What’s the Difference Between Shocks and Struts

Shocks and struts are two of the most essential parts of your vehicle’s suspension system. The terms are often used interchangeably with each other, however, there are big differences between these two components.

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Below we explain the differences between the two so that you can correctly differentiate between them.

The Role of Shocks and Struts

They work essentially in the same way but are different systems. They work to reduce the bounce of the vehicle when it crosses road obstructions. This reduction in the bounce is significant as it allows you and your passengers to enjoy a smooth ride in your vehicle. They also assist with the overall control you have of your vehicle, especially when turning.

What’s The Difference Between Shocks and struts?

Shock absorbers are hydraulic components that help minimize movement generated by the vehicle’s springs. These springs absorb some of the jolts you might feel from uneven or damaged roads. By softening the impact from rough roads and rocky terrain, shocks can help you maintain better control over your vehicle, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable driving experience.

Struts are structural components of certain vehicles’ steering and suspension systems. They usually consist of a spring and a shock absorber. Struts are designed to be much stronger than shocks since they are weight-bearing components. Additionally, they help dampen vehicle jolts and improve your vehicle’s steering and alignment.

How Do I Know If My Vehicle Has Shocks or Struts?

Many vehicles will have shocks on one axle and struts on the other. However, not all vehicles have struts. You can consult your vehicle’s manual as each model can have a different configuration or you can have one of our Technicians take a look for you.

Should I Replace My Vehicle’s Shocks and Struts?

Yes, you should. They should be inspected for wear and damage after about 80,000 miles in a new vehicle and every 20,000 miles after the initial check. If you do not maintain these crucial parts of your vehicle, you can have significant ride comfort and control issues.

How Do I Check My Vehicle’s Shocks and Struts?

ou should always consult a professional when inspecting them. You can also use a simple method to check your vehicle’s suspension. Push down your vehicle at a corner, and let go after a short hold. Do this at every corner of your vehicle. If the vehicle bounces and the corners return to their initial level, the suspension is likely fine, and the shocks and struts are okay.


Now you know the difference between shocks and struts and are aware of their purpose, make sure to check the working condition, and if you need any assistance in checking them or getting them replaced, you can always give us a call as we’d be happy to help: 303-730-4137

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