Three Common Problems Faced By Light-Duty Work Trucks

Posted on: 17 November 2019

Pickup trucks are more popular and reliable than ever, but they aren't without their fair share of issues. With the average cost of a new pickup truck now exceeding $40,000, it isn't surprising that many buyers are opting to purchase used vehicles instead. Since many trucks (especially those in commercial fleets) face a hard life, it is not surprising that older vehicles inevitably develop issues. Knowing the most common problems faced by trucks across all brands can help you to spot these issues as they develop on your vehicle so that you can repair them before they become costly failures.

Transmission Issues

Trucks seem to suffer from transmission failures at an alarmingly high rate. This failure rate isn't a result of inferior transmissions on trucks, but rather a consequence of truck usage patterns. Your transmission is one of the components on your vehicle that endures the most significant amount of stress when towing or hauling a heavy load. Manufacturer limits on towing or hauling capacity are intended to be gentle recommendations, but many truck owners nevertheless choose to push these limits. Too much weight (especially when tackling steep grades) can overheat the fluid in your transmission, ultimately resulting in internal damage.

Suspension Issues

Suspension issues are also a common complaint on pickup trucks, especially on the rear axle. Unsurprisingly, wear on these components may also be more common as a result of towing and hauling. Older pickup trucks generally used leaf-spring suspension systems. Manufacturers use this suspension setup for its durability, but newer trucks have begun to transition to coil-spring setups similar to those found on regular vehicles. Regardless of the type of spring used, heavy loads can place undue wear on rear suspension components, ultimately causing them to wear out more quickly. Trailer tongue weight is borne by a vehicle's rear suspension as well, so towing improperly set up trailers can easily ruin rear suspension components.


Any older vehicle will develop leaks over time, but trucks that are used for offroading or on worksites without paved paths are particularly prone to these problems. Leaks in fuel lines or brake lines can develop due to impacts along the undercarriage or from attempting to clear obstacles that are too large. Oil or coolant leaks are common as well, but these tend to develop due to age rather than any particular form of abuse. If you own a truck that sees hard use every day, then it will pay to check for leaks often so that they can be repaired as early as possible.

Modern trucks are built to take abuse and keep on ticking. If you own a light-duty truck used for work (or serious play), then it will pay off to pay attention to these issues so that you can seek truck repair when needed.