some other local condition.

my suggestion is to get a second opinion and a ride along with some one who can "test" the struts to determine if bad. or test another 18 Escape to compare.

or just replace the struts. they're less than $100 each on rockauto.com probably another $100 each in labour to replace if you cant DIY.


I made the mistake of buying this '18 Escape over the other two '18's I test drove, one of the other escapes was another '18 titanium, it drove a bit nicer, but the other '18 was an SEL and surprisingly drove much better. I should have just bought the SEL, but I'm a sucker for options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
my go-to would have been tire or wheel balance. next would have been the road surface. but you say you removed those as possibilities.

its really hard to diagnose NVH over the internet, because it is subjective. what you have might be normal, but your more sensitive to it, or some other local condition.

my suggestion is to get a second opinion and a ride along with some one who can "test" the struts to determine if bad. or test another 18 Escape to compare.

or just replace the struts. they're less than $100 each on rockauto.com probably another $100 each in labour to replace if you cant DIY.

Hopefully I can get a clear consensus of what I'm dealing with when I take it to this other shop everybody seems to have good experience with.
 

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Your shocks and struts are wearing from day 1, they more than likely would be well past their prime at 66k miles. As mentioned Rockauto sell replacements at decent prices- I'd suggest going for the Bilstein B4's.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Your shocks and struts are wearing from day 1, they more than likely would be well past their prime at 66k miles. As mentioned Rockauto sell replacements at decent prices- I'd suggest going for the Bilstein B4's.

that's very true. Struts and shocks don't have an exact mileage limit on when they fail. Do you think I should have them inspected first or just go right to replacing them? I'm almost leaning towards just buying them and replacing asap. I dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
are the shocks and struts the same for all escape trims? just curious
 

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are the shocks and struts the same for all escape trims? just curious
Ford do spec different part numbers depending on the wheel size (diameter), but aftermarket offerings are one part fits them all. The only thing to be careful of is the front strut design was changed around late 2014. So if a place is saying the same part number strut suits 2013- 2019 keep on looking!

I think I mentioned earlier on the rear shocks are really easy to change. The front struts are a pain in the ...... You could just do the rears to start with and see if you notice any improvement.
 

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I made the mistake of buying this '18 Escape over the other two '18's I test drove, one of the other escapes was another '18 titanium, it drove a bit nicer, but the other '18 was an SEL and surprisingly drove much better. I should have just bought the SEL, but I'm a sucker for options.
One had 19inch wheels and 45 profile tires, the titanium, and the other had 17 or 18 in wheels?
Personally, I have a ‘14 with 17inch 235/55 tires, but have driven extensively a family member’s ‘19 titanium with 19 inch wheels. If just on highway, and a smooth one at that, I’d take the 19 inch. Otherwise, the ‘14 with less power but the 17 wheels I prefer even though the other has much more power with the 2.0. The ‘14 feels much lighter, almost quicker. Wish it had a manual trans.
45 profile tires suck for bad roads especially in winter. A 2 inch drop is jarring and it just gets annoying the slightest missing pavement.

Do you think I should have them inspected first or just go right to replacing them? I'm almost leaning towards just buying them and replacing asap. I dunno.
Just replace them if you can afford it. It’s worth the money in what you’ll learn about the car and the effect of new shocks or struts. Plus you’ll learn to trust your perceptions. Need or should is relative unless it’s really bad. It’s like squeezing every mile out of a tire. If that’s the goal, fine, but by then they’ll be really poor or even dangerous in standing water. So you’ll have to reduce speed.

I was just thinking that the ‘19 I was driving recently should have new shocks/struts put in, and it’s only at 51k. They don’t “need” to be replaced, but their performance is definitely down. The car wallowed like crazy going slowly on a poor dirt road, and highway and road feel is just less.

If you could a/b compare these things differences would be obvious. But the slow degradation starts changing the way you drive. When I replaced the rear shocks on the ‘14, they were well past time. But you just drive differently, enter turns much more carefully and gradually, lots of changes. When I finally put them in it was like getting the rear of the car back. It was no longer a vague, amorphous blob back there.

go to youtube and search - niki lauda meets his wife - It’s a great clip.
 
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