Washboard Road Feel

Welcome to the busiest full-spectrum Lincoln community online!

Please join us! We'd really love to have you as a member...

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
For what it's worth I'll try the dealer again, and maybe they can confirm it's a bad shock or strut.
Progress report.
1. Replaced the original Michelin's, 60,000 miles, with General Altimax RT 43's. Much better ride with my 19 inch wheels, no more harshness, and handling still good. I mean it, ride is night and day. Had a performance shop do the tires cause they road force balance, and did a hell of an alignment.
2. Don't nobody laugh. To address the pitching side to side, I placed a 55lb bag of cement behind the drive seat on the floor board, and a 26lb bag of cat litter in the left side of the trunk. Ride is much more stable, however this is only an interm fix.
3. I purchased a pair of rear shocks from Rockauto for around $500, still waiting for delivery, and will advz outcome when I install them. As I mentioned before the left rear shock runs softer than the right, and it was encouraging to note rear lefts were out of stock at Rockauto, but was lucky to catch them with one in stock and now it's on the way to me. It's a shot in the dark, but if it works great, and if it doesn't that rules out shocks leaving the ride control being the problem. A point I can squeeze the dealer with. And, a big and, if things don't work out, I can always fall back on the cement/cat litter.
 

bbf2530

Junior Member
2,360
1,253
113
Progress report.
1. Replaced the original Michelin's, 60,000 miles, with General Altimax RT 43's. Much better ride with my 19 inch wheels, no more harshness, and handling still good. I mean it, ride is night and day. Had a performance shop do the tires cause they road force balance, and did a hell of an alignment.
2. Don't nobody laugh. To address the pitching side to side, I placed a 55lb bag of cement behind the drive seat on the floor board, and a 26lb bag of cat litter in the left side of the trunk. Ride is much more stable, however this is only an interm fix.
3. I purchased a pair of rear shocks from Rockauto for around $500, still waiting for delivery, and will advz outcome when I install them. As I mentioned before the left rear shock runs softer than the right, and it was encouraging to note rear lefts were out of stock at Rockauto, but was lucky to catch them with one in stock and now it's on the way to me. It's a shot in the dark, but if it works great, and if it doesn't that rules out shocks leaving the ride control being the problem. A point I can squeeze the dealer with. And, a big and, if things don't work out, I can always fall back on the cement/cat litter.

Hi jhnjohn. Happy to hear you found at least a temporary solution. Will also mention that simply replacing the 60,000 mile original tires with new tires would result in a night and day change in ride quality, as you have discovered. Those tires were ready for replacement around the 50,000 mile mark (or sooner).

Keep us updated and good luck.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Hi jhnjohn. Happy to hear you found at least a temporary solution. Will also mention that simply replacing the 60,000 mile original tires with new tires would result in a night and day change in ride quality, as you have discovered. Those tires were ready for replacement around the 50,000 mile mark (or sooner).

Keep us updated and good luck.
Just received both rear shocks, and will advz after install. Let me be clear about the tires. The Generals have a more cushioned ride with out compromising handling. Was going to replace with Continental Pure Contact until I read they ride harder than the Michelin's. By the way, I test drove 2 or more pre 2016 MKZ's with mileage in the mid 20's , they rode hard, and the weak left rear shock condition was evident. I noticed the left rear I just purchase had a different Ford part no.. Maybe there was a problem with that particular shock and Ford corrected it. Felt a little foolish mentioning the cement/cat litter deal, but it works, and if anyone else is interested it's 50lbs behind the driver's seat on the floor board and approx 25lbs left side of the trunk to mitigate that rowboat on the open seas feeling. Another consideration, I weigh about 170, so this may not work for everyone.
 
