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Coil Spring Damage

by Mr Butterscotch · 59 comments

in Technical

A lot of modern cars are equipped with coil spring suspension – go and have a look at your car.  Have you done so?  Did you notice wound steel springs set up to take the up-and-down movement of the vehicle?  These are your coil springs.

Coil springs are unfortunately one of the most frequently damaged parts of a vehicle – due to loads that they bear and the ever more common speed bumps up and down the country.  Other parts of the suspension system (joints, shock absorbers and wishbones) also take the strain and can fail.

In a previous job, I had to drive over 4 sets of speed bumps on the way to work and 4 back.  This resulted in damage to a rear coil, as part of the coil actually snapped off. I found it lying in the car park, but knew immediately what it was. This damage is an MOT fail.

Some companies offer a variety of pieces of kit that act to support your coil springs, the most common of which is a rubber that works to reduce shock.  How effective these are I’m not sure – but my recommendation is to get your mechanic to look over your suspension now and then, say when you take the car in for a service and MOT, or even when you’re getting tyres fitted.

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Rog Willison April 7, 2009 at 7:23 am

Only last a coil spring snapped on the way to work, fortunately I knew something was wrong with the car but couldnt put my finger on it ot start with – then the off side front was suddenly ripped apart with no warning! I was only doing 25 mph but even at that lack of speed it wasnt funny. Good job I wasnt doing the normal 70 mph on the motorway!
This is the fourth Vauxhall Ive had coil spring snap but not previous one havent destroyed the tyre.
Is this not a tad dangerous?

Mr Butterscotch April 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Hi Rog,

Unfortunately most cars can suffer from this. The best thing to do is make sure that when your car goes in for a service or MOT you ask that the springs are specifically checked. They should be anyway but it’s always good to make sure you’re going to get warned of any potential issues before they arise…

Wendy Holmes April 23, 2009 at 9:37 am

I have a V. Corsa 02 reg, 2nd car, only 14,000 miles on clock – used for shopping, and about town locally. In our village we had some speed bumps put in in 2006, and yesterday, had car serviced, and failed MOT – THREE coil springs were broken, and had to be replaced.

This car has done 1000 miles since last MOT – it has obviously had damage done to it by speed bumps. No other speed humps to go over anywhere else I go, other than in the village where I live. This is infuriating, as it has cost nearly £300 inc vat to get them repaired. Can’t claim of Council, as they say humps tested, and are within acceptable heights, therefore they don’t want to know.

Surely something must be done as there must be thousands of people paying out shedloads of cash through no fault of their own!!

Mr Butterscotch April 25, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Hi Wendy,

I’m not sure if there’s much we can do about this one I’m afraid.

Perhaps what you could do is set up a petition in your village, or canvas locals to find out if they’ve suffered similar problems? You could then take the issue to your local MP etc.

Narihito Matsunaga May 13, 2009 at 8:23 am

Hi everyone,
I had MOT failed because of
1)Offside front coil spring fractured.
2)Offside front coil spring mounting damaged and seriously weakened.
The cost for reparing this is GBP 770 plus MAT test fee GBP62. It is a big money and I was shocked.
My car is Mercedes Vaneo.
Luckily I just found I had a insurance with Car protect and call them. And they said only 1) is insured. They want garage to call them t discuss. I will come back the results soon….

Rog Willison May 13, 2009 at 10:48 am

Hi, it seems to be a sad fact of modern life that cars aren’t what they used to be; after contacting Vauxhall Customer Care (why its called that I’m still not sure of) they were not interested since I’d had the parts replaced by non-Vauxhall spares. Now why would I spend loads of money on Vauxhall springs that only cover 42K miles and risk my life and cost twice at much??
My car had had a full service by a Vauxhall dealer only 4 months previously.
This will be the last Vauxhall I buy – since I’d like some customer service not ‘you didn’t buy our spares so…’ Vote with your money!

Andy Brown May 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm

My self and two colleagues in the same office have had incidents with our Ford vehicles (Focus, Fiesta, Mondeo) within three months.
All potentially extremely dangerous, in my case suspension collapsed and tyre exploded when pierced by the fractured spring.

We are contacting Motoring Which and Watch Dog to see if some investigative journalism/bad publicity can get some positive action either from the vehicle manufacturers or from the Councils deploying the bumps and not repairing potholes.
Thoughts appreciated.

