Poor ride quality - how can it be improved?

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Treat center

Junior Member
27
8
3
Ok the loud “road noise” can be improved by switching to 18” or 19” rims and tires. However still can not stand the un-luxury LOUD Ta-Dump Ta-Dump...when getting on a bridge or bridge expansion joints or what I believe tire manufactures call “sudden impacts” that occur while daily driving.
There is more attention to noise canceling the engine noise than the attention to what a luxury car should be, quiet ride, smooth ride.

SUV’s and Pickup trucks ride smoother and quieter.

I have fixed the road noise by removing my 20” rims and getting a quiet ride tire.
But
How can we fix or improve the Ta-Dump or “sudden Impact” frustratingly LOUD noise ?
 

Town

Senior Member
4,714
367
83
Ottawa Ontario Canada
My car does not exhibit your concern that I have noticed. I have the Michelin Primacy 255/55R19 stock tires and 235/50R19 Toyo GSI5 winter tires. Ride comfort and quiet are extraordinary because Lincoln put such a lot of effort into sound deadening and suspension tuning to eliminate harshness. I also drive in Comfort mode.

What size wheels and tires are you running and what tire model. What was your car prior to the Continental?

How is your tire wear, even across the tread or not and do all tires have the same wear pattern? Have you had a wheel alignment done?
 

Treat center

Junior Member
27
8
3
I removed the OEM 20” rims and purchased OEM 18” rims and Bridgestone Quiet Track tires for my 2017 Reserve model. This helped greatly the excessive road noise but not the HARSH way the Continental takes “sudden impacts” like the transition between when entering or exiting a shopping plaza or when getting on or off a bridge or going over railroad tracks.
This is more of a suspension engineering failure to absorb bumps or sudden impacts.
Lincoln does not put any effort into sound deadening road noise and suspension tuning to eliminate harshness. The MKS was harsh riding and horrible road noise. I traded my MKS for the Continental. Did not think Lincoln would make the same mistake twice but I was wrong they did.
As for the “Comfort” setting...that does nothing for the Da-Dump thumping when driving, it will make it seem like floating.

When calling the Lincoln 800 number they just tell you to go to your dealer and your dealer looks at it and states everything is ok. You would think they would get a Lincoln employee to drive down or fly down and figure something out or make a part to help absorb and stop the harsh thumping....
Also, note how many Continental owners complain or are not satisfied with the ride/ride noise and not one owner or critic brags about the ride.
SUV’s and Pickup trucks take sudden implants much much better than the Continental.
I just need an engineer to come up with something.
 

Town

Senior Member
4,714
367
83
Ottawa Ontario Canada
I brag about the ride and quiet of my car. Better than my 2007 Town Car that I had with 60 series tires. The 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis is certainly a softer riding car but with 70 or 75 series tires you cannot feel the road. The soft seats and suspension make it a handful on twisty uneven roads. As the decades rolled on lower profile tires and stiffer suspensions became the norm in order to meet peoples desire for a more controllable car. Tire technologies have got us to ultra low profile tires like super sports cars but on family cars. You get what you pay for in terms of the good and bad. I like the change but the choice of tire is critical, and Michelin Primacy is very difficult to beat.

You did not mention the tire size for your 18" rims. My winter tires are 235/50R19 (narrower is usually better in deep snow) and there is not a lot of difference in ride to me, but Toyo make a fairly stiff tire. Going narrower and higher profile will improve the impact comfort and the softness of the ride. But that is a compromise.

The windows on our cars are all laminated glass for sound deadening and elimination of harmful radiation. The exception is the rear windshield which is normal safety glass, but with shielding.The headliner has sound deadening material. The floors and bulkheads are also sound proofed. The body pillars are soundproofed. The suspension tuning includes isolators that reduce the harshness of impacts, both my sons notice that aspect particularly. The engine includes electronic features to help reduce noise and improve performance. I may be able to come up with a list of the sound control features. Because you cannot see these features does not mean they don't exist.
______________________________
 

brucelinc

Member
222
88
28
Minneapolis
It never ceases to amaze me that anyone would buy a car and then complain about a normal characteristic that they should have discovered prior to the purchase.

