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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, see if you guys can help me solve this problem.

I have a 2003 Taurus SEL with 46,000 miles and the rear suspension has a problem with it. It seems to "squat", but ONLY on the driver's side, rear. Now I thought it might just be because there is only one person (the driver) in it, but if I'm on level ground everything's fine. It really only happens under the following conditions:
- Backing up slowly downhill and applying the brakes.
- Backing up on level ground and applying the brakes.

The funny thing is that it only "squats" on the drivers side rear. I confirmed this by measuring between the top of the tire and the bottom of the quarter panel wheel opening. When uncompressed, I can place 2-3 fingers in there. Compressed, I can just get one finger in. The front suspension is even and when the rear is not acting up, it is even on both sides.

Once it does "squat", I drive it about a block and then it's back to normal. Also, no problems when cornering or "packing" of the suspension over a series of bumps. No problems with any clunking or weird noises. Nothing except the spare tire and jack in the trunk. Everything on the car is stock.

I thought it might be:
- Bad strut
- Bad spring
- Driver's side rear drum brake is sticking or slow to release
- Rear sway bar end link

Any ideas? Any way to confirm my suspicions before getting a Ford dealer involved?
 

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SilverBullet- is your car still under warranty?
Squatting on one side (a lower vehicle height on only one side) might indicate a broken spring. However since this seems to only happen when you brake, I think you're probably looking at a defective strut.
Let me know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply.

The car has been Ford certified, but is not under the original 3/36 warranty. I bought it last year when it had just turned 36K.

Any way to confirm the bad strut? I did the "bounce test" and it didn't tell me anything. I also saw that the strut boot was zip-tied at the top and bottom. Since I didn't have any extra ties, I didn't want to cut one to see if there was any fluid seeping past the strut shaft seal.

I'm really easy on the car, always avoid potholes and slow down to a crawl when going over rail road tracks. How long to struts last in these cars? Is this a pretty common problem?
 

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Struts usually last longer than that afaik. But if you're sure that the car always 'dips' on one corner when braking, I don't see what else it could be. I would take it to a trusted shop and get it checked out, they will probably give you a free estimate too. With that, you can still shop around, should the strut(s) need to be replaced.
 
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