What Are Shocks and Struts and What do They Do

Do you ever wonder what the purpose of the shocks and struts on your vehicle are? Let’s take a closer look at shocks and struts and what they do.


What are Shocks?

Shock absorbers, usually called “shocks,” on a vehicle have one job. Their sole purpose is to keep the vehicle from bouncing while driving. Shocks are hydraulic pump-like devices that absorb impact and rebound the movement of your vehicle’s springs and suspension. They make it possible for your tires to stay in contact with the road surface. In simple terms, they keep your drive feeling smooth, instead of feeling every bump and crack in the road.


What are struts?

The struts on your vehicle are a bit different than shocks since they are a structural part of your suspension system. Struts are mounted to the top of the chassis of your vehicle and come down through it to mount the coil springs. Not all vehicles have struts. Many suspensions use separate springs and shock absorbers, meaning the shocks don’t support any weight.


How do you know if you have a problem with your shocks or struts?

Suspension systems are designed to take a lot of wear and tear for a lot of miles. However, if you notice the following symptoms, it may be time to have your vehicle checked by a mechanic:

  • Tire shaking or wheel movements after hitting a bump
  • Suspension bottoming out when going over a curb or rough roads
  • Bouncing while driving
  • Swaying or rocking during turns
  • Vehicle seems to dive forward when braking hard
  • Fluid leaks

If you’re noticing any of these issues, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic right away. Neglected problems can quickly turn into expensive repairs.


For all your vehicle needs, including regular tune-ups, come to Quality Lube Plus today!