About all I could suggest to someone who prefers the ride and sound levels of an SUV or truck is to trade for one of those. Another option would be to look for a mid 70s Buick, Cadillac or Lincoln Town Car.

The Continental is quite competitive in terms of ride quality and quietness with any modern vehicle....and better than most.
 

Town

Senior Member
4,714
367
83
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Here is what Lincoln says about Harshness:

"Harshness Symptoms

Harshness is customer perception which gives the impression of no isolation from the tire/wheel and suspension system. Harshness may be caused by road conditions, temperature changes, component damage and/or incorrect customer modifications on original components/specifications. Customers usually experience harshness when the vehicle is driving over bumps or potholes and in cold weather conditions. Harshness can also be experienced with excessive tire pressure, sporty tires, heavy-duty springs and shocks, or other vehicle modifications. Some aftermarket tires, even with the correct size, may change vehicle behavior and produce customer concerns. The first step in diagnosing a harshness concern is to determine if the concern was experienced only in certain specific operating conditions, such as large potholes or extremely cold weather. In these cases, harshness should be considered normal. A known good vehicle can be driven under the same conditions and the rides can be compared to determine whether the concern is normal or vehicle specific. The second step is to check tire pressure and make sure it was set within vehicle specifications. The third step is to inspect for aftermarket or modified components and determine if they are the cause of the harshness complaint. If the harshness concern persists after the above steps, it is possible that some components are damaged. Based on the results from the road test, make a determination of which action in the symptom chart to take first."


The stock 20" rim tires have a recommended pressure of 39 psi, while the stock 19" rim tires have a recommended pressure of 33 psi for normal driving, while high speed needs a couple more psi. Harshness will be reduced as the tire pressure is reduced a few psi, however tread outer areas will wear faster and center tread area will have less tread wear. So tire pressure is a compromise that greatly affects the ride softness and tire wear. Alignment affects both as well since it affects the tire contact patch and angle of attack.

There are two technical documents that cover nvh terms (do not include yours), and an instrumented approach to measurement and resolution. This can be evaluated by driving 2 similar cars over the same road conditions.

Good luck.
 

Treat center

Junior Member
27
8
3
The Continental does gives the impression of no isolation from the tire/wheel and suspension system. What parts in the suspension are suppose to isolate harshness? and is there a diagram?
______________________________
 

Town

Senior Member
4,714
367
83
Ottawa Ontario Canada
The Continental does gives the impression of no isolation from the tire/wheel and suspension system. What parts in the suspension are suppose to isolate harshness? and is there a diagram?
I will get you procedures that address the lower control arm and other components that include the rubber isolators. Their stiffnes is very important.

Has any work been done on your suspension?
 

Town

Senior Member
4,714
367
83
Ottawa Ontario Canada
The components that include rubber isolators are shown in the attached procedures. The front subframe also contains 4 isolators but that is a huge job for access. You could take a look at the isolators (subframe mounting) so I included the procedure.

Good luck.
 

Attachments

  • 2017 Continental suspension front stabilizer bar bushing.pdf
    318.1 KB · Views: 15
  • 2017 Continental suspension front strut and spring assembly.pdf
    195 KB · Views: 11
  • 2017 Continental suspension lower arm.pdf
    426.7 KB · Views: 9
  • 2017 Continental body front subframe.pdf
    1.2 MB · Views: 11

Treat center

Junior Member
27
8
3
No work done on my suspension. Still same as from factory. Have asked repeatedly to look at suspension. Do not believe the dealer went into my car as far as your attachments describe as needed to just inspect. Bummer
However, thank you for the information and diagrams
 

C Krohn

Senior Member
498
77
28
Fort Worth, TX
Newer cars have wider, low profile tires to improve handling. Low profile tires don't have as much sidewall flex as higher profile tires, and therefore, produce a stiffer ride. My '13 MKS and '17 MKX don't have the soft ride that my '97 Mercury Grand Marquis had, but they handle better. You can't have it both ways.
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jhartz