Last edited:

JWR

Junior Member
36
0
6
I own a 2013 MKZ AWD. I bought this car with 33K and now has 90K 4 about 4 years ago. I have taken it on 9K trip during that time. It has been the best riding car ever, until 2 months ago when lower control arm bushings were put in. First incorrectly and then corrected. It now has the infamous washboard feeling. I hate it. So far I convinced goodyear to replace their top of the line Assurion all weather with only 20K on them. That cost me $330 on top of the original purchase. Two shops went over the car because the problem remained. I then went back to Goodyear and for $150, I now have Continental All Weather on the car. Still the washboard is there. I came to this forum to see if there were any solutions, since the current shop that has a lincoln tech. ( The current dealer asked me to take my car somewhere else 4 years ago, when they wouldn't admit there was a problem with something else) (BTW: lincoln has created revised part which solves it, at the customer's expense) ( Thats why I canceled my lincoln warranty contract 4 years ago)
back to the washboard.....the current solution is to replace all 4 shocks...cost $3500. And no guarantee this will solve the problem. The shop did bring to my attention solution which bypasses the CDS by Strutmaster. It costs $449 before labor and the reviews are very good. It saddens me to have to do that, however, unless somebody can figure out how to reboot the control module, we are all stuck. I do not see that replacing non leaking shocks is going to solve this. After reading this forum, I am leaning towards going old school.
Saddened again that Ford/Lincoln is not stepping up. BTW the revised part is the transmission valve body, if you are finding your car has a dead spot after making a U turn or kind of lurches if you roll to about 5mph at a stop sign and transition to quickly to the acclerator. Also, it shifts funny when it's cold. $600.
mdh, I really appreciate your post #78 (above) in the thread I started 5 years ago. I started out with 13,900 miles on my 2013 MKZ and now have 79,000 on it . Great car EXCEPT for this damnable cobblestone or washboard feel issue. Without re-reading all this prior stuff I have had Lincoln support people involved, many trips to the dealer, a $1000 set of new Michelins replacing the original tires, balanced umpteen times, etc. Every possible cause has been eliminated except for the CCDS dicking with the shocks individually every 20 milliseconds. What could possibly go wrong ? It is most of the time hypersensitive to the pavement and then unpredictably smooth and just fine at other times.
The dealer and service people have tried but the truth is they have no way to test the system involved. They have no way to reload the software for the controls. They can't even test for it much less fix it. It was a piss poor decision to put this complex a system on a car to start with when the benefits are essentially impossible to detect. Wonderful technology unjustified and misapplied. I am probably going to go ahead and have the Strutmaster kit installed and see if simple sanity can replace the needless complexity.
______________________________
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
mdh, I really appreciate your post #78 (above) in the thread I started 5 years ago. I started out with 13,900 miles on my 2013 MKZ and now have 79,000 on it . Great car EXCEPT for this damnable cobblestone or washboard feel issue. Without re-reading all this prior stuff I have had Lincoln support people involved, many trips to the dealer, a $1000 set of new Michelins replacing the original tires, balanced umpteen times, etc. Every possible cause has been eliminated except for the CCDS dicking with the shocks individually every 20 milliseconds. What could possibly go wrong ? It is most of the time hypersensitive to the pavement and then unpredictably smooth and just fine at other times.
The dealer and service people have tried but the truth is they have no way to test the system involved. They have no way to reload the software for the controls. They can't even test for it much less fix it. It was a piss poor decision to put this complex a system on a car to start with when the benefits are essentially impossible to detect. Wonderful technology unjustified and misapplied. I am probably going to go ahead and have the Strutmaster kit installed and see if simple sanity can replace the needless complexity.
I believe you hit the nail on the head. Lincoln Ride Control looks good on paper, but not so hot on the road. I did check with Strutmasters, and was told they have a $469.00 bypass kit FD64F for 2013-16 MKZ model years, which includes bypass connectors, front struts, and rear shocks. If your car is out of warranty, extended or otherwise, this looks like the way to go. FYI, If some days/times the car is really misbehaving, I stop, shut her down, and restart. Kinda like rebooting your computer.
 
Last edited:

