Upgrading Your GMC Sierra Shocks: What You Need to Know Complete Guide

Sick of rough rides? Looking for smoother, more comfortable driving in your GMC Sierra? Then you need to upgrade your shocks!

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to improve your driving experience. Read on to see why upgrading your shocks is an essential part of vehicle maintenance.

Welcome to our complete guide to upgrading the shocks on your GMC Sierra. In this guide, we’ll discuss what you need to know in order to successfully upgrade your truck’s suspension system and have a smoother, more comfortable ride.

We’ll cover all the basics such as choosing the right shocks, how to install shocks correctly, how much it will cost, and other useful information. By the end of this guide, you should be able to make an informed decision and get your Sierra working like new again. So let’s get started!

Factors to Consider Before Upgrading Your GMC Sierra Shocks

When upgrading the shocks on your GMC Sierra, there are several factors to consider. Shocks can be one of the most important components in your vehicle’s suspension system, as they are responsible for keeping your ride comfortable and providing you with a more controlled driving experience. Therefore, it is important to understand what potential upgrades are available and which ones will provide you with the desired results.

In order to make an informed decision before investing in a new set of shocks, it is recommended to experiment with several different types of shocks. This research can be performed at a dealership or online by reading reviews and comparing products. Some important factors to consider include:

  • The Ride Quality: As stated above, the type of shock absorbers chosen will have a direct impact on ride comfort and handling quality during bumps and turns. Your goal should be to find a “happy middle” between a stiff/firm ride (for better control) and soft/smooth ride (for greater comfort).
  • Adjustability: Adjustable GMC Sierra shock absorbers allow you greater control over your trucks handling characteristics during different types of terrain or vehicles loads that may be placed onto the suspension system. Depending on where you drive often or whatever conditions might exist in those areas such as hills or dips, adjustable shocks can give you increased control over cornering precisely and responsive steering against changing environments.
  • Durability: Investing in high quality shock absorber may cost more upfront, but they usually provide greater durability over aftermarket brands that could fail easily due to inferior construction methods or low-quality materials used in their production.

These are just some of the considerations before making an upgrade decision with regards to purchasing your new GMC Sierra shocks package. Research companies thoroughly and learn how each product has been tested before making your final selection so that you get the most out of your purchase while increasing both safety and performance on your truck simultaneousl

Driving style

  1. Driving style – Your driving style plays a major role when deciding which shocks should be installed on your GMC Sierra. If you do any off-roading, such as towing heavy loads through mud paths and dirt roads, then it is necessary to look for an upgrade. Aftermarket shocks are designed to offer better compression and rebound capabilities off-road than the stock components.

On the other hand, if you drive primarily on highways or city streets, you can opt for a softer shock that offers improved ride comfort with minimal impact on cornering performance. Additionally, if you travel frequently across more aggressive terrain then it may be worth choosing dampers with adjustable rebound settings that allow you to customize your driving experience.

Vehicle use

When choosing the best shocks for your GMC Sierra, it’s important to consider how you use the vehicle. Will your truck primarily be used on-road or off? This decision will help dictate which type of shocks are best suited for your needs.

If you plan on using your Sierra off-road, investment in more heavy-duty shocks should be a no-brainer. These types of shocks are designed to handle the rigors of rough terrain and will last far longer than their more basic counterparts. It is also a good idea to opt for an adjustable system if you’re planning on doing a lot of offroading — this will ensure that you can adjust your suspension settings depending on the terrain.

Conversely, if you anticipate using the GMC Sierra primarily on city streets and highways, then lighter duty shocks may be the way to go. They may require replacement sooner than heavier duty ones but will maximize day-to-day smoothness and driving comfort during highway cruising or low speed maneuvering.


When determining how much you can reasonably expect to spend on upgrading your GMC Sierra’s shocks, be sure to consider the cost of installation. Professional installation is recommended as it can help ensure that the job gets done correctly. Having a professional mechanic make sure that the shocks are correctly installed is especially important if you live in an area with harsh winter weather or other challenging driving conditions.

If you choose to install the shocks yourself, many kits come with easy-to-follow detailed instructions and all necessary parts (including tools). That being said, if any problem arises during installation, you should not hesitate to contact a professional service department for assistance.

In general, budget shocks present a lower initial cost but may require frequent replacement due to their shorter life span as compared to higher quality shock absorbers. With budget shocks expect fewer features and shorter warranties than higher end products. Many mid-range GMC Sierra models can still benefit from an inexpensive set of aftermarket shocks, particularly if they are tuned for specific circumstances such as heavy off-road use or customized for improved street performance.

High end shock absorbers are designed for more extreme conditions such as dedicated off-roading and racing activities. As such they tend to cost more than budget and mid range options but usually offer better control on jarring roads and rougher terrain overall. Features such as larger bores and improved internals result in added longevity making them a solid investment in the long run even though they represent an initial output of funds.

