Shocks Vs Struts: How It Affects Your Ride Quality

The primary purpose of shocks and struts is to provide stability while the vehicle is in motion. Both shock absorbers and struts serve as part of an automobile’s suspension system but function slightly differently from one another. Understanding the characteristics of shocks vs struts and how they work is critical to ensuring your vehicle continues to operate properly while driving. Read on to learn more about how the basics of shock absorbers and struts including the key differences between these two components

Close up of shocks vs struts on a vehicle in Las Vegas, Nevada

Shocks vs Struts: What’s the Difference?

People will often refer to shocks and struts as if they are the same thing, but these vehicle components operate quite differently from one another. In this way, it’s important to never replace a strut with a shock or vice versa when servicing your vehicle’s suspension system. Always refer to the vehicle’s user manual to learn more about how your suspension system works and always use OEM parts when replacing components.


Shock absorbers are sealed metallic tubes that usually contain hydraulic fluid. When you hit a bump or pothole on the road, shock absorbers will help to buffer the impact on the wheels and ensure the tires remain in constant contact with the road.


Struts, on the other hand, are structurally built into a vehicle’s suspension system. The purpose of a strut is to help support the weight of the chassis and it connects directly to the wheel from above. Although struts help to limit the amount of vertical motion a vehicle experiences on the road, their main job is to provide weight-bearing, structural support and help to keep the tires properly aligned.

Do All Vehicles Come with Struts?

Most front-wheel drive vehicles will have struts in the front and shocks in the back. Alternatively, some automobiles may have shocks or struts on all four wheels depending on the type of suspension system. The easiest way to tell the difference is to check under the vehicle. Struts are connected to the steering knuckle behind the wheel and are usually much smaller than complete shock assemblies.

Common Signs That It’s Time to Replace Shocks or Struts

When shocks or struts start falling into disrepair, you will likely notice more vibration and turbulence while on the road. You may also notice your vehicle leaning slightly to one side or the other when making a sharp turn. Worn-out struts or shocks can also negatively impact handling by making it more difficult to turn the steering wheel in a smooth, controlled manner.

Choose Valley Automall for Professional Automotive Support

At Valley Automall, you can rely on us for professional automotive support for all your vehicle’s suspension servicing needs. We offer numerous parts specials to lower the cost of replacing your OEM struts or shocks while our services special will help to put more money back in your pocket for emergency repairs.