Ending the Confusion Between Shocks vs. Struts

The smoothness of your car ride is due to two integral parts of your suspension system: shock absorbers and struts. While both shocks and struts are essential to your car's safety and comfort, they are entirely different from each other.


Shock absorbers, also known as shocks, are a vital piece of the suspension system. Shock absorbers control the impact and rebound your vehicle's movement; they ensure that the car's tires remain in contact with the road surface at all times. As indicated by their name, they absorb energy. Without shocks, the wheels on your car, SUV, or truck will constantly bounce and vibrate. The important pieces that make up your shock absorber are a piston, coil, and hydraulic fluid. 


Struts are the structural part of the suspension system, and they are primarily found on the front end of nearly every front-wheel-drive vehicle. A strut is composed of numerous components, including the coil spring, spring seats, strut bearing, shock absorbers, and steering knuckle, crammed into one compact assembly. 

The coil spring is the piece that manages the vehicle's weight and adjusts to inevitable bumps or imperfections on the road. Specifically, the strut joins the upper bearing to the lower ball joint, so the entire assembly can pivot whenever you make turns. Unlike shocks, struts serve multiple purposes:

  • Dampening the movement of the spring
  • Supporting the weight of the vehicle
  • Adapting to road irregularities

In summary, the shocks only absorb road impact, while struts have a part in that and support and control the vehicle in motion.


Now that we've clarified the difference between the two parts, you should know how to properly communicate any problems you may have with your trusted mechanic. Your shocks and struts should always be in good condition. If you think you may need to replace your shocks and/or struts soon, please stop by Protech Automotive Services today. Our expert team will be glad to assist you with your auto needs.