Us cyclists see all the broken parts of cars as we cycle along. The rarely swept gutters have all sorts of bolts, rubber grommets and other pieces that have fallen off cars. I had wondered where these pieces of spring I find had come from. Is this photo part of the broken suspension springs you have mentioned in your column? The unusual thing about this particular one is that it seems so new. It's still got most of its shiny black paint on, most are rusty when I find them. Only a small piece seems to have broken off - won't the rest just expand to fill the space? Incidentally it was found in a road with seven road humps.

Asked on 12 September 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
Yes, that's the bottom of a coil spring that does not surround a damper, so most likely a rear spring. It's possible that the rest of the spring on the vehicle that lost it will have settled into the retaining cup. Where did you find it? Soon after a speed hump, no doubt. You see quite a lot of debris around speed humps, including exhaust silencers, spare wheel cages, spare wheels. The damage they cause is considerable. European coil springs are badly made and are not finished at the ends. This puts undue stress on them leading to the sort of fracture evident in your sample.
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