Benefits of Upgrading Your GMC Sierra Shocks

Upgrading your shocks can have a number of benefits for your GMC Sierra. It can improve the overall ride quality and performance of the vehicle. You will experience improved handling and stability when cornering, dramatically reducing body roll in order to provide you with better control. This can help boost your cars overall safety through increased surefootedness on slippery or winding roads, as well as reducing annoying vibrations when travelling over un-even terrain.

Not only do shocks affect the comfort and handling of your truck, they also make a huge difference in regards to suspension life expectancy. After all, part of what shocks are designed to do is absorb impact when travelling over bumps or potholes in order to protect other components from premature wear and strain. By replacing worn or damaged parts with new ones early on, you reduce headaches later down the road with problems caused by long-term wear and tear due to lack replacement parts.

Additionally, upgrading your GMC Sierra shocks means you get improved ground clearance for crossing deeper water bodies such as creeks or shallow rivers. It also helps minimize damage to roads when travelling off-road due more consistent tire contact with the road surface while driving over rough terrain which can increase traction and acceleration alike. All in all it gives an edge whether its a tougher trail trip or just cruising highways straight outta town!

Improved handling

The shocks of your GMC Sierra are an integral part of the vehicle’s overall handling performance. Upgrading your factory-issued shocks can result in a vastly improved driving experience, thanks to superior stability and superior control of the steering wheel. Installing better aftermarket shocks can also give you additional peace of mind, as they are designed with heavy-duty construction and durable materials that will last for years.

When it comes to upgrading your GMC Sierra’s shocks, there are several factors to consider when selecting the best option for your specific needs. Depending on the type of vehicle and how often it is used off-road, as well as how much weight is usually carried in the cargo area, there are different types of aftermarket shock absorbers available that can provide superior ride quality and greater durability than stock models. In addition, considering whether or not a dual steering damper kit should be installed may be beneficial for those dealing with especially rough roads or particularly tricky terrain.

It’s important to remember that upgrading your GMC shock absorbers is not a cure-all solution – proper maintenance is key for keeping them in good operating condition over time. It’s important to change out old worn out shock absorber fluid regularly, check air pressure often to ensure proper operation and examine each component for signs of corrosion or damage regularly for any maximum benefit from this upgrade.

Enhanced ride comfort

The next step in upgrading your GMC Sierra shocks is to enhance ride comfort. Many aftermarket shocks are designed to improve ride quality, making the ride smoother and more comfortable. They also deliver improved shock valving and damping that allow the shock to better absorb uneven terrain while providing the best possible balance of on-road comfort and off-road capability.

Newer technology in the form of air bags or electronic shocks can be used for luxury cars as well as heavy-duty trucks, improving shocks’ handling performance as well as providing extra cushioning over rough terrain. It’s important to note, however, that while aftermarket shocks may provide a very comfortable ride, they can also impair handling performance– so be sure to research your specific application before making any modifications.

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Increased safety

Upgrading your GMC Sierra shocks is an essential safety measure that should not be ignored. Properly functioning shock absorbers are essential in maintaining proper control over the vehicle and providing a safe ride. Without shocks, your Sierra could become less stable, increasing the risk of a rollover when cornering or making sharp turns.

Additionally, when traveling at high speeds, shocks help to reduce the bouncing effect which can cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle. An upgraded shock system ensures that your vehicle stays in control and keeps you safe on the road.

Maintenance Tips

Keeping your shocks in tip-top shape is important for ensuring the best possible performance of your vehicle. When it comes to shock maintenance, there are a few steps you should take to stay at the top of your game. It’s always important to remember that shocks are designed to absorb energy from bumps and then dissipate it, so when you’re looking at how to care for your shocks, think about how you’re going to extend their lifespan. Here are some tips for shock maintenance for your GMC Sierra:

– Perform periodic inspections of all of the components underneath the hood. Specifically, pay attention to parts like the reservoirs and air bells. Look at fluid levels and check carefully for any signs of leaking or corroded lines and parts– these may need replacing or repair depending on what’s been happening underneath the hood.

– Cleaning the piston rods is also important in keeping your GMC Sierra riding smooth. A little soap and water should do the trick – just make sure they’re completely dry before you reattach them!

– Pressure should be checked regularly as well; sometimes over time this can drop due to factors such as heat or normal wear and tear on the system as a whole. Overly low pressure can lead to poor handling – make sure this isn’t caused by something else such as clogged air filters before taking corrective actions with regard to pressure levels (including topping off).

How to maintain upgraded shocks

Maintaining upgraded shocks is key to ensuring they last for years and provide the optimal performance your vehicle requires. Built-up crud, grime, and dirt can cause costly damage to the shock absorbers when not properly maintained. Here are some maintenance tips you should follow.

