What is the difference between Shocks and Struts

When you drive over a speed bump or potholes, you probably count your lucky stars that your car didn't get "totaled". This is possible because of the shocks and struts in your vehicle are doing exactly what they're supposed to do. What's the difference between the two? Let's find out.

Are they the same?

Both parts help the car from not absorbing as much impact, but they are two different parts.

Struts are shock absorbers for your vehicle suspension system. They limit the vertical travel or motion when the vehicle run over something on the road.

Shocks is an independent component that helps the strut absorb the impact on whatever object that is on the road that you may strike.

Now that you know what both parts do, let's explore what kind of shock absorbers there are!

Three types of Shock Absorbers

Mono-tube Shock Absorbers

This shock absorber is the most common one that's used in a vehicle. This is because it makes sure that you have a smooth transition over any bump.


These are twin tube shock features that use two vertical tubes that's filled with hydraulic fluid. When it's compressed, the fluid gets transferred to another tube.

Coil Shock

Some vehicles use coil-over shocks that are placed in the vehicle's front. When going over an object or deformity on the road, it covers the impact of the coil spring.

What do the struts do?

If you don't know already, the most common struts are the MacPherson strut. It is extremely sturdy and combines both strut and spring in the same component. Struts are often smaller than shock absorbers, which is why they're often used in vehicles that have compressed suspension travel.

Eventually, over time, struts and shocks will wear out and will need replacing. We recommend they get replaced every 30,000-50,000 (depending on the owner's manual) miles. You will know when they wear out when you're going over a bump and you're feeling more impact.

If you need shocks or struts replacement, give Lawrenceville Auto Center a call today!