Shocks vs. Struts: What Are the Differences?

When it comes to the suspension system of a vehicle, two components often come up in conversation: shocks and struts. Although they both serve similar purposes, they have different designs and functions. They shouldn't be used interchangeably, so let's dive deeper into the differences between shocks and struts.

Shocks and struts are both responsible for providing a smooth and stable ride by controlling the movement of the springs in the suspension system. However, shocks and struts are different.


Shocks are hydraulic devices that dampen the springs' movement in the suspension system. They consist of a cylinder filled with oil and a piston that moves up and down inside the cylinder. When the wheel hits a bump or dips in the road, the shock compresses and releases the oil, slowing down the spring's movement.


Struts, on the other hand, are a structural part of the suspension system that combines the shock absorber and other components. They are a more complex design and help to support the weight of the vehicle, while also providing damping and vibration control. Struts are commonly found on the front of the car, whereas shocks are usually found on the rear.

Can a car have both shocks and struts? Yes, some vehicles have both shocks and struts. For example, a car may have struts on the front and shocks on the rear. The type of suspension system a vehicle has is determined by the manufacturer and can depend on factors such as the size and weight of the car.

You should have a professional auto tech regularly inspect your suspension components, as worn shocks and struts can lead to a bumpy and uncomfortable ride, decreased stability and control on the road, and diminished braking ability.

If your vehicle is due for shocks and/or struts replacement, please call or visit Hyland Auto Repair.

Hyland Auto Repair is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Hyland Auto Repair (480) 345-2566 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.