Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Is a Strut?

asked by on

What is a 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What Is a Strut?

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: Why does the suspension move around when I stop my vehicle?

Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. Check the tie rod end and make sure that it is secured tight. Check the surrounding suspension around the tie rod end and see if anything is loose. Check the brakes and see...

Q: i was told i need new rear struta because on a bad seal. The guy showed me a liquid substance on the rod in the middle of strut

Struts, and shock absorbers, are hydraulically operated devices and so, yes, absolutely they are fluid filled. Struts do have a finite lifetime because the internal parts do wear and the oil can eventually leak out past the piston seal. If...

Q: how to change 4 shock absorbers ?

This vehicle has front and rear struts on most models and can only be done using specialized equipment to compress the spring to get the strut apart. The vehicle would then need to be aligned. If you need some help...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...