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Is this highly unusal? Please help, I'm a girl

Ok - Came out of my office the other night to two flat front tires. I’m like who did I piss off…after much soul searching I called a friends husband (not bad)
turns out both springs snapped off the front struts and tore through the inner sidewalls of my tires. Lucky for me I was not flying down the highway when this happened. But I also did NOT hit any potholes or bodies. So, details 2003 Ford Taurus station wagon (sexy) 80,000 miles 1 owner/ 1 driver only, me.

Thinking I must have missed a recall went to the Ford dealer and was told I was on my own. Corporate Ford said the same thing. So please tell me if this is kind of normal to almost die during the normal course of driving this Ford?

Haven’t had it fixed yet because I am hoping for a miracle - I don’t have the cash to fix it.

Strut springs do break. And this doesn’t only occur with Ford vehicles.

I just had a Camry towed in where the strut spring broke while the owner was driving the vehicle. And of course, this slashed the tire.

Tester

Ford Taurus vehicles of that vintage had a higher than normal rate of strut spring breakage. I’ve encountered several of them. Do a search for “Ford Taurus Strut Spring breakage” and you’ll find lots of info.

There was a recall, on the 4th generation of the springs, where Ford would install a protective shield. Here’s a copy I found (may or may not be the official version). Either way, it won’t help you at this point.

Nature of Defect: SUSPENSION:FRONT:SPRINGS:COIL SPRINGS
Recall Number: 04V332000
Dates Manufactured: MAR 1998 to AUG 2001
Number of Vehicles Affected: 899060
Date Owners Notified On: N/A

Defect Description:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE FRONT COIL SPRINGS COULD POTENTIALLY FRACTURE WHEN OPERATED IN HIGH CORROSION AREAS (WHERE SALT IS USED ON THE ROADWAYS FOR WINTER). A FRACTURED SPRING COULD MOVE PAST THE SPRING SEAT AND CONTACT A FRONT TIRE.

Consequence of Defect:
IF A SPRING SHOULD FRACTURE AND COME INTO CONTACT WITH A TIRE, THE TIRE MAY RUPTURE RESULTING IN A RAPID AIR LOSS, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.

Corrective Action:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL PROTECTIVE SPRING SHIELDS. OWNER NOTIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING AUGUST 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673. IN ADDITION, FORD IS EXTENDING THE COVERAGE OF THE FRONT COIL SPRINGS, FOR FRACTURE ONLY, UP TO 10 YEARS OF SERVICE OR 150,000 MILES FROM THE WARRANTY START DATE OF THE VEHICLE, WHICHEVER OCCURS FIRST. IF THE VEHICLE HAS ALREADY ACCUMULATED MORE THAN 150,000 MILES, THIS COVERAGE WILL LAST UNTIL JULY 31, 2005. IF EITHER FRONT COIL SPRING FRACTURES, DEALERS WILL REPLACE BOTH FRONT SPRINGS AT NO CHARGE TO THE OWNER UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS EXTENDED COVERAGE

The only thing that I find highly unusual here is calling a Ford Taurus wagon sexy. I think the vehicle is the antithesis of sexy. I’m a fan of pickup trucks so my observation may be somewhat clouded. Over the years I have found that things break and that tires are easily punctured. When I lived in Arizona…a particularly nasty desert scrub bush with very sharp needles punctured vehicle and bicycle tires on nearly a daily basis.

But isn’t it odd that both would go at the exact same time without any warning???

All strut springs break without warning.

What probably happened is when the first weak stut spring broke and the vehicle dropped slightly, this was enough for the second weak strut spring to break.

Tester

When the first spring broke it probably caused strain on the other spring and that probably caused the other spring to break as well. Since the vehicle had a recall on the strut springs…I don’t think that either spring was very strong to begin with.

“The only thing that I find highly unusual here is calling a Ford Taurus wagon sexy.”

It’s called sarcasm.

My son had the same problem on a 1989 Mercury Sable. A strut spring broke and ruined a tire. He was in Appalachian area at the time and the Ford dealer did not have a replacement spring, but was willing to put on a used strut assembly from a recycle yard. You may be able to find used strut assemblies to keep you on the road.

circuitsmith…I think the OP is the only one that can say one way or another that the comment was sarcasm. I know people who think that Pacers are good looking vehicles. She had also alluded to the fact that her friend’s husband was “not bad.”

Thank You Guys - You have at least made me feel better. Oh, by the way, I was joking about the ole wagon being sexy!!

@lukejojo Sorry to hear about your problem; and, yes, these things happen. I had one of those infamous 1957 Chrysler products (Plymouth) and was having lunch with my car parked just in front of the restaurant when the front end just collapsed. This car had torsion bars instead of regular springs. The second one snapped a day later.

I fully undertand you calling your wagon “sexy”; station wagons used to be ugly square boxes. The Taurus was the first one with some real style, and a colleague of mine bought one for that exact reason!

One more Question - Is this an expensive fix??

Here’s an idea of the cost of the part. http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/buy/products/150273-quick-strut-complete-strut-assembly-by-monroe-part-171616-shock-absorbers.html X 2

You can save money by puchasing the parts yourself and avoid the mark-up the shop would charge for the parts. Then take the vehicle to an independent shop and just pay the labor to have the stuts replaced.

Tester

“Haven’t had it fixed yet because I am hoping for a miracle - I don’t have the cash to fix it.”

I’m afraid you’ll have to figure out a way to (A) have the vehicle towed, (B) replace the 2 front springs and © 2 front tires and get a (D) front wheel alignment shortly after the repairs. It might not be as bad as that seems.

Do you have an independent mechanic who would be willing to hang a couple of strut/spring assemblies on your car ? This is fairly easy for a mechanic and shouldn’t be too expensive.

Do you have an Advance Auto Parts store near you ?

Here’s what I’d do to save $$$$.
Find that mechanic, declare poverty, and get an estimate for Quick Strut installation labor and tires and possibly an alignment if she/he does them. The folks at Advance can possibly recommend a shop for you.

Next, order 2 Monroe Quick Struts from Advance. Make sure these are the right parts for your car and be sure to indicate that it’s a wagon. Search for and find online discount codes from Coupon Cabin or RetailMeNot, etcetera and save 20% to 40% off the price !

Since you’ll need springs and since the top strut bearings should be replaced and the labor to disassemble the strut/springs adds to the repair cost, odering the Quick Struts saves that labor and gives you the springs, *top strut bearings/mounts, and new struts, already assembled. Monroe is a leading brand of struts and shocks.

*Top strut bearings go bad and that will help lead to spring breakage because when you turn your front wheels, bad strut bearings can cause your springs to wind up and unwind which they are not intended to do. That’s why there are bearings. Your strut bearings could have been bad.

Have the car towed and let the mechanic install the Quick Struts and a couple of tires and possibly the alignment. The alignment needs to be done at the time of the struts and tires or shortly afterwards.

I wouldn’t use any used springs/struts. You could have the same problem in the not to distant future, but it could happen while on the road.

CSA

Wow, Tester. Great Minds Do Think Alike !
CSA

I don’t think being a girl is highly unusal