Andy

Mr Butterscotch May 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Hi Andy,

Sorry to hear about your dangerous journey. There’s no doubt that there are more cases of this type of vehicle damage than ever. I’d love to hear how you get on, I just wouldn’t hold my breath – I understand the council are quite adept at saying “they’re within the rules” when it comes to speed bumps.

Steph August 27, 2009 at 11:49 am

I have just had to have a spring replaced on my 2.5 year old corsa. Fortunately it just made a rattle, no exploding tyres – thank goodness.
Anyway just wanted check about speedbumps. My partner uses car for work and everyone says that the speedbumps there are far too high, is there a legal limit, they are on private land so not the councils responsibility.
Steph

Mr Butterscotch August 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Hi Steph,

Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the law relating to speed humps, but I can give the DfT link:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/tal/trafficmanagement/speedcontrolhumpsscotlandeng4117?page=1

It seems to suggest that regardless of whether it’s private or council land the requirement is the same. After all, if an owner of private land (say who owns a business park) puts in 200mm speed bumps, they’ll be opening themselves up to lawsuits when it proves to be more than uncomfortable, even at a 5mph speed.

Of course, there’s another issue here too. If someone constructs a minature wall on land that does have public access (say I need to visit the premises for whatever reason) and I arrive on my motorbike, there’s a far greater risk I’m going to come off when tackling said speed control measure due it not following regulations…

Steph September 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for this. Would you beleive that the speed bumps have now been removed, must have had too many complaints.
Steph :)

colin c April 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

hi guys

my front driver side coil snapped off the other day .i belive it is because off the vast amounts of spped bumps around my area.i have an audi tt so parts arent cheap but my local garage fixed this for £45.00

Plate Trader April 27, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I’ve fitted coilover suspension to my 172, and when I took the old springs off, they were a bit knackered to be honest. Maybe its because they’re French, or maybe it’s because UK roads are terrible to put it mildly, I’m not sure lol.

Mr Butterscotch May 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Poor road surfaces + increased speed bumps + harder suspension settings = damage to coil springs…

Principessa June 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I’ve just found out one of my coil springs has just gone on my Vauxhall Corsa. It’s 9 years old, but in very good condition as was hardly used by the previous owner. The Vauxhall garage is charging £250 for the part, which after reading these comments, seems like a lot. It won’t pass its MOT without. I moved to an estate with double speed humps at the entrance, and several around the main road, which are a pain, and don’t slow people down as they just speed over them, and between them. I don’t think I can claim as it’s owned by a management company.

Chris @ Driving Spirit June 29, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Same thing happened to my Mondeo recently – it failed its MOT thanks to a broken front spring. I can quite definitely blame this on the stupid speed humps near work. Quoted cost was £120 for the broken spring, although I did decide to play it safe and got the other one replaced as well – total cost £200.

Nigel James July 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm

On Wednesday 7th July, while driving north with my two children on the M6 just south of Manchester, I heard a loud noise like something coming up off the road, followed by the front left tyre blowing out. With the car travelling at 70mph, I managed to keep control to get the car from the fast lane to the hard shoulder.I found a broken piece of coil spring and the area responsible for shredding the tyre. The car in question was a Peugeot 307, six years old with 25k on the clock, MOT’d the week before and only having done 740mls since last MOT and had driven 700mls that week travelling to and around South Wales Having had time to think about what happened, I am forming the opinion that speed bumps are accelerating damage to this area, let’s be honest, your average family car was not designed to negotiate these things on a daily basis but, much more worryingly, are creating a potentially lethal situation by gradual weakening of the coil spring which could then fail at any time, like on a motorway in my instance..Originally, these speed bumps were to placed around schools and such areas where there were lots of children, but then sprouted up everywhere.Where I live in Kirkcaldy,you cannot drive 1/2 mile without encountering a street with these things. Having had no breakdown cover, it cost me a total og £615 to get the car towed back to Fife but was happy to escape with our lives to be honest. My feelings on this are councils need to revert to the original use of these speed bumps and remove them from the built-up areas and anywhere else the unnecessarily put them and keep them around schools and such.There could be millions of motorists driving around with a potentially lethal fault they are unaware of that could strike at any time, my neighbour’s 7yr old Fiesta front spring failed recently and she is strictly a town driver! What are your thoughts on this and do I have any recourse with the garage that done the MOT?

jmcnally July 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

Regarding previous comment from Nigel, My wife had her 03 vauxhall Corsa MOT’d and serviced this Friday, while driving the next morning the front suspension snapped and blew the tyre (seems to be quite common on Corsa’s judging by comments on this site!!) Should this have been picked up in the MOT or could some damage have been done in the garage during MOT/service. Or is it just a coincidence it happened the morining after it had been in the garage? Any comments appreciated.

