Broken coil spring

Sam Vimes

Moderator
Sep 7, 2020
652
368
1,135
This afternoon I rotated the car tires as it kept nagging me to do so. Our next trip away with the caravan is Wednesday so today seem like a good time to do it.

Just as well I did as I noticed the off side front coil spring had snapped. Not sure how long it's been like that but when driving this morning I didn't notice any problem.

Local garage said they could do it on Monday. Just as well because the last time we went to go to the same site, the wiper motor died and we had to cancel the booking. So hopefully we'll make it this time.

Our roads really put some strain on cars. My neighbour had his coil spring go just a couple of weeks ago.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JezzerB
Nov 11, 2009
14,862
3,596
40,935
This afternoon I rotated the car tires as it kept nagging me to do so. Our next trip away with the caravan is Wednesday so today seem like a good time to do it.

Just as well I did as I noticed the off side front coil spring had snapped. Not sure how long it's been like that but when driving this morning I didn't notice any problem.

Local garage said they could do it on Monday. Just as well because the last time we went to go to the same site, the wiper motor died and we had to cancel the booking. So hopefully we'll make it this time.

Our roads really put some strain on cars. My neighbour had his coil spring go just a couple of weeks ago.
I had a similar experience with my rear offside. I was hosing underneath and saw the piece of spring just lying on the drive. Couldn’t believe it. My rear springs used the damper in parallel to achieve self levelling, and over a couple of years it was a quite common problem with Foresters in many countries. I decided to do away with the self levelling spring/dampers and fitted Pedders springs which had dampers that only had one function and that is to damp. The ride and handling were much improved and even with the rear heavily loaded the suspension doesn’t really drop in height. The headlight self levelling I still retained as its feed comes from a different part of the suspension. But it’s something I could have done without.
 
Oct 8, 2006
1,381
286
19,435
More common than you may think.
About 20 years ago we were driving round a traffic island in Annecy in France when there was a metal clank and I saw something bouncing on the road behind us. I retrieved a half turn of the bottom of the O/S/F coil spring (Armstrong strut). We got all the way home without a problem (Vectra Estate.)
In 2011 we bought a 58 plate Passat R-Line Estate s/h. After the 12 month warranty had expired I came down one weekend morning to find the car sitting down N/S/R. A quick check showed the spring had broken about 1½ turns from the bottom. Fortunately I still had a Co car so was able to go get a new pair of springs from a motor factor. I fitted a new spring to replace the broken one, but no way could I compress the second one enough to get it out to replace so that the springs were matched. I had to ask my tame garage to do it for me!
 
Nov 11, 2009
14,862
3,596
40,935
More common than you may think.
About 20 years ago we were driving round a traffic island in Annecy in France when there was a metal clank and I saw something bouncing on the road behind us. I retrieved a half turn of the bottom of the O/S/F coil spring (Armstrong strut). We got all the way home without a problem (Vectra Estate.)
In 2011 we bought a 58 plate Passat R-Line Estate s/h. After the 12 month warranty had expired I came down one weekend morning to find the car sitting down N/S/R. A quick check showed the spring had broken about 1½ turns from the bottom. Fortunately I still had a Co car so was able to go get a new pair of springs from a motor factor. I fitted a new spring to replace the broken one, but no way could I compress the second one enough to get it out to replace so that the springs were matched. I had to ask my tame garage to do it for me!
My local garage only charged £60 to fit the two new Pedders coil over spring damper units. At that price it wasn’t even worth considering doing it myself. The four wheel alignment check cost more than the fitting.
 
Jul 18, 2017
6,739
1,677
11,935
It's generally thought good practice to change both sides when a spring breaks.
I thought that with shock absorbers, but was told on modern cars it is not necessary. Not sure about springs. Apparently due to the large number of round abouts it is generally the nearside that suffers issues.
 
Jan 31, 2018
1,762
832
5,935
It isn't just the roads but cheap manufacture of the coil and not tapering the ends according to Honest John making them break more easily. Not sure how true this is but makes sense I suppose. But it's very very common and esp so on cars that don't seem to do much miles.
 
Mar 14, 2005
15,375
1,796
50,935
As with all mechanical products, effective springs need quality materials and proper processing during manufacture, The bean counters have probably been looking at how to reduce production costs, and at the same time perhaps grow the spares market.

But also the road authorities have some culpability in that all the additional "traffic calming bumps" and potholes, are raising the number of broken springs and other suspension failures.
 
May 7, 2012
7,164
1,143
25,935
We did have one some years ago and I suggested the garage replace both as I thought that the incident would have weakened the other. The garage said I did not need to change the other but sure enough it went a few weeks later.
 
Jun 20, 2005
14,441
1,883
40,935
We were brought up to always change both sides on any axle where a brake , suspension item etc failed. Allegedly about balance. The un failed side can’t be far behind.
 
Jan 31, 2018
1,762
832
5,935
I agree Prof; on top of the cheaper springs the roads are disgustingly shocking-and speed bumps to boot! A perfect storm
 
Nov 11, 2009
14,862
3,596
40,935
I changed both rear coilover spring units when the rear offside spring fractured. The car had done around 45000 miles so why put a brand new spring damper on one side when it’s unlikely to be matched in its dynamic characteristics to the other side. Anyway I wanted to separate out the function of spring and damper such that on the new units the spring takes the full load and the damper does the damping.
Also because the rear suspension was disturbed in order to fit the units I had a four wheel alignment check too. Tyres aren’t cheap.
 

Sam Vimes

Moderator
Sep 7, 2020
652
368
1,135
Coil spring has been replaced ok with no additional problem. No mention of needing the other side done.

106k on the clock.

£135 parts and Labour.

Will be loading up the van tomorrow ready for an early start on Wednesday.

☺☺☺
 
Sep 29, 2016
1,722
130
11,735
Just finished installing springs and shock absorbers and bump stops etc, to the front end of a Porsche Carrera S.

Just the rear 2 to do now, quite a lot of dismantling to do as it is all wheel drive and the four drive shafts need to be disconnected as well as all of the other suspension and brake components.

Not a quick job but rather satisfying to do a full suspension upgrade and renewal.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts