Ford Fiesta Mk7
Part five: We fit a new set of dampers to sort the crashy ride, but it doesn’t seem to help.
By 100,000 miles, most car shock absorbers – or dampers, to use the correct term – are usually finished. Leaking oil, they’re so knackered that the car has a really crashy ride. Our Fiesta Mk7 is renowned for excellent handling and ride quality, but while ours handled fine, the ride was a bit noisy. So we ordered a set of four dampers – Monroe fronts and Boge Sachs rears – from GSF Car Parts. Dampers for the Mk7 are surprisingly expensive – well over £300 for the fronts and £200 for the rears. We didn’t get a price from Ford as a comparison, but suspect they would have made GSF look cheap!
The new dampers are gas-filled units, as oil-filled ones are just about extinct. You can fit different brands front to back, but it’s not the best idea to do them side-to-side. Although the dampers are near enough what Ford specified, you may find a slight variance as they age at different rates. The job of fitting them was pretty straightforward, with a couple of provisos, and took about three hours.
Unfortunately, afterwards the Fiesta was driving exactly as it did before. The old units were still perfect and with strong damping and no fluid leaks, so we put them to one side rather than scrap them. Having said that, UK roads are an absolute disgrace, so the problem may be the car body and trim shuddering over our rutted, patched-up tarmac rather than the dampers themselves.