Every wheel on your vehicle has either a shock or a strut – never both, never neither.
When people speak casually about vehicle suspension, they often throw around the terms, “shocks” and “struts” as if they are the same thing, or interchangeable. They’re not.
However, you may have struts on your front wheels and shocks on your rear wheels.
The reason these components are sometimes thought to be the same thing is because they perform essentially the same task. Both shocks and struts work to dampen the movement of your wheels to inhibit any swinging or bouncing. Although these components perform the same task, you can never replace one for the other.
Some signs of failing shocks or struts include taking potholes and speed bumps especially hard, a front-end nose-dive when braking, and any signs of leaking hydraulic shock fluid.
As always, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual for the most accurate information about your make and model of car, truck, or SUV. Generally, it’s recommended you replace your shocks every 12,000 miles, and replace your struts every 50,000 miles.