Often, people refer to struts and shocks interchangeably. However, they are two distinct parts serving different functions. While both struts and shocks aid your ride and handling, these parts work differently.
Shocks are part of the individual components of your suspension system. On the other hand, struts are a major structural component of the suspension system and chassis.
What Do Shocks Do
Conventional shocks do not support the weight of the car. Instead, they control the spring and suspension movement. They do this by converting the kinetic energy of the suspension movement into heat energy dispersed through the hydraulic fluid.
The resistance in a shock absorber depends on the speed of the suspension. And the size and number of the tiny holes in the piston. All shock absorbers are velocity-sensitive. As the vehicle's suspension moves faster, the shock absorbers provide more resistance. This feature allows shock absorbers to adjust to varying terrain and road conditions to reduce the rate of:
· Roll and sway due to worn shocks that are unable to control the rate of weight transfer
· Acceleration squat and brake dive
How Shock Absorbers Work
Shock absorbers function as oil pumps. A piston linked to the piston rod works against the hydraulic fluid in the pressure tube. As the suspension moves up and down, a small amount of hydraulic fluid moves through the holes inside the piston, slowing down the piston, which slows down the spring movement and suspension.
What Do Struts Do
A strut is a major structural component of the suspension and is lighter and smaller than the shock absorbers. Struts are a damper-type used on many independent suspensions, front-wheel drive vehicles, and some rear-wheel vehicles.
How Struts Work
Struts have two main jobs: first, they serve a dumping function like shock absorbers. Internally, it functions just like a shock absorber. And it is velocity sensitive, and the resistance increases and decreases depending on the speed of the suspension.
Struts also serve a second function. Unlike shocks, they provide structural support for the suspension, supporting the spring and aligning the tires. Additionally, they bear the side load on the car suspension, influencing the ride comfort, handling, vehicle control, steering, wheel alignment, braking, and wear and tear on other suspension components.
If you need shocks or struts replacement, give Broadway Auto Repair a call today!