Many people think that struts on a car are just another name for shock absorbents. However, a strut is actually an assembly that is comprised of several parts. Moreover, they are used on virtually every front wheel drive vehicle.
Whereas a shock has one job to do, keep your vehicle from bouncing all over, a strut is much more. Struts on a car make an essential component of your suspension system.
How Do Struts on a Car Work?
Struts on a car integrate many components including:
- The coil spring;
- Spring seats;
- Shock absorbents;
- Strut bearing;
- Steering knuckle into a singular part.
Thus, it is responsible for more than one job. It includes the shock absorber. So, it maintains the function of keeping your car steady and without excessive bouncing as you drive. However, it also supports the weight and maintains the height of your car via the spring. While you drive, this spring is able to contract and rebound to adapt to bumps in the road. The included shock will help dampen the movement of the spring. The housing itself becomes a very important feature of your suspension system. It also replaces the upper control arm and will attach right to the knuckle.
You may want to upgrade the struts on a car if you are looking at the below:
- Lifting or lowering your vehicle;
- Doing some heavy hauling;
- Adding some heavy mods.
General Specifications of a Strut
- Attach to the steering knuckle directly;
- Maintains vehicle height;
- Supports vehicle weight;
- You need a spring compressor to replace them;
- Stops excessive bounce while driving;
- Lower initial cost;
- Should be checked on a regular basis by bouncing your car over each wheel and inspecting for oil leaks;
- Should always be replaced in pairs.
PROs and CONs of Tuning Struts on a Car
- Helps support aftermarket suspension modifications;
- Can maintain height on a heavier vehicle or lifted vehicle;
- Gives you a smoother ride;
- Gives you better handling which translates to increased safety;
- Assists in more support for braking, turning, and accelerating;
- Less wear on other suspension components.
- Aftermarket struts are more expensive;
- Labor on professional replacement is extensive and expensive;
- Worn struts can cause other components to wear and fail prematurely;
- Brake pads are susceptible to worn struts. This is because they have to handle an increase in weight transfer to stop properly;
- Aftermarket struts work harder for performance applications and may need changing more often;
- Some performance struts serve their purpose terrific. However, you lose some comfort in the ride due to their stiff nature.
Examples of Aftermarket Struts on a Car
1. Bilstein B6 Performance Strut
If you are a car guru and you have never heard of Bilstein, you have been living under a rock. They are constantly praised for their performance upgrades. They have been serving the automotive market since 1927 and have become a go to name in automotive needs. Customers have come to know not only the tradition of Bilstein, but the reliability and endurance of their parts.
The company has stood the test of time and their products have as well. This particular part is for street performance applications and customers love the performance it gives their vehicles. Bilstein continues to innovate and research to stay a top name in high tech suspension design, comfort, safety, and capability.
2. KYB The KYB Strut-Plus Assembly
Though The KYB Strut-Plus is an OEM strut option, it is a complete assembly which makes replacement installs that much easier. They are known for their vehicle specific parts that are made for your vehicle instead of a one size fits all universal fit that does not address your specific vehicle’s needs. Customers mention that after replacing their struts with one of KYB’s options, they can really feel the difference in the comfort of their ride as well as the vehicle’s handling.
The struts are affordable but not cheaply made. They have a variety of products that are suitable for many different engine sizes, ride heights, weights. They also match applications that need specific left and right positions. KYB has found their niche as the worlds largest supplier of struts for manufacturers and aftermarket use.
3. Gabriel Ultra ReadyMount Spring & Strut Assembly – G57088
Gabriel offers this assembly for easy installation. Customers really notice the increase in vehicle control and stability. The improved ride comfort has not gone unnoticed either. Gabriel is known to put their products through a rigorous testing phase to ensure the best quality products are offered to their clientele. Strut assemblies are a safer option as well since you do not have to remove that dangerous spring with a spring compressor. Gabriel also chrome finished their struts to stand up against corrosion, keep it properly sealed and lubricated, and so the part wears evenly.
People have come to know the name Gabriel for their terrific products that are sold at a very reasonable and affordable price. With shock absorbents going clear back to 1907, you know Gabriel has the experience and knowledge to back its struts.
Many people feel that shocks and struts on a car serve the same purpose. Struts are actually an assembly of parts which includes the shock. Thus, the strut becomes a very integral part of your overall suspension system. It serves many purposes including easy driving, comfort, ride height, and absorbs shock. A properly working strut also helps maintain other suspension components and keeps them from premature wear and tear. It is important to regularly inspect your struts to keep your vehicle at its optimal performance and keep you safe.
Which do you prefer, shocks or struts? Have you had any nightmares replacing those nasty compressed springs? What advice can you offer someone who is looking to replace their struts? Please use the space below to leave any helpful advice or useful tips for others who may be shopping around to replace struts on a car.