5 Common Heavy Duty Truck Suspension Problems And How To Avoid Them

5 Common Heavy Duty Truck Suspension Problems And How To Avoid Them

Your suspension system works hard to make you comfortable while driving by smoothing out road bumps and keeping the wheels even on the ground. But how can you know if there's a problem with your suspension? Here are some of the most typical symptoms of suspension issues.

1. You are being pulled to one side when you are driving 

If your truck pulls to one side or the other while driving, the issue is likely with your tires, shock absorbers, or brakes. To guarantee a smooth ride, tires must be correctly aligned. Examine your tire treads to see whether they're wearing evenly, and make sure they're properly filled since under or over-inflated tires might affect your driving stability.

Check your suspension system if the issue persists after examining your tires. Are your shock absorbers, ball joints, or control arms showing symptoms of wear or damage? If you're not sure what you're searching for, it's advisable to see a competent technician since suspension issues can quickly become dangerous.

2. You experience hardships when driving over bumps 

One of the primary functions of the suspension system is to absorb the shock of rough roads to provide a smooth ride. If you start to feel every bump in the road, it's a clear indicator that your shock absorbers or struts are failing and need to be replaced.

The bounce test is a simple way to test this yourself. Place your total weight on the hood of your truck. Release the truck and count how many times it bounces. If it reflects more than three times, your shock absorbers or struts are not performing properly.

Whether your truck has shock absorbers or struts determines an alternate test. Look for fluid leaks that serve to lessen the bouncing if your truck has shock absorbers. When driving over bumps, listen for a banging sound if your truck has struts.

A problematic ride indicates that your shocks or struts are worn and need to be replaced. If every bump on the road causes your truck to bounce, you may have suspension issues and should get it looked at. 

As their name implies, shock absorbers are the major cause of your truck feeling "bumpier" than before. They're designed to keep your wheels even and flat on the pavement, and the truck will bounce all over the place if they don't. Shocks include fluid that reduces bouncing. When they leak, the absorbers' performance diminishes, and they finally fail. Excessive bouncing may occasionally be an issue with leaf springs. Check whether the truck seems to "lean" back when parked to rule out the likelihood of a burst leaf spring. To accommodate more weight in the back, many trucks are built to be "nose down." If your pickup truck seems to be level, this might be more evidence of a leaf spring problem.

3. You noticed that one corner of your truck is low 

If one corner of your truck seems much lower than the others, you most likely have a worn or broken spring. When driving over bumps or a deep pothole, you may hear a clunking sound. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and evenly distributed to verify this. If one corner continues to sag, place your total weight on the truck's boot and see how the suspension responds. A creaking or screeching sound indicates that your suspension needs to be examined by a professional.

The fundamental cause of this issue is the interaction between the shock and the spring. A blown shock might cause the spring to over-compress, lowering the seating height. Although a blown shock has no direct effect on height, it will cause a truck to respond poorly in adverse road conditions. Pushing down on the truck's trunk or hood, releasing, and listening to how the suspension responds is the most straightforward approach to evaluating spring issues. If you hear a cracking or screaming sound, you've got a suspension issue with the shocks, springs, bushings, or associated parts.

4. You have problems with controlling your truck 

If you have problems controlling your truck, your shock absorbers or struts may have malfunctioned. The bounce test (see point #2) is a simple way to assess this. You should take your truck to a repair as soon as possible if you have a problem with your shock absorbers or struts since driving with old or damaged shock absorbers or struts is unsafe.

5. You face challenges when steering 

When steering becomes difficult, particularly at low speeds, your suspension or steering systems may be compromised. Low power steering fluid, a malfunctioning power steering pump, a leaky power steering rack, or worn control arm bushings are all possibilities.

Because driving while your steering isn't operating correctly is dangerous, it's essential to get it examined by a professional as soon as possible.

Experts recommend regular visual inspections of your suspension system. There's a significant probability your shock absorbers or struts are leaking fluid if they seem greasy or oily. This implies they won't function properly when you need them, so having them examined by a technician is a sharp idea. Even minor accident damage might cause shocks to leak and irreversibly harm them. 

Final words

Now you know how to identify suspension issues in your truck. Make sure that you notice them ahead of time and stay away from problems that can take place in the long run.