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Basic Shock & Spring vs. Coilover Comparison

Basic Shock & Spring vs. Coilover Comparison

What is the Difference?

In the automotive industry, cars have suspension systems that differ depending on car type, manufacturer, and/or modifications. The most common discussion is between coilovers versus the typical shock and spring layout. While shock and spring is pretty straight forward, some may be confused about how coilovers work. But, let’s review shock and spring setup first, due to simplicity. For a shock and spring system, the spring sits atop the shock. This is the typical suspension seen in cars such as the Audi S5. Most cars come with this system, but many mod enthusiasts decide to replace it with coils.

When people replace springs on a car, it simply lowers the car via spring height. But, it also places more stress on the shocks. It is best to replace both the shock and spring, unless budget is an issue. Struts can be replaced as well, allowing for even more improvement. But, coilovers still offer a ton more adjustability overall. Let’s dive a bit deeper into coilovers below!

A Bit More Info on Coilovers

Coilovers - Front & Rear - Cameron Chapman of Wikimedia - EuroDrift

Coilovers – Front & Rear – Cameron Chapman of Wikimedia – EuroDrift

Coilovers on the other hand, are a bit different. As an auto suspension device, similar to the MacPherson strut, a coilover has a spring encircling a damper. This is different as it does not simply sit atop, such as the spring and shock system. Furthermore, this setup allows for greater range of adjustability. These include altering ride height, spring preload, shock damping, and rebound. Also, for anyone who doesn’t know, coilover is short for “coilover shock absorber”. Lastly, for your info, high-end coilovers are usually lighter than a typical system and increase handling.

If You Don’t Know, Now You Know!

Lowering Springs vs Coilovers – Presented by Andy’s Auto Sport – AndysAutoSportRV – YouTube

If you didn’t know the difference, now you know! Coilovers are usually highly appreciated by auto enthusiasts over the typical manufacturer shock and spring layout. The more expensive the coilovers, usually the better they are. Prices for coilovers can begin in the low $1,000 range with H&R and go up into the multiple thousand range, depending on performance levels. In coilovers, it is easier to dampen movement of the spring and stop oscillation, hence less bouncy rides. Lastly, one final note – a shock and a strut ARE NOT the same thing! They cannot replace each other. The strut is a structural part of the suspension system whereas the shock is not. Hopefully, this article was helpful in understanding the differences!

Note: The featured image is from Max Pixel.

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