What Are Shocks & StrutsShocks and struts commonly used together but are completely different parts. Their main job is essentially the same, damping the movement of the spring and stopping ocillation and bounce. But again, they are two different parts. Vehicles will either have a shock or a strut, never both, at each wheel. What each vehicle has is dependent on what the vehicle was designed to have. To add to common confusion, some vehicles will have struts on one part of the vehicle and shocks on another part of the vehicle. This can be done if the vehicle is designed for it.
What is a strut?
Struts are a major structural part of the suspension and are commonly found in front wheel drive vehicles , some rear wheel drive vehicles and in many independent suspensions. They take the place of the upper ball joint and upper control arm. Struts also support the spring, hold tires in an aligned position and hold much of the side load. Because of this, struts can have an affect on braking, steering, wheel alignment, handling and riding comfort.
What is a shock?
Despite what you may have heard, shocks don't support a vehicle's weight. They are intended to control spring and suspension movement. They reduce the rate of bouce, acceleration squat, roll or sway and brake dive.