The primary function of shock absorbers is to control the oscillation of the vehicle’s springs when the vehicle travels over bumps in the road. This makes for a more comfortable ride for the vehicle’s passengers, improves braking and handling, and limits wear and tear on the vehicle’s suspension and tires. Shock absorbers are bolted between the vehicle’s suspension and its frame, and sometimes incorporate the springs, sometimes not. Here is a typical example:
Shock absorbers control the oscillation of the spring by forcing hydraulic fluid inside the shock tube through a series of valves. Over time these valves wear out, resulting in poor handling and ride comfort.
Strut are a major structural component of most vehicles. They combine the dampening effect of a shock absorber, with the function of the upper ball joint to hold the tire and wheel assembly in place. As a major structural component, Struts affect more than just ride comfort. They also affect vehicle handling, braking, steering and wheel alignment.
One can usually tell if a shock or strut has worn out as the vehicle will manifest several distinct driving characteristics. These are some of the common symptoms of worn shocks and struts:
Suburban Tire recommends inspection of original equipment shocks and struts after 50,000 miles. If we notice any of the above issues we will recommend replacement of the shocks and struts. Otherwise, after 75,000 miles Suburban Tire recommends replacement of all original equipment shock and struts.