Shock absorbers are either gas fill or spring operated. The spring-operated shock absorber is equipped with a large spring. When the car hits a bump, the shock absorber lessens the feeling of the bump by compressing the spring until the bump is hardly felt.
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Gas-operated shocks work very similar to the spring-operated type. When the vehicle hits a bump in the road, the gas inside the shock absorber compresses. The driver feels much less of the road impact using these type of shock absorbers.
With vehicles that are designed for off-road driving and monster truck racing, the type of shock absorbers is critical. Most use gas shocks that are much larger than car shocks. Due to the terrain that these vehicles operate on, good, fully functioning shocks are crucial.