Junior Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
291
96
28
Virginia Beach, VA
That is mostly true, but there are designs that can help, albeit at cost: for instance, my last two Jaguars (X308 XJ8s), had a shock mount on the top of each shock absorber that was very compliant and absorbed small fluctuations and harmonics. But, they cost nearly 50% more in 2017 dollars . . .
 

brucelinc

Member
222
88
28
Minneapolis
I think the Conti has a very good balance of ride, handling, comfort and control. I use the comfort setting almost exclusively for ride comfort but Normal or Sport sharpens things up nicely on twisty roads. Also, the AWD with torque vectoring works quite well. For a car with so much weight in the front, handling is surprisingly neutral with much less understeer than most FWD cars.

I have a Mustang GT that is my "fun" car. Obviously, if one wants to be a hooligan, it would corner faster than the Conti. However, for normal or even spirited highway driving, I don't feel like I give up anything when driving the Conti on twisty roads.

Mostly, I consider the Conti to be a comfy highway cruiser. They focused on ride and quietness with active noise control and many other noise abatement features. They also focused on ride quality with the adjustable suspension and continuous controlled damping. Overall, I think they did a pretty admirable job.
 

Treat center

Junior Member
27
8
3
Dear Town;
Above you stated...”The suspension tuning includes isolators that reduce the harshness of impacts”
Where are the isolators and how do I check to see if they even put the isolators in my car?
 

bbf2530

Junior Member
2,591
1,380
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Dear Town;
Above you stated...”The suspension tuning includes isolators that reduce the harshness of impacts”
Where are the isolators and how do I check to see if they even put the isolators in my car?

Hi TC. Just another variable to check, since it can make a substantial difference in harshness and ride comfort: I read back and did not see you mention what PSI you have your tires set to?

Are you using the Lincoln recommendation printed on the drivers door sill placard? That Lincoln recommendation is what you should have your tire pressures set to.

And you should be checking them with a good quality tire pressure gauge, not using the TPMS system readouts to check them.

Just something else to be aware of. Let us know how you make out, and good luck.
______________________________
 

Town

Senior Member
4,714
367
83
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Dear Town;
Above you stated...”The suspension tuning includes isolators that reduce the harshness of impacts”
Where are the isolators and how do I check to see if they even put the isolators in my car?
You have isolators installed or the car would be undriveable. The Continental has very high quality isolators so you don’t feel the jarring of impacts. Isolators are used in the front and rear subframes to mount them to the body. The suspension arms have them to help reduce the transfer of energy to the subframes and up into the body. Roll bars have isolators for the same reason. The MacPherson struts rely on the lower arms for cushioning, but have top mount isolators within the towers. Rear shocks have isolators for the top and bottom mounts to the subframe. Similarly for coil springs and the axles and differential. The drove shaft is 3 piece with 2 sets of isolators to ensure a smoth drive train. The engine isolators are very sophisticated to keep torque reaction loads from the subframe and body.

As @bbf2530 says the tires are much more of a concern for ride. The lower the profile and the higher the psi the worse the ride. My 255/45x19 tires are spec’d at 33 psi while the 245/40x20 tires are spec’d at 39 psi which seems ridiculously over inflated. Both are speed rated way beyond the car’s capability which makes for a very stiff structure and harsher ride. If you want a better ride the a lower speed rating like H will help in a higher profile and still be completely safe. Some manufacturers are noted for better ride quality than others.
 

Todor

Active member
153
31
28
Sofia-Bulgaria
The 20's are very sensitive to pressure. Initially I had them close to 45 psi cold on the OE Goodyear, the car rode and sounded pretty similar to what you describe. At 39-40psi it's better by a big margin.
Then I switched to summer only UHP tyres at very high technology level, three different rubber compound across the thread width, construction that distributes the load and pressure evenly across the contact patch, comfort zone in the sidewall, etc. At the tire shop I feeled both sidewalls of the old and new tires, to my astonishment, the new tire sidewall was subjectively more than twice stiffer than the sidewall of the OE A/S Goodyear. Again to my astonishment, the ride in 98% of scenarios is better, less bumpier and more controlled than the ride of a 2015 MB W222 S-500 riding on 245/50/18's. Indeed with 40 series 20's some impacts would be going through and on stone paved roads it is noisy, no way around that.

