Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Is a Strut?

asked by on

What is a strut?

A: A strut, also known as a MacPherson strut, ...

A strut, also known as a MacPherson strut, named after Earle MacPherson, the engineer who developed this type of suspension, looks like a big tube-style shock absorber and uses the upper part of the strut as a steering pivot, instead of an upper control arm. The bottom of the strut meets the outer end of the lower control arm, and it’s at this point that the part that supports the wheel, known as the steering knuckle or wheel carrier is mounted. Typically, the coil suspension spring is combined concentrically with the tube of the strut, or a strut can also be used with torsion bars as the suspension medium. Eliminating the upper control arm is more space efficient and allows for fewer parts in suspension systems, lowering manufacturing costs. Strut type suspension systems are in wide use by many manufacturers. If you notice the symptoms of a bad or failing strut, book a strut assembly replacement with an ASE-certified mechanic from YourMechanic.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Bouncy suspension with aftermarket kit.

Excessive bouncing in the suspension is typically caused by a lack of dampening for the amount of spring used. Dampening the ride is the function of shock absorbers and struts. They may be worn out, blown out (look for signs...

Q: Mechanic Says its Motor Mount, but...

Hello. The struts have no connection whatsoever with the engine or transmission mounts. At 70,000 miles, it is not likely motor mounts will have failed UNLESS tremendous loads have been consistently put on the engine through, for example, abrupt acceleration....

Q: Driver side rear shock is leaking oil the set only has about 2500 miles on them? they are coil over shocks.

Hello. A shock is not always bad, but if you see some residue oil leaking from the shock then it may not be functioning fully. If you see a really wet and dripping shock, then it should be replaced. The...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.