Shock Absorbers versus Struts

Ever compared shock absorbers versus struts? A shock absorber is in plain words a shock damper. It is a hydraulic device designed to weaken the shock impulse and assists in controlling and impacting the vehicle’s suspensions and springs. Its key role is to ensure that all the tires of the vehicle remain in contact with the surface of the road. Most of the time, shocks and struts are used interchangeably, however, they are not same. 

Struts form a part of the physical structure of the vehicles. Struts are used by automotive engineers to save on vehicle costs and reduce body rolls. They are specifically designed to dampen spring oscillations. Struts have specific features which enable them to act as a structural component. They increase your stopping distance by up to 20%.

Shock absorbers serve multi tasks. They limit the body movement of the Vehicle. As the vehicle moves, it can have various degrees of movements in different directions due to driving factors and road conditions. Also, when needed, the shock absorbers stabilize the vehicle rides. Since the ride can be majorly effected due to the way it is driven. It prevents the body to lean on any side, specifically on sharp turns. 

It also stabilizes the vehicle tires and minimizes its wearing. There are different designs in shock absorbers for cars. Twin tube design and mono tube designs are the most popular shock absorbers. With an inner and outer tube, they work for on achieving the intended purpose efficiently. 

To achieve the proper shock absorption position; the rebound resistance, compression pressure, arc of travel and rebound travel need to be considered closely. Most vehicles have one shock absorber per tire. 

Strut exactly is the component that connects the tire with the vehicle body. The thing that is notable here is that not all cars would have struts. Various suspension designs have separate springs and shock absorbers and thus may not exactly require a strut. In addition, some vehicles may use struts for only one pair wheels and not for others. 

In contrast to shock absorbers, the struts have a longer life majorly. Of course how the vehicle is driven will also impact how long would the struts last. At most, the struts can go up to 80,000 to 100,000 miles before they will require replacement. Shocks have visibly much smaller life span and will go up to 50,000 miles only before they are replaced.

Struts will eliminate the upper control arm, upper ball joint and the bushings. However, the higher replacement costs are associated with struts in comparison with shock absorbers. 

You will get clear and precise indications if you have to replace your strut or the shock absorber. You will be able to notice oil leakages between the body of the component and the chrome piston. Rusting on the shock or strut cylinder and/or pitting of the chrome piston can also provide likewise implications. 

When you decide on replacing a shock absorber on a strut; always do it in pairs; either replace either from the front or from the rear – whichever you think would be best or is needed. 

It becomes severely important to change these at the right time because worn shock absorbers and struts can cause tire cupping, it worsens the health of your tires and escalates the vibration when the car is being driven.

Replacing the struts and shock absorbers can cost around $750 in their entirety – and don’t forget, this is the cost for just one, you always need to replace them in pairs!  

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