Astra - "broken" springs - David Horn
For whatever reason my mum took her 96 Astra to the local dealer - while it was there they carried out a safety check and reported back that both front springs were broken, and would need replacing at a cost of 200 pounds each.

She brought the car home and I had a look at it, and it seems fine. I ran my hand around the springs from top to bottom, and there's nothing wrong. There's a bit of paint flaking off, but the car is bouncing properly and there are no funny noises.

I have heard that Vauxhalls have a reputation for breaking springs, but surely there would be some indication? Does it only show when they're up on a jack or something? I have a suspicion that the dealer doesn't know what they're talking about, and I fail to see how a spring could cost 200 pounds, unless it's made of titanium and studded with diamonds.

Many thanks,

David.
Astra - "broken" springs - bell boy
they break at the top you need to get the weight of the strut and have a good look with a torch.....(ie good trolley jack needed)
springs are £26.95 each and should take 25 minutes a side with the right tackle....
get it to an independant and the charge all in will be £120 if they are both broken
Astra - "broken" springs - David Horn
Hi oldman,

Jacked it up and had a careful look with a strong torch - can't see any problems, and from the design of the spring it's obvious that if it did break, it would do it with a helluva bang. There's a rubber bit at the top which isn't quite flush with the top of whatever the suspension bit is, but I'm sure it's not broken.

I'll get it confirmed at my local independent tomorrow (got to go in to have a coolant leak from the radiator switch fixed, and Vauxhall will be getting a very shirty letter if they are, as I suspect, perfectly OK. They also said that the ferrules on the rear brake lines at the cylinders are badly corroded... which is a little odd, since it had a new slave cylinder 2 months ago for the MOT. ;-)
Astra - "broken" springs - Peter D
SPEED BUMPS. The worst offenders are female. Lack of mechanical appreciation. Think I'm Joking, ask you Quick Fit centre who keeps coming back for new springs. The wifey. 'Scots' Expression. Regards Peter
Astra - "broken" springs - Armitage Shanks {p}
Do a Forum Search for broken springs and you will find 17 entries relating to your car and 3 other make/models. There has been a bad batch of steel going round for a while and being used by the makers SFAIK
Astra - "broken" springs - Number_Cruncher
Why **ever** take a 10 year old car to the dealer?

Anyway, I can't see £200 each being a fair price. IIRC, I think that the book time is just over an hour each, although I could be wrong - but not by much!

As Oldman says, the springs aren't expensive, and you do need to check them very carefully along their entire length - having said that, usually the break is in the final coil at one end or t'other. While the strut is apart, it is probably worth fitting new strut top bearings and upper mountings.

>>I have heard that Vauxhalls have a reputation for breaking springs,...

After 10 years, it happens to them all.

Some Citrons have had so much trouble, they have even been fitting special clamps to stop their inevitable broken springs puncturing the tyres!

Number_Cruncher




Astra - "broken" springs - dieselhead
I took an 2002 Corsa in for MOT last week and it failed on broken front and rear springs...as Oldman says they break at the top and you need to look very carefully with a torch to see the broken coils. Car didn't appear lop sided either. Cost about £35 each and an hour to fit.
Astra - "broken" springs - LeePower
The local garage to me have starting to do a lot of mk4 Astra strut top bearing replacments.

Seems the mk4 Astra springs are ok but its the top bearing that the speed bumps are ruining now.
Astra - "broken" springs - Carrow
We sell lots or rear MK4 springs, & lots of MK3 top mounts
Astra - "broken" springs - Peter D
If your are fitting your own sprintgs is pays to grind odd the end of the spring at an angle in sympathy with the next turn. Many prings break under compression due to the loads created at that sharp contact point. This is always done to competition and rally prepared suspension for that very reason. Regards Peter
Astra - "broken" springs - Bill Payer
If your are fitting your own sprintgs is pays to grind
odd the end of the spring at an angle in sympathy
with the next turn. Many prings break under compression due to
the loads created at that sharp contact point. This is always
done to competition and rally prepared suspension for that very reason.
Regards Peter

That seems so obvious now you've said it, and perhaps explains the failure I had (both rear springs on Clio snapped in exactly the same place). As spring failures seem so common (the Renault dealer had loads in stock), why on earth don't the manufacurers to do this, or put some kind of buffer between the sharp edge and the next coil?
(Renault did replace mine FOC).
Astra - "broken" springs - Peter D
It would not be difficult to do at manufacture but it does not sell cars. Sorry about the type Odd instead of off. I always grind them off using an angle grinder and a wooden wedge to open the last turn is it is a bit close. Regards Peter
Astra - "broken" springs - Number_Cruncher
On mkIII Astras at least, the last coils are smaller in diameter than the remaining coils, so there is no potential for such a contact between the spring end and an adjacent coil.

Another reason (among quite a number!) for springs to fail near their ends is the sudden change of shape enforced by the spring seat - its a stress concentration that is difficult to avoid, but can be reduced by appropriate profiling of the spring seat.

One way to reduce this effect would be to use springs with their last coils flattened and ground - but this costs too much money for mass produced cars, but you will see springs like this for racing applications.

Typically, this stress concentration, in combination with the stress concentration caused by the winding of the spring which makes the stress higher on the inner of the coil results in fatigue crack initiation at this point*. Owing to the large constant stress, and the fluctuating stress imposed on top of that by normal suspension motion, the fatigue crack grows very quickly, and the critical crack size is small - it is therefore unusual to find significant evidence of so-called beach marking on the fracture surfaces.

* on any component bearing a fluctuating stress tiny defects and dislocations all tend to co-locate and grow and eventually form something recognisable as a crack. This initiation phase is governed by the local strain on the surface of the part, and for many parts, this phase accounts for the vast majority of the fatigue life of the part, with the crack growth accounting for the remainder, until the critical crack size is reached - ping!!!!

Number_Cruncher

 

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