How to tell if Shocks are Bad on Truck


It’s not easy to tell if you need new shocks unless you are an auto expert. And since shocks are built to last, most people hardly ever take the time to have them checked. Not unless they start to notice obvious problems with the vehicle.

 If you are a truck owner and you use it often, chances are at some point, you may need to change the shocks.

But how do you tell that your truck needs new shocks?

When you notice any or some of the following signs, then the shocks on your truck are bad and you need new ones.

Read also: how to choose the best shocks kit for f150 2009-2013

Cupped tires

When the shocks on your truck become worn out, your tires may also show signs of wear and tear. You may notice that the tires are cupped and this because your car is running on worn-out shocks.

Cupped tires can be dangerous. This is due to the uneven erosion of the tires, causing the tires to have less grip on the road’s surface. This makes it difficult to turn your truck or even brake. When this happens, avoid using your car until you have had it checked by a mechanic.

Braking problems

Worn out shocks can cause all manner of problems. And one of the biggest issues is braking problems. The last thing you need is a truck that has issues braking because it becomes a danger to you and others.

So when you notice that when you brake, your truck slides or lurches forward, this could mean that you need new shocks.

Unusual noises

Shocks absorb vibrations. This is why when you hit a bump or a pothole, you don’t feel the effects and neither does your truck. But when the shocks are worn out, you may notice that your ride quality has gone down.

This is when you start to feel every bump you hit. And your car may also start making clanking or rattling noises when you run over a pothole or hit a bump. If this happens, it is a sure sign that your shocks are worn out and need replacing.

Steering problems

When steering your truck becomes a problem especially when you turn corners or change lanes, then you have a shock problem.

Steering problems are one of the key signs that your shocks are worn out. So if you notice that your steering wheel is stiff, have your mechanic check the shocks.

Lack of control

Shocks play a huge role when it comes to keeping your car steady and balanced while on the road. But if your truck has used up shocks, the one thing you won’t have is control. Particularly if you are driving on a rough road or when you hit a manhole, pothole or bump.

So if all of a sudden you start having difficulty controlling your car when you hit something, then your shocks may need replacing.

Leaking Shocks

Damaged or worn-out shocks tend to leak. There is a fluid within its tubes that helps them do their work. If you notice that your shocks are leaking, but the leakage is not much. That is normal. But if the leakage is a lot, then you have a shock problem.

When to change shocks on truck

Most truck owners will tell you that the only time they change their shocks is when they start to notice problems with their trucks. This is probably not the smartest way to go about maintaining your truck because riding with worn-out shocks can be dangerous.

So have your truck inspected every month by your mechanic to see if there is anything that needs repairing or replacing. If a monthly inspection is not something you are able to do, experts recommend checking your shocks every time your truck hits 50,000 miles.

Shocks may last long, but at some point, they start to wear and tear. They can give you up to you 10 years of service, but this depends on the road conditions and what you use your truck for.  

If you use your truck often for towing or hauling, you may need to change your shocks every 4 or 5 years. If you drive your car on rough roads but you don’t use it for any heavy-duty work, the shocks may last up to 7 or 8 years.

Final remarks

Worn out shocks can cause many other car problems if they are not replaced quickly. Furthermore, driving with shocks that are worn out can also be dangerous. So the moment you realize that you need new shocks, you can have a mechanic change them or you can do it yourself.

There is a lot of information as well as step-by-step guides online that can show you how to replace shocks. And best of all, shocks are not expensive.

The bottom line is it’s better to take public transport or walk than drive a car that has worn out shocks.