Also known as ‘dampers’ or ‘shockers’.
They are a critical part of the suspension and are therefore vital to a car’s
ride and handling.
While springs enable a car to ride over bumps without severely jolting the
occupants, it would be like riding on a trampoline without shock absorbers to
control the upward and downwards movements.
Shock absorbers are like oil-filled bike pumps which can be ‘tuned’ to provide
the amount of resistance and control of the wheel movements required by the
engineers according to the type of car it is – they will be very firm for a
sports car, but much softer for a family car.
Some cars have variable shock absorbers, which automatically provide a firmer
ride and flatter handling when the car is being pushed harder in corners.