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06' Fusion/ Milan rearend wiggle

Attention all Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan owners, curious if any other have experienced this nasty characteristic…of the rear end wiggling in winter driving conditions. Case in point 06’ Milan Primere., no traction control or all wheel drive.

To attempt to better describe the road conditions ;

The road conditions can be snow packed rutty uneven, or half the lane covered in snow and half clear. Or crossing a frosty bridge/ overpass. Or the thin layer of semi-slush state and or the dreaded black ice condition.

1st off we are pretty happy over all with this car, except for the wiggling that it does under winter driving conditions.

It does it, this wiggle/swaying on the rear end more noticeably under ?half the lane covered in snow and half clear?, and the ?thin layer of semi-slush state?.

Now to be clear, I am a life time resident of the mid west and have driven under these conditions numerous times with several different vehicle types, front wheel drive and rear wheel drive cars to all wheel drive , from vans to trucks. Non of the prior vehicles have driven like this without some kind of issue mechanically.

What it does is that the rear end starts swaying, (without input from the steering wheel, I hold that as still as possible ). as you travel over and pass the one of the road conditions listed above. For simplicity sake we stick with ?half the lane covered in snow and half clear?, and or the ?thin layer of semi-slush state? of road condition. As you pass over this road condition the rear end starts to wiggle and or sway. This is rather unnerving to us and to those on the road around us. To clarify we are not trying to drive too fast for the road conditions, cause it can happen as low as 30mph. To maybe better describe this wiggle, It feels like 30yr old 2 wheel drive pickup that is over loaded by 500lbs and a low rear tire. The only way we get it to stop is to let of the gas ?.and not hit the brakes!

Last winter it did this a little quicker, meaning like a running back giving the head and shoulder fake/juke as he prepares to meet the defensive secondary. This year our second year for this car, it has a bit of a slower cadence to it…more like a easy slalom while skiing down the bunny hill ?.the change is 30k more miles on it and 150lbs of ice melt in the trunk.

Now we have had it back several times to the dealership where we purchased it and they have gone over the suspension top to bottom realigned it several times, basically said it was the tires. Last year, at the start of winter, it had Michelin’s on it, although only 2 new ones , and we tried it both ways, new tires on the front then rotated them to the rear. But…Still acted the same… but still the recommendation was new tires. So towards the end of the winter we put new Bridgestones on, first 2 then about a month later the 2nd pair , so by the time we got all 4 on, winter was on the way out. The new tires did help…some what but the wiggle was still there. This year it acts the same, so I really doubt that it is a tire issue.

The dealership is more than content to wait for a decree to be past down from on high (ford corporate) as to really correct it offering very little more than a shrug and there nothing more we can do. But in the same breath mention that there are other owner of Fusions/Milans that have complained of the same thing. Also from another Ford dealership alignment personnel, that Ford knows of this issue and really refuses to address it.

Any insight as to what is really going on would be appreciated. I feel this is a safety issue, not only for ourselves but for those around us seeing this puts them in a funk and maybe causing them to possibly over react and slide into the ditch or worse.

Thanks, in advance.

I went looking for TSBs and/or consumer complaints on this and was unable to find any. Normally a design issue, something that is common to a model, will show up under one of these categories.

Is this car new to you? Did you have it checked over by an independent garage? If it’s new to you and has not been independently checked, then you may want to have it put on a lift and look for evidence of accident damage. Sadly, there are no requirements in most states for used car dealers to disclose sccident histories, or even any mandatory reporting databases to research.

If the car is not new to you but the condition is, I’d simply go to an independent chassis shop and have them give it a going-over.

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deleted by poster…agin…sorry folks, I was having trouble with the site.

First, the front pair and rear pair of tires should be the same exact make make/model. If not you causing a traction imbalance where the likely case it your fronts(if newer/more depth) have more traction than rear. If different brands and this continues swap the wheels front/back.

Lastly what kind of Bridgestone’s on this? Some of their tires are abymsal in winter conditions (RE92’s) while others average to decent.

If you want to be done and all with this issue simply purchase a set of dedicated winter tires (see with steel wheels. I seriously doubt Ford will do anything. Some battles in life are worth the fight this one does not seem to be.

After you are satisfied it’s not a tire issue, have a 4-wheel alignment done…

Well I had the tires checked today and re-balanced. It acts the same whether it is bridgestone or the Michelin’s (BTW they are Potenza serenity, one of the top rated all season tires at the time of purchase by Tire rack)…I really have doubts that it is a tire issue. I chatted with a tire guy (30yrs on the job) at the place where we bought the tires…I explained the situation to him, he even went to look at the tires and stated that there is plenty of tread there and no uneven wear. He also gave me another shop to take it to

That is not to say that there are better tires out there for this car. But when tires are well over $100 a tire, how anxious would anybody be about spending the denairos for a winter set, or experiment with. I simply can not afford to do that.

Yes… a independent shop is going to get a look at it.

I was hoping to tap some of the gurus of suspension that might be lurking here…as to things to try or look for, or hint of direction to point a suspension shop toward.

thanks anyway

yes a 4 wheel alignment was done before and after the new tires and nothing was found…but that was about a 10 months ago

Yep…been there done that

really…nobody has any other input??? snap.

Scenario this… If I wouldn’t have mentioned the tire issue/topic, meaning left it out of this original post.

What would have been some other considerations to correcting this??

Ok just had another shop realign the car, the tech there mentioned that the rear wheels were too pigeon toed , or toe in was way too much…no sign of damage, previous of other wise…just incorrect setting.

We’ll see if that helps…more snow coming this week end, so it won’t take long

Did the shop give you a printout of the before and after specs that the rear wheels were set to when they did the alignment on your car?

If yes, can you copy that for us?

Hope your issue has been fixed.


Pretty sure the Milan is not a Fusion, but a 500/Taurus

In 06 fusion/milan/zephyr were the ford/mercury/lincoln cousins.

got a copy of the adjustments made…all adjustments were done to the rear only.

looks like we might need some more adjustment to the front right caster.

------Now the results…although preliminary.

Yes, MUCH improved winter driving characteristics…gone is the slalom like rear end. It tracks without dancing all over the place, even on driving on dry road conditions have improved, less reactionary to seems bumbs.

------------before… spec…after
…total .09",-.01",.19",.09"


Trust angle

I have 2008 mercury milan and i have exactly the same problem. I live in the upper peninsula of michigan and i cannot drive this car in the winter. I have 51000 miles on the
car and have the tires replaced at 36000 miles and had a 4 wheel alignment. I have had this problem the very 1st winter i had the car. Maybe we should all write ford motor.

I think you’ll agree, It is down right scary when this happens!..

can’t say for certain for your situation…but we got it corrected by taking it to a larger dealership…that had a “collision center” with in it. The seasoned technician understood what we were experiencing and made the above listed adjustments, basically took some toe out, out of the rear. Not much mind you, probably minor to those who do this for a living. BUT it did make a significant difference in it manors, during less than desirable road/driving conditions.

& I have reported this to ford corp, via customer satisfaction.

with these “multi-link suspensions” & improved handling characteristics…there comes with it the sensitivity to adjustments. The technical service departments need to catch up to this. With ours, prior to adjustments…it was still within spec. The 1st service department was helpless…in deciphering past that. Not that they didn’t want to correct it…just that they didn’t have the experience /training to do so. With the 2nd & larger dealership they did.

In short…keep at it and don’t be afraid to take it to another place for a second opinion.