The shocks and struts are two different parts to your vehicle however, they often get confused for the same thing. These two components work together to support your car’s suspension, and they each have their own unique function. The springs or shocks support the weight of your vehicle and cushion the ride. This helps to prevent jolts from things like potholes, and it allows you to feel comfortable whenever you’re driving or sitting in the cabin. The struts limit the vertical motion that comes from the springs, and they also help to absorb any impact that comes from the road.
Shocks or shock absorbers are usually mounted between the upper and lower control arms in the front of and between the axle and frame of the rear of your vehicle. They are designed to absorb shock and reduce upward motion to manage the vehicle’s weight. The main difference between shocks and struts is how your vehicle is designed. Some vehicles may have them at each corner while others may have them only at the front or the back of the vehicle. Usually, cars with an independent suspension system will use shocks in some form or fashion.
Struts can work alone, or they can combine the spring or shock with the strut assembly into a single component. They typically are mounted to the steering knuckle and support the body of the vehicle. A small coil spring is located on top of the shock absorber component of the trust that eliminates the need for an upper control arm. This makes for a much more space-efficient set up inside of your vehicle and works well for cars that have a unibody construction.
Both shocks and struts will improve the way your car feels when you drive it. You should experience a smoother, much more quiet ride when you have new struts and shocks installed. Various manufacturers may use different materials and designs, so ask your mechanic for a list of available parts to help you determine which ones will work for your needs. Regular checks of your suspension system can help you determine whether or not you’ll need new struts, shocks, or both. Just like the name implies, these parts will absorb the shock incurred from driving for a comfortable ride over any type of terrain.