Chrysler Sebring Shocks and Struts
Maintaining a smooth and stable drive involves a number of different systems working together. A combination of shocks and struts and the suspension system of your car reduce unwanted bouncing when your vehicle hits a bump or a pothole. Understanding the differences between shocks and struts can help you to select the right items to repair or upgrade your Chrysler Sebring vehicle.What is the difference between shocks and struts?
Shocks and struts are two Chrysler vehicle parts that are commonly confused with each other, mainly because they perform many of the same functions, and both always come in a set of two and must be replaced in pairs. However, there are significant differences between the two parts.
- Shocks - There are two main functions of shock absorbers. First, they absorb the shock to the vehicle's suspension system caused by running over bumps or potholes in the road. This helps to provide a comfortable ride, reducing and usually eliminating most of the bouncing motion. Second, shocks also work to make sure that your tires remain in constant contact with the road surface, which is important for maintaining traction and improving fuel economy.
- Struts - While very similar to shocks in most aspects, there are some features of struts that are unique. Unlike shocks, they are a significant structural part of the vehicle's suspension system. Along with absorbing impact, they are directly connected to the suspension and serve as a mounting point for the springs that make up the suspension. Struts are also an integral part of the steering system and function as pivot points. Because of this, the alignment of the vehicle must be redone when replacing struts, or it may become unbalanced.
- A vehicle can have both shocks and struts. Whether a shock or strut is used, they must match between the left and right sides, such as having shocks on both back tires and struts on the two in front.
Shocks work on the principle of heat exchange. The kinetic, or moving, energy of the car's suspension is converted to heat energy inside of the shock. It is then dissipated into the air. As the car's suspension moves up or down, this motion pulls or pushes on a piston immersed in thick, viscous fluid inside of the shock absorber. This fluid, typically oil, resists the movement of the piston through it. The resistant property of the fluid works to convert the kinetic energy to heat as the piston moves back and forth. The heat is dissipated through the sides of the shock into the surrounding air, cooling the shock and the fluid inside it.