Rough Riding 2006 Ford Taurus


#1

I bought a 2006 Ford Taurus SE about six weeks ago. It had 30K miles when purchased. I test drove it before I bought it and the ride seemed OK - not too rough or stiff. After I bought it though, it seemed that on bumpy roads, it rode noticeably rougher than I had thought it did during the test ride.



I know ride quality is subjective but the roughness bothers me.



Now I’m trying to figure out if I can do anything to improve the ride situation somewhat.



I took the car in to my mehcanic who said the suspension is operating normally and nothing looks broken or worn. The car tires were pumped to 35 psi and the door sticker said to inflate the tires to 30 psi. So I dropped the pressure to 30 psi (cold). Didn’t really make a difference.



The tires are the stock size P215/60-16. The speed rating is nothing special - T, I think.



I called up a tire and suspension store and asked if switching struts might help the ride. I asked about Monroe replacement struts. I mentioned one model of Monroe strut which is fairly high end in their line (can’t remember the model name). The salesman said putting in any new struts could make the ride even stiffer, even with a more expensive replacement strut which is advertised as giving a smooth ride.



He also said he would not advise going to a different size tire, say one with a higher(?) aspect ratio - 65 instead of 60.



So I’m out of ideas. Anyone have any thoughts?



Thanks.


#2

Wow. An honest salesman that passed up the opportunity to rip a customer off for the cost of new struts and/or tires. You should patronize that shop in the future.

I agree with the salesman 100%. Unfortunately, the shock and spring rates built into the car’s design are pretty much going to stay the same no matter what you do. Replacement parts will be less broken in and are likely to be stiffer.

And larger tires bring other problems…and change the sprung vs. unsprung weight ratio in the direction of feeling bumps even more. Larger tires weigh more. You can check www.tirerack.com to see if consumers have found some smoother riding tire for your car, but that’s a real trapshoot.

Perhaps a good seat pad would help, but that’s about all you can do without spending tons of cash.


#3

That profile of tire seems to say “rough ride” to me so you might have to get 15" wheels and a taller tire. The 16s are common now so you might also consult the tire dealer’s websites or Consumer Reports latest issue. On sale now, it might have a vague suggestion regarding “ride”.


#4

“tires are the stock size P215/60-16.”

This might not be the original tire size the car came with, I would check into this. Confirm on tirerack.com

I may be wrong but except for the SHO I thought the Taurus/Sable used a 205-65-15 tire size.

I will say from personal experience the Generation 2 (92-95) Taurus/sable rides better than the Gen 3 (96-99).

An eleven year old car with only 30k miles on it…wow you don’t find that too often.


#5

Thanks for your thoughts about the tires. I could not seem to find the info on tirerack.com (probably my fault), but I did a Google search on “Ford Taurus 2006”. I found many used car listings and the ones I looked at said the car had P215/60-16 tires. They were not SHO’s. My car has alloy wheels, so it could be an upgrade but I don’t know.

I did look at a few tire mail-order ads in a car magazine and could not find a 16" tire with an aspect ratio of 65 (more sidewall). Of course, this may have not been the best place to look for “better riding” tires. Most tires in the ads had aspect ratios (is that the correct term?) of 55, 50, and 45.


#6

I’ll ask you the same question that Ed McMahan would ask Johnny Carson: “How rough is it?” I ask this question because we own a 2003 Toyota 4Runner. I thought it rode like a wheelbarrow until I took a 450 mile trip in the car. I felt better after the drive than any of the other cars that I’ve owned and made the same trip. We had owned a 1993 Oldsmobile 88. It seemed like a very comfortable car for the first 5 miles, but after 50 miles I was ready to get out. I find the firm ride of the 4Runner much less tiring.

On the other hand, I once owned a Ford Maverick. It was a very reliable car, but I would describe its ride as rough. I finally traded the car in when I found that I was spending more on Preparation H than I was on upkeep for the Maverick.

What I am saying is to take a trip in your Taurus and see how it feels after 150 to 200 miles on the road. You may want to save your money and not change a thing.