  1. Make sure all parts of your vehicle, including shocks, are properly lubricated with oil or graphite lubricants. Grease shocks every 30 days or approximately 4,500 miles to ensure maximum performance.
  2. After driving over rough terrain, take a few minutes to check all bushings and linkages for enough grease and look for signs of wear or damage such as cracks or splits in rubber parts etc.
  3. Clean off shock absorber inner casings with a damp non-abrasive cloth at regular intervals to prevent buildup of moisture inside and corrosion outside the shock casings which will affect their performance over time.
  4. Check that all fasteners around the shock absorber unit are properly tightened each time you clean them, as these can loosen with continued use due to metal fatigue over time or sudden impacts while driving on rough terrain or off-road surfaces etc.
  5. If an upgrade has been installed be sure to inspect it regularly in accordance with its original installation instructions and read the owner’s manual carefully before attempting any DIY maintenance on shocks.

When to replace shocks

When a shock or strut wears out, it will start to make noises and feel very spongy when you drive. Common signs that it’s time to upgrade your GMC Sierra shocks include clunking or bumping sounds while driving over bumps or hitting potholes, like a thud sound. Other symptoms of malfunction include feeling the vehicle bounce noticeably after running over a bump, swaying when going around turns, and excessive nose-diving when braking. If you notice any of these symptoms with your GMC Sierra, it may be time to replace the shocks.

It’s also important to pay attention to the mileage on your vehicle and replace shocks accordingly. Many experts recommend replacing shocks every 50k miles for optimal performance and safety. Additionally, consider upgrading the suspension system if your vehicle is five years old or older since shock absorbers may gradually lose their effectiveness due to intense wear and tear from daily use. Replacing shocks with heavy-duty performance ones can significantly improve ride quality as well as stability during acceleration braking and cornering.

Signs of worn shocks

Shocks are one of the most integral parts of your GMC Sierra, and they should be maintained regularly. Wear and tear can be hard on shocks and can reduce their effectiveness, so it’s important to keep an eye out for tell-tale signs of their deteriorating condition.

If you find yourself losing control of your Sierra more often than usual, then you may need to replace your shocks. Other warnings to look out for include heat under the hood (a sign that something may have broken), audible rattles from the suspension system, or visible liquid leaking from the shock absorbers.

If left unchecked, worn shocks can result in poor driveability and reduced safety on the road.

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In conclusion, upgrading your GMC Sierra shocks can be a great way to enhance the performance of your truck and keep yourself comfortable on the road. When selecting shocks for your Sierra, take into consideration factors like load capacity, lift, and terrain type so that you can make an informed choice.

It’s important to note that selecting the wrong shock or adding too much or too little lift could have disastrous effects not only on your suspension, but also your braking, steering, and acceleration. As always, seek professional advice if you are unsure of which shocks are best for you.

With quality components and proper installation techniques, upgrading your GMC Sierra shocks can give you much-improved ride quality that will last for years to come.


Will upgrading shocks improve ride quality?

Yes, upgrading shocks can improve ride quality by providing better damping and reducing vibrations.

Should I upgrade my truck shocks?

If you are experiencing poor ride quality, excessive bouncing or harshness, or your shocks are worn out, upgrading your truck shocks can be a good idea.

How often do you change the shocks on a GMC Sierra?

The recommended interval for changing shocks on a GMC Sierra can vary depending on the model year and driving conditions. It’s best to refer to the owner’s manual or consult a mechanic for specific guidance.

What does upgrading shocks do?

Upgrading shocks can improve the handling, stability, and comfort of your vehicle. It can also help extend the life of other suspension components by reducing wear and tear.

Will new shocks make my truck ride smoother?

Yes, new shocks can make your truck ride smoother by providing better damping and reducing vibrations.

Will new shocks make my truck sit higher?

New shocks alone will not make your truck sit higher. The height of your vehicle is determined by the suspension components and the overall design of the vehicle.

Why is my car bouncy after new shocks?

If your car is bouncy after new shocks, it may be due to the wrong type of shocks being installed, incorrect installation, or other issues with the suspension system. It’s best to consult a mechanic to diagnose and address the issue.

Should I replace all 4 shocks at the same time?

It’s generally recommended to replace all four shocks at the same time to ensure even wear and optimal performance. However, if only one or two shocks are worn out, replacing them individually may be possible.

Why does my truck hit bumps so hard?

If your truck is hitting bumps hard, it may be due to worn out or damaged shocks, or other issues with the suspension system. It’s best to consult a mechanic to diagnose and address the issue.

How can I make my truck ride smoother?

You can make your truck ride smoother by upgrading the shocks, ensuring proper tire inflation, maintaining the suspension system, and adjusting the driving habits to avoid sudden movements or impacts.

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