Brian Fenton July 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I have been wanting to add some comments about Vauxhall Vectra springs to an active discussion. I have seen lots of other comments on other older discussions on the web. I have had five springs going on my 54 Vectra. It has now done ONLY 38,000 miles. The first was a couple of years ago (just outside warranry) the front LHS suspension collapsed going over a slightly rough road (30k on the clock). The end result was a new sping on front LHS and on the back and a tie rod. I also told the dealer I could smell fluid from the shocker. They ignored this. The shocker leaked oil and I got it replaced afterwards. April this year. Reversing out of garage – grinding noise and blue smoke from tyre. Front RHS spring broken rubbing on tyre (tyre was rubbed but OK). AA towed to dealer. Three new springs – two on the front and the final one on the rear. Some web sites say this is because a new sping designed in Germany introduced a tighter turn on the last two (lower) coils of the spring. It allowed a more direct coupling and saved on another component. All the weight now bears down unevenly on this point – so it snaps. Makes sense. I now no longer trust the car, as I can imagine this happening at higher speeds. All the springs have been purchased and fitted by the same Vauxhall dealer. I wrote and asked Vaxhall if they were aware of this problem and had they redesigned springs in newer cars. I told them that I had read about the design of the springs (coil turns). Over the phone they said that they didn’t comment on web sites and they weren’t aware of a general problem with their springs. I asked to talk to one of their engineers about this, and the call centre said they would pass this on, but that engineers didn’t tend to operate at ‘our’ level (wasn’t sure if that meant him, or me a paying customer). It is true that springs in other cars fail – but it could be they copied this design. However, the person that commented on the Vaixhall spring design was an ex Vauxhall mechanic, and it is very obvious looking at the back springs of my vectra that the bottom coils are not uniform in diameter. I also will not be buying a Vauxhall again. I am looking at manufacturers that have seven year warranties.

Rog Willison July 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Vauxhall have denied there’s a problem with their coil springs; I’ve now had all 4 springs replaced and not by Vauxhall I hasten to add.
One of the rear springs failed 6 months after the front one took out my tyre. They did suggest they may offer a small discount if I had the car inspected by Vauxhall (at a cost to myself) and then depending on their findings they may discount the repair. Somehow I didn’t trust them, anyhow their repair cost even with discount would still be more than paying for a small indepenant garage charged me!
Like Mr Fenton I have vowed not to purchase another Vauxhall and take every opportunity to inform people of the lousy so called Customer Service (they should be sued under the Trade Description Act for calling it Customer Service!). Pity really since this is my sixth and last vauxhall I’ve owned. The sooner they gettaken over by a ‘real’ company the better.

jmcnally July 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Seems like there could be a common problem with vauxhalls and from previous comments doesn’t sound like vauxhall want to know? My wifes corsa only has 16,000 miles on clock, so it isn’t exactly run down. I’ve had a Toyota for 2 years and a Renault for 8 years before that and never had any problems with suspension coils. We’ll certainly now be looking to get rid of the Corsa and try to warn other people off them!

Tony G July 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Took my son’s 2005 Vectra C for an MOT test today and it failed on one broken nearside front and one broken offside rear spring. To be quite honest in 43 years of motoring I’ve never had a broken spring on a car. These beehive shaped units on the Vectra seem quite ridiculous to me as all the weight bears down on the narrow base of each unit.

I realise that road humps and potholes are a menace to cars these days but I cannot see this happening to my own 2002 Nissan Primera with heavy duty conventional spring units. So I’ve priced up the whole set for the Vectra (it seems logical to fit all 4 new now) at around £180 for parts alone. A totally unnecessary expense caused by poor design I would say!

Brian Fenton July 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

So there are still some people interested – good!

