New shocks don’t come cheap, so if you have an older F-150, you may start to wonder when you’ll have to bite the bullet and have them replaced.
In general, Ford F-150 shocks last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. Yet, your shocks can give out earlier or later than this, depending on the conditions you drive in. Overall, you need to get your shocks replaced when they start to leak, appear damaged, or break.
What Are Shocks?
Shocks, also called shock absorbers, are necessary parts of a vehicle because they absorb energy and keep the wheels firmly on the ground.
Basically, they control the movement of your vehicle’s springs and suspension system so that your wheels don’t bounce around on the road, which would give you a very bumpy ride.
Shocks let your vehicle absorb the impact of, say, driving through a pothole so that your car doesn’t move erratically.
How Long Do Shocks Last in a Ford F-150?
You can generally expect your shocks to last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles in a Ford F-150.
However, certain driving conditions can wear out your shocks prematurely.
What Driving Conditions Wear Out Shocks the Fastest?
Even if you always drive under average conditions, your shocks will eventually wear out.
But, certain circumstances can prematurely damage your shocks.
Your shocks contain an oil that helps them absorb movement as you travel down the road.
And this oil can degrade over time, especially when exposed to very warm conditions.
Additionally, your suspension system also includes rubber bushings that reduce noise and vibrations, and extreme heat can severely damage these parts as well.
Of course, if you have a truck, you’re probably going to end up carrying heavy loads, at least from time to time.
However, this extra weight makes the shocks work harder and puts added strain on the suspension components, leading to premature wear and tear.
Since heat is detrimental to shocks, you may think you’re much better off living in a cold climate.
But, the road salt used in winter to control snow and ice will also wear down your shocks and suspension system.
Just like anything else, the more your shocks have to work, the quicker they will break down.
So, if you often drive over rough and bumpy terrain, your shocks are consistently being put under pressure, which will grind away at components and negatively affect the internal oil.
It’s no surprise that any type of harsh impact, such as an accident, can damage your vehicle.
A wreck or sometimes even just a large pothole can severely harm your shocks and suspension system, leading to them needing replacement.
7 Signs You Need the Shocks Replaced in Your Ford F-150
Unlike an oil change, there is no set date that tells you when you need to get your shocks replaced.
Thus, the only way to know if you require new shocks is to identify when they’re starting to wear out.
Sign One: Your Tires Seem Bouncier Than Usual
One of the surest signs that your shocks are going bad is when your tires seem excessively bouncy.
In trucks with adequate shocks, you won’t notice too much bouncing unless you are going over potholes or are on very rough terrain.
So, if driving starts to feel a bit like jumping on a trampoline, you most likely need new shocks.
Sign Two: Your Shocks Are Leaking
For shocks to work appropriately, they need fluid.
Thus, if the fluid leaks out, you need to get them replaced.
Therefore, you should look under your truck on occasion to see if any liquid is on the outside of the shock.
To locate the shocks in your truck, start by shining a flashlight above the back tires.
The shock is a metal tube that runs down to connect to your axle.
If you want a better look at your shocks to make sure there definitely isn’t any leakage, you will need to take off the back tires.
Sign Three: The Front of Your Car Tilts Excessively When Braking
If you slam on the brakes and the front of your truck dives surprisingly low towards the ground, you may need new shocks.
Sign Four: Your Tires Wear Unevenly
If everything is right with your vehicle and wheels, your tires should wear evenly over the entire road surface.
However, if your shocks are bad, your tires will bounce on the road more, leaving an uneven pattern.
Typically, tire wear from bad shocks looks like your wheel has suffered excessive damage, but only in certain spots.
Oftentimes, this wear will look somewhat like thick tiger stripes.
Sign Five: Your Truck Leans When it Turns
Unless you are taking a very sharp turn or driving at high speeds, you shouldn’t feel your truck leaning when you turn.
But, if your shocks are going bad, your car may start to feel off balance or almost as if it’s about to tip when you make turns.
Sign Six: Your Truck Fails the Bounce Test
One easy way to tell if your shocks are damaged is to perform the bounce test.
In this test, all you need to do is push firmly down on the hood of your truck and watch the vehicle’s reaction.
If your shocks are good, the car should only bounce one time.
But, if your shocks are bad, your truck will bounce multiple times or shake side to side.
Sign Seven: Your Truck Acts Strange at High Speeds
If your steering wheel shakes or your car seems to sway when you go fast, you may have bad shocks.
However, there are several reasons your truck may act oddly at fast speeds, so if this happens, you should immediately get your vehicle examined to prevent an accident.
How Much Are New Shocks for a Ford F-150?
F-150 owners who only need one shock absorber can expect to pay between $40 and $130.
If you pay someone to put the shock in your vehicle, they will likely charge you an extra $100 to $200 for labor.
Will Replacing the Shocks Improve My Ford F-150’s Ride Quality?
If you have deteriorating or damaged shocks, replacing them will definitely improve your ride quality.
Overall, replacing bad shocks will give you a much smoother and more comfortable ride.
Do I Need to Replace All My Shocks at the Same Time?
No, you do not need to replace all four shocks at the same time.
But, you should always replace them in pairs.
So, for example, if you replace one of the rear shocks, you should replace the other rear shock as well.
Do All the Wheels on the Ford F-150 Have Shocks?
In most F-150s, only the rear tires have shocks.
The front tires normally have struts instead.
The shocks in a Ford F-150 typically last 50,000 to 100,000 miles.
However, how long your shocks will last depends on certain circumstances, such as the conditions under which you normally drive.
Table of Contents
- What Are Shocks?
- How Long Do Shocks Last in a Ford F-150?
- What Driving Conditions Wear Out Shocks the Fastest?
- 7 Signs You Need the Shocks Replaced in Your Ford F-150
- Sign One: Your Tires Seem Bouncier Than Usual
- Sign Two: Your Shocks Are Leaking
- Sign Three: The Front of Your Car Tilts Excessively When Braking
- Sign Four: Your Tires Wear Unevenly
- Sign Five: Your Truck Leans When it Turns
- Sign Six: Your Truck Fails the Bounce Test
- Sign Seven: Your Truck Acts Strange at High Speeds
- How Much Are New Shocks for a Ford F-150?
- Will Replacing the Shocks Improve My Ford F-150’s Ride Quality?
- Do I Need to Replace All My Shocks at the Same Time?
- Do All the Wheels on the Ford F-150 Have Shocks?