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Shocks vs struts : What is the difference ?

Are you a truck owner wondering what the difference between shocks and struts are? When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, understanding the differences between key components is essential. Shocks and struts both offer suspension benefits, but work in different ways to improve ride quality.

Understanding the difference between shocks vs struts can help you make informed decisions when it comes to customizing your truck’s performance.

In this blog post, we’ll cover both shocks and struts – from the details of their construction to how they work together in improving comfort, safety, and handling for every drive.

What is a Shock?

what are shocks ?

Shock absorbers are devices used in vehicles to dampen and absorb motion, like vibration and bouncing. They are typically fitted to the rear wheels of cars and trucks, but can also be found on the front wheel and suspension system. Shocks improve passenger comfort and vehicle stability by controlling horizontal movement and eliminating unwanted suspension motion.

What  a Strut?

what are struts ?

A strut is a type of shock absorber that combines the functions of a spring and shock absorber into one unit. The combination helps to reduce the weight of your car while improving its handling characteristics. Like shocks, struts work by dampening the force of bumpy roads and other rough surfaces, improving ride quality and vehicle stability. Unlike shocks, struts are integral components in suspension systems; they secure the axle to the chassis while also providing dampening for the car body.

Also read : FCS struts review

Types of Shocks and Struts

There are a variety of different types of shocks and struts, each designed for different applications. These include gas-filled dampers, air suspension systems, coilover assemblies, and adjustable shock absorbers.

Gas-filled dampers

Gas-filled dampers are a type of shock absorber filled with hydraulic fluid. They absorb energy from bumps and other road imperfections, providing a smoother ride for the driver. The dampers are constructed of metal or plastic components that are designed to be durable and long-lasting.

Air suspension systems

Air suspension systems use air bladders instead of gas-filled cylinders to provide a comfortable ride. These systems can be adjusted to provide different ride heights and spring rates, allowing for more precise control over the performance of your vehicle. Air suspension systems are ideal for high-performance vehicles where handling is important.

Coilover assemblies

Coilover assemblies are commonly found in race cars. They help the car stay balanced and make driving easier. You can adjust how high the car is. These parts are light, strong, and many racers like them.

Adjustable shock absorbers

Adjustable shock absorbers are manually adjustable units that allow drivers to tailor the performance of their vehicle to suit specific driving conditions or terrain types. They feature a range of adjustment options such as damping and spring rates, allowing for precise control over suspension settings. Adjustable shock absorbers are ideal for customizing vehicles for performance purposes.

Benefits of Installing Shocks vs Struts

Shocks and struts help your car feel smoother when you drive. They make the ride more comfortable for everyone. They also help with braking and can make the tires last longer. With shocks and struts your car will also handle better when turning corners, so driving is more fun.

Installing shock absorbers can also help extend the life of your vehicle’s suspension components, as they are designed to absorb energy from bumps that would otherwise put stress on these parts. This can save you money in the long run by reducing repair costs associated with worn-out suspension components.

Overall, installing shocks and struts on your vehicle can help you get the most out of your ride, whether it’s for daily use or performance driving. With the right setup, you can enjoy a smoother and more comfortable journey every time you hit the road!

Shocks vs struts : What is the Difference?

Shocks and struts serve different functions in a vehicle’s suspension system. While shocks contribute to a smoother ride, struts are responsible for supporting the car’s suspension. Struts, due to their workload, require more frequent replacement than shocks. While shocks do not require replacement as often, it’s still important to provide proper care for them.

Shock absorbers are easy to put in. Struts are harder. You need special tools and knowledge about car suspensions to get them in the right way.


This helps to reduce tire wear, as well as improve the handling of the vehicle.

Shocks are designed to absorb and dampen motion, while struts also act as structural components of your car’s suspension system. Shocks control the bouncing of the vehicle body caused by imperfections in the road, while struts provide support for the axle and help ensure proper alignment.

Struts have a greater range of motion than shocks due to their structural role in the suspension system, which can ultimately provide a smoother ride. On the other hand, shocks absorb energy and reduce shock on the vehicle body.

In terms of functionality, shocks and struts both play an important role in keeping your car running smoothly. Shocks prevent excessive bouncing and vibration on rougher roads, while struts provide stability and support for your car’s suspension system. Both components need to be serviced regularly to ensure that they are in good working order.

