A shock absorber or damper is a mechanical or hydraulic device designed to absorb and damp shock impulses. It does this by converting the kinetic energy of the shock into another form of energy which is then dissipated. Shock Absorbers reduce the effect of traveling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and vehicle handling. While shock absorbers serve the purpose of limiting excessive suspension movement, their intended sole purpose is to damp spring oscillations.
Shock absorbers use valving of oil and gasses to absorb excess energy from the springs. Spring rates are chosen by the manufacturer based on the weight of the vehicle, loaded and unloaded. Along with smoothing out bumps and vibrations, the key role of the shock absorber is to ensure that the vehicle’s tires remain in contact with the road surface at all times, which ensures the safest control and braking response from your car. Signs of shock absorber failure includes vibrations while driving, nose diving while braking, bouncy ride, uneven tire wear etc.