Does My Car have Shocks or Struts

When it comes to your car, there are a lot of different systems and parts that work together to keep it running smoothly. Two of these systems are the shocks and struts. But what’s the difference between them? Keep reading to find out.

There are a lot of moving parts in a car, and it can be difficult to keep track of what does what. Two components that often get confused are shocks and struts. Both shocks and struts serve an important purpose in a car, but they are not the same thing. Here’s a quick overview of the difference between shocks and struts.

Does My Car have Shocks or Struts?

Shocks are designed to reduce the amount of movement in the suspension system. They do this by using hydraulic fluid to dampen the motion of the springs. This helps to keep your car from bouncing too much when you hit a bump in the road. Shocks also help to keep your tires in contact with the ground, which is important for traction and braking. 

Does My Car have Shocks or Struts

Struts are similar to shocks in that they also help to control the movement of the suspension system. However, struts also provide structural support for the vehicle. In other words, they help to keep your car from toppling over! Struts are located at the top of each wheel well and are attached to the frame of the car. 

Shocks are responsible for absorbing the impact of bumps in the road so that you don’t feel them as much in the car. Shocks work by using hydraulic fluid to push a piston up and down in the shock absorber. This movement absorbs the energy from the bump before it can reach the rest of the car. Most cars have four shocks, one at each wheel.

Struts are similar to shocks in that they also absorb the impact of bumps in the road. However, struts also provide support for the vehicle’s suspension system. This means that struts play an important role in keeping your tires on the ground and providing a comfortable ride. Most cars have four struts, one at each wheel. 

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Replace all 4 Shocks?

Do most cars have struts or shocks?

Most cars have struts, but a growing number of cars are now coming with shocks instead.

The main difference between struts and shocks is that shocks are designed specifically to absorb and dampen the impacts of bumps and road irregularities, while struts are also responsible for maintaining the correct position and alignment of the car’s wheels. For this reason, shocks are usually found on smaller or more lightweight vehicles, while struts are generally found on larger or heavier vehicles.

Here’s a comparison of shocks and struts:


  1. Design:
    • Shocks, also known as shock absorbers or dampers, are cylindrical or tubular devices installed between the vehicle’s frame (or body) and the suspension components.
    • They consist of a piston inside a cylinder filled with hydraulic fluid or gas, which helps absorb and dampen the energy generated by bumps and vibrations.
  2. Functionality:
    • Shocks primarily focus on dampening or absorbing the up-and-down movement of the suspension. They help control the movement of the suspension by reducing the oscillations caused by road irregularities.
    • Shocks don’t provide structural support or affect the alignment of the wheels.
  3. Installation:
    • Shocks are typically installed alongside other suspension components, such as springs, control arms, and sway bars.
    • They do not support the vehicle’s weight; their main purpose is to control the motion of the suspension.
  4. Replacement:
    • Shocks are relatively easier to replace compared to struts since they are separate components and don’t require disassembling the suspension system.


  1. Design:
    • Struts are more complex components that combine the functions of shock absorbers and structural support. They are larger and more integral to the suspension system.
    • A strut includes a shock absorber element within a structural component that supports the vehicle’s weight.
  2. Functionality:
    • Struts not only dampen vibrations but also provide structural support for the vehicle’s suspension. They help maintain proper alignment and support the weight of the vehicle.
  3. Installation:
    • Struts are a complete assembly, including the shock absorber, coil spring, and often other components. They are mounted between the vehicle’s frame (or body) and the wheel hub.
    • Replacing struts requires more labor as it involves disassembling parts of the suspension system, removing the old strut assembly, and installing the new one.
  4. Replacement:
    • Due to their integrated design, struts are replaced as a complete unit rather than individual components. This can make their replacement more costly and labor-intensive compared to shocks.


Shocks and struts might seem like they perform similar functions, but there are actually some key differences between them. Shocks help to reduce movement in the suspension system and keep your tires in contact with the ground, while struts also provide structural support for your vehicle. So, next time you’re wondering whether your car has shocks or struts, remember that it might have both.

Now that you know the difference between shocks and struts, you can be sure to get your car the right type of service when it needs it. Keep in mind that both shocks and struts wear out over time and will need to be replaced eventually. Be sure to consult with a qualified mechanic to get an accurate diagnosis of which component is not working properly. With a little bit of knowledge, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come!

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