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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Why You Need an Aftermarket Steering Damper

 photo by wattanaphob via iStock

There are many questions and misconceptions around steering dampers. When do you need to upgrade? Will it fix death wobble? Do you even need one at all?

The above questions haunt the internet and many times the answers you find may be misleading.

Therefore, in today’s article, we are going over everything you need to know about steering dampers to help you make the correct decision for your rig.

What is the Job of a Steering Damper?

muddy truck with steering dampeners

 photo by welcomia via iStock

In most cases, the steering damper attaches to the axle and steering linkages. Its main job is to take out some of the vibrations that travel through the steering when hitting big holes or rocks. 

When going for upgrades it is a good idea to also change the steering damper as the heavier tires are harder to turn and also exert more force onto the steering components.

The steering damper can also help center larger and heavier wheels; therefore, helping the truck drive straight on the road. 

Myths Regarding Steering Stabilizers

Steering Stabilizers

 photo by Supersmario via iStock

Worn-out steering stabilizers cause the “death wobble.” This statement is a myth – a steering stabilizer does not cause death wobble or prevent it. Death wobble comes from incorrect suspension geometry due to a large lift and worn-out suspension parts such as bushings. 

A new steering damper may dampen the effects of death wobble, but it cannot cure the problem. 

Another Myth is That It is Okay to Run Your Vehicle Without One

truck with big tires

 photo by schlol via iStock

The truck will still be drivable without a steering damper; however, all the forces from the wheels will travel straight through your steering components and that can lead to premature wear or even breakages out on the trail. So, having one can save you a lot of headaches.

The last myth is that cheap dual stabilizers from eBay or Amazon are better than the good-quality single ones

The cheap units are not exerting any force on your steering linkage and therefore are not correcting and side to side pull that you may experience after upgrading your tires. Therefore, the cheap dual units will not do as good of a job as the good quality single ones.

When Do You Need to Upgrade Your Steering Damper?

Steering Damper and large tires

 photo by rep0rter via iStock

An upgraded steering damper is needed when upgrading to larger and heavier tires. If you lift your truck but keep the stock size tires you do not need to upgrade the damper as the lift alone does not affect the behavior of the stabilizer. 

However, for anyone going for aggressive, larger, and heavier tires an upgraded steering stabilizer will improve the handling of the truck on the road. 

A steering damper should also be replaced if it is worn out or very old. It is not an expensive part and can make a big difference in the way your truck handles on the road. 


Big 4X4 Truck

 photo by christys66 via iStock

To recap, a steering damper helps relieve stress from your vehicle’s steering components while also making sure your truck drives straight down the road. When going for bigger tires it is important to upgrade; however, a lift on its own does not require a new steering damper. 

There are plenty of myths out there so do your research and if you have any questions feel free to post them on the forum section of our page! 

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