JWR

Junior Member
36
0
6
Mine is so erratic going from "just fine" on one short stretch of road to cobblestones feel 2 minutes later. I have not tried stopping and restarting. I will. Mine has 74,000 miles now (13,900 when I bought it 7 years ago.) The disease has been there all along. Baffling. I am headed toward doing the Strutmaster installation in the very near future. Seems to be the only reasonable alternative. I spoke with Xingeneering last night and today and they make bypass kits for General Motors but not Lincoln so far. The people there were super knowledgeable and put me onto a YouTube for how to disconnect the solenoid that activates the variable shocks [showing the General Motors example.]. Problem with just doing that is it is a big job (for me anyway) to get the struts and shocks out to where I can get at the solenoids. AND we do not know what the solenoid driven shocks do when there is no input mechanically from the solenoids. Far better to just get the Strutmaster kit and find a good installation shop.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Mine is so erratic going from "just fine" on one short stretch of road to cobblestones feel 2 minutes later. I have not tried stopping and restarting. I will. Mine has 74,000 miles now (13,900 when I bought it 7 years ago.) The disease has been there all along. Baffling. I am headed toward doing the Strutmaster installation in the very near future. Seems to be the only reasonable alternative. I spoke with Xingeneering last night and today and they make bypass kits for General Motors but not Lincoln so far. The people there were super knowledgeable and put me onto a YouTube for how to disconnect the solenoid that activates the variable shocks [showing the General Motors example.]. Problem with just doing that is it is a big job (for me anyway) to get the struts and shocks out to where I can get at the solenoids. AND we do not know what the solenoid driven shocks do when there is no input mechanically from the solenoids. Far better to just get the Strutmaster kit and find a good installation shop.
I also spoke with Xingeneering, and apparently there are similar problems with GM's magnetic ride control, and like you said no fix for MKZ. My problem is with the left rear shock, sometimes it runs soft other times OK, but when soft it causes the car to roll side to side. Bought 2 rear shocks from Rockauto for around $400, haven't installed them yet, but will post results when I do. Extended my warranty thru Lincoln for another 3 yrs, and don't want to void it by going with Strutmasters. Obviously Ford doesn't adhere to, "If it ain't broke don't fix it", been producing Lincoln cars for over 100 years, and they had to go screw with the suspension. Could be wrong, but I believe the solenoids are on the shock itself allowing you to select comfort/normal/sport, and if you disconnect the wire you cancel out the solenoid as well as CCD which gets info from cameras, ride height sensors, etc.. Good luck with Strutmasters if you take that path. Its a beautiful car with lots of nice features, but then again, like a beautiful wife with a constant headache.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
OK boys and girls I'm happy to report some promising progress. As I mentioned in previous posts my problem was the left rear shock running soft, and causing the car to roll side to side. Had purchased 2 rears from Rockauto, and finally got around to replacing the left rear today. Ditched the 55lb bag of cement I was using for ballast to steady the car down, took a short ride, and what do you know-huge improvement. Tomorrow I will replace the right so I will have a matched pair. You're only dealing with shocks in the rear, so it is a pretty easy procedure to swap them out, and the only real difficulty was figuring out how to disconnect the not too intuitive electrical connector. Gotta press real hard on the top of the connector at the car side of the wire. Will post again when I have both shocks installed.
______________________________
 

