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Toyota Pickup Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

3 Helpful Tips in Maintaining the Toyota Pickup Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

The shocks and struts of the Toyota Pickup line can take quite a beating from the road, so while they can hold their own a bit of maintenance is required in order to keep them from wearing out. And while formal maintenance and inspection should best be done by a mechanic, there are ways for Toyota Pickup owners to help keep their truck's shock absorbers and struts running in good condition. Here are some tips that might prove helpful in maintaining the Toyota Pickup shock absorber and strut assembly.

  • Conduct inspections regularly.

Ideally, the shock and struts should be checked once every 50,000 to 80,000 km depending on how often you use your truck, but if you notice any signs of problems with these components do an inspection immediately. Have the truck lifted using a hydraulic or scissor jack, and place jack stands on the strong points of the frame to hold it in place; do not use the jacks to hold the vehicle up.

  • Keep an eye out of "porpoising."

Although it sounds like something you'd hear from a millennial offering fashion advice, porpoising — a term used to describe repeated bouncing of the vehicle while driving — is a serious vehicle problem that can indicate severe wear in the shocks and struts. A shock or strut that is functioning properly should be able to dampen all kinds of vibrations from the road, so when it bounces back and forth even when traveling on level surfaces is a likely sign that these suspension components are no longer functioning properly.

If you suspect your truck's suspension is porpoising, be sure to have it checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a malfunctioning shock or strut can result in dangerous consequences while driving.

  • Do not try and recharge the shocks.

Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, modern shock absorbers are typically sealed under pressure to prevent contamination from dirt and rust. And by attempting to recharge them, the shock will quickly depressurize, damaging it in the process and potentially causing injury to anyone near close proximity. In addition, weak or leaking shock absorbers are usually caused by broken cartridge seals, so recharging it will not solve the problem as the oil will simply seep through the damaged seals.

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  • Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Common Problems with the Toyota Pickup Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

    The Toyota Pickup has excellent suspension capabilities, thanks to its pair of high-quality shock absorbers and struts, but this do tend to fail over time. And when it breaks down, you will definitely experience a sharp fall in suspension performance. The following are some of the common signs of Toyota Pickup shock absorber and strut assembly failure and how you can troubleshoot them:

    "Porpoising"

    "Porpoising" or bouncing and dipping even when on level roads is the most common indicator that the Toyota Pickup's shocks and struts are shot. Aside from a visual inspection for damage and wear, do a simple "bump" test: push on the front end of the car as hard as you can and let go immediately. Do the same with the other end. If the car bounces back immediately, it means the shocks or struts are no longer capable of absorbing energy and must be replaced.

    Noises

    Another common problem with shocks and struts, squeaking or clanking noises indicate the internal parts of these components are no longer lubricated properly or are hitting the frame of the truck. To verify, take your vehicle for a test drive on an area where there are uneven surfaces. Drive over a bump or a pothole at or below 5 mph and pay attention to the suspension. If it clanks or squeaks, the struts or shocks need to be checked.

    Uneven tire wear

    Check the condition of the front tire treads. Ideally, the tires should have an even wear pattern, but if there are signs of cups or scalping in the rubber it indicates the struts or shocks have worn to the point that they can no longer keep the tires planted onto the ground.

    Leaks

    Shock absorbers are designed to be completely sealed from the inside, so it's definitely a problem if you see oil leaking out of it. In particular, take note for any signs of oil running down the body of the shock, or a dirty, oily film on its lower half. In most cases, this indicates that the shock's cartridge seals are broken and have lost their hydraulic fluid, resulting in zero dampening and necessitating replacement.