Struts are used on a vehicle's suspension, they allow for better control, and smooth operation of the vehicle. The strut's job, is to act as a shock dampener, like how the shock absorbers work on the suspension of the vehicle. The strut operates by using a piston, and piston rod, which work against the hydraulic fluid, in order to control the spring and suspension's movement. Like a standard shock absorber, the valves generate resistance by the pumping force, created by the up and down motion of the suspension, which is what creates balance. Struts and shocks share a resemblance, however, struts are velocity sensitive, meaning, the amount of resistance can increase or decrease, depending on how fast the suspension is moving.
Unlike shocks, struts provide structural support to the vehicles suspension, due to the coil spring which surrounds the shock absorber. Because of this, the condition of a strut can affect the vehicle's handling, braking, steering, wheel alignment, and wear on components in the suspension. Worn or broken struts can cause body roll of the vehicle, which may cause lost traction, or the vehicle to roll over. Like other parts of the suspension, struts can wear out and need replacing. It is imperative that the vehicle's steering system be realigned when new struts are installed.
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