If you’re not sure how to tell if your car has shocks or struts, you’re not alone. It can be confusing because the two terms are often used interchangeably. In this blog post, we’ll explain the difference between shocks and struts and show you how to tell which one your car has.
What are Car Shocks?
Car shocks play a major role in how your car handles and drives. They can significantly improve safety and performance of the driving experience. Shock absorbers also keep you more comfortable on smooth roads, protect tires from excess wear, help vehicle by reducing bounce during turning or braking, and better handling of all types of surfaces – even wet ones.
What are Car Struts?
Car Struts are the suspension device found in your car that helps to keep it stable while you drive, or when maintaining speed over bumpy roads. The springs work like shock absorbers, which absorb some of the movement of your car and changes it into heat energy. Typically the more expensive cars have better quality suspension; this is why people who buy cheaper cars often complain about their ride quality.
How Do I Know If My Car Has Shocks Or Struts?
In your car’s manual or on the placard near the cowl, you’ll find the model number of your car as well as a line that begins “Ratio Paticle.” If this ratio is something less than 1.0 it means you have struts. If it is 1.0, then you have shocks.
You can also tell by tapping on your suspension with one hand while holding the top of the tire down with the other hand; if there is noticeable compression in one or both directions (depending on whether or not there are any springs up front), then you probably have shocks; if no compression occurs, then you probably have struts.
Is a Strut and a Shock the Same Thing?
No, a strut is a metal or synthetic piece that’s mounted on a vehicle to provide lateral and vertical suspension. A shock absorber often sits atop the strut to cushion its motion. Parts of this system are called struts, spring assemblies, links and shocks. Mounted at each wheel outboard of the axle is an upright tie rod with an enlarged head on one end that’s fastened to a stationary link inside the control arm just behind it.
Turning this tie-rod rotates the inner lower control arm back and forth about its axis, thus changing fore-and off set from zero to maximum as required for steering purposes from situation to situation). The top of the strut mounts directly onto one end of each “outer”.
Are Struts in the Front or Rear?
Struts are in the front. Struts help to control the movement of vehicle’s wheels. They support suspension systems, which comprise springs and shock absorbers that act to calm bumps in the road. With struts supporting your car, you’re less likely to experience round abouts like broken suspensions or broken wheels.
It’s generally recommended to replace all four shocks or struts at the same time, especially if you’re experiencing issues with your vehicle’s ride quality, handling, or suspension.
6 reasons why replacing all four shocks at once is a good idea:
- Balanced Performance: Replacing all four shocks or struts ensures consistent performance across all wheels. This helps maintain balanced handling, stability, and braking, which can be compromised if only two shocks are replaced.
- Uniform Wear: Shocks and struts tend to wear out at a similar rate, especially on the same axle. If you replace only the worn shocks, the new shocks may work differently from the old ones, leading to uneven handling and potentially affecting vehicle stability.
- Enhanced Safety: Properly functioning shocks play a crucial role in maintaining contact between the tires and the road. Replacing all four shocks ensures that all wheels are effectively absorbing bumps and maintaining proper traction.
- Saves Time and Labor Costs: If you replace all four shocks at once, you save on labor costs because the technician doesn’t have to disassemble the suspension system twice. Additionally, you won’t have to make multiple trips to the repair shop.
- Symmetrical Wear: Replacing shocks or struts in pairs can help maintain symmetry in the suspension system, preventing potential issues that might arise if one side of the vehicle has newer shocks than the other.
- Comprehensive Inspection: When all four shocks are replaced, it’s an opportunity for the mechanic to inspect the entire suspension system and identify any other potential issues that might need attention.
The answer to this question is simple. If your car has shocks, the shock absorber will be located on top of a coil spring and held in place by a nut or bolt. On struts, there should be no springs visible under them and they are typically bolted directly to the axle with two bolts at each end. We hope this article help you out to understand the basics.
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