Everything You Need to Know about Coil Springs – Questions & Answers

30 September 2021
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Everything You Need to Know about Coil Springs – Questions & Answers
Have you been having issues with your vehicle’s suspension and believe it may be related to the coil springs? Perhaps there is another issue that you think may be linked to this vital car component. Whatever the reason for needing this information, this article will succinctly cover every aspect of coil springs – from what they are and where to buy them all the way to how they break and the dangers of driving without them. Here is everything you need to know about coil springs. 

Key Insights

What is a coil spring on a car?

What is the purpose of a coil spring?

Where is the coil spring on a car?

What do front coil springs do?

What do rear coil springs do?

Are front and rear coil springs the same?

Coil springs are an integral part of your car’s suspension system which are designed to absorb shock, such as the impact of driving over rough terrain. Your car should have four coil springs in total – one for each wheel. In addition to shock absorption, coil springs help to keep your vehicle at the correct height. These purposes go for both front and rear coil springs.

What are car coil springs made of?

Coil springs are typically made of hardened steel.  


Can you drive with a broken coil spring?

Is it dangerous to drive with a broken coil spring?

No, you should not drive with a broken coil spring. While you could still drive, the journey will be rough and the car difficult to control in an emergency, therefore it is not recommended. A damaged or collapsed spring can cause noise, sagging and affect alignment angles. 

What causes coil springs to break?

There are various ways in which coil springs can break. One typical cause is simple corrosion which can be accelerated in the winter months due to snow, ice and cold temperatures. In addition, over time the coating that is applied to the springs can be damaged by stones that are thrown up by the tyres. Furthermore, misaligned or damaged tyres can cause wheel imbalances, which can lead to uneven wear on your car’s suspension system and subsequently damage to your coil springs.

What does a broken coil spring sound like?

Damaged coil springs will result in an annoying rattling or clunking noise which will increase in volume on rougher roads and as you accelerate the vehicle.  

Replacing & Adjusting

How long does it take to replace a coil spring?

Typically, you can expect back coil springs to take between 1-1.5 hours to replace. Front coil springs take a bit longer with an average of 2 hours, with them taking anywhere between 1 and 3 hours.

How to lower coil springs?

There are a few ways to lower your coil springs, some of which are controversial as they are deemed unsafe. One way that people attempt to do this is by cutting the coil springs. However, this is very dangerous as coil springs are installed under large amounts of spring pressure. The better and safer option is to order coil springs that are specially designed to lower your car the amount desired. You can get manufacturer-approved parts such as this from a site like Autofixa

How to remove front coil springs?

How to compress coil springs?

Where can I buy coil springs?

For those of you who are mechanically inclined, you may already be familiar with how to remove your vehicle’s coil springs. However, for those of you who aren’t, it can be a difficult and potentially dangerous process which involves a fair bit of equipment, including compressing the springs with a coil compressor tool.  Depending on your level of expertise, it may be best to take your car to a mechanic to replace the coil springs. You can buy your springs from Autofixa, which ensures they are manufacturer-approved and designed specifically for your vehicle model. You can then take them to a mechanic who will have all the necessary equipment and knowledge to replace your coil springs for you.

Should coil springs be replaced in pairs?

Can you replace just one coil spring?

Yes, it is recommended that you replace coil springs in pairs. The reason is that over time the coil springs will weaken, meaning if you replace only one spring then the left and right springs will respond differently to the road and may have varying heights. 

Do car coil springs wear out?

Yes, car coil springs do wear out over time and will need to be replaced, particularly in colder environments due to the effects of cold temperatures, snow and ice.  

Do coil spring spacers go on top or bottom?

Which way up do coil springs go?

The answer to this question is unclear. Some recommend installing coil springs on the top whereas others say on the bottom. In addition, some sources claim that it does not matter which way you install them. The best course of action is to follow the instructions that come with your coil springs (which, if bought from Autofixa, will be specifically tailored to your vehicle model). Failing that, you might want to consult a mechanic.   

Pricing & Warranty

How much for a coil spring replacement?

How long do coil springs last?

This will depend on your car, but as a ballpark average you’d be looking at a cost of £80-£150 for a front coil spring replacement, and £80-£90 for rear coil spring replacements. There isn’t really any concrete way to determine how long coil springs last – some last for the lifetime of the vehicle whilst others break down sooner. 

Are coil springs covered under warranty?

It depends. Typically coil springs are covered, but it will depend on how long you have had the vehicle among other factors.  

Types of Coil Springs

What is a coil spring insulator?

What is a coil spring isolator?

What is a coil spring booster?

Coil spring insulators are small pieces of rubber mounted at the top and bottom of the coil springs, designed to help insulate the vehicle against the likes of vibrations and jostling. Coil spring isolators are mostly found in front wheel drive vehicles and help support the weight of the car, isolate rolling noise and provide even loading of the spring. Coil spring boosters are typically used to compensate for weak or collapsed springs.  


How to test coil springs?

The most straightforward way to check for broken springs is by doing a visual check. There are also some common symptoms to watch out for which may indicate problems. These include vehicle sagging, tyre wear, underside noise, bouncing movements and vehicle sway.   


What paint to use on car coil springs?

Use a high-quality rust-preventative paint. There are also more durable spray paints which are specially designed for suspension parts such as coil springs.   


How to clean rusty coil springs?

There are various ‘home remedies’ which people recommend to treat rusty coil springs. Examples of these include using an abrasive material such as steel wool or sandpaper to remove surface rusting. Others include using treatments such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice and salt. However, the most effective way to correct rusty or damaged springs is to replace them. Why not buy manufacturer-approved parts specifically designed for your vehicle from Autofixa?  
That’s everything you need to know about coil springs. Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of coil springs and their function, the best course of action if you’re experiencing any symptoms of a failing coil spring should be to replace your coil spring. As mentioned, if you decide to replace your coil spring, you should ensure you use coil springs specifically designed for your car – purchasable through Autofixa.

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