What Is a Rear Strut?


Quick Answer

Rear struts are complete suspension systems encased by coil springs in the vehicle's rear. The rear strut dampens the coil spring mechanism that occurs when the spring absorbs the shock from encountering rough terrain. The suspension system prevents vehicles from bouncing excessively and leaving the ground.

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Full Answer

The main parts of a vehicle's suspension system are the shocks and struts. Most vehicles use shocks for the front suspension system and struts in the rear. As opposed to struts, shocks are only a part of a suspension system and come in a cylindrical, unenclosed design. Both shocks and struts function to assist springs in absorbing shock from the vehicle.

Rear struts are an important factor in passenger safety. Struts must be replaced as soon as any signs of failure are present. Rear struts are available for purchase in many automotive stores, dealerships or online vendors. Since struts have a more complicated design than shocks, replacing rear struts may require assistance from a mechanic.

The signs that rear struts may be failing include bottoming out, bumpy riding and unpredictable handling. When a vehicle bottoms out, the rear of the vehicle hits the surface of the road when encountering rough or bumpy terrain. Bottoming out usually means the vehicle's rear suspension system needs replacement or maintenance. As the struts wear out over time, bumpy riding and unpredictable handling may occur as the spring function deteriorates. The suspension system eventually requires replacement as parts wear out over time.

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