Can I replace my car's struts with shock absorbers?

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Q: Can I replace the struts on my vehicle with shock absorbers?  I have a 2006 Suzuki Forenza that needs new struts, but they are too expensive. Could I just buy shock absorbers instead and install them?

A: Struts and shock absorbers are not interchangeable. A strut is actually a part of the vehicle's suspension and cannot be removed. A shock absorber is an additional part of the suspension that can be removed without making the suspension inoperative. 

Much like shocks, there are many quality levels and price levels to the struts, so a cheaper alternative may be available for your vehicle. Keep in mind that cheaper parts may result in a less comfortable ride. You can replace the struts without mounts IF the mounts are not oil-soaked or broken.

-- Answer from Mark Laudenslager, a master auto technician on JustAnswer.   

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