You have a Toyota Tacoma 4×4 for a reason. It’s a rugged, go-anywhere vehicle. It’s large and powerful and can handle a multitude of tasks, even on the worst terrain. While it may be strong, the Toyota Tacoma is not invincible. Every vehicle needs repairs and replacements now and then. This is true with your Toyota Tacoma shocks.
Toyota Tacoma shocks take a lot of wear and tear because they hold the weight of the entire vehicle. If your shocks exceed the recommended mileage (check the owner’s manual), or if you see the damage, then it’s time to replace your shocks.
The good news is, there are plenty of choices in the market right now, so you can shop for the best Toyota Tacoma shocks. Not only are you replacing your shocks, but you also get an upgrade!
Here we will give you our picks for the best Toyota Tacoma shocks. First, some helpful information on when you should change your shocks and the best brands.
When should I change the shocks on my Toyota Tacoma 4×4?
The manufacturer recommends you change your Toyota Tacoma shocks every 50k to 100k miles. Those miles are the point where most shocks break down and need replacing. If your Toyota is around this mark on the odometer, you should seriously consider a shock replacement, even though they look and function fine.
Here are other signs that your shocks need replacing:
- Rattling noises
- The steering wheel is shaking
- Truck dips when you hit the brakes
- Truck slides to one side
- There’s uneven tread wear on your tires
- It takes you longer to stop
Driving with bad or broken shocks is dangerous for you and your passengers.
Best Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Shocks Brands
Several manufacturers produce great shocks for the Toyota Tacoma. Among the most popular are:
These companies produce shocks that fit Toyota Tacomas at a variety of prices. Before you shop, consider your budget and the type of terrain you’ll be driving your Toyota Tacoma.
7 Best Toyota Tacoma Shocks
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best Toyota Tacoma shocks on the market right now. These are in no particular order, each has their pros and cons, depending on what you need.
Bilstein has been around since 1873 and is an innovative company that produced one of the first gas pressure shock absorbers in the vehicle industry. Today, this German company supplies its shocks to a host of car and truck manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.
The 5100 Monotube Gas Shocks come ready to be installed into your Toyota Tacoma with no modifications required. They fit onto your rear and front wheels. These shocks are easy to install with a direct-bolt-on installation.
You can adjust the height of the shock with a simple-to-use snap-ring-and-groove feature. Adjust the height of your Bilstein shocks from 0 to 2.5”.
As a rule, shocks that use gas pressure or deliver a smoother ride. You’ll feel it the second you start driving with these new shock absorbers on your Toyota Tacoma. Some reviews say these shocks caused their vehicles to wobble, but overall this product got a perfect score online!
Monroe is one of the most respected names in the aftermarket shock absorber industry since opening in Monroe, Michigan in 1916. Monroe is known for its high-quality products in the aftermarket replacement parts industry.
The strut and coil spring assembly is made of rugged, high-quality steel and restores the ride height of your Toyota Tacoma. After installation, you’ll feel your Toyota handles better, and you can steer more easily. It also promises to reduce noise and vibrations.
It comes in a complete package and is ready for installation with no modifications necessary. The only thing that many users have complained about is that it is not that easy to install, especially if you’re a first-timer. The good news is that these days there are many how-to videos you can look up online to help anyone replace their shocks.
This is a great shock choice if you want to raise the height of your Toyota Tacoma so you can use larger wheels and tires. You won’t have to struggle through the cost and time of a complete suspension replacement.
The Rancho QuickLIFT technology lets you adjust the height of your Toyota with a choice of nine different positions. It can completely transform the look and performance of your vehicle. It is designed for off-road, hauling, and towing.
Some reviews online mentioned that these shocks were difficult to install for Toyota owners who have never done this kind of thing before. However, if you want to raise the height of your truck, put some mean-looking tires on and use your truck for towing, hauling, and driving in difficult terrain, then this shock system is for you!
Made in the U.S.A. by Fox-Shox-U-S, these shock absorbers fit the rear wheels of your Toyota Tacoma 4×4 or 2×4 vehicle. Often, you don’t need to change all four shocks. The rear wheels take the most abuse, especially if you are hauling and towing, and replacing the rear shocks can make a difference in how your truck handles.
Fox makes these shocks out of anodized aluminum, so they will never rust. Plus, aluminum displaces heat quicker than steel, so these shocks will last longer.
The kit comes complete with nuts, bushings, washers, and reservoir clamps. However, the boosts, roost shields, and mounting plates are sold separately. At least one user complained that even with these shocks, his truck still bottomed out on speed bumps.
These Fox shocks come with a one-year warranty.
If budget is your main concern, then consider this product from Skyjacker. The Black MAX Shock Absorber reduces the heat that puts so much wear and tear on regular shocks.
Skyjacker shocks come with an innovative foam-cell technology that removes trapped air from inside the shock so you can mount them in any direction. When the shocks are working hard and get hot, the foam cell technology compresses to allow for the expansion of the oil inside the tube, thereby reducing heat.
Critics say these shocks are too soft for trucks like a Toyota Tacoma.
This product comes ready to install right out of the box. All you need are a few simple tools. Anyone with a bit of experience in this area will have their shocks replaced in no time.
The DTA 79990X series is charged with nitrogen gas, a 4-Lip Teflon banded piston seal, multi-staging valving, and all-weather fluid. It means a more comfortable ride. The springs are powder coated to reduce corrosion, and the spring seats are insulated to reduce noise. This is an affordable choice if you need to replace your existing shocks but don’t want to spend a fortune.
The downside of this particular product is that it is only compatible with older-model Toyota Tacoma, between 1995 and 2004.
Detroit Axle has been making high-quality shocks and other auto parts in Motor City for 30 years. It has a flagship store on Detroit fables 8 Mile Road with more than 180,000 square feet of warehouse space that acts as its global distribution center.
These shocks from Detroit Axle can fit your Toyota Tacoma model if it is between the years 2005 and 2015. They are easy to install for even novice mechanics. All you need is an instruction video No special tools are required. That can save you money down the road.
The innovation that sets this item apart is an o-ring that provides a tight seal on the inner tube and protects the unit from dirt and debris, wear, and tear and fatigue.
These shocks are affordable and easy to use. After you put them on you’ll notice your Toyota leans less on high-speed turns and will handle more easily as well.
Best Toyota Tacoma Shocks: Final Thoughts
So there you have it. Nothing shocking about it, right? Remember that your shocks should be replaced on your Toyota Tacoma 4×4 every 50k to 100k miles.
Nothing lasts forever. Not only is it a safety issue, but replacing your shocks will result in a more comfortable ride, less noise, more control, and better handling on the steering wheel. Lifting your Toyota Tacoma with aftermarket shocks can make it look cool, too.
Whether you’re hitting the trails, hauling a load, or towing the trailer, there’s a shock that is right for you. Happy driving!