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What’s a Strut and What Does It Do?

We’ve all seen it — after scoring a touchdown or shooting a three-pointer, the player confidently struts in the end-zone or down the court. And the resulting shock on the opposing team’s face is simply priceless. Welp, there you have it…struts and shocks in a nutshell. Oh wait…you probably mean the suspension components on the vehicle? That would make perfect sense considering we are Zima Automotive, the leading facility for auto repair in Springfield, OH. Let’s take a closer look at the automotive strut, and because they are so closely related, we will also briefly discuss shocks.

What is a Strut?

The strut is a major structural component of your vehicle’s suspension system. It’s a typical damper used on many front-wheel drive, independent suspension vehicles. The strut is also used on cars that are rear-wheel drive. Replacing the upper ball joint and upper control arm, the strut takes up less space and is lighter than shock absorbers used in conventional suspension systems.

What Does a Strut Do?

Although we can make endless jokes about this question, we will stick to the script. Your struts have two main jobs — to dampen and support.

The Strut Dampens

First, the strut works to dampen impacts, similar to a shock absorber. The strut is like a shock absorber on the inside (where it counts). Here’s how: it has a piston attached to the end of a piston rod that works against hydraulic fluid. The strut works to manage suspension movement and control bounce. Similar to shock absorbers, it resists the force generated by the up and down movement of your suspension system. And like shock absorbers, your struts are sensitive to velocity. This means the strut is valved, so the resistance level can decrease or increase based on the suspension’s speed.

The Strut Supports

While the first job of the strut resembles that of a shock absorber, the strut takes it a bit farther and provides support. Here’s how:
  • Struts support your spring
  • Struts support your vehicle suspension system
  • Struts hold your tires in the properly aligned position
At the same time, struts are responsible for bearing most of the side load placed on your suspension system.

Why Are My Struts Important?

Your struts are critical because they impact your vehicle’s overall handling and comfort. At the same time, struts affect your ability to stop and brake, vehicle control, wheel alignment, and wear on other parts of your vehicle.

What’s the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?

If you have heard the term strut, you’ve most likely heard shocks being closely associated. Many people use the terms interchangeably. However, your shocks and struts are two different parts with unique functions. Although both shocks and struts help your vehicle’s handling and ride, they work differently. The shocks on your vehicle are individual parts of the more extensive suspension system, while your struts are significant structural components of your suspension and chassis system. More specifically, shocks do not support your vehicle’s weight. Instead, the main job of the shocks or shock absorber is to manage suspension movement and bounce.

How Do I Know I Need Strut Repair in Springfield, OH?

Like most parts of your vehicle, your vehicle may demonstrate specific signs that it needs strut repair in Springfield, OH.
  1. Instability at higher highway speeds.
  2. Your vehicle leans to one side turns.
  3. Your front end dives immensely during hard braking.
  4. Your rear end squats during acceleration.
  5. Your tires bounce excessively.
  6. Your vehicle experiences unusual tire wear.
  7. You notice leaking fluid on the exterior of your struts or shocks.

Need Auto Repair in Springfield, OH? Contact Zima Automotive

Whether you need strut repair in Springfield, OH, or auto repair in Springfield, OH, Zima Automotive is your one-stop solution. Our highly-skilled mechanic can perform virtually any type of repair on almost any kind of vehicle. We even specialize in European vehicles! So if you’re looking for affordable auto repair in Springfield, OH, Zima Automotive will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

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