When Should You Replace Shock Absorbers of Your Truck

Do you ever replace shock absorbers in your truck? The shock absorber plays the role of ensuring that the wheels of your truck are in complete contact with the road. They also control the movement of the springs and suspension to offer you a smooth ride. The shock absorbers never take the entire weight of your truck. Instead, they will take the kinetic energy generated as the suspension moves and changes it into thermal energy. 

When driving under normal conditions, your shock absorbers will serve you for 50,000 miles. It is necessary to replace shock absorbers as soon as they show signs. 

Symptoms of a Bad Shock Absorber


The shock absorbers have valves or seals that usually wear out, and if this happens, the fluids will flow past the valves. On such an occasion, your truck will vibrate when driving.

Truck Swerving When Braking

Your truck will likely develop handling issues as the fluid flows past the seals, leading to monumental movement within the cylinder. The weight of your truck might be challenging to manage when trying to make a turn. In addition, when you apply brakes, your truck might stop further than expected.

Uneven Tire Wear

When your shocks are worn out, keeping your truck on the road becomes hard. Your truck will bounce whenever it comes into contact with an imperfect surface. An area of your tire will have typical wear, but the rest of the tire will not. It is referred to as uneven tire tread, which escalates to further handling issues. Replacing a tire with this problem will not offer a permanent solution, but check and replace shock absorbers

Increased Stopping Distance

When your shock absorbers are faulty, your truck will take time to stop when you press the brake pedals. An increased stopping distance of 20% can make a big difference when trying to avoid an accident.

Whenever you realize that your truck takes time to stop when your press the brakes, it is due to faulty shock absorbers.

Cracked Bushings

Sometimes it is necessary to perform a visual inspection on your truck and check the condition of your shock absorbers. Each shock has ends where they bolt to your truck. There are rubber bushings at these ends. The rubber bushings usually crack when the shock absorbers are faulty. When this happens, your truck will produce noise as you run over a bumpy road.

Fluid Leakages

Sometimes the seals around the shock shaft develop leakages. In such a scenario, you will see fluid running on the body of your shock absorber to the pavement. Whenever the fluids leak, the performance of your shock absorbers reduces, and they will never function normally. When this happens, you will experience handling difficulties as you drive your truck. 


The cost needed to replace shock absorbers varies depending on the model of your truck and the labor cost. It is necessary to know the signs of a damaged shock absorber so you can tell when to replace them.

Importance of Shock Absorbers in a Truck

What are the importance of shock absorbers in a truck? Shock absorbers will come into your mind when thinking of how your truck gains stability and control when cruising off-road. The shock absorber has various functions in your truck. But the most common function is to protect the body of your truck from damages resulting from poor roads and improve the quality of your ride.

What are Shock Absorbers?

The shock absorbers are either mechanical or hydraulic components that absorb shock from bad surfaces. They convert the kinetic energy from the shock into heat energy dispersed to other truck parts.

Importance of Shock Absorbers

You will think of horsepower and a high-performing engine when talking of smooth driving. However, a powerful engine will be useless if you cannot control your truck and this is where the shock absorber comes in handy. The shocks have three paramount importance.


Many truck users refer to safety as fastening their seat belts and driving within the speed limits. But for manufacturers and professional mechanics, truck safety is based on how effective the suspension system is. The suspension system has various components, but the shock absorbers are the primary component of the suspension system. The role of the shock absorbers is to provide steering stability and the general safety of your truck. They prevent your truck from veering off the road while driving and give a smooth stopping. 

If you realize that controlling your truck becomes difficult and want to veer off the road regularly, consider repairing or replacing your shock absorbers. Damaged or old shock absorbers will not be able properly to control your truck and can make it difficult to stop your truck instantly.


The shock absorbers improve the stability of your truck by increasing the friction between the truck tires and the driving surface. Good friction boosts tire traction. The shocks would not be essential if the roads on streets, highways, and the countryside were flat and smooth. Newly paved roads have subtle flaws that exert force on the wheels, making them move up and down as you drive.

If your truck is not having shock absorbers, the kinetic energy from the vertical tire movement can damage the frame of your truck. The wheels will lose contact with the road. If this happens, your truck will be significantly damaged, and the passengers inside can suffer various injuries. The shocks ensure that when you are driving on irregular surfaces, the wheels of your truck do not lose contact with the driving surface, which increases the stability. 


The shock absorbers provide comfort for the occupants of the truck. Since the invention of the first truck, manufacturers have been experiencing the challenge of addressing the passengers’ comfort, which led to the manufacture of shock absorbers. Apart from providing stability, the shocks offer passengers a comfortable ride. They reduce the truck cabin vibration due to the lousy driving terrain to provide the occupants with a smooth ride.


You now have the importance of shock absorbers at your fingertips. Take care of your shocks to get you the best driving experience. 

Choosing the Best Shock Absorbers for Your Truck

A truck has various components which jointly work for its smooth operation. One of the parts your truck relies on as it takes you to various places is the shock absorbers. It should be among your crucial maintenance considerations. In this guide, we will focus our attntion on how one can choose the best shock absorbers for their truck.

What are Truck Shocks?

Shocks are one of the systems that protect your truck from taking a hit by the terrain you will be driving through. This ensures that your truck lasts longer. Shocks are located above all the wheels of your truck and play the role of holding the wheels to provide better traction, facilitating motion. The shocks also ensure that the upward energy from the bad driving surfaces does not reach the truck’s body. For instance, when a wheel hits a pothole, the force generated does not reach the body of your truck. Instead, the up and down motion of the shocks disperses it. 

When to Replace Truck Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers are an integral part of a truck’s suspension system, directly contributing to your driving experience. You can tell if your shocks are starting to become faulty even before they do. When your shocks are starting to fail, expect the following. 

  • Your truck will dip when braking.
  • The tires will wear unevenly.
  • Your truck will swerve when the wheels are straight.
  • You will feel loud vibrations when accelerating.
  • The steering wheel will become shaky even when driving on a smooth road.
  • Your truck sways when hit with the wind.
  • The stopping distance will be longer than usual.

Experiencing any of these signs indicates that your shocks are wearing out, and you should consider replacing them as soon as possible.

Under normal circumstances, your shock absorbers will serve you for 10 years. But if your truck is subjected to too much usage on bad terrains, your shock will last between 5 – 7 years. No matter the circumstances, you should be aware of some factors that facilitate the faster wearing of shock absorbers. 

  • Frequent driving in deep water and mud.
  • Frequent driving over potholes or bad roads.
  • Excess bottoming out.
  • When you expose your truck to any of the above, think of replacing your shock absorbers more frequently.

Types of Shock Absorbers

When thinking of replacing your shocks, you should think of four types of shocks. The shock absorbers differ for various usages.

  • The original-equipment replacement.
  • Mono-tube gas shocks 
  • Short aftermarket shock 
  • External reservoir shocks 

How to Know the Best Shock Absorbers for Your Truck

It is difficult to determine the best shock absorber for your truck because every truck has a different body and usage. It is hard to determine which shock is the best for your truck. However, there are some tricks you can apply to get the best shock absorbers. Consider the following when choosing shock absorbers.

  • The intended ride height for ground clearance.
  • Chassis clearance when the shocks are fully pressed.
  • The intended usage of your truck

If you consider any of the above factors, you will get the best shock absorber for your truck. 


After reading this article, you have gained the necessary knowledge when choosing these shocks. Consider further advice from your mechanic before purchasing any shock for your truck.