Shocks vs. Struts
At a Glance
Shocks and struts both absorb impact from the road, improving your car’s handling and comfort. However, struts also perform a second duty by providing structural support to the vehicle.
Put simply, struts are simply an assembly of coil springs whereby a shock absorber is positioned in the middle. They are suspension parts that have similar performance in a vehicle on the suspension system. Shocks and struts are very essential in accomplishing a smooth and less bumpy ride, in that they help to dampen spring oscillation and also assist in ride control. However, these two important components of the vehicle are not only used for comfort but they also help in maintain the vehicle in good suspension. Shocks and struts despite of them having the same general functions, they have their differences in place in terms of, their specific functions, design, price, and reliability.
Apart from the overall functions of struts and shocks, their performances in enhancing a smooth ride are different. Shocks in a vehicle absorb bumps and sock from the road while driving, on the other hand struts form the integral part of the suspension system in that they hold the shocks in place. Struts form the pivotal part of the steering rack while substituting in the control of the upper arm. Shocks on the other end help to maintain a smooth ride by dampening resonance. Also, when the vehicle moves up and down it is the work of the struts to help in the compression and expansion of the coil springs. This is important in keeping the vehicle on the road for a smooth ride. Shocks in addition to that, helps a vehicle to get back to its initial position after hitting bumps on the road.
Shocks and struts are designed differently according to the part they play in ensuring that the vehicle is comfortable while driving. Struts basically provide a structural support to the vehicle as they are huge compared to shocks. This means that, struts structured in a way that they come in a single he piece that is fitted in the car to provide support and comfort. On the other hand, shocks come in many pieces that are installed in the care for efficiency in performance. Struts are also designed in such a way that they are used on front and also all wheel drive vehicles since the driveshaft is below the suspension system hence not interfering with the placement of the springs.
Looking at the price of these two suspension parts, it is clear that their price differ. We have seen that struts are larger in size than shocks. Struts are more expensive than shocks since they are more complex in terms of their size and also installation. In that case, struts require a specialist in their installation hence expensive labor. On the other hand, shocks are simple and therefore less expensive to purchase and to install. This is because shocks are smaller in size and also less complicated to fit them in the car.
In terms of which is more reliable between the two, it all depends on the type of the vehicle they are being referred to. For example, shocks are believed to be more common in trucks and also SUVs. These are heavy vehicles that that require shocks in order to provide a smooth ride on the road. Struts are found mostly in cars in order to provide them with the structural support while on the road for effective performance. However, both shocks and struts can be found in all types of vehicles to enhance performance in every way.