Shop Press

Shop Press is the news and idea hub for everything related to working on cars and trucks, focusing on repair, technology, and wrenching lifestyle.

From the creative minds at:


Hot Off the Press

Engine knock – ASE practice questions (VIDEO)

Description An engine exhibits a knocking noise. During a cylinder power balance test, the noise abates. Technician A says the noise is likely worn big-end bearings on the connecting rod. Technician B says the noise is likely piston slap. Who is correct?More ASE...

“Can I borrow a…”

I recall being very alarmed at how far the door spring traveled. As a teenager in my first job at a dealer, I was working on a small S-10 truck that needed door hinge pin bushings. I levered that door spring out of its perch with a slotted screwdriver like a goon and...

A visit to Elite JDM (VIDEO)

Description Recently we took a trip to Dorman Proving Grounds manager Nick D'Alessio’s personal shop, Elite JDM. While we were there, we shot some videos about some fascinating things we found in his shop. We decided to put those four videos together in a playlist for...

Oil leak – ASE practice questions (VIDEO)

Description Which of the following is LEAST LIKELY to cause an oil leak?A) Torn valve cover gasket B) Worn wrist pin bushings C) Worn rear main seal D) Worn piston ringsMore ASE Practice Questions

Low-mileage JDM automatics: Worthwhile or worthless? (VIDEO)

Description Nick and Lemmy check out a flex plate from an imported Japanese automatic transmission with very few miles under its belt. Even so, Nick explains why nobody really wants these transmissions or parts… and why many of them end up in the scrapyard.

Serviceability Hall of Shame: Ford Taurus Spring Shields

by | Jan 17, 2023

The Serviceability Hall Of Shame was born from all the times we’ve looked at a vehicle and realized some usually simple task was going to be nightmarish. It is, ultimately, a response and explanation of the inevitable question, “Good Lord, why?!” Today’s entrant isn’t a particularly difficult part to service, actually. It’s just a super-dumb “solution” (and I use that term very loosely) to a problem.

Working for a Ford dealership years ago, I remember a rash of recall work coming in relating to the front springs in Ford Taurus sedans and wagons within a fairly narrow range of model years (1999 to 2001). Evidently, when cars were operated in the Salt Belt, the springs were rusting out. In particular, the front springs could jump past the spring perch after breaking, and the resulting jagged end could (and did in many cases, sadly) bury itself into the sidewall of the tire, causing a rapid loss of air.

Yikes. This is what we in the biz referred to at that time as “real effin’ bad.” (It’s technical jargon.) If our customers were lucky, they suffered this broken spring and insult-to-injury flat tire in the comfort of their driveway. Not-so-lucky customers found out about this problem firsthand when under power, suddenly having to learn to navigate during a sudden tire blowout.

Now, a regular human being with more than about six firing neurons could identify the problem here (the rusty tire-poker springs) and generate a solution. Most solutions were obvious: Install new springs that weren’t so prone to rust and rapid failure, right?


Instead, Ford had service technicians install a service kit that shielded the tire from the spring should it break. It was a couple pieces of stamped sheet metal and the corresponding hardware. Now, this absolutely did prevent the blowouts. As you’ve likely guessed by now, however, this did absolutely nothing for the actual problem, which was springs rotting out in four or five years.

Ford Taurus coil spring shields.

Oh, this… this is not what I expected. Photo by Mike Apice.

Pretty obviously, when we explained to customers what we did to “fix” the problem, they weren’t real happy.

So, Ford, come take your bow in the limelight (lemonlight?) that shines through The Hall and do better next time around, eh?

The articles and other content contained on this site may contain links to third party websites. By clicking them, you consent to Dorman’s Website Use Agreement.

Related Articles

Shop Press Comment Policy

Participation in this forum is subject to Dorman’s Website Terms & Conditions. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline feedback
View all comments

Get Articles In Your Inbox

Subscribe to receive a monthly email summary of our latest Shop Press stories.

Shop Press

I agree to the above privacy statement and T&Cs

Thanks! You're now subscribed.