While the function of shocks and struts is very similar, the biggest difference is in how they mount to your vehicle. Shocks function in addition to other suspension components, while struts are designed as a pivot point for the steering mechanism. Struts behave as a dampening device that absorbs excessive bounce. The strut assembly combines coil springs, spring seats, strut bearings, and shock absorbers into one working unit. The steering arm or steering knuckle is also included in some strut designs. Struts use a piston to absorb high lateral loads. The spring seat and strut bearing allow the shock to pivot with the front wheels and the steering mechanism. Struts and accompanying suspension components help push tires back into place when one leaves the road. Overall, struts work in conjunction with the rest of the suspension system to help stabilize the vehicle while maintaining a comfortable and safe ride. Worn struts increase braking distance and increase body roll, sway, and bounce rate. The bounce test, wherein you bounce on each corner of your vehicle a few times, is a good way to determine whether or not you need to schedule a strut replacement. If your vehicle bounces and settles, your struts are operating as they should. If your vehicle continues to bounce, you should seek to replace the struts on your suspension system as soon as possible. Other signs that your struts need to be replaced include excessive brake dive, acceleration squat, body roll or sway, and unusual tire wear patterns. Unusual noise from struts may also indicate that the spring seat or strut bearing requires a replacement. If you experience any of the above signs of worn struts, contact us immediately. Having your struts replaced will improve braking, handling, and the overall controllability of your vehicle.