Fort Collins and Longmont Auto Repair



Fort Collins - Webster
Fort Collins - Riverside
Longmont - 20th Ave
Loveland - N. Garfield Ave
Loveland - Topaz Drive

What is the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?

Shocks and struts help with the normal impact of everyday driving and can be especially useful when navigating potholes, speed bumps, and other impediments that can otherwise affect your vehicle. Keeping them up and getting them replaced when necessary is vital to the overall functioning of your vehicle, so knowing the difference between the two is helpful in getting familiar with their functioning. It's worthy to note that there are cases when shocks and struts work together for good suspension and absorption, but they can work independently as well.

Shock absorbers have good jurisdiction over your vehicle's spring and suspension functions and actually serve to control them using thermal or heat energy. The suspension is converted into motion using hydraulic fluid. In this sense, they act as "oil pumps" as they swing into motion. The piston, which is attached at the end of the piston rod, gives resistance to the hydraulic fluid that's being pumped inside the pressure tube and released in small amounts through the orifices, and this, in turn, slows down spring and suspension movement. Good shock absorption is created by the amount of resistance exerted in the process.

Since most modern vehicles already have independent suspension, all that is needed for them are struts. The same is also true for vehicles that have front-wheel drive, as they already have good independent suspension. Struts comprise a greater component of independent suspension systems and rely on upper ball joints and upper control arms to get the job done.

Like shocks, they rely on resistance through a hydraulic system. But unlike shock systems, they have a secondary supporting role in your car's impact control system. They do so by supporting the vehicle's suspension and springs. They also control the tires by centering them and keeping them aligned for safe driving. In short, they are highly effective for good control over your entire vehicle.

And much like any other mechanism, shocks and struts will wear out over time. Anytime you notice anything such as tires that wear out, increased stopping distances, or bouncing tires, it's time for an inspection. If you need to have them replaced, simply give our shop a call today!

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