Shocks vs Struts

Shock absorbers refer to its more popular shortened version of the term shocks. All too often, many use the terms shocks and struts interchangeably. Each functions similarly, in how they work to dampen the springs while additionally working to reduce the “bounce” of the vehicle, but are not the same. Shocks cannot replace struts and struts cannot replace shocks. Further adding to the confusion, a vehicle can have both shocks and struts, or just one or the other. On that note, let’s gets started on clearing up any confusion between shocks vs struts.

Shocks and struts are both part of the vehicle suspension system. As mentioned earlier, they utilize springs in order to make your vehicle ride and handling smoother.  When the wheels on your vehicle turn, the springs compress and expand in order to absorb the motion.

Shocks consist of a long tubular shaped metal piston filled with fluid, gas, or both. The installation of shocks can only occur on cars or trucks with a fixed axle, which connects the wheels. Shocks function by absorbing the effect of the vehicle’s motion in order to prevent the axle itself from absorbing the motion. The shocks allow the car to hit pot holes, bumpy roads, and other road hazards without damaging the axle.

On the other hand, struts begin with the same basic construction as shocks, but come additionally equipped with a spring on one end.  Struts provide a smoother ride by utilizing a spring on both ends and a piston.

Struts also connect to a vehicle steering system by way of the outer tie rod. In consequence, the struts partially responsible for movement of the wheels in response to the turning of the steering wheel. As a result, you need to have an alignment done anytime you have struts replaced.

In any case, whether you have shocks vs struts its essential to keep them well maintained. Both are critical to the comfort and safety of your vehicle. It is always a good idea to have your shocks or struts checked on a yearly basis or at least every 12,000 miles.  Check your vehicle’s manual for information about when your shocks and struts should be replaced.  Contact Quality Lube Plus at 732-333-8272 if you feel like you could get a smoother ride out of your vehicle!