The Difference Between Shocks And Struts

The Difference Between Shocks And Struts

Unfortunately, many auto mechanics and people in the know claim that the strut is the same as the shock absorber. But opinions are, of course, divided. Experienced masters say that the strut and shock absorber are two different parts.

In simple terms, a shock absorber is an oil pump in which liquid is poured in small volumes. In this case, the spring and the entire suspension move slowly because the holes in the shock absorbers are small. When the car accelerates, the shock absorber increases its resistance, and on the road, the car does not swing and holds itself more rigidly.

Why is a strut better than a shock absorber? Although it consists of a complex structure, it can even take lateral loads and tilts. The strut has a longer stem than the shock absorber. Both the strut and the shock absorber can also be attached from above with a support bearing if the strut or shock absorber needs to rotate.

However, the strut cannot replace the shock absorber, and vice versa, the shock absorber cannot replace the strut. For example, if the strut breaks, then you will not go anywhere, and if the shock absorber breaks, then it is not so scary; you can go because it may be that the spring moves separately from the shock absorber. However, in essence, the rack is very similar to a shock absorber; the differences are only in the type of attachment and the shape of the structure.

What are a shock absorber and a strut on a car?

What are a shock absorber and a strut on a car?

A shock absorber is a device designed to dampen vibrations in the car body and increase comfort; this is an oil-type pump in which the hydraulic composition moves through a small hole made in the piston.

Due to this feature, the piston moves with a delay, which provides vibration damping. Together with the shock absorber, the spring also works, which also absorbs the unevenness of the road.

The joint work of the spring and the shock absorber guarantees the machine’s stability and the absence of "squats" and "pecks" when the brake is pressed sharply or when accelerating. In the process of damping vibrations, kinetic energy becomes thermal energy, and the driver and passengers themselves receive the expected comfort.

If a shock absorber fails, the connection between the spring and the suspension is lost, tire wear increases, braking performance decreases, and contact with the road surface deteriorates.

In addition, the body bounces, swinging takes place (after falling into a depression or pit). At the same time, the presence of a spring is not necessary for the design of the shock absorber (in some models, it simply does not exist).

The strut is a device that is a complete element of a car's suspension. The task of the assembly is to connect the body part and the wheels of the vehicle. The strut support in many cars is mated with a damper (a key element of the shock absorber), as well as a spring.

It is thanks to the struts that the weight of the car is kept in weight, the required position of the wheels relative to the body part is maintained. In addition, it is the knot that guarantees high-quality grip on the track and takes on side loads.

The latter option is possible thanks to the thick stem and unique damper alloy (which is why the rack is more expensive). As in the case of a shock absorber, the unit is capable of working with or without a spring.


In conclusion, let's highlight the main differences between the devices:

  • The shock absorber is often part of the strut, while the rack itself is a group of elements (spring stop, thrust, and shock absorber).
  • The cost of the strut is higher.
  • The shock absorber is less resistant to lateral loads. Its task is simply to dampen vibrations. As for the strut, it easily copes with the task.
  • With strut, your car gains more reliability.
  • If the shock absorber fails or is missing, you can move by car, but without a strut, you cannot.

The Difference Between Shocks And Struts FAQ

The Difference Between Shocks And Struts FAQ
  • Can I drive a car without shock absorbers?

In theory, this is certainly possible. But in practice, not always. If you are planning to drive on the highway or in the city, then this is quite possible. But on off-road, you run the risk of losing all the cogs of your car.

  • How much do shock absorbers cost on a car?

The price will be different for each vehicle, and there are different types of absorbers per vehicle. If you are looking for reliable and affordable depreciation for your vehicle, check out our PartSouq website. In addition, you can read interesting articles on various topics that may be of interest to you.

  • How much do struts cost and where to buy them?

When choosing racks for a car, you need to be extremely careful. It is advisable to search for such parts by a special VIN or by the part code that you need. In our PartSouq online store, you can find the part you need for your car at a very reasonable price.