Ford: Shudder on Acceleration, Binding on Slow Turns

Ford: Shudder on Acceleration/Deceleration, Binding on Slow Turns

Ford: 1997­-2008 Expedition, Explorer; 2006­-’08 F-­150; 2007-­’08 Explorer Sport Trac
Lincoln: 1998­-2008 Navigator; 2003-­’05 Aviator
Mercury: 2005­-’08 Mountaineer


Various 1997-2008 vehicles equipped with either 4WD or AWD and equipped with control trac may exhibit a shudder on acceleration/deceleration, binding in slow speed turns or noise from the front driveline and/or transfer case. The shudder/binding will occur with the vehicle being operated in the AWD/auto 4×4 mode. The shudder/binding may be due to incorrect tire circumference or improper tire inflation pressures.

On some 4WD models, the initial shift from 2WD to 4WD while the vehicle is moving can cause a momentary clunk and/or brief ratcheting sound. These sounds are normal as the front drivetrain comes up to speed and are not cause for concern.

0-Lincoln SHUDDER ON ACCELERATION MotoLogic fig 1Action

1. Review the tire label for correct tire size and tire inflation pressures located at the B­-pillar of the driver’s door.

2. If the tire size does not match the label, this procedure does not apply. Follow normal workshop manual diagnostics.

3. If the tire size is correct, ensure tire pressures are within specifications.

4. Raise the vehicle on the hoist.

5. Disconnect all wiring going to the transfer case and road test.

6. Is the condition present?
A. If the shudder/binding is still present, do not continue with this procedure, continue with normal diagnostic procedures in the workshop manual.
B. If the shudder/binding is gone, proceed to Step 7.

7. Raise the vehicle on the hoist and reconnect all the wiring previously disconnected.

8. Using a tailor’s tape or flexible measuring tape, measure the circumference of all four tires and record the measurements. (Fig. 1)

0-Lincoln SHUDDER ON ACCELERATION MotoLogic fig 29. Calculate the average of the circumference of the two front tires and calculate the average of the circumference of the two rear tires. (Fig. 2)

10. If the difference between these two averages is greater than ½-inch (12.7 mm), front to back or side to side, replace the smallest circumference tire(s) and remeasure the tire averages.

Note: This does not apply to the 2006-­’08 Mountaineer with a 4.0L engine or the 2007-­’08 Explorer and Sport Trac with 20-in. wheels.

Note: Vehicles may require tire replacement if the tire circumference average between the front and rear axles are outside of the ½ in. spec or if the tire circumference from side to side on either axle exceeds ½ in. difference. The smaller tire(s) must be replaced.

You May Also Like

Tesla Model 3 TPMS Service

When replacing the tires on the Tesla, you will have to service the TPMS sensors.

One of the first items to be replaced on any Tesla model are the tires. This is due to tire wear from the instant torque of the electric motor. When replacing the tires, you will have to service the TPMS sensors.

Tesla has used Baolong (from 2012 to 2014), Continental (from 2014 to 2020 ) and a proprietary sensor that uses Bluetooth. For 2021, the Model Y started to use a sensor that communicates using Bluetooth protocols. Not much is known about the new system except that the sensors are currently available only through Tesla.

Ball Joint Inspection

It’s important to remember not to miss a worn joint. If a ball joint fails, the driver loses control of the vehicle.

Ride Height Sensors

If one of these sensors is replaced, it must be calibrated after it is installed.

GM Rattle or Creak Noise From Front Suspension

The noise may be originating from the front lower control arm front bushing. Here’s how to correct it.

Mercedes Airmatic Suspensions

Diagnostic tips to aid your repair efforts.

Other Posts

Rethinking Your Wheel Weight Assortment

Your wheel weights could be hiding indirect comeback costs related to them falling off or losing their adhesion.

Honda TPMS: What You Need To Know

Honda’s TPMS can be one of the more difficult systems to program in new sensors, relearns and calibrations.

Diagnosing Hub Unit Wheel Speed Sensor Codes

For the technician, it can be frustrating. The wheel speed sensors are some of the longest circuits in the vehicle.

TPMS Education

Surveys have shown that 30-50% of drivers have no clue about the TPMS warning light in their vehicles.