Do suspension coil-springs tend to last forever? (or do they wear out?)


#1

I’m guessing that they do “wear,” but it seems like coil-springs tend to last the life of vehicle whereas shocks/dampers typically need to be replaced once or twice in a vehicle’s life.



Is this accurate?



Just curious.


#2

For the most part, yes, it’s accurate. Most people never have to replace the springs on their vehicles.

There are, of course, exceptions, but I wouldn’t worry about replacing springs unless you have a really old vehicle. Like decades old.


#3

If your wondering about replacing the struts, the struts usually need to be dis-assembled to remove the stock spring and bearing plate to be used with the new strut. These are hardly ever replaced. Some cars even have a strut cartridge that allows the use of the original spring seat and mounting body.

However, there is a product available called a ‘quick strut’ that is a fully assembled strut complete with spring and bearing plate so you just remove the old strut assembly and put in the new ‘quick’ strut assembly. This was designed for the DIYer that lacks the proper tools to disassemble a strut assembly safely. Even removed from the car, the spring in the strut assembly has enough tension on it to seriously injure or kill a person.


#4

Most cars spend most of their lives riding around relatively unloaded. Trucks and buses are a different matter. Springs on cars tend to last the life of the vehicle, most but not all of the time. Springs on trucks that carry heavy loads frequently are replaced much more often.


#5

My son had the coil spring break on the front of a 1989 Mercury Sable he owned. He didn’t realize the spring had broken until it ruined a tire by cutting into the sidewall. My son was doing work in Appalachian country and was driving on some pretty bad roads. The local Ford dealer didn’t have a spring in stock, so the dealer obtained the entire strut-spring assembly from a salvage yard and replaced the whole assembly. It worked out just fine.


#6

Bouncing around on worn out struts/shocks can shorten spring life.
I see a few sagging and bouncing old heaps around here in the city.
So it’s better to replace shocks before they get too weak.


#7

Yup, it’s accurate. Occasionally a spring will break (whether coil, leaf, or torsion) but on cars they generally last the vehicle’s lifetiime. They sag over too many years, but not usually enough to cause concern. I busted a torsion spring in my pickup once…but I was loading that poor thing to the stops with wood and driving it out of the woods without benefit of roads. I busted a “stop” off too.

Springs are just one metal piece. Shocks and atruts are hydraulic assemblies, with elastomer seals holding the fluids in between the moving parts. The seals are subject to age deterioration, shrinkage, and wear.


#8

My wife’s Escort wagon has had both rear springs break, at different times , so they don’t last forever…