Coil Springs

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Coil Springs

What are Coil Springs and where are they Located?

Most roads you encounter are not perfectly smooth or even. This necessitates that your vehicle has some sort of suspension system to allow the wheels to travel up and down somewhat relative to the vehicle’s body in response to bumps and other obstacles in the road. In a coil-over suspension system, coil springs – also referred to as helical springs or compression springs – compress and expand in reaction to applied pressure in order to absorb all the movement forced on the wheels of the car or truck by uneven roads. This would cause the springs to vibrate if not for a damper – the shock absorber – which the springs fit around. So, the coil spring reacts to changes in the road and the shock or strut dampens the spring’s rebounds, providing steering stability and good handling. Aside from absorbing the impacts of the road, coil springs also help to support the weight of the vehicle in order to keep it from sagging and creating a loss of control.

Many newer vehicles have coil springs installed between the strut and upper strut mount. However, while many vehicles these days do use a coil-over design (the most common being a Macpherson strut style) for the front, this is not always the case, especially in the rear of vehicles. They can also be over shocks and not struts. Other designs put the spring between the control arm and frame or engine cross-member for fronts, and between the axle and chassis for rears.

How do I Know if my Coil Springs Need to be Replaced?

Over time, the coils can become weak from rust, worn out shocks/struts, or just excessive use and abuse. All the compression and expansion the springs experience can eventually cause them to wear or break. When the suspension springs wear out, bumps get more pronounced and even jarring to the passengers. Very weak springs may cause the vehicle to travel too much up and down, and cause the frame to strike the wheels or steering parts. This will be noticed as a clunking sound, especially prevalent on bumpy roads. 

Worn springs may also begin to sag due to being worn out from use and possibly from worn out shocks/struts. The vehicle’s ride height might be lower than before. Sagging springs are also a common reason for replacement. To check for sagging, measure the ride height of each wheel on a flat, level surface, and compare it to the specifications in your owner’s manual. You can also compare the heights at each wheel to each other. You may see that one spring is sagging more than the others. It’s still a good idea to replace your springs as a set, though. 

Your shock absorbers will pick up some of the slack from worn springs which can quickly start to wear on your shocks. You’ll want to replace your shocks whenever you replace your coil springs. 

Can I Replace Coil Springs Myself?

It’s certainly possible to replace coil springs yourself, but you may want to take an honest assessment of your mechanical experience before you choose to do so. Even weak or sagging coil springs are under a great deal of pressure and if that pressure is released unexpectedly, the spring can become very dangerous. Because of this, we wouldn’t blame you if you chose to have a professional mechanic do this job. 

If you are going to replace your own coil springs, you’ll need a tool called a coil spring compressor. It will allow you to compress the spring, remove it, and slowly release the tension. Typically, coil springs are replaced in pairs (front or rear). To remove a spring, you’ll need to raise and support the vehicle with the wheels at least a couple of inches of the ground. You’ll have to remove the shock absorber and you may have to disconnect tie rods, control arms, or other nearby steering parts. As mentioned above, you’ll want to replace the coil springs as a set and get a four wheel alignment following the repair.   

For vehicles that don’t use a coil-over setup, removal will be different. A coil spring compressor will still be needed, but the shock/strut may not need to come out, depending on design. You may have to lower the axle down, again being careful about the spring being under compression.

Quick strut and strut and spring assembly units are also available and are much safer for the DIY installer. There is no need to rent or borrow a tool to compress the spring, replacement is quicker as there is no need to disassemble and reassemble the spring, strut/shock, and mount, and everything is new – no putting used parts back together with brand new ones.  This is important because, chances are, if one part is worn, the others likely are too. You can find these right here at 1A Auto!

Need Replacement Coil Springs?

Coil springs are vital to vehicles because they support the weight of your car and allow it to remain stable even in rough driving conditions, thanks to their expansion and compression qualities which absorb the brunt of the impacts of an unpredictable road surface. If they fail, replacements will be needed ASAP. Luckily, 1A Auto carries a large selection of new, aftermarket coil springs for many makes and models, for the front and rear, and at great prices.

At 1A Auto, we also make shopping for replacement coil springs for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our aftermarket coil springs, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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