As your vehicle rolls down the road, the springs absorb the bumps and road irregularities. Shocks and struts dampen spring movement so the wheels and tires don’t move up and down too rapidly, and prevent the springs from continuing to oscillate after bumps. Without shocks and struts your tires would bounce, so you would not only have a harsh ride, but little vehicle control, since tires in the air can’t help your vehicle accelerate, brake or turn.

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Both shocks and struts control spring movement to keep your tires on the ground and you in control, but where that is a shock’s sole function, a strut is part of an assembly that includes the coil spring and upper strut mount, forming a structural suspension member. Struts make economical use of space by taking the place of separate shocks, springs and control arms. They support the weight of the vehicle, and front struts provide the pivot point for steering.

Shocks and struts have piston rods attached to pistons that move up and down inside hydraulic fluid filled cylinders. The pistons ride against the walls of the cylinder so the hydraulic fluid has to flow through small fluid passages and valves to allow piston movement. As you would expect, the fluid can’t move very quickly through these small orifices, so piston and rod movement is slowed. This in turn slows and dampens the movement of the springs and suspension. Most modern shocks include nitrogen gas, which prevents fluid aeration and shock fade.

Fluid leaking and worn bushings are obvious reasons for replacement, but most shocks and struts will gradually deteriorate internally without exhibiting any external signs. When you consider that a shock metering valve can flex several thousand times in just a few miles, it’s easy to see how such parts can be completely fatigued at 50,000 miles. Judging shock or strut integrity by vehicle performance is a more accurate barometer. If your vehicle rides harshly, the nose dives when braking, the body rolls excessively in corners, the suspension bottoms out, or your tires are cupping, you need new shocks or struts.

We offer shocks and struts engineered to deliver original equipment quality ride and handling, so your car or truck will have the level of suspension performance it had when it was new. But if you’re looking for more performance, we can also offer you upgraded shocks and struts for a firmer ride and more responsive handling. If you’re replacing struts you should definitely consider our complete strut assemblies. These come with a new coil spring and upper strut mount already installed. You save time, there’s no need for a special spring compressor, and all of the usual wear parts are replaced for a thorough repair.

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Guides & Articles

  • Performance Suspension Parts
    How Do Shock Absorbers Work?
    Shock absorbers (also known as "shocks") are the suspension components which slow, then stop, the up-and-down bouncing movement of your vehicle's springs through a process known as dampening. Without shocks to calm things down, springs will continue to extend and release energy they absorb from bumps in the road at an uncontrolled rate - bouncing for a long time until their kinetic energy finally dissipates. Needless to say, this would produce an extremely bouncy ride that would be hard to control over uneven road surfaces.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    Stock vs Performance Suspension
    Very often we don't even realize what a crucial role a car's suspension plays in providing a safe and comfortable ride. The system maximizes the friction between the road surface and your vehicle's tires, ensuring steering stability along with responsive handling.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    Shocks Versus Struts: The Big Answers Revealed!
    Shock absorbers, also known simply as “shocks” (which is what we will call them for the rest of this article), are the suspension components which stop your car or truck from bouncing up and down after hitting a bump. They are a major contributor to your ride comfort and safety.
  • Replacement Suspension Parts
    How to Inspect Your Suspension System
    The very first thing to know about timely suspension system diagnosis is that the stability and steering control of your vehicle and, what is more important, your safety on the road depends on how often you make it. Automotive suspension belongs to one of those car systems that are constantly exposed to high loads and thus are prone to wear and tear. Most specialists recommend inspecting suspension system after every 6,500-7,500 miles or when there are any signs of its breakage.

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Beautiful.
CPosted by Cynthia (Kingsley, MI) /
1999 Subaru Legacy
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