Struts vs Shocks (What’s the Difference?)

Last Updated on May 1, 2020

As you drive your car on the road, it provides a great deal of stability and comfort when it is in good working condition. The suspension assembly is responsible for maintaining this kind of comfortable stability in the vehicle. The two specific components that help make this happen are the shocks and/or struts. The reason you don’t feel any bouncing or shaking as you drive your vehicle is due to these components. However, vehicles are only made with one of these components attached to each wheel. You will never find both components attached to a wheel together.

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You cannot alter the suspension system of your vehicle to accommodate one component over the other. You must use whichever component your suspension system was built for. That is why so many people use the words “struts” and “shocks” interchangeably because they both serve the same general purpose. But there is actually a big difference between the two components which must be addressed. If you ever have problems with your suspension and notice bouncing in your car’s movements, then you need to know whether it is a problem with your shocks or struts.

Below is a description of the differences between them.

What are Struts?

Struts are not just a portion of the suspension assembly. They make up the entire suspension assembly of the vehicle. In other words, struts get mounted onto the vehicle’s chassis, making it a structural component of the suspension. The struts have a similar function as the shocks because they also reduce bounciness and shakiness in the vehicle. But the struts have a second function in addition to that. The steering system relies on struts because they assist with the alignment angles. This means the steering system uses the struts as pivot points. Whenever you need to get new struts, you will also need to get an alignment done on the wheels. For this reason, struts will usually cost more money than shocks.

What Are Shocks?

Shocks, also known as shock absorbers, are a component which makes up a portion of the suspension assembly in a vehicle. The main purpose of a shock absorber is to reduce the bouncing and shakiness experienced in the vehicle, especially when you drive over bumps and potholes. The piston rod and piston give resistance to the hydraulic fluid so that the suspension movement can be controlled. This allows the driver to handle the vehicle much better as they drive. It also enhances the quality of the riding experience for them and the other passengers of the vehicle. As long as the suspension movement is limited as much as possible, this type of driving experience can be sustained.

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