How to distinguish the terms of shocks and struts

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Strut for VW Volkswagen Golf MK4
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Strut for VW Volkswagen Golf MK4

People usually can not distinguish the terms of shocks and struts . They usually have the same function of dampening the movement of the spring and stopping oscillation and bounce. Even though they look like playing the same role, shocks and struts are completely different parts. A shock cannot be used to replace a strut and a strut cannot be used to replace a shock. A vehicle will have either a shock or a strut at each wheel but not both. Every vehicle was designed with either shocks or struts and your vehicle's suspension cannot be changed to use the other.

The major difference between shocks and struts:
A strut is a structural part of the vehicles suspension system but a shock is not. A strut is also crucial part of the vehicles steering system and greatly affects alignment angles. Camber and caster angles are usually adjusted right on the strut itself. A strut is also a pivot point for the vehicles steering system and contains a coil spring. Because of this an alignment is always needed when replacing a strut. This is also the reason that struts are typically more expensive than shocks.

People often message saying they have been told they need shocks and struts. This is usually a friendly neighbor with a less than perfect knowledge of suspensions trying to be helpful. Because the terms are used interchangeably, customers often get confused as to which they need. To add to the confusion, some vehicles have struts on the front axle and shocks on the rear. If you search MaXpeedingRods on eBay for your vehicle on , you will only see the correct units for your vehicle - struts if you need struts and shocks  for  VW Volkswagen Golf MK4  if you need shocks.
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