How to Maintain Your Ford Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly
Some of the most important suspension parts of your Ford are its shock absorbers and strut assemblies. In the early days of automobile manufacturing, shock absorption devices came in various direct and indirect forms all for the sake of controlling passenger car spring action. Nowadays, gas or hydraulic shock absorbers and struts are the norm for many a car maker. With that said, how should you go about maintaining them so that they can remain in tiptop shape for the longest time possible?
Have your shocks and struts regularly checked at each maintenance visit.
Because strut assemblies and shock absorbers last a long time and wear out slowly, people tend to take them for granted. This would obviously be a mistake. In order to get the most out of these components, it's suggested by manufacturers that these parts undergo maintenance at least once every 50,000 miles. These parts do the important job of keeping your suspension perfectly balanced, so pay attention to them if you don't want your tires to prematurely wear out or your Ford car to wobble in every which way because of imbalanced shocks and struts. Have your dealership regularly see if they have any damage at all or not.
Don't be alarmed when there's red, black, or white fluid oozing out of your shock.
If your brand new strut insert is covered in some sort of colored fluid, you shouldn't be alarmed. This is perfectly normal. It's just overflowing assembly grease where the bare strut insert was mated to the housing. Ditto when it comes to having light oil film over your shocks or struts, since it's just oil from the rod as it cycles through the working chamber. The overflow doesn't affect the functionality of your shocks unless there's a damaged seal that's causing leakage. To be safe, consult your car technician for more details. Light film or oozing fluid shouldn't be confused with heavier strut leakage, though.
Watch out for strut assembly leakages.
The strut assembly replaces the ball joint, front shock absorber, and upper control arm when it comes to increasing your Ford vehicle's responsiveness and handling. It controls your ride the same way your hydraulic shock absorber does. However, these struts will sooner or later leak, requiring replacement. The good news is that in general, they tend to last longer than your usual shock and that may offset the greater cost of having a strut assembly. It's better to be safe than to be sorry though, so you should have due diligence in checking by yourself or through your mechanic if there are leaks on your strut already.
Learn more about the side effects of worn-out shocks and struts.
By preemptively knowing the symptoms that your shocks and struts are wearing down, you can go about saving them and lengthening their lifespan before outright replacement is required. If you're experiencing premature or uneven tire wear, looser tire road grip, squatting or dripping (wherein your front end pulls up as you accelerate or dips when you brake), audible vibration or noise, and excessive bounce when driving, then it's about time you have your shock absorbers and struts checked out to see if their condition is less than satisfactory. Have a certified mechanic check out your entire suspension, including those parts, to ensure that no other parts have been damaged because of neglect. He might see holes, dents, or cracks on your shocks or struts by now.