Also known misleadingly as shock absorbers.The purpose of dampers is to damp or reduce the up-and-down oscillations of the car on its springs— not to absorb shocks, which is what springs do. Dampers work by resisting movement between the wheel and the rest of the car with a force roughly proportional to the speed of the wheel movement in bump and rebound. This resistance is provided by forcing hydraulic fluid through orifices in a piston; valves open to increase the orifice area as the wheel speed rises. Dampers are nearly always double-acting: that is, they act in both bump and rebound. Various other components — even cupholders — also use dampers for a smooth movement.