Difference between Shocks and Struts

when things get shaky we turn to our

expert Pat Goss so let's head on down to

Gauss's garage and smooth things out

hi that bounces as you go down the road

can be very tiring and very annoying and

keeping it from bouncing is the job of

the shock absorbers or the struts

whichever your car happens to have now

the way you test them is a couple times

a year you go around each corner of the

car and bounce it up and down like I did

this one and what's going to happen is

it's going to go like this you let go of

it in the down position and if the shock

or strut on that corner of the car is

good it'll come back to the center and

it will stop it won't continue to bounce

that continues to bounce probably you

need new shocks or struts but what's the

difference between a shock absorber and

a strut well here we have an example of

a strut now what this does is it has a

shock absorber in the middle and then

around it it has a spring to support the

weight of the vehicle a shock absorber

on the other hand such as we have here

these shocks do not have the springs on

them they have nothing to do with the

height of the vehicle or anything like

that the only thing they do is to keep

the car from bouncing the spring is

mounted some place away from the shock

now a shock or a strut whichever it is

all they do is convert the vertical

movement of the car into heat energy

they dampen it so that you don't go down

the road just kind of a motorboat effect

floating along now if you have bad

shocks or struts and they can wear out

in as little as 50,000 miles or it may

be a hundred and fifty thousand but you

should check them two or three times a

year and when they're bad replaced them

in pairs two fronts or two rears now

here's the thing this shock right here

is worn out if we push this down we see

that it comes back virtually immediately

now over here we have a brand new one

this gives you an idea as to what these

things do as you see this comes back

very slowly it's very controlled and

that's how it controls the ride of your

vehicle so check them on a regular basis

replace in pairs when necessary and

remember that if you don't replace them

you could have a dangerous car that's

number one but number two you could have

severe tire wear problems as the result

of a bad shock or strut and if you have

a question or comment drop me a line

right here at motorWeek