What Are Struts And Why Are They Important?

On some cars, you'll find a strut behind each wheel on one axle or both axles. Struts are integral to the operation of your car. They play a key role in:

  • Supporting the weight of the vehicle
  • Absorbing the impacts from the road
  • Maintaining your vehicle's ride quality

What Are Struts?

Toyota oem struts

Most modern suspension systems have either:

  • Struts at all four wheels
  • Struts at the front wheels and standard shocks at the rear wheels

A strut assembly has two primary components:

  1. The coil spring: this part supports the weight of the vehicle
  2. The shock absorber: this part dampens vibration and absorbs impacts from bumps and potholes on the road

The bottom of the strut can move up and down while the top remains stationary. This allows for changes in ride height as well as springing action.

A strut serves as a connector between the wheel and the car body. On a front wheel drive vehicle, the struts are usually at the front of the vehicle. The top part of the strut is mounted at the top of the chassis. The bottom part of the strut is mounted to the steering knuckle.

Why Are Struts Important?

Struts provide a good balance of comfort and stability. They absorb bumps and impacts from the road. Struts also play an important role in controlling weight transfer from:

  • Braking
  • Accelerating
  • Turning

How Are Struts Different From Shocks?

oem toyota shocks struts

Struts are important because they hold up the weight of your entire vehicle when you drive around. And, like shocks, struts absorb the impact of the road. Shocks don't support your vehicle's weight, though.

Struts are a more "beefed up" version of shocks. Struts serve two purposes, while shocks serve only one purpose. This is part of the reason why struts are often referred to as "double duty" suspension components.

A strut assembly includes a coil spring and the shock which supports the weight of the vehicle. Shocks don't come with a coil spring.

Some Toyota models come with 4 struts. Others come with 2 struts and 2 shocks. And the rest of Toyota models have 4 shocks.

Often times, struts are on the front end of the vehicle. Engineers do this because a strut assembly is more compact than a separate shock and spring. When the front wheels have to turn, a compact strut assembly is easier to keep out of the way of the tire. In some vehicles, you can see the struts by looking under the vehicle. 

Is It Easy To Replace Struts On A Toyota?

replace toyota struts

Image Credit: JeffsAuto

Replacing struts is a little more complicated and time-consuming than replacing shocks, but it's still doable. You would need the right tools and intermediate knowledge of your car's suspension system. A good tutorial always helps, too. We put together a couple of tutorials:

If you need to find replacement struts for your Toyota, we can help with that! We carry genuine OEM Toyota shocks and struts at discounted prices. Please contact us if you need help finding the right part number for your Toyota model.