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Understanding Linear Actuators in Ford Vehicles ─ What You Need to Know

Statistics show the Ford brand generates at least $100 billion in annual revenue. Hence, you can’t argue that it’s one of the most sought-after car brands in the world.

While people chase Ford cars, Ford chases innovations and systems that can promote its product performance. An excellent example of the latter is the use of linear actuators.

Any modern Ford car will feature linear motion devices in various areas. If you own a Ford, you may be interested in knowing what these areas are. Therefore, in this post, we’ll detail the role linear actuator plays in Ford vehicles.


Applications of Linear Actuators in Ford Vehicles

Linear motion devices feature in different areas in Ford vehicles. Here are some:

Steer-by-Wire Steering

Many Ford vehicles use a steer-by-wire setup. Such steering types don’t use the traditional wheel and rack connection. Instead, they use an electronic system with a linear actuator. In particular, there’s an actuator in the steering wheel and another in the rack.

The device takes the driver’s request from the wheel and sends it to the rack. With this, control is much more accurate, easy, and safe. Also, since there’s no mechanical connection, the steering suffers less friction and reduced weight.

Seat and Headrest

Ford cars come with reclining seats and headrests. These parts use electronic actuators to adjust into position precisely. In particular, linear motion devices help with adjustment in the following areas:

  • Seat back and forth movement
  • Seat height
  • Cushion angle
  • Cushion depth
  • Headrest position
  • Headrest angle
  • Recliner position

Via these adjustments, linear actuators help make Ford vehicles more comfortable and safe for users. Some motion devices do more. Examples are options that come with sensors, heating, cooling, and ventilation. All these further boost user comfort.


Without headlights, Ford vehicles —  or any car, in fact — will be impossible to drive at night. So, they’re critical, and most work properly. For this reason, Ford uses linear actuators in its headlights to ensure top-notch performance.

An example is in adjusting the headlight angle and height. This is important for proper lighting as road conditions demand. Also, linear motion devices help control light patterns and strength. Thanks to this, Ford drivers can avoid inconveniencing other road users with their headlights.

Engine Block

Despite their small size, linear motion devices help power the biggest part of Ford cars’ engines. The part in question is the block. Engine blocks in Ford vehicles depend on linear actuators for different tasks, including:

  • Idle control
  • Air flaps
  • Fuel control
  • Power take-off
  • Engine coolant

All aspects mentioned above are crucial, but fuel control is notable. Thanks to linear motion devices, Ford cars can operate with better combustion and emission control.

Another notable area is the engine coolant. Linear actuators in the engine block help prevent overheating. They do this by controlling the coolant fan speed and flow.

Door Openers

Source: supercars.net

Automatic car doors are now a trend in modern cars. They’re present in many Ford vehicles. Electric linear actuators that support sensors and remote control work for this application. They make control a lot simpler and straightforward.

With linear motion devices that have sensors, Ford can produce cars with retouch openers. Hence, the actuator automatically opens the car door when someone touches the handle.

Devices with remote control are even much more convenient to use. Ford users can open their car door from several yards away at the press of a button.

Popular Ford Vehicles That Use Linear Actuators

Many Ford vehicles come with linear actuators. But car manufacturer is turning to these devices for some concept products. A good example is the Ford F-100 Eluminator Truck, which is all-electric.

Ford aims to showcase the advantages of electric propulsion with this vehicle. As a result, it includes electric linear actuators, among other parts.

Another Ford vehicle to note is the Mustang Mach-E GT. Like the F-100, the Mach-E GT is an all-electric vehicle. It’s a high performing one, with 480 horsepower.

The Mach-E GT SUV uses linear motion devices in its headlight washing systems. The vehicle’s height regulation systems aren’t left out. Also, the door features a retouch open, which depends on an actuator with sensors.

A third Ford vehicle to highlight is the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. It’s a drag car that’s 100% electric-powered and notable for its speed. In particular, the car drives at a speed of over 170 mph. All these are impressive. But the linear actuators the vehicle includes make it even more impressive.

With the Jet 1400 drag car, users get an efficient retractable spoiler with a linear actuator. These spoilers have many advantages, including better fuel consumption and improved braking. By extension, then, the Cobra Jet 1400 also operates its air brake using linear motion devices.

Other top Ford vehicles that use linear actuators include:

  • Ford Galaxie
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Flex
  • Ford Expedition

Tips to Prolong Lifespan of Linear Actuators in Ford Vehicles

Source: pinterest.com

Linear motion devices help Ford vehicles in many ways. But if they don’t operate properly, the devices do the opposite. For this reason, it’s ideal to know how to maintain an actuator if you own a Ford car.

First, you must ensure proper lubrication. From time to time, apply oil or grease to the motion device parts. This is most important if your car uses non-electric linear actuators.

Furthermore, regularly inspect the device and watch for signs of wear and tear. In some situations, you may have no option but to replace the actuator. If that’s the case, ensure you get a suitable replacement device. Consider the application when you hit the market.


Ford is a manufacturer that recognizes the value of linear actuators. And the brand is making the most of these motion devices to create better vehicles. The steering, seats, and doors are just a few areas. Already, Ford has many concept vehicles featuring linear actuators, as enlisted in this post.

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