I have hunted out the web page where I read the stuff. I have pasted this below. My question is for the professional car guys (who I assume are in the red) – should we be complaining to the Dep for Transport.

I have had a spring go on a 2001 Golf (the only one so far), but you would hardly have known. The car was driveable. The problem with these Vauxhall springs is that they appear to fail catastrophically and contact/burst the tyre. That is not a money issue, it is a serious safety issue and that is what gets me about the lack of interest from Vauxhall. Nigel James lived to tell the tale, but how many Vauxhall drivers have not? One post I read said that one manufacturer (not Vauxhall) had retrofitted a safety cage around their similarly designed springs to prevent the sharp end of the spring going through the tyre. That suggests some manufacturers know they have a problem.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/garage-services/126001-vauxhall-vectra-suspension-failiure-2.html

Box spanner posts:
“Last night I spoke to a spring manufacturer, he was very familier with this problem and reeled off all the makes and models with the same fault. He said that they are quite happy to make a spring for a customer to his drawing but sometimes the spring fails and they say ‘you made it wrong’ to which he would tell them how to improve the design to prevent failure.
A compression spring should be parallel but the one Vauxhall fit has the last couple of turns reduced in diameter which causes a high stress point in the spring and causes it to break. The reduction in diameter is to do away with an extra component that mates with the spring and the suspension. So the buck stops with Adam Opel who designed it in Germany. I imgine a product recall now would probably bankrupt the place. So when buying the next car avoid the one with the reduced diameter coil springs.”

Ann July 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm

My garage has phoned this afternoon to say my 05 corsa with only 22,000 miles on the clock has failed its MOT due to a cracked road spring and its going to cost £100 + vat. Reading these comments I suppose I should be grateful it has been picked up, but I agree it is due to the growth of speed bumps, there is a particularly vicious one locally outside a school and the roads were badly affected during the winter.

Sarah August 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Had my 2000 Plate Vauxhall Corsa in for MOT today and garage just phoned to say that front coil spring needed replacing and that it was best to fit a pair, when I asked how much it was I was told about £30 each have not had the bill yet so will wait to see. Reading through these posts its obviously a common problem, I have had some strange noises coming from underneath the car and had suspected something was wrong with the suspension and I do travel over about 10 speed bumps and a lot of pot holes in 1 journey to work so this will obviously not be helping

Shaun Stepney August 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Hi my name is Shaun. I have a Vauxhall Vectra 2.2 Elite, recently i can hear a clanking sort of noise from the rear driver side of the car, if that the the term to use, and also a humming noise coming from the car when im driving. . Is this brakes, shocks.. Please can anyone help..

Mr Butterscotch August 9, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Hi Shaun,

When does the clanking noise happen? Is the humming continuous or under certain conditions? There’s quite a few possible causes for both problems. I’d suggest you get to your local garage and have them look over your car as soon as you can, to avoid potential problems in the future.

andrew October 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hi guys.
Just returned from the local garage where my 03 plate fiesta with 51,000 miles sits. When I got in the car yesterday I heard a loud bang and then a twang. When I took it to the garage this morning it made more twangs. These were the coil springs snapping as I have now found out. No shredded tyres like some comments on here and the car felt normal despite the noise. £478 is the cost that I’ve been quoted for this work. Speed bumps in my area too!

Dave Styche November 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Vectra 1.8SXi 52 plate just failed MOT for broken rear coil spring. Just bought acouple from carspares for £46 the pair. Dealer wanted £144. Does anyone know if they are easy to change? I have all the gear. Trolley jack, axle stands, brains etc. Can anyone help????

Mr Butterscotch November 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Hi Dave,

You might want to check this video out on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcafJwewltY

It will depend on your car how easy it is. I paid about £25 for mine to be fitted though so if you’re unsure it might be worth paying for.

Mike Hughes January 6, 2011 at 11:15 am

Good and Informative article and feedback!!

I have recently had to have my coil springs – both back- replaced on my Kia Sportage 4×4 mainly due, I suspect, to the atrocious conditions of the roads where I reside (Aberdeen). This is particularly galling though as the car is supposed to be able to cope with a higher level of off-roading and therefore should be, I would attest, more robust in this department….Maybe it’s simply that, as with most things nowadays, cars are built not to last intentionally….

