Strut is a component of a vehicle’s suspension system that connects the wheels to the whole vehicle. They are a structural part of vehicles suspension system mounted to the chassis on the top. Struts provide a place to mount springs which maintain the height of a vehicle.
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The main function of a strut just like shock absorber is to damp. In fact, the internal structure of a strut is similar to that of a shock absorber. A piston controls movement of suspensions and springs. Struts stops the wheels from bouncing up and down. Due to the weight bearing feature struts tend to be stronger than shock absorbers.
A strut is velocity sensitive just like the shock absorbers. This means that the resistance changes depending on how fast the suspension is moving. Struts affect vehicle control, steering, braking, wheel alignment as well, handling, and comfort of the ride.Additionally, struts affect how other components of the suspension system wear out.
While a strut is an essential component of the suspension system, it is not found in all cars. Some car model uses shock absorber and springs. Similarly, some cars have struts on one pair of wheels. Most of the vehicles with struts in the front wheels use Macpherson struts. These struts are considered to be part of the vehicles steering systems.
There are several factors why some cars have struts and others don’t. But it all boils down to simplicity, cost, performance and handling. While struts offer simplicity and cheaper initial cost some suspension systems without struts, tend to do a better job as far as handling and performance is concerned.
How it works
Struts play a vital role in stabilizing the movement of your vehicle and enhancing control when you brake, turn and drive in uneven surfaces. Modern vehicles use struts or shocks while others use a combination of the two.
The difference between the two is that while shock absorbers are independent components struts blends the features of shock and other components into a single unit.
The rule of the thumb in maintains struts are having inspected regularly for damage and leaks. Replacing struts can be more expensive than shock absorbers.
Symptoms of spoiled struts
- Vehicle swaying to one side
- Instability on the road
- Excessive bouncing-The wheels bounce for a time when you hit a bump
- Uneven tires wear
- Leaking fuel outside the shocks and struts
Read more about your car’s suspension systems: