What is a Strut?

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A strut is a structural part of the mechanical system that acts as a damper and also supports between the wheels and therefore the vehicle body. It’s a hydraulic piston that enables up and down movement. Struts also control alignment and connect multiple suspension parts. The strut integrates the vehicle’s spring into the assembly. A car might be driven without shocks (with an uncomfortable ride), but not without struts. It’d simply collapse onto the wheels.

Since it does absorb vehicle motion, a strut is technically also a shock (but not the opposite way around). You’ll be able to consider a strut as a shock that has dampening but also has the extra task of supporting the vehicle’s body. They’re still two distinct components though.

A strut consists of a volute spring, which sits on the strut seat. The spring is typically covered with a volute spring boot. Struts take the place of upper control arms and support the load of the vehicle. Due to this, a strut setup only includes a lower control arm.

Even without the spring, struts are constructed more robustly than regular shock absorbers to support the load of the vehicle. Because they mount to the body and support it, struts are used with unibody vehicles.


Strut System:

The MacPherson strut system is far and away from the foremost common strut setup in modern vehicles. It’s especially prevalent ahead of FWD cars. The utilization of fewer parts, while still maintaining low unsprung mass and good ride comfort, make it optimal for many passenger vehicles.

Other varieties of independent suspension use shocks, not struts. Examples are the double-wishbone (including SLA), moreover because of the less common spring and multi-link suspensions. The double-wishbone setup continues to be common today, but usually within the rear of vehicles. It is found on the front wheels of larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs.


Pros and Cons of Struts:

Struts have gotten popular due to their efficient packaging, specifically for the front wheels. However, they’re expensive to exchange.

Pros of Struts Cons of Struts
Lighter More expensive to replace
Take up less space More complicated to replace
Cheaper to manufacture

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