Mike

Mr Butterscotch January 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hi Mike,

You live in a lovely (if very snowy) part of the world. The Sportage is decent off road, but I would hazard a guess that it is still set up to be biased for on road use. I don’t know how bad the road conditions are where you live/drive, but locally there are many more speed bumps than there used to be, as well as raised curbsides, traffic calming and pot holes. This being the case, I think that modern coil springs just aren’t robust enough to cope with all that plus really poor weather conditions adding more stress to the system.

If you’ve got a minute, please email in with your thoughts on the Sportage. It’s not a 4×4 that I’m familiar with so I’d love to know your thoughts.

Thanks,

Mr B

Malcolm Chell February 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Just found this site after the frustration of travelling to work by bus, it could have gone on for 4 weeks (5th March 2011) as a front coil spring for a citroen c-crosser is on back order in France until then.After various phone calls found a very good firm in Sheffield who will make the replacements (decided to replace both front springs)at a considerable saving over citroen prices.
However they have tested spring and suggest the could be over stressed, when I saw the spring off the car I did wonder about how light weight they looked, think I will ask for them to upgrade the specification to avoid future failures.

Simon February 19, 2011 at 9:21 am

I own a 53 reg peugeot 406 estate and have just had the FOURTH front coil spring fail. while the engine is faultless (124000 trouble free miles) I will never buy another peugeot due to the poor standard of the rest of the car. As well as the springs, I have had to replace about 12 headlamp bulbs, the onboard sat nav packed up after 3 years, the door seals must be stuck on with pritt stik, the ABS knackered after about 50000 miles, the radio pleases itself whether it will turn on or not, there is a fault on the engine temperature sensor, i’m on my 3rd exhaust, 2 new clutches, it eats brake pads, the electric window sticks and the exhaust has dropped off twice!. altogether thoroughly peed off with peugeot at this moment in time :-s

Roy March 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I had a spring go on my Ford Fiesta, then again it had done over 200,000 miles. The spring went when I sat in the car (yes I am over-weight but not that much). I heard a cracking sound then the car was leaning to one side, I called the AA to tow me to the garage, I said to the AA man “that it was lucky it went whist stationary”, he said “most of the time they do, in his experience”.

He twisted the spring round so as not to be scratching the tyre and i drove it slowly to the garage as the garage was only round the corner. (Followed by the AA man).

My Fiesta as now clocked 295,000 still going strong (touch wood).

Dorothy Hopkins March 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

I have a 05 reg Corsa and I have had 2 broken front coils springs replaced in the past 12 months, I think the back ones are dodgy now. It is extremely dangerous as you can be driving, as I was, for months not realising a coil spring has broken, someone must be looking out for me. I have only one speed bump to cross twice a week at the gym. I have stopped using Trafford Park for shopping (Redditch) due to the enormous speed bump. The pot holes are massive around the Redditch area and you don’t always see them till it’s too late and no chance if it’s filed with rain water. I tried to claim from Council for my first coil spring you may as well hit your head against a brick wall, even took photos of the pot holes, if I could have proved when, where and what time my coil spring broke I may have been in with a chance. Surely with so many complaints of broken coil springs from Corsa owners you would think Vauxhall would do something.