JWR

Junior Member
36
0
6
OK boys and girls I'm happy to report some promising progress. As I mentioned in previous posts my problem was the left rear shock running soft, and causing the car to roll side to side. Had purchased 2 rears from Rockauto, and finally got around to replacing the left rear today. Ditched the 55lb bag of cement I was using for ballast to steady the car down, took a short ride, and what do you know-huge improvement. Tomorrow I will replace the right so I will have a matched pair. You're only dealing with shocks in the rear, so it is a pretty easy procedure to swap them out, and the only real difficulty was figuring out how to disconnect the not too intuitive electrical connector. Gotta press real hard on the top of the connector at the car side of the wire. Will post again when I have both shocks installed.
Sounds like progress. I have bad news -- also very surprising. I had a mechanic disconect all 4 shocks on my 2013 MKZ from the wiring harnesses. Decided to test the car with the CCDS totally out of the picture for suspension. I felt I had narrowed down my "washboard feel varible ride" to where it had to be the automated shocks since nothing else in the sus[pension varies all over the place and my washboard surfsace disease does vary from very smooth to awful & bumpy from time to time, evenb on the same stretch of road. So I sadi itHAS TO BE that automated CCDS . The bad news is with all 4 shocks electrical connections loose and dangling the problem is WORSE !! Instad of going away it got worse -- a lot worse. Wierd and baffling to me. My puzzle now is what do those fancy automated shocks do when disconnected? Do they go extremely stiff, or very soft OR worse yet "dangle" and vary thier ampount of damping randomly? Who would know ? My local Ford dealer is clueless and incredulous I even tried this. They cannot answer how these shocks act when disconnected. I'm hunting for the brand and part # of these MKZ shocks headed for asking the manufacturer.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Sounds like progress. I have bad news -- also very surprising. I had a mechanic disconect all 4 shocks on my 2013 MKZ from the wiring harnesses. Decided to test the car with the CCDS totally out of the picture for suspension. I felt I had narrowed down my "washboard feel varible ride" to where it had to be the automated shocks since nothing else in the sus[pension varies all over the place and my washboard surfsace disease does vary from very smooth to awful & bumpy from time to time, evenb on the same stretch of road. So I sadi itHAS TO BE that automated CCDS . The bad news is with all 4 shocks electrical connections loose and dangling the problem is WORSE !! Instad of going away it got worse -- a lot worse. Wierd and baffling to me. My puzzle now is what do those fancy automated shocks do when disconnected? Do they go extremely stiff, or very soft OR worse yet "dangle" and vary thier ampount of damping randomly? Who would know ? My local Ford dealer is clueless and incredulous I even tried this. They cannot answer how these shocks act when disconnected. I'm hunting for the brand and part # of these MKZ shocks headed for asking the manufacturer.
Sorry to hear that. Aside from Strutmasters there is only the Ford shock made in Japan which is avlb from Rockauto part number and all. I noticed the left rear I installed had a different part # so maybe Ford corrected a problem with the left rear cause I noticed the same fault on 2 other MKZS I test drove. Your local Ford dealer is not clueless, they know, so don't depend on them for a solution. Talk to your mechanic about replacing all 4 which you can purchase from Rockauto for around $800.00 plus tax. Replacing the right rear today and will advz.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
OK, both rear shocks are installed, much better ride no more drastic pitching side to side, and situation might ever improve when shocks break in and stabilize. I believe JWR pointed out that when struts/shocks were disconnected from the system ride got worse. Considering there are no ride control errors popping up on the dash, and my ride improvement by replacing the rear shocks, I believe the struts/shocks are the problem. I know the ride control system is working cause it seems to anticipate speed bumps, etc., and when the road really get bouncy I can feel the suspension hunkering down. So, two options? Buy all 4 dampers on line for a thousand or less, and you or mechanic install them, or go the Strutmasters way, and cut out the ride control period. For the time being I am content with the ride, and just hope it holds up. FYI, I have 19 inch wheels, and glad I replaced the the original Michelin's with General Altimax RT 43's which have better cushioning, and take out the harshness over bumps.
 

ajschwab

New member
3
0
1
I too have the problem with my 2013 MKZ. on a newly paved road I do not have the issue. On a older patch of road I have the problem. My strong point is not Technical Issues on cars so I hope there is answer out there some where. I ha talked to my dealer and they said the cost of finding the problem would be at a heavy cost. When all is said and done I can live with the problem but certainly should be happier if the solution was found.
______________________________
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
I too have the problem with my 2013 MKZ. on a newly paved road I do not have the issue. On a older patch of road I have the problem. My strong point is not Technical Issues on cars so I hope there is answer out there some where. I ha talked to my dealer and they said the cost of finding the problem would be at a heavy cost. When all is said and done I can live with the problem but certainly should be happier if the solution was found.
Can you tell me exactly what your problems is. As I said, my problem was the left rear shock was running soft causing the car to roll left to right, since I replaced both left and right rears the whole system seems to be operating better almost like getting rid of the weak link in the chain. This ride control is very sophisticated, and I think Lincoln bit off a bit more than they can chew, as well as using parts not up to the task.
 

JWR

Junior Member
36
0
6
About 93 posts ago and several years ago when I started this thread my problem was (and still is) hypersensitivity to the road surface resulting in what feels like a washboard surface but that disease varies gradually and with no way to be sure when or how much. Yes, I too have had rear end roll symptoms at times like jhnjohnp mentions but that is the least of my issues. I would consider the slight roll axis movement I have to be an oddity of the suspension design that I could easily live with. What I have lived with (for 6 or 7 years and around 60,000 miles and cannot easily live with any longer) is just an absurd and unpredictably variable rough ride.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Jhnjohnp here, and I feel your frustration, but bear with me cause I like details no matter how minute. Ford has left us in a bad position, we have their Ride Control which for some us is not operating as designed, and to make matters worse we have a possible software/hardware issue here. Which is it, one or the other or both? I took a shot and replaced a weak shock, it worked out, but still leery as to how long the shock will hold up cause the system may have caused the original to fail. Just don't know. My advice would be to go With Strutmasters, you kill 2 birds with one stone by taking out the Ride Control, and the electronic struts/shocks in one shot. Disconnecting the dampers may have caused them to go into a default mode, or worse, some in comfort, normal, or whatever. I would ck with that mechanic about Strutmasters solely on the fact he was willing to try something to diagnose the problem. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

