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PostPosted: Sat 06 May 2017 23:14 pm 
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We had a problem, got it fixed, and it't OK now. It just made me wonder.

The right front coil spring broke after only about 16100km ~ 10000mi. and just under four years since the FIAT QUBO was bought from new.
I think it was a awful short lifespan.
Our FIAT dealer said it happens from time to time. The repair was for both front coil springs (they always repair in pairs), and new mounts. Repair cost landed on the wrong side of 5000Dkr.
Is the whole thing normal? Or is it what I hope a freak mishap?

Jesper.

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PostPosted: Sat 06 May 2017 23:25 pm 
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Road salt can cause corrosion of springs and corrosion is no respector of low mileage. It is perhaps worth mentioning that according to the AA, Italy does not salt it's roads during the winter months where as Denmark does.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 00:23 am 
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We had a coil spring failure on a Ford Focus, it happened while the car was parked up away from home and when I asked the recovery guy he said it was not at all an unusual occurrence.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 08:40 am 
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It must be a salt corrosion thing, in 40years of vehicle ownership across several brands I've never had this happen to me nor afaik, to anyone of my aquaintance. We don't have salt on our roads in New Zealand. Maybe a hose down with fresh water during the winter would help mitigate against this, or perhaps spray the coils with a waxy rust preventative after giving them a hose off & allowing them to dry, at the beginning of every winter.
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Just worked out the cost in NZ$, about 1100. ouch. :(

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Last edited by Steve Hnz on Sat 13 May 2017 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 09:06 am 
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Suspension problems are very common over here, simply because people think they can drive over speed humps at their normal 20/30 MPH.


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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 10:32 am 
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My Mk2 Mondeo had a coil spring break when I ran up a bank doing 40 mph!
Other than that I've never had one just fail during normal use.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 11:22 am 
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Most unlikely to be corrosion, even bodywork is too protected these days for structural failure after 4 winters (though it is always wise to hose off the salt whenever you can - fortunately this part of France is much like Italy, doesn't spray the stuff around as stupidly as they do in the UK or, apparently, Denmark). Coil springs break from fatigue, often at a minor imperfection in the metal, and if you had asked the garage to show you the damaged part it would typically have shown a good, clean break exposing the granular makeup of the steel. Over forty years or so I've known one in a rally car and one in a custom car, but the latter was probably due to the cack-handed way the springs had been shortened then not properly seated. So just hard luck, I'm afraid, but unlikely you'll experience such a thing again (although as any statistician will tell you, that's actually no guarantee).

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 18:20 pm 
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Thank you guys. :thumb:

I don't think corrosion was the problem. The car got full adtional rust protection when it was new, I must confess I have never washed the cars underside. Quite a few people advised me not to do it so long the protection looked intact. I drive very little in the winter, and the winters have been very short in the yeras we have had it with only a little salting.
Metal fatigue is more likely. We have loads of speedbumps where we live. I don't race over them but sometimes they are harder to navigate due to holes in the road as well.

Jesper.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 21:20 pm 
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Generally wear and tear cause spring breakage, speed bumps, potholes and sudden shock loading contribute significantly,
Workmate had a front coil spring break in his car, borrowed a company car and the very next day a front coil spring broke in borrowed car


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PostPosted: Fri 19 May 2017 21:14 pm 
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Pretty common with Ford (used to work for them!....) and most weeks there was a vehicle in the workshop for springs,most common was the mk2 Mondeo.

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PostPosted: Fri 19 May 2017 21:47 pm 
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Reregistered a Renault Modus in France, and while inspecting for it's new MOT found front right suspension spring in three pieces! This despite holding a recent UK MOT certificate. Got a whole shock/spring unit from a local breaker for 45 euros, changed it over, and despite not bothering with the other side the car passed no problem. New law in France soon will oblige garage owners to offer second hand replacement parts where poss., and about time too. You can't even change the headlight bulbs on this car without first removing the front bumper!! Built-in unservicability is a real racket, and contributes to the dumbing down of all aspects of modern living. Three cheers for the Enfield in my garage; rebuilt from the floor up by my own fair hands.


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PostPosted: Sat 20 May 2017 11:41 am 
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Re the Modus
Wait till you try to get the spare wheel off and then try to figure out how to put it back on. The most complicated system I have ever seen and I have had a lot of cars.


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PostPosted: Sat 20 May 2017 22:08 pm 
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Cheers geoffg, I just can't wait to get a puncture!


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PostPosted: Sun 21 May 2017 12:42 pm 
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Luckily never had one in 2 years of ownership only found out it was complicated when the garage doing a service called me into the bay to show me it. They thought Renault were mad, anyway when I got home I practiced taking it off and putting it back on in the dry and in daylight as most punctures tend to happen in the dark when it's raining.


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PostPosted: Mon 22 May 2017 16:17 pm 
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We have a few cars in our household out of the 6, 5 have broken springs in the last few years its a common thing.


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PostPosted: Mon 22 May 2017 20:09 pm 
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I've only ever had one broken spring. That was a rear leaf spring on a Reliant 3-wheeler. That was a hoot to change!

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PostPosted: Tue 23 May 2017 14:08 pm 
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I actually sell car parts and it is quite rare to sell two springs at a time these days. But car dealers make their own rules up!


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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jun 2017 19:05 pm 
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I started in the motor trade back in 1970 working in a parts department and we only ever sold a coil spring when a car had suspension damage in an accident. The springs then were generally painted metal. Now I work for a motor factor supplying parts for all makes and the number of springs we sell is staggering. A few causes though - one is that the springs are now dipped in a plastic coating to protect them but guess what, where the wire holds the spring for dipping is not then protected and is often where the break occurs. Secondly, in the UK the condition of our roads has deteriorated and with the addition of 'speed bumps' suspensions take more of a pounding. As for fitting a pair the only time I've come across this was with the Vauxhall Vectra where the original design was changed so that a pair had to be fitted when the old style broke to balance it up - if a spring broke again then you only needed one of the new ones of course.

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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jun 2017 19:26 pm 
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Surprisingly, never had this problem, when you see the state of the roads out here. No wonder OZ has the highest sales of 4X4's in the world, at the least number that go off road, (they don't have too).
Mike


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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jun 2017 09:08 am 
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Had it with a Honda CRV. Surprisingly, it was the offside one... Honda UK replaced both front units under warranty (although the garage only wanted to do one- they stopped being a Honda approved garage soon after that!). The garage guy reckoned it was because they make they coil springs out of a slightly stiffer, but lighter steel alloy now.

BTW The UK use more salt because ice does more damage to the road surface than salt does. And our climate means that UK roads are more prone to black ice than snow. I know this, due to years in civil aviation- the same criteria having been applied to runways- except we use an ethanol-glycol liquid mix on runways, rather than rock salt. Less FOD damage potential, but more easily washed away by rain. Some airfields, Luton and Leeds Bradford are two that come to mind, have to use Uretha (pigs urine to be crude) because of environmental concerns. Not as effective though.

The Highways Agency use a salt-based liquid on some roads now, which is more effective at clearing the ice, but with a shorter effective time.

Unfortunately, using rock salt is cheaper, and the effects last longer- an important consideration for our increasingly cash-strapped councils. The option of using nothing, and expecting drivers to drive according to the conditions is not available, because they have a legal obligation, and are afraid of legal action from drivers who are quite ready to excuse their own failings by finding someone else to blame.

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