DAVE BARNES March 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm

IVE JUST READ WITH INTEREST THE COMMMENTS REF. BROKEN COIL SPRINGS. IVE WORKED IN VAUXHALL DEALERSHIP FOR 14 YEARS.WE SERVICE,REPAIR AND SELL ALL MAKES OF VEHICLES.
OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS I HAVE SEEN BROKEN COIL SPRINGS ON ALL MAKES AND MODELS NOT JUST VAUXHALLS.ON SOME THE SPRING COMES OFF OF ITS MOUNT AND DAMAGES THE TYRE. THIS HAPPENS LESS ON VEHICLES FITTED WITH A DEEPER SPRING CUP(THE LOWER MOUNT IN WHICH THE SPRING SITS) I REMEMBER ONE MANUFACTURER RETRO FITTING SPRING CUPS TO THEIR FRONT SUSPENSION AS THEY HAD A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH SPRINGS DAMAGING TYRES.
I THINK TODAYS VEHICLES HAVE STIFFER SPRINGS THAN IN THE PAST AND COUPLED WITH SPEED BUMPS AND POTHOLED ROADS ALL CONTRIBUTE TO MORE BROKEN COIL SPRINGS. MAYBE THIS IS SOMETHING ALL MANUFACTURES SHOULD LOOK AT IN THE DESIGN OF FUTURE MODELS!
ONE FURTHER POINT ON VAUXHALL CUST. CARE.WHEN CONTACTED ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH THEIR VEHICLES THEY ALWAYS CONSIDER THE WHOLE CASE.THEY LOOK AT SERVICE HISTORY,CUST LOYATY.
GENUINE PARTS FITTED ETC. .IF YOU ARE HAVING YOUR CAR REPAIRED AT A VAUXHALL DEALER THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO HELP YOU PUT YOUR CASE TO VAUXHALL.
P.S. MY SONS LOW MILEAGE 80′s AUDI QUATTRO HAS JUST BROKEN
ITS DRIVERS SIDE FRONT SPRING. WHILST BUILDING RALLY WINNING VEHICLES IN THE 80′s THEY DIDN’T FORSEE THE ROADS WE WOULD BE DRIVING ON IN BRITAIN 25 YEARS LATER!
P.S.S. I OWN A VAUXHALL ZAFIRA,PEUGEOT 306 AND PORSCHE 924
ALL GOOD CARS IN MY OPINION

Davie May 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm

You people, are unreal. Looking to blame people for your “7″ year old car’s spring breaking. From the mechanic who serviced or motd it the week previously and then it snaps without warning “the mechanic must have cause this” “can I claim him ?” vehicle parts naturally corrode due to being exposed to different elements ie salt, rain, dirt etc. So when you get your car serviced would you expect to hear, 4 springs corroded, full exhaust corroded, suspension arms corroded, rear axle corroded. The list is endless. Face up to the fact that your car may need to get repaired from time to time!

Ex-Vauxhall Driver May 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm

In response to Dave Barnes comments: the 54 plate Vectra Estate suffered from the front coil spring taking out the front off side tyre at 30mph – not an experience I wish to repeat. Vauxhall Customer service were utterly- I mean utterly useless and rude. I was asked to take the offending spring to my nearest Vauxhall dealership for inspection which I did – but because I’d had a non-Vauxhall part fitted they decided not to do anything – what waste of my time. Why would I fit a Vauxhall part at 3 times the price of OEM part? Doh! Result – they wouldn’t even consider looking into it despite the fact the car was lethal – happens all the time according to the breakdown chap. So, whats the point of installing airbags – shouldn’t Vauxhall sort out the basic (very basic) design to start with and stop it crashing?? Not difficult to see why the springs fail though being tappered – crap design!! Elementary Dear Watson!
Other issues occured with the car – rubber turbo pipe £120!!!!
So my action – sold it and bought a VW which I wish I’d done years ago. No longer a Vauxhall driver – I’ve seen the light after much expense! No points for guessing which company will survive the longest. I’ll never go back to Vauxhall – one alienated ex-customer.

Victoria June 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I took my 2000 reg Vauxhall Corsa for it’s MOT and service today at a Vauxhall dealer. They phoned to say the front right spring had snapped and they have to replace both. They offered me a Vauxhall branded Spring at £385 or a non Vauxhall brand T £216 with no difference in quality. I’ve chosen the cheapest option. I didn’t realise anything wax wrong with my car before hand especially as it broke down in March with a broken valve that regulates the petrol flow in the engine which wasn’t nice to drive, and then a month to the day it broke down and needed the crank sensor replacing. I have only ever took my car to a Vauxhall dealer. It had 10,000 on the clock when I got it in 2007 but now has nearly 40000.
Driving my car home from the garage tonight; it doesn’t even sound healthy. It’s almost like when the valve went. But reading other people’s comments and having paid nearly 400 for it’s MOT, basic service and spring replacements, I’m wondering if I’ve paid too much.
The only speed bumps I can think I go over are in Asda car park and the retail park.

bill June 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

anyone have coils snap with renault laguna? heard this a problem with renaults too… surprised no comments from renault owners..

UK's Best Driving Schools June 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I find it difficult to understand how you wouldn’t know that one of the coil springs had broken, in my experience the vehicle leans to one side severely almost as if you have a flat tyre and definitely doesn’t drive normal, most often it would also catch or scrape on the tyre causing an audible sound plus damage to the tyre.

