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Old 10-09-2012, 02:54 PM   #101
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On bumpy surfaces, I find the (16") ContiProContact to be very rough - while on smooth surfaces they feel soft and a bit squishy. It's as if the extra sidewall and greater air volume in the tire (215-55-16 size) make it super bouncy (i.e. a perfect storm of sorts combined with the steel-wheel weight), so that that the suspension damping cannot absorb the kinetic energy that the bumps impart into the tire, because the tires pass it all to the vehicle (instead of the tire rubber absorbing much of it).
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Fresh1 View Post
On bumpy surfaces, I find the (16") ContiProContact to be very rough - while on smooth surfaces they feel soft and a bit squishy. It's as if the extra sidewall and greater air volume in the tire (215-55-16 size) make it super bouncy (i.e. a perfect storm of sorts combined with the steel-wheel weight), so that that the suspension damping cannot absorb the kinetic energy that the bumps impart into the tire, because the tires pass it all to the vehicle (instead of the tire rubber absorbing much of it).
The most likely answer is that our cars have progressive springs, therefore they are soft at low compression (smooth highways) and firm at greater compression (bumps). Pretty typical in European sedans.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:37 PM   #103
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The most likely answer is that our cars have progressive springs, therefore they are soft at low compression (smooth highways) and firm at greater compression (bumps). Pretty typical in European sedans.
With your SE Sport, I'm guessing you have the 17" wheels on yours? If so, do you find that big bumps feel harsh and unsettle the car if going at any speed over 30 mph? When I first got mine (with 16" wheels), I thought there was a problem with the struts - i.e., not enough damping which would result in wheel hop - and I considered aftermarket/performance struts to fix it. Then I decided to wait until I changed the tires.

Has anyone upgraded the struts? And if so, how did they affect ride and hadling? ...
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #104
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With your SE Sport, I'm guessing you have the 17" wheels on yours? If so, do you find that big bumps feel harsh and unsettle the car if going at any speed over 30 mph? When I first got mine (with 16" wheels), I thought there was a problem with the struts - i.e., not enough damping which would result in wheel hop - and I considered aftermarket/performance struts to fix it. Then I decided to wait until I changed the tires.

Has anyone upgraded the struts? And if so, how did they affect ride and hadling? ...
Nope. I wanted and got the 16" wheels. Going over decent bumps and pot holes at speed the car had a little bounce, but nothing that other cars wouldn't suffer. The car feels fairly planted at all times except the rain and around corners at speed, but that's because the factory tires are crap. New tires will likely alleviate most of your concerns. Do the tires first, and if the issue persists consult the dealer.

Of course, it's impossible to diagnose suspension issues over the internet. I'd have to drive the car over the same road and at the same speeds as you to know what you're experiencing.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:46 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Fresh1 View Post
On bumpy surfaces, I find the (16") ContiProContact to be very rough - while on smooth surfaces they feel soft and a bit squishy. It's as if the extra sidewall and greater air volume in the tire (215-55-16 size) make it super bouncy (i.e. a perfect storm of sorts combined with the steel-wheel weight), so that that the suspension damping cannot absorb the kinetic energy that the bumps impart into the tire, because the tires pass it all to the vehicle (instead of the tire rubber absorbing much of it).
Have you driven the vehicle with other tire types/sizes?
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:47 PM   #106
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On bumpy surfaces, I find the (16") ContiProContact to be very rough - while on smooth surfaces they feel soft and a bit squishy. It's as if the extra sidewall and greater air volume in the tire (215-55-16 size) make it super bouncy (i.e. a perfect storm of sorts combined with the steel-wheel weight), so that that the suspension damping cannot absorb the kinetic energy that the bumps impart into the tire, because the tires pass it all to the vehicle (instead of the tire rubber absorbing much of it).
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Originally Posted by jsr72 View Post
Have you driven the vehicle with other tire types/sizes?
Not yet (only 2K miles so far) ... but next week I'm getting winter tires (Nokian Hakkapeliitta R) which I will keep on the stock 16" rims for subsequent winters ... and in the spring I'll get 17" alloy wheels with more performance-ey tires (235-45-17 size).

I know it's early for winter tires, but these Nokian tires (which sounded Japanese to me, but they're from Finland) are apparently so smooth and quiet and have extremely low rolling resistance ... I just *had* to get them on a.s.a.p. so I could see how the car feels with something other than the OE ContiProContact ... I will post feedback after the new tires are run in enough -- stay tuned! : )
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #107
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Nope. I wanted and got the 16" wheels. Going over decent bumps and pot holes at speed the car had a little bounce, but nothing that other cars wouldn't suffer. The car feels fairly planted at all times except the rain and around corners at speed, but that's because the factory tires are crap. New tires will likely alleviate most of your concerns. Do the tires first, and if the issue persists consult the dealer.

Of course, it's impossible to diagnose suspension issues over the internet. I'd have to drive the car over the same road and at the same speeds as you to know what you're experiencing.
Did you get the steel or alloy wheels? If alloy, maybe the lower unsprung weight makes a big difference. If you have the steel wheels (and your ride seems better than mine over bumps), I will have the dealer look at it. I think there's a rattle from the front suspension when I hit a sharp bump like a road-cut, so maybe one of the struts is defective, and that's been the problem all along ...
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:37 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by xwhit3devilx View Post
I HATED the Conti's that came with my Focus. (16inch LRR). They had no grip, were very bumpy, were quite loud, and hydroplaned like you wouldn't believe. At 2500 miles I swapped them out for a set of Michelin Primacy MXv4's and have never been happier.
After changing to a new set of tires two weeks ago, I have to agree that the ContiProContact are lousy tires - at least in the 16" size that came with the car. I got winter tires put on, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R, which feel like all-season tires on dry roads. They are overall more quiet than the Conti tires, have lower rolling resistance, handle about the same - BUT ARE SO MUCH BETTER in terms of ride comfort! No more harsh jolts on rippled surfaces, no more booming over bumps on the highway, and no more roaring over worn stretches of pavement, and no more thrashing over big bumps. If the Conti tires cornered well and yielded good road feel through the steering, I could live with some harshness, but I found them to be the WORST of both worlds!

I had the suspension checked by the Ford dealer recently because I thought there was a noise coming from the front end, but the tech couldn't find any problems, even after inspecting the car and more than one road test. (I'm mentioning this because I had wondered if there was a problem with the struts in my previous post.)

I started to dislike driving my car because of the OE tires. Now with those tires gone, all that has changed!

I can't wait for snow to fall so I can try out the "legendary Hakkas" in their natural environment! ; )

And in case I've left any doubt ... the ContiProContact tire-shaped basketballs are NOT coming back on in the spring!
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:47 PM   #109
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I can't wait for snow to fall so I can try out the "legendary Hakkas" in their natural environment! ; )
I loved my Hakka R's. I didn't find them horribly quiet, though - so that makes me wonder how bad the Conti's were!
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:59 PM   #110
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I loved my Hakka R's. I didn't find them horribly quiet, though - so that makes me wonder how bad the Conti's were!
The Conti's were fine on smooth surfaces (numb feeling though), but terrible in terms of noise and ride comfort everywhere else.

I gave them (90% tread left) to a friend who owns an auto parts business, to return a huge favor. Someone with a Malibu or Camry might like them better than I did on the Focus!?
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