Coil springs


how is it possible that my 2002 vw golf with 26,400 miles, that i use for pleasure driving only (and not much as you can see) could have the left coil spring explode while driving my car saturday night?

the front left made noise when i drove to the dealer and parts actually fell off on my way too.

their diagnosis: Left front coil spring is broken and strut is damaged.

also need 2 strut top bushings and 2 strut top bearings. will also need front end alignment when done.

help, guys. what do you make of this happening? i’m shocked. what would cause this to occur? they want twelve hundred bucks to fix it too.

thanks for listening.

barbara schaffner


Manufacturing defects happen. You did not hit something did you?


A broken coil spring isn’t as uncommon as you may think, especially if you drive a lot of rough roads…although yours is unusually young to break.

Their price seems way, way high.


nope. didn’t hit a thing. it scared the crap out of me when the big BANG happened. after i checked the car i thought perhaps someone had thrown something AT the car that caused the noise. it left me shaking.


no rough roads, fact if there’s gravel on the driveway i’ll park outside and walk up. i’m really anal about cars. thanks for your input. i’m trying to get vw headquarters to stand behind their product.


If you did not buy the car new it’s possible the previous owner, even a dealer demo, could have been in an accident and damaged the spring.

Hitting a very rough pothole or railroad track could also cause it.
It’s also possible that since this is such a freak occurrence that the spring may not have been properly treated, metallicaly speaking, after being wound.

Another possible cause, and I don’t think this applies in your case, is applicable to some of the circus clowns you see running around with their cars slammed to the ground.
Sometimes they use a torch and soften a couple of spring coils so the car will droop. This kills the spring.


Metals are just waiting to surprise somebody, you were just a victim of the odds. Not many springs break like that but when it happens, it is a shock.


If you live in a region of the US where salt is used on the roads during the winter, that can increase the odds of spring breakage. In fact, a few manufacturers have had recalls over the years because of this very issue.

I would suggest checking the NHTSA website to see if other VW owners have experienced this same problem. Whether other have had this problem or not, if you report it to NHTSA, you could begin the momentum for a recall of specific VW models. And, if that ever occurs, you would be eligible for a retroactive refund of the expense that you incurred for the spring replacment. Report it to NHTSA!


you rock. great idea. i will totally go and report it. i’d be very curious to see if others have had this happen. indeed, maybe there IS a recall or should be one. wonder if anyone was hurt by this. thanks so much for your time and this terrific tip. i greatly appreciate it.