Maybe it’s different in some cars but that’s my experience of a broken coil spring.

Ann July 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

As I said in a previous post the road spring on my corsa was cracked when I put the car in for its MOT – I didn’t know anything was wrong, the drive was normal and it wasn’t leaning and it hadn’t punctured the tyre. The garage quoted £100 but actual price was £80.
Very worrying though that I was driving in ignorance of this problem.

Steve August 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

Yeterday heard a bang from front off side wing – and a knocking noise there after . Called AA straight away he said coil spring has gone. I ask if I could drive 50 miles home in that condition – Lets just say he could not advise me to drive home or that it is safe to do so as it could be dangerous. I was towed home – I called ford this morning to get a quote to replace both springs. They wanted £90 for each spring plus fitting – £350 – £400 . Went to my local mechanic supply and fit both £170 all in

Steve August 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

RE my last post front offside coil spring — my car is a 2004 Ford Mondeo Ghia with 87000 miles on clock

Graham Gamston August 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I have a vectra c sri on 07 plate and my offside coil spring snapped on me while parking up, and what i have read from your storys thank god i had just left the motorway. Having both springs replaced as a matter of safety but will be wary of driving it after seeing what has been said so far. Vauxhall hang your head in shame, Graham.

Sandra Marks September 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I just took my Ford Fiesta which is 10 years old for a service and MOT at my local Ford dealer as usual. They informed me that my rear coil spring needed replacement and was an MOT failure. They wanted £179 to replace it which I don’t have this week on top of the service cost. They have cancelled my current MOT which still had 2 weeks left leaving me to pick up my car and drive it home illegally. My son said he can replace the coil spring for me which will cost me £30 for the parts. Needless to say, this garage has just lost a long-standing customer.

Gstrickland October 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Pulling out of a car park space in our 2005 Peugeot 207 HDi and there was a huge “bang” from the front, so I stopped to think what had happened. I tried to pull forward but there was big resistance. I got out to find I had a flat tyre.

Thinking it was just a flat tyre, I thought I would at least be able to pull forward a little to get out of everyones way and change the tyre. The car refused to move. So I thought “driveshaft”.

With cars trying to get around us, I jacked up the front and tried to turn the wheel by hand. No go. Jacked it up further and noticed the front spring had broke. No chance of doing much with that.

The front spring had in fact broke at the first bottom coil (a complete coils worth). The sharp end of the spring that was left punctured the front tyre blowing that out (long rip on inner side wall) and the spring end then jammed itself into the Ali wheel rim. Hence no forward movement. If we had of been going at speed, it could have been fatal. Just as well it happened pulling out of the car park space.

So had to reverse the car (effectively pulling the spring end out of the tyre) and into another car park space which had conveniently become available right behind us.

Breakdown came and lifted the car to the local Peugeot dealership where it was repaired (£272.61)

I thought we were just unlucky with our car. It appears we are one of 1,000′s being affected by this problem. Until very recently, we had a speed hump just yards from our front driveway made of cobble stones… unrelated? I think not.

kaye October 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I have just had my car MOT’d and it passed although have been told an advisory the rear coils are corroded and i qoute “with these cars it will snap!” Having read all your comments i am now wondering whether to get them fixed or get rid of the car. It is an 03 vectra with 90,000 on the clock and i have owned it for a year.There are loads of speed bumps where i live so know that i really have no time to decide my childrens safety is paramount and am now scared to drive the car just incase!

Rachel October 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm

just taken my car to garage and had rear coil snap diagnosed. Peugeot 307 £58 parts and labour replace. No it wasn’t obvious it had gone – a few strange noises but not conistent and not identified by the AA man who drove it round for 20 minutes 2 days previous as I was concerned about the noises and we were a long way from home with a long drive to get us back.

Hayley November 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Hi there,

I’ve just put my Car in to b MOT and it has failed as it needs a new rear road spring. Would I have known by the driving if something was wrong? I never noticed anything different and not sure if they are just using a common fault in cars to get money out of me?

