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7 Symptoms of a Bad Truck Shock Absorber

What is a shock absorber?

  • Shock absorber from the name we can easily see its role, located on the frame and wheels of itcan absorb the impact of uneven roads on the truck. So, when your truck tries to drive over potholes, speed bumps, and hills, shock absorbers come in handy. The main principle is to dampen the vibration by controlling the suspension and springs to affect the wheels, thus absorbing the rocking and vibration from the wheels, and always keeping the truck’s wheels on the ground. As mentioned at the beginning, it is also named for this reason. Based on the above introduction, it is easy to see that shock absorbers are vital to the proper operation of a truck and the safety of the driver. So how do we ensure and check that the shock absorbers of a truck are functioning properly?


Symptoms of a bad truck shock absorber

  • Under normal circumstances, it produced by regular truck parts manufacturers should last for a long time, but this does not guarantee that the truck shock absorbers will not be damaged by long-term use or unexpected circumstances. Daily overuse, long-term commuting to and from rough roads, sudden collisions, etc. will all bring consumption and damage to truck shock absorbers. And damaged truck shock absorbers can be a major safety hazard for trucks and truck drivers. So, how to find and prevent truck shock absorbers from causing damage before they become a problem? The next few symptoms will bring you a reference to check it.

The vibration of the steering wheel

  • When driving on rough roads, it is normal for drivers to feel vibrations. However, if you can clearly feel the vibration even when passing over the smallest bumps or potholes, or if the vibration often occurs with your truck, then it is not normal. A dampener that does not work properly can put abnormal forces on the springs, causing your truck to be overly bumpy on rough roads, and thus causing vibrations in the steering wheel to be transmitted to the driver. Therefore, when you feel a more unusual vibration in the steering wheel than usual when driving your truck over uneven roads, then there is a high probability that there is a problem with the truck’s shock absorber and it is time to have it checked.

Unusual noise

  • Many truck drivers report that when their shock absorbers are damaged, they always hear an unusual knocking sound while driving. Such a knocking sound often comes from the damaged shock absorber of the truck, the truck shock absorber ends are usually installed with rubber or other materials made of a protective sleeve, and when the truck shock absorber protective sleeve is cracked such noise becomes an inevitable phenomenon. So, you can listen carefully during the process of driving the truck, if you can hear a noise similar to knocking, then it is necessary to do a comprehensive inspection of the truck shock absorber.


Turning and diving while braking

  • When you can feel the head of the truck drop significantly when you apply the brakes or feel the vehicle move more to one side or the other when braking in a turn, this is a very obvious symptom that is caused by damage to the truck’s shock absorbers. Truck drivers should understand the importance of the braking system for the safety of the driving process, so the brake problems and possible hidden dangers are not ignored. The damage to the truck shock absorber, the role of its cylinder in the piston no longer provides the normal response of the truck, is one of the important reasons for the abnormal response of the braking system. Therefore, if you encounter unusual performance when braking during the driving process, then you may want to check whether the truck’s shock absorber is intact or working properly.

Uneven tire wear

  • Because the main function of truck shocks is to keep the wheels of your truck on the ground, damaged shocks can cause your truck to not be exactly at the same level when placed on the ground. As a result, when driving on the road, the wheels are subjected to different forces and conditions, causing pressure to be applied all on one side of the tire, resulting in uneven use and wear of the truck’s tires. Severe cases may cause the tires to be worn excessively to the point of losing their original grain, in which case the contrast between the two tires will be more pronounced. Therefore, by looking at the wear on each tire of your truck and making a careful comparison, you can determine if there is a problem with your truck’s shocks.
  • Shock-Absorber-2

Bouncy Driving

  • When you drive your truck over rough and potholed roads, if you feel the truck bouncing excessively, then it is the shock absorber that is signaling damage to you. A damaged truck shock absorber does not work perfectly with its struts and cannot respond to the uneven road in time, thus causing excessive bouncing to the truck when it encounters bumps. Such excessive bouncing not only affects the driving sensation but also increases the danger of the driving process. So when your truck bounces excessively, be sure to pay attention, it is most likely the truck shock absorber is sending you a distress signal!

Leakage of liquids

  • When you notice fluid leaking from the bottom of your truck, then there is a high probability that it is coming from the shock absorber. When the shocks are damaged or worn out, the hydraulic fluid is no longer sealed. Once this fluid, which is vital for truck shocks, leaks, the hydraulic fluid available for the shocks will become less and less until it is depleted, and the shocks will not be able to perform their fundamental purpose of bringing shock absorption to the truck. For a running truck, an oil spill is an extremely dangerous thing. So, if you find leaking hydraulic fluid in the bottom of your truck, replace or repair the shocks promptly.

Rear squat during acceleration

  • When the truck shock absorber is operating normally, you will feel smooth under acceleration. But if you feel a noticeable squat in the rear of the truck while driving the truck under acceleration, that is, when you step on the gas, then there may be a problem with the shock absorber. Worn or damaged shocks do not provide the effect of stabilizing the truck, thus causing an abnormal acceleration sensation.


  • For the above problems, if you find your truck has the following conditions: steering wheel vibration, abnormal noise, swerving or diving when braking, uneven tire wear, jumping, oil leakage, etc., please take it to a professional auto repair store for repair and replacement in time. The price of replacing or repairing a single shock absorber range from $200 to $400, so regular maintenance and inspection of your truck’s shocks can leave a lot of money for this purpose. At the same time, truck shocks are extremely important to the overall truck, driving performance, and driver safety, so timely repair or replacement of the problem will not only extend the use of the truck but also lead to a more comfortable and safe driving experience.
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