The Difference Between Shocks and Struts

What are shocks and struts?People usually refer to shocks and struts in the same way, as if they were interchangeable. While both auto parts can make your ride smoother over bumps in the road, they actually work in different ways. Your vehicle can have both parts, depending on what features are included in your vehicle model. When you understand how shocks and struts function, you may be able to identify the source of any suspension problems before you see a mechanic.

In Shock

Shocks or shock absorbers are designed to limit the bounce and sway of your vehicle while it is on the road. They do not actually support the vehicle’s weight. Shocks are part of the suspension system, but they are not essential in order to operate your car or truck. Granted, without shocks, you won’t have the most comfortable ride, but your vehicle is still able to function.

Strut Around

Struts, on the other hand, are a structural part of your suspension system and must be in place and working in order for the vehicle to operate. Unlike shocks, struts do support the weight of a vehicle. They are also needed to maintain alignment of your car, making them essential to steering and movement as well as elimination of bounce. If your vehicle did not have struts, you would be unable to steer, and the tires could potentially fall flat on the ground. Clearly, struts should be in good condition to have better control and maneuverability.

Big Difference

If you are feeling the road more than you would like, you may need to replace your shocks or your struts. Shocks can be relatively simple to replace, but struts are more complicated and potentially hazardous to change. In addition, your car will need to be aligned when the struts are replaced. New shocks tend to be a less expensive repair than replacing struts because they are less involved and do not impact the structural integrity of your vehicle.

If you aren’t sure if you need new shocks or struts, you should stop by Sun Auto Service and have one of our technicians take a look. We can inspect your suspension system, make recommendations, and provide expert repairs. Come see us if you notice your ride is getting rough or you hear lots of popping or clicking when you steer your vehicle. You can trust us to make needed repairs to your struts, shocks, or other key parts of your suspension to keep your car safely on the road for a more comfortable ride.