Thanks,

Hayley

Ashley December 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

The fella that says you cant blame or claim off youre mechanic is 100% right
i own a small independent garage in kent and if you told the customer everything that was corroded on theyre vehicle they would straight away assume you where trying to rip them off for uneccessary works.
what some of you have quoted for road spring repairs is obscene i may add
parts are ‘generally between £25-£60 a corner and labour for ‘most’ vehicles around an hour
so please , £390 for a spring replace , think you need to be having talks with youre mechanics !
i get most of my work from women and older people as im straight and only charge for the work i actually do!
shame someother garages are not the same especially main stealers !

Tight Mark December 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm

If you buy a part that is non vauxhall, why would you expect Vauxhall to put it right? surely you should be moaning to the manufacturer of such a part and not the make of the vehicle that its on? I wouldnt pay vauxhall prices for parts but I wouldnt moan to them about faulty products that are not made by them……..

Robin Lathwell March 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

The wife has just had her Peugeot 307 estate Fail its MOT on broken/fractured rear springs. The mechanic pointed out that he has seen a massive rise in this type of failier over the last few years. He puts it down to speed humps, as that is often where the car ‘squats’ having broken the spring. We were lucky the only thing we noticed was the silencer hitting the suspension when well loaded. Trouble is new silencer now required as well. The suspension had dented the jointing area between the end and middle sections.

frank March 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Sorry its a late post but been reading through the posts and am amazed at what prices people are being charged.
I have recently replaced my front drivers side spring (friend is a mechanic) and i paid £49.50 for the part (europarts.com)
It took us aproximatly 2-3 hours but that was because some of the bolts were siezed on so had to worked off (estimate at least an hour)
So if a garage says more than 2 hours labour they are taking the mic

Tortoise March 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I know this has been raging for quite a while on here, but couldn’t resist adding my comments — Last year I bought a cheap run-about, an 02 plate Vauxhall Zafira, when it came to MOT it this week I noticed the rear pads needed changing, so out came the tools (I do most of my own repairs) and got on with the job – however while doing this I was shocked to find a broken spring. I know springs can break, but this used to be a rarity and with the 20 or so cars of various makes, ages (& price tags) that I have owned this was my first one. So I ordered new springs for the rear and fitted them (always swap in pairs across the same axel) – cost of 2x parts £50. Put the car in for the MOT today and surprise, surprise it failed on a broken spring on the front !!! Now I know I should have checked, but always believed it was a rare thing to happen. Looking on here it has become clear there are more Vauxhalls with this problem than other makes and I agree it could be down to design as the MOT tester said “they often break at the pig-tail end” – So, cheap design and the shocking state of our roads and speed bumps = more expense for us motorists,,, :-(

Lauren April 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I bought a 53 Plate corsa in September 2011, i had a service in December and the garage pointed out the various jobs that needed doing in order to pass its MOT which consisted of a new break pipe, indicator bulbs during the service i also asked the mechanic to fix the tracking on my car as it has been constantly pulling to the left. Anyway they charged me £99.95 for the service and then a further £20 for the tracking but said i would need to replace the entire sterring rack soon, the tracking lasted for about a week but kept putting off taking the car back in. So i took the car to have its steering rack fixed about 2 weeks ago and they had it on the ramp and called me and said that it wasnt the actual tracking but 2 coil springs had gone on my car and thats why its been pulling, so i told them to fix it. I paid £140 and theres no difference whatsoever with the steering so for all i know they maybe havent even changed them! I’m so annoyed the amount of money i’ve spent on my car is ridiculous

Andrew the Taxpayer May 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

I’ve just had both springs replaced a the rear of my ’02 Octavia (130k miles; the last 50k in my ownership since 2006). Cost £130 at my local independant garage.

Another thing excaberbating the problem is the fashion for bigger wheels running wide, low-profile tyres. The first line of defence against the pot-hole/speed-bump is the tyre. My Panda runs on 13″ rims and /80section tyres. 67k miles without fault. All you and Corsa other small car owners should look at your wheel size…

Mr Butterscotch July 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Hi Andrew,

I’ve no doubt that you’re right – bigger wheels with thinner (i.e. low profile) tyres does cause an exacerbating effect on both pot hole and speed bump stress on suspension. What must be remembered is that there are no speed bumps or pot holes on a track!

However, if this is proven to be the case I’d imagine there will be a few more lawsuits. If a speed bump can be proven to bottom out and overstress suspension then it surely is not fit for purpose?

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