The tilt as you take a corner, the ongoing bounce after you hit a pothole, the swerve of the steering wheel—all these signs point to heavy duty truck suspension problems. There might be a few other clues, too: maybe your tires are wearing too quickly, or you’re noticing uneven wear and tear.
Whether you drive a diesel half-ton or an 18-wheeler (or anything else, for that matter), maintaining your steering and suspension is essential for both comfort and safety.
With a worn-out suspension system, you’re going to feel every detail of an uneven or bumpy road; it can also prevent you from controlling the vehicle when you stop or turn. As you can imagine, that can lead to a catastrophic accident that could have been prevented with proper care and repair of your suspension system. It’s a key part of responsible truck maintenance.
Diagnose the Issue
Before you fix the suspension, you need to make sure the suspension is really the problem. Uneven wear on your tires, for example, could be due to overinflation or underinflation or a problem with wheel alignment.
Maybe you’re not noticing any problems with your truck, but you know you’ve never replaced your shocks (or it’s been a long since you did). You might prefer to wait until they show signs of damage before you replace them, or you could change them at 80,000 kilometres as a precaution. Shocks are hard at work with every kilometre you drive, but the wear on them is gradual; it can be difficult to spot the signs of slow breakdown until the damage is severe.
With the right know-how and experience, you might be able to pinpoint your problem, be it with suspension or something else. Otherwise, our mechanics are here to help, or at least to confirm your suspicions. Secure in the knowledge of what needs to be fixed, you can then decide how to go about fixing it: hire a mechanic or do it yourself.
DIY: Fixing Your Own Truck Suspension
There’s nothing like a good do-it-yourself project. You get to work hard, often learn something new, and finish with a feeling of accomplishment. You’ll want to be familiar with truck suspensions and have a good how-to manual or video at the ready. YouTube is a great resource for a variety of DIY truck projects. (Just do your research first and make sure you’re following people who know what they’re doing!)
After that, you’ll need the right automotive or heavy duty truck parts. From air suspension systems to U joints, steering boxes, leveling valves, and more, we have all the OEM parts you need to make the repair. We can also recommend the proper tools to help you get the job done right.
However, you’ll want to think it through carefully before you get started. Yes, DIY comes with a sense of accomplishment and you might save some money, but there are a few things to consider:
- Time: How long can be without your truck? If you’re not sure how long it will take you to complete the project, or if your time is better spent doing something else (for example, something you enjoy or something that makes you more money than you’re saving by fixing your own truck), you’ll probably want to take it to a mechanic. Replacing a spring or a set of shocks should take just a couple of hours, while replacing the entire suspension system could take days. If you’re unsure about something or if you make a mistake, that could stretch much longer.
- Mistakes: Speaking of mistakes, can you afford to make them, either in terms of time or money? The repair process could eat up all your free time. An error could mean a longer period without the truck, and you might end up having to take it to a mechanic anyway. Worse, you might not realize you made a mistake until something goes wrong while you’re on the road.
- Tools: Do you have the right equipment to make the repair? Consider the price of tools when determining whether DIY is a cost-effective solution for you.
- Safety: Make sure you have plenty of space, proper equipment, and the experience you need to avoid injury when you start changing the parts on your truck.
Professional Heavy Duty Truck Suspension Repair
Putting your heavy duty truck suspension repair in the hands of a professional mechanic has its benefits. You save yourself some hassle, and you know it will be done right the first time.
- Complete and Accurate Diagnostics: Even if you’re planning to DIY, we highly recommend having your suspension suspicions confirmed by a professional first.
- Quick Service: The repairs will be made as quickly as possible so you can get back on the road. You don’t have to worry about squeezing the repairs into your free time: go about your day knowing your truck is being taken care of.
- Top-Notch Components: We get our steering and suspension components from companies like Mack, Peterbilt, Kenworth, Neway, Hendrickson, Freightliner, Reyco, and more.
- Cost Effective: If your DIY takes longer than expected, or if you make a costly mistake, what started as a money-saving venture could become very expensive, indeed. When we make the repair, you won’t have to worry about unexpected expenses and delays. We’re dedicated to the highest quality service for every customer. If something goes wrong, we’re committed to making it right.
- Peace of Mind: It’s a relief to know your truck will be back on the road soon.
At Overdrive, trucks are what we know best. We’re here to help you keep your light or heavy duty truck performing at its optimum level. Whether you think you have a problem with your suspension, are looking for a second opinion, or are concerned about another issue with your truck, please contact us. We’re happy to offer the parts, service, and advice you need.