How to tell if the suspension is wearing out?


I have a '97 Ford Thunderbird with about 115,000 miles on it. Coming home from work Tuesday I heard a weird almost metal-on-metal sound while turning, braking, etc. Once home, I pushed down on the car in the front, as if to see if the suspension is going out, and I heard the same sound, and it quickly stopped bouncing. On the way to work today, I heard nothing, at least nothing noticeable. I didn’t drive it over the past two days, and it has rained since, but that’s it. So what is going on here?


Could be struts, could be brakes. The good news is that it can be easily determined by a shop.

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You say it quickly stopped bouncing. It should not bounce at all. That is not a good sign and that would be the struts - shocks.

What you need is a trustworthy mechanic to check it for you. The problem is non of the chain outfits are to be trusted. I suggest asking around of your friends, neighbors and family and see if they known anyone they trust.

While the bounce test is a short cut test, it is far from complete.


I went out for lunch today, and on the way back it started making the noise again. Could it be the afternoon heat, or just that it’s been driven around a bit and the noise only shows up after being driven for a while?


[b]The noise you hear might be from a broken stabilizer bar end link.

The end links connect the lower control arms to the front stabilizer bar. If one of these breaks where is connects to the lower control arm, it leaves a hole where the link connected to the lower control arm. But the broken link is still hanging from the end of the stabilizer bar.

Now when you go over a bump, that broken link that’s hanging down might go into it’s hole in the lower control arm and make no noise. Or sometimes it misses the hole and hits the top of the lower control arm and make this scraping/banging noise.

Also, when were you pushing down on the vehicle to see if it would make the noise? When the suspension suddenly got stiff is when the broken end link missed it’s hole and landed on top of the lower control arm.



The suspension is continuously wearing out. Lots of stuff gets loose due to wear. Sometimes worn parts will begin to take others with them if not replaced in time. A '97 with 115K could easily have some worn parts that need replacement or ALL of the wear items in the suspension that need replacement.

I suggest that you get this thing looked at before your wheels fall off and someone gets killed.