Suspension System

Struts are an integral part of the vehicle’s suspension system, connecting the wheels to the frame. This helps to reduce vibration as well as improve handling. The shock absorbers are also connected to the suspension system and help control excessive bouncing from uneven roads or other imperfections.

Keep your car running smoothly and enjoy a comfortable ride by regularly servicing both components. Remember, shocks and struts serve different purposes and should not be used interchangeably. They are vital to your vehicle’s suspension system, so understanding their specific roles is key to maximizing performance.


When installing shocks and struts, it’s important to replace them as a set. They are designed to work together, so replacing only one could affect your driving experience. Also, different car makes/models may require specific parts for installation.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Car’s Shocks and Struts

When it comes to shocks and struts, regular maintenance is key. Over time, these components can become worn out or damaged due to normal wear and tear. If you notice any of the following symptoms when driving, you may need to replace your vehicle’s shocks and struts:

  • Uneven tire wear
  • Vibrations while braking
  • Poor handling and cornering capabilities
  • Excessive bouncing after hitting a bump
  • Leaking fluid from the shock absorber
  • Poor ride comfort

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to have a mechanic inspect your car and check the shocks and struts. This can help to identify any issues and prevent further damage from occurring.

It’s recommended to check the condition of your shocks and struts every 15,000 miles or so, as this will help you ensure that they remain in good working order. You should also keep an eye on any fluid leaks or signs of rust and corrosion around the shock absorber or strut area.

If you do find that your shocks and struts need to be replaced, it’s always best to invest in high-quality parts that are designed specifically for your vehicle. This will ensure that you get a reliable performance and make sure that your ride is as comfortable as possible.

Remember, keeping your shocks and struts in good condition will not only provide you with a smoother, more comfortable ride but also help to extend the life of your vehicle’s suspension components. So if you’re noticing any signs that something is not right, don’t wait too long to get it checked out!

Also readFox Shocks vs Bilstein

FAQs about shocks and struts

How much does it cost to replace shocks and struts?

The cost to replace shocks and struts will depend on the type of vehicle you have, as well as the type and quality of parts that you choose. Generally, expect to pay between $400 and $1,000 for a complete replacement job.

Do I need an alignment after replacing my shocks or struts?

Yes, it is important to do a wheel alignment after replacing your shocks and struts. This will ensure that the suspension is properly set up and functioning correctly. Additionally, it helps to maximize the life of your new components.

Can I drive with a bad shock and strut?

It is not good to drive with bad shocks or struts. The ride will be uncomfortable and it can cause damage to the car’s suspension. You should get them replaced right away if they don’t work properly. It is important for your safety.

What does a bad strut feel like?

When the struts start to go bad, it will cause a noticeable change in the ride of your car. You may feel increased bouncing or vibrations on uneven roads, as well as reduced handling and braking performance. Additionally, you may hear clunking noises coming from underneath the vehicle when going over bumps. This is usually an indicator that something is wrong with your suspension system.

What causes struts to fail?

Struts typically fail due to age and wear. If your vehicle has a lot of miles on it, the struts may have slowly deteriorated over time from normal driving conditions. Additionally, extreme weather or road conditions can also cause damage to shocks and struts.

Are struts in the front or back?

Struts are typically found in both the front and rear of a vehicle. The strut assembly will usually consist of two components – the strut itself and a coil spring, which is what helps to absorb impacts from the road. In some cases, there may also be an additional shock absorber included with the assembly. It is important to note that all components must be in good condition for the assembly to work properly.

Are shocks and struts easy to replace?

Depending on the type and model of your vehicle, replacing shocks and struts can be a relatively simple process. However, if you do not feel comfortable performing this work yourself, it is best to consult a professional mechanic. They will be able to provide you with the right parts for your particular make and model, as well as ensure proper installation.

When replacing struts what else should be replaced?

To maintain the optimum performance of your suspension system, replace worn or broken parts along with the strut assembly. These parts may include bushings, mounts, and other connected components. Additionally, consider treating any excessive rust on the vehicle’s chassis or underside with an anti-rust solution. It will protect your vehicle and prolong the life of suspension components.


In summary, Shocks help to make the ride smoother when you drive over bumps in the road. Struts help to support the car. Both shocks and struts are important for your car’s suspension system. Knowing this information can be helpful if you need to replace any components for your car’s suspension system since shocks and struts each require their own respective replacement part.

If you found this article about the differences between shocks vs struts helpful then please share it with others who may also benefit from its knowledge!

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