Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 2007-2014 Discussion, Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff" in Cadillac Escalade Forums; I have a 2010 ESV Platinum with MRC and the ride has gotten really bad. It rides really rough. By ...
  1. #1
    Cadsrfun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    I have a 2010 ESV Platinum with MRC and the ride has gotten really bad. It rides really rough. By most accounts, peeps say the MRC with 22" wheels is suppose to ride pretty nice. Mine does have 70K miles which might have something to do with it. I did do a 2/3 in drop but the bad ride seems to be coming from the front and I used bell tech dropped spindles so the suspension and where the linkage attaches is all the same as stock... this shouldn't be an issue. Right after I did the drop it still seemed to ride pretty good.

    With the ESV just sitting in the garage, I can push down on the rear bumper and the suspension goes down a bit like normal. When I try to push down in the front it barely moves, like the shocks are almost rigid. When the MRC front shocks go bad, shouldn't they get bouncy like regular shocks?

    I am thinking of taking it to the dealer and have them diagnose the problem. Maybe there is a problem with the MRC electronics?

    Any help with past experiences would sure be appreciated. Thanks, Randy

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    With the ignition off, the shocks should be as "soft" as they can get. The rear coil springs have slower spring rate than the fronts, so what you're feeling when you try to compress the suspension may be normal.

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    hcvone is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    4 years old and 70k miles you may need new shocks, they do get old and slowly stop working well.

  5. #4
    Cadsrfun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    With the ignition off, the shocks should be as "soft" as they can get. The rear coil springs have slower spring rate than the fronts, so what you're feeling when you try to compress the suspension may be normal.
    Sounds like the rear suspension is "normal" but the front sure are not soft with the ignition off...

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvone View Post
    4 years old and 70k miles you may need new shocks, they do get old and slowly stop working well.
    Could "stop working well" mean the shocks will stiffen up? Past experience this would mean bouncy not stiff, but the MRC stuff is very new to me.

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    By soft, I meant low damping force. Stiffer springs are still more difficult to compress.

    The rear springs are strong enough to keep the rear at proper ride height when the trunk empty, and that's about it. The rear will sag when load is added, and that's what the ELC system is for. The point is to keep the rear spring rate as low as possible for a given load, which makes for a comfortable ride.

    Since there is no ELC in front, the springs have to be firm enough to maintain a suitable ride height under any load.

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    hcvone is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadsrfun View Post
    Sounds like the rear suspension is "normal" but the front sure are not soft with the ignition off...

    ----------



    Could "stop working well" mean the shocks will stiffen up? Past experience this would mean bouncy not stiff, but the MRC stuff is very new to me.
    It has been reported that can happen if they loose damping in either direction

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    That makes no sense. When unpowered, MRC shocks are at their softest (least damping force). An electrical failure will keep them in that state, and a leak will result in even less damping force.

    Unless they're getting power with the ignition off, or they're physically seized, they're not the reason for the stiff suspension.

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    Cadsrfun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    That makes no sense. When unpowered, MRC shocks are at their softest (least damping force). An electrical failure will keep them in that state, and a leak will result in even less damping force.

    Unless they're getting power with the ignition off, or they're physically seized, they're not the reason for the stiff suspension.
    I know, this is very strange. I did a little web browsing and found an example where a steering sensor went out and the computer thought the vehicle was in a sharp turn, stiffening the suspension... full time. This did not throw a trouble code and I don't have any codes/warnings on my dash/display. I am going to disconnect the battery for a half an hour and reconnect, just to get the computer to re-boot and see if that does anything....

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    Even if something like that did happen, it wouldn't effect the shocks/struts with the ignition in the off position.

    Try pushing it down while the battery is disconnected.

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    Cadsrfun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Even if something like that did happen, it wouldn't effect the shocks/struts with the ignition in the off position.

    Try pushing it down while the battery is disconnected.
    Pushing down with the battery disconnected didn't change anything as expected. I will drive it in the morning to see if rebooting the computer(s) changed anything. I will pay close attention to how the front end acts tomorrow.

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadsrfun

    Pushing down with the battery disconnected didn't change anything as expected.
    Right. So it definitely has nothing to do with MRC.

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    Cadsrfun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Right. So it definitely has nothing to do with MRC.
    Well I wouldn't say definitely yet but I don't know where else to start. It will see the dealer on Monday and have them hook it up to a reader to see what's going on. I will report back.

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    Just to clarify, with no electrical power, there is absolutely no way for the shocks/struts to stiffen. There is no electricity to cause the magnetorheological fluid to become more viscous.

    If there's a problem with the dampers, it's a mechanical one, nothing to do with the MRC system.

    This is all assuming that the front of the truck is in fact harder to push down by hand than it should be.

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    Cadsrfun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    Took the ESV to the dealer today. They noted that the front shocks were leaking slightly but there was no trouble codes for the MRC system. He just noted that it rode pretty hard because it was lowered 2/3.

    So I will live with it for a while. If I knew for sure that new factory replacement front struts/shocks would greatly help the ride I would do it; I just dont want to shell out ~$1200 for new front struts with no improvement.

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    evois is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Magnetic Ride Control shocks "stiff"

    when the shocks start leaking, it becomes rough and bouncy. a new set of shocks should help.

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