Can Upgrading the Shocks and Struts on a Ford Explorer Improve Its Ride Quality and Stability?

February 8, 2024

If you are owners of Ford Explorers, you may have asked yourselves this question: Can upgrading the shocks and struts on a Ford Explorer improve its ride quality and stability? This question arises from the deep-seated interest you have in optimizing your vehicle’s performance while enhancing safety and comfort. In the following article, we’ll delve into this topic, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the role shocks and struts play in your vehicle’s performance, and how upgrading them can significantly improve your Ford Explorer’s ride quality and stability.

The Role of Shocks and Struts in a Vehicle

Before we further discuss the potential improvements that come with upgrading shocks and struts, it’s essential to understand their fundamental role in a vehicle, especially for non-experts who are curious about enhancing their vehicle’s performance.

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Shocks and struts contribute majorly to your vehicle’s suspension system. They act as the primary damping components designed to absorb road shocks, ensuring that your vehicle’s tires stay in contact with the road at all times. This, in turn, gives you control over your vehicle while providing a smoother and more comfortable ride.

While they serve the same function, shocks and struts are not interchangeable. Shocks, or shock absorbers, primarily minimize the impact of road bumps, while struts are a structural part of the suspension system that impacts the vehicle’s steering and alignment.

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How Upgraded Shocks and Struts Improve Ride Quality

If you’re looking for ways to enhance your Ford Explorer’s ride quality, upgrading shocks and struts is a worthwhile consideration. Properly functioning shocks and struts not only make your ride smoother, but they also reduce bouncing and shaking that can cause discomfort.

When you upgrade to high-quality shocks and struts, you’ll notice a significant difference in your vehicle’s handling and performance. These upgraded components offer exceptional damping characteristics, which translates to improved comfort over various types of terrain.

Moreover, high-quality shocks and struts can adapt to changes in the road surface more quickly and effectively than standard ones, leading to superior ride quality. They are designed with enhanced features such as larger pistons for better damping and improved springs for better ride control.

Increasing Stability with Upgraded Shocks and Struts

Stability is a paramount factor when it comes to vehicle safety, and upgrading shocks and struts can vastly improve your Ford Explorer’s stability.

Upgraded shocks and struts can offer increased resistance to roll, pitch, and dive, which are the forward and backward tilting and sideways rolling of a vehicle. This improved resistance results in better vehicle stability, allowing for safer and more controlled maneuvers, especially when driving at high speeds or around corners.

Additionally, premium shocks and struts provide improved traction by ensuring that your tires maintain contact with the road’s surface. This results in better control and stability, particularly in adverse weather conditions or rough terrains.

The Impact on Ford Explorer

Now that we have established how upgraded shocks and struts can improve ride quality and stability let’s consider their specific impact on a Ford Explorer.

The Ford Explorer, a popular SUV model, is known for its versatility and solid performance. However, like any vehicle, its shock absorbers and struts can wear out over time, affecting its ride quality and stability. Upgrading these components can therefore yield significant improvements.

High-performance shocks and struts designed specifically for the Ford Explorer can enhance the SUV’s handling capabilities, even in off-road conditions, due to their superior damping characteristics. They can also reduce the vehicle’s body roll, ensuring that the ride remains smooth and stable even when navigating sharp corners or rough terrains.

Furthermore, considering the Ford Explorer’s size and weight, upgraded shocks and struts can be even more beneficial. They can bear heavier loads, ensuring better stability and control, which is particularly important for a large vehicle like the Ford Explorer.

Choosing the Right Shocks and Struts for Your Ford Explorer

When contemplating upgrading shocks and struts, it’s important to choose the right ones for your Ford Explorer. Factors such as your driving habits, the vehicle’s age, the terrain you usually drive on, and the climate in your location should all be taken into account.

For instance, if you frequently use your Ford Explorer for off-road adventures, you might want to consider shocks and struts specially designed for off-road performance. If you live in a region with harsh winter conditions, consider shocks and struts designed to perform well under such circumstances.

Also, always consider compatibility. Not all shocks and struts will fit every model of Ford Explorer, so ensure the ones you choose are designed for your specific model and year.

To sum up, upgrading the shocks and struts on a Ford Explorer can indeed lead to significant improvements in both ride quality and stability. These upgrades can make your driving experience more comfortable, safer, and more controlled, ultimately enhancing the overall performance of your vehicle.

The Lifespan of Shocks and Struts in a Ford Explorer

Understanding the lifespan of shocks and struts in a Ford Explorer will help you determine the appropriate time for upgrading. Generally, vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing these components every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, certain factors such as your driving habits, the conditions of the roads you usually drive on, and the climate in your location can affect their lifespan.

If you frequently drive your Ford Explorer on rough terrains or in harsh weather conditions, the shocks and struts are likely to wear out faster. In such cases, it is advisable to inspect them for signs of wear or damage more frequently.

Symptoms of worn shocks and struts may include increased bouncing, swaying or leaning when you turn, a rough or uncomfortable ride, tire shaking or vibrating, and uneven tire wear. If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to consider upgrading your shocks and struts.

Upgrading to high-quality shocks and struts can extend their lifespan, reducing the frequency of replacement. This, in turn, can save you money in the long run. Further, if you plan on keeping your Ford Explorer for many years, investing in upgraded shocks and struts is a wise choice for maintaining its performance and comfort.


The question of whether upgrading the shocks and struts on a Ford Explorer can improve its ride quality and stability has been conclusively addressed. The answer is a resounding yes. Upgraded shocks and struts enhance the performance of your Ford Explorer by improving its ride quality through superior damping characteristics and increasing its stability through better control and resistance to roll, pitch, and dive.

Not only does this upgrade enhance your driving experience, but it also extends the lifespan of these vital components, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run. However, the choice of shocks and struts should be carefully made considering your driving habits, the vehicle’s model and year, and the common driving conditions.

In conclusion, investing in high-quality shocks and struts is a valuable step towards maintaining the performance, safety, and longevity of your Ford Explorer. It is a decision that every Ford Explorer owner should consider for an improved and more comfortable driving experience. Remember, the quality of your ride is greatly influenced by the condition of your shocks and struts. Keep them in optimal condition, and your Ford Explorer will surely reward you with an outstanding performance.