Tire pressures:
245/40/20 - 39psi/2.7 bar (704mm dia)
255/45/19 - 34psi/2.3 bar (actually a tad less than 34psi) (713mm dia)
235/50/18 - 35psi/2.4 bar - this tire size has too small diameter for the car - 693mm dia The MB size 245/50/18 is much more appropriate at 703mm diameter and supposedly rides better. Dunlop Sport Maxx available which is a quiet and good riding tire.

Winter
I also went for 235/50/19 which is the biggest diameter of all at 719 mm
Using the data from the stock 19's and 20's I calculated that for 3.8% static sidewall compression and similar contact patch length I should use 2.4bar pressure - the same as the stock 18's.

A/S tires suck big time, they just ruin half the car.

Please quote your tire size and actual used pressure. BTW, onboard TPMS is quite accurate down to 0.1 bar or less.
FYI I use summer UHP Falken Azenis FK-510 which might not be available in the US, price level of Pirelli, same stated technology, definitely better implementation, ride and quietness.
P.S. The worst tire in the class, also noisiest and with worst grip: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...sidewall=Blackwall&partnum=35VR8TQT&tab=Specs - full test available through a link in the page.
Threadwear 800??? thought the OE's with 500 were too hard. 800 is plastic, not rubber.
Here we have UHP tires at 120, Yokohamas with 240, Pirellys with 280, most summer tires are around 300 and seldom up to 340. Still lasting easy 20-30K miles.
My wife's jetta arrived with Bridgestone A/S, literally a day later, they were serving as garage bump stops in favor of Dunlop summer only blue response's - transformed the car into almost Continental type of quiet. (almost by a big margin, but the same direction)
 

Treat center

Junior Member
27
8
3
I removed the OEM 20” rims and purchase OEM 18” rims also purchased Bridgestone QuiteTrac tires. Set pressure to 35.
This improved the road noise however this car takes bumps or sudden impact as bad as a Mazda Protege :(
This is not what I wanted in a “Luxury” car. It take bump worse than a Ford F-150 !!!!
When entering a top booth the pavement transition into the toll booth and out is ridiculously loud “BANG” entering and THUMP when exiting the top booth....the same is true for entering into a plaza to shop the transition into and out is a LOUD THU-Dump also driving over a large bridge with expandion joints there is a embarrassing LOUD Thu-Dump, Thu-Dump everytime you drive over an expansion joint.
What can be done to improve this frustrating poor riding car?
 

bbf2530

Junior Member
2,591
1,380
113
I removed the OEM 20” rims and purchase OEM 18” rims also purchased Bridgestone QuiteTrac tires. Set pressure to 35.
This improved the road noise however this car takes bumps or sudden impact as bad as a Mazda Protege :(
This is not what I wanted in a “Luxury” car. It take bump worse than a Ford F-150 !!!!
When entering a top booth the pavement transition into the toll booth and out is ridiculously loud “BANG” entering and THUMP when exiting the top booth....the same is true for entering into a plaza to shop the transition into and out is a LOUD THU-Dump also driving over a large bridge with expandion joints there is a embarrassing LOUD Thu-Dump, Thu-Dump everytime you drive over an expansion joint.
What can be done to improve this frustrating poor riding car?
Hi Tc. What size "Bridgestone QuietTrac" tires did you install?

Is your Continental still within the 4 year/50,000 mile New Car Warranty? If yes, make a service appointment, bring it in for service, have the Service Writer take a ride with you or send a tech, and specifically demonstrate what your complaints are on the types of roads you are discussing. Try to get them to admit they feel it is not riding correctly. This helps avoid the dreaded "Could not duplicate customers concern" diagnosis.

Do not walk in, tell them it rides rough, hand them the keys and leave.

Other than some type of suspension issue, you pretty much did what you can do with the tires.

Keep us updated and good luck.
 
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