Multitask

Active member
191
52
28
Los Angeles, Calif
While I do not think I have this issue, it does make me wonder why my 2020 MKZ-hybrid when it is in 'comfort' mode seems just fine as long as the road is smooth, but not so much when the road is less than smooth. (and I'm not talking about divots or potholes) I almost feels like it is still in 'Sport' Mode but when I check it's not....
______________________________
 

JWR

Junior Member
36
0
6
While I do not think I have this issue, it does make me wonder why my 2020 MKZ-hybrid when it is in 'comfort' mode seems just fine as long as the road is smooth, but not so much when the road is less than smooth. (and I'm not talking about divots or potholes) I almost feels like it is still in 'Sport' Mode but when I check it's not....
I've been beating this issue mercilessly for 7 years. In my opinion the major auto mfrs bit off more than they could chew and large numbers of victims out here are either infuriated (that's me) or slightly puzzled (that's you.) The entire industry, and especially the massive customer base, would ALL be better off if they never tried to perform automated suspension adjustment. Period. The end. Ever. There are too many variables, the smart asses who invented this disease are very smart and I applaud that, but the service aspect is hopeless -- not an ordinary dealer or service shop in the USA has the tools to debug this or to even narrow down the issues. [Which would cost more than the suspension system...] Software algorithms, control chips, sensors, partially responsive damping devices (shocks), no test equipment stands a snowball chance in hell of being able to "code" the problems. Flat stupid. These systems are wonderful lab experiments in control theory classes which should be discontinued in production automobiles and trucks. Hideous waste of money to say nothing of angst and needless frustrations. There is NOTHING wrong with saying "We put out something needlessly complex that cannot be maintained in the field and was not worth the investment to begin with. We were wrong. " Learn from the mistakes and get on with other things.
 

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Wow, post #97 says it all, and while not encouraging it is accurate. So glad I bought the car used, hope my 2 rear shock swap out holds up, and if not-I feel a new car coming on. Then again, it looks like other auto mfgs. are going with adaptive suspensions, so I hope they work out the bugs as they did with electric power assisted steering which was a real trip when first introduced. I,m a retired airline worker, and when the first automated Air-Bus came out, us insiders referred to it as the Scare Bus because of it's quirks.
 
Last edited:

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Preliminary update on replacing rear shocks due to rolling side to side. OK, ride has improved to somewhere between tolerable and OK, but overall still somewhat crude and not befitting your father's Lincoln. For those of you who have considered limiting the input to CCD I was toying with the idea of disconnecting the ride height sensors. I believe there are four, and you would have to disable them physically not electrically or else you would cause a ride control error. They should look something like the image below, and disconnecting the lever from the frame would cause no input to CCD due to ride height change. You should still have the ability to switch from comfort/normal/sport, and hopefully the shock would become more passive. Just a thought.

1634156320593.jpeg
 
Last edited:

jhnjohnp

Member
68
8
8
Preliminary update on replacing rear shocks due to rolling side to side. OK, ride has improved to somewhere between tolerable and OK, but overall still somewhat crude and not befitting your father's Lincoln. For those of you who have considered limiting the input to CCD I was toying with the idea of disconnecting the ride height sensors. I believe there are four, and you would have to disable them physically not electrically or else you would cause a ride control error. They should look something like the image below, and disconnecting the lever from the frame would cause no input to CCD due to ride height change. You should still have the ability to switch from comfort/normal/sport, and hopefully the shock would become more passive. Just a thought.

View attachment 11509
FYI, you can try this at your own discretion. I unfastened the 2 rear ride height sensors at the control arm, took the car for a spin, and reattached the sensors. The car rides great, ride control seems mitigated, but the procedure did cause a rattle in the rear end. Personally I'm willing to live with the noise for the time being, because the ride is much improved, and shocks/struts seem to behaving OK but more conventionally.
 
Last edited:
Top