A Chevrolet strut can be found on the forward section of a front wheel drive car. Almost all of them are Macpherson struts and they replace the older style of A-frames, springs and shocks as the suspension components for those wheels.
One of the reasons the engineers at Chevrolet went to the strut type of suspension is the improved handling characteristics of it. This is the part of your car that controls the forward and backward movement of the front wheel. The Macpherson struts are designed for up to 1% of play. The older style with springs and shocks has an upper limit of 2%.
The test for the Chevrolet struts is the same as for the shock absorbers. By depressing the fender and releasing it, the movement of the body should only be up then back to a still position. If excessive up and downward motion occurs, the hydraulic portion of this component is beginning to show signs of wear.
Another way to check this suspension part on your Chevrolet is to look at the shaft protruding from the center of it. This is a hydraulic part and has a seal that wears over time. If any hydraulic fluid is seen on the shaft or the housing unit, a leak has occurred and replacement is required.
Most of the struts on Chevrolet models also have a coiled spring as part of the component. The replacement of this suspension part then requires special tools and understanding on just how to place a load on the spring so the suspension assembly can be replaced. If not done correctly, the load of the spring could be released and a tow truck will have to be called to take your car to a repair shop where the proper tools are located.