I left my company car park 8pm last night (in my 2001 2.0l Ford Focus with 40k on the clock) with no significant drama but noticed a knock/rub present when moving the steering wheel.
Very concerned I removed the wheel an too my horror I noticed that the front left hand suspension coil had snapped, leaving a considerable sharp point floating very close to the tyre. Fortunately I checked and did not just ignore it, which I was initially inclined to do.
Upon arrival of the RAC I told the guy the problem and he stared at me blankly. He then proceeded to tell me in 15 years experience he had never seen this fault.
? My question is therefore is this as rare as it first seems or is it more common than the mechanic had visibility of?
? Should I have a detailed discussion with my dealer regarding a disappointment that a car less than 4 years old with below average mileage should have such a major failure?
(P.S The vehicle has been religiously serviced at Ford, including its MOT and has had no modifications)
Broken springs aren't unheard of on the Mondeo and the Focus but I wouldn't say its common and it seemed to afflict the Mk2 Mondeo most. The RAC man obviously doesn't get out much.
I'd hardly say its a major failure though, its hardly surprising with the state of most of the roads in this country. They don't usually break in such a dramatic fashion and they can be difficult to spot - the only indication being a slight clunk over the bumps.
Yes, does the RAC man mean Focus or on all cars, I know several people who this has happened to on other cars, a Merc 190 at work years ago, and a Toyota Landcruiser going over a speed hump, that burst the tyre, it was 4 years old, and he complained to Toyota, and they replaced it and all 4 tyres (as you have to on a 4x4)
This same thing happend to my house mate who owns a 2001 Focus about 3 months ago. He was complaining about knocking from the front wheel - had a look to find a snapped spring. I was surprised to say the least.
Has been known for springs to break during aggressive mounting of speed humps..Not saying this is the case..But in general road surfaces are terrible.Potholes everywhere/collapsing roads in front of speed humps..In many cases roads are being rebuilt before and aft of humps..Not to mention drain covers receding into road. Creating larger than normal crators we all have to endure..Need I say more?
To answer.Yes have a word with dealer.See what they have to say.You never know they may be ok about it..But dont go in aggresive like..softly softly approach pays off usually.exceptions can apply
Vectra failed its MOT last week with an offside coil spring broken right at the very bottom.
A small ingress of rust for a few millimetre either side and the rest a clean break.
Very common on Vauxhalls said the test man but usually on the nearside.
Took the car to my independent who replaced both the following day and drove straight round to the MOT Centre. Good man who never revs the nuts off the diesels as he says he wouldn?t do it to his own car.
Showed him the bill and expected him to simply look under the wing but he said no I still have to test it. Up on the ramps and all OK. He went on to explain that same morning the Ministry man had been round and had been emphasising the rules following a failure.
I confess that not having had a failure previously I had never read the info on the back of a failure sheet and was surprised, when he showed me that according to the rules if the vehicle leaves the testing station the vehicle must be fully inspected on all testable items before a test certificate can be issued.
The only exception to this is when it fails on a list of minor faults and even these must be re-examined before the end of the next working day.
The first thought was that MOTs test centres only are at a disadvantage as the vehicle must leave the test centre to have repairs carried out which should be then fully retested.
Its not unknown for a car to fail a retest due to something being broken/damaged during the repair work.
A long time ago I had to do an MoT repair on a Triumph's steering rack. It failed the retest - the rack was fine but I'd forgotton to do up the nuts on the track rod ends! I was quite grateful that the MoT inspector had done a full retest!
Thanks for all the information and comments, special thanks to ProtonGuy
for the link.
I will let you know what happens.
Be careful with that link, it applies to American Focus cars, which, unless I'm mistaken, are manufactured in the US rather than Europe like our's are. Therefore anything about the American Focus DOES NOT apply to the UK Focus, they don't even use the same springs in the US as we do in Europe.
The best I think that you can hope for is a goodwill payment from Ford Motor Co, if they say no then I think you'll be lucky to get the dealer (a different company remember) to pay for it, springs are an item that fail commonly and it isn't the garage's fault that it has broken, so I think they'll be very reluctant to pay for it.
Good luck in getting Ford to cough up though, I think you'll need it!
I'd say it is unusual but not extremely rare for springs to break. I had a Hillman Avenger years ago which broke a spring, and I didn't notice for a day or so, even though I had heard a twang the previous day. As it was a macphearson strut,the two halves of the spring just sat on top of one-another with only a slight reduction in ride-height.
I accept the comments about my link and did assume that the parts would be different. It was just interesting how similar the stories were and would be surprised if the specifications were not similar in some fashion even if they do use a softer setup in the US.
I agree, it's interesting, they seem to be taking a different approach towards the failure in the US, maybe because of their tarnished image after the Explorer disasters. :-)
Unfortunately over here I reckon it's just seen as a fact of owning a car, the springs will snap and need replacing eventually. I suppose in a way I was equally suprised by our BMW's spring not even lasting 50,000 miles, I would reckon the liklihood of one of these springs going would increase with mileage much more than it does with age.
I once had a broken coil on a Renault 18. I changed it myself and never was so scared in all my life! The thing was massive when the tension was off and although I got some decent spring compressors I still felt that the whole caboodle was going to go pop in mid refit and take a limb off - or worse still scratch the paintwork :-)
I guess the chances of a broken spring on the C5 will be pretty low........