Coil springs. They’re one of those car parts that most drivers don’t know much about. In fact, if you’ve never had problems with yours, you’d be forgiven for not even knowing that they existed. Because it’s quite uncommon for coil springs to go wrong. They’re sturdy, durable things that will usually last for years. But because they’re an integral part of your vehicle’s suspension system, when they do fail, you will know about it.

So, how do you know if you’ve got coil spring problems, or if another part of your suspension system needs attention?

Your Questions About Coil Springs Answered

What are coil springs?

In a vehicle, a coil spring works to keep your car sitting at the right height. And to absorb any shock as you traverse uneven ground. Cars typically have four coil springs – one above each wheel.

How are coil springs damaged?

The most common reasons for coil spring damage are age and use. Because they’re relatively exposed parts, coil springs can easily rust and corrode over time, even when coated. They’re also designed to protect your car from impact, but repeated impact takes its toll. So, if you drive over a particularly large pothole, or regularly drive on really rough terrain, your coil springs can suffer.

 How do you know if you have coil spring problems?

The primary indicator that you need to replace one of your coil springs is if your vehicle sits unevenly. If it seems to sit lower on one corner, there’s a good chance that your coil spring needs replacing.

Other warning signs include:

  • Uncomfortable suspension
  • Your vehicle swaying when taking corners
  • Unusual noises when driving over bumps in the road.

If you suspect that you have a coil spring problem, a visual inspection can usually help. If the spring is broken near the wheel, it will be easily detectable. To see the parts of the coil spring that sit more deeply within the frame, you will need to raise and secure your vehicle. If you can’t do that safely, seek the assistance of a professional mechanic.

Can you drive with a broken coil spring?

While it is physically possible to continue driving with a broken coil spring, it’s not a good idea. It can make vehicle control extremely difficult – and dangerous in the event of an emergency. And it can run the risk of further damaging your car. 

Can coil springs be repaired?

Short answer: no. If you have a damaged coil spring, the only safe course of action is to replace it. But the good news is that coil springs aren’t earth-shatteringly expensive. If you buy online from a reputable dealer, you should be able to find the part for £50 or less. Especially as you’re unlikely to need more than one at a time.   

Can I replace my own coil springs?

In theory, it is possible to replace your own coil springs. It’s not a particularly difficult process. However, if you get it wrong, you can risk impairing the safety of your vehicle. Or risk damaging your vehicle. So, unless you are an experienced mechanic, if you know that one of your coil springs needs replacing, it’s a good idea to source the part, then contact a mechanic.

Coil springs are one of the lesser-known car parts. But they play a very important role in vehicle function. If you think yours need replacing, don’t leave it to chance.