Coil spring replacements set to peak
Coil spring replacements are set to peak over the coming months, as winter takes its toll. It is during this time of year that springs are subjected to several stresses. These include deteriorating road conditions and potholes; the corrosive impact of grit salt on the spring itself, causing cracks that can eventually expand to breaking point; and low temperatures, making springs more brittle and prone to failure.
Whilst cash strapped motorists may wish to cut corners this year, for prolonged satisfaction Lesjofors advise that workshops should use a quality brand and fit in pairs. With the labour costs associated with coil spring replacement often more than the cost of the spring itself, this approach will be far more economical for the motorist in the long run.
The apparent simplicity of coil springs, a length of steel formed into a helix and painted black, can give the impression that all springs are created equal, yet the reality can be very different. Due to the role they play supporting the weight of the vehicle, the quality of the steel wire used to produce the coil springs is vitally important.
“In lower quality steel, found in some ‘budget’ springs, surface and inner defects are not uncommon. These defects reduce spring fatigue strength, leading to sag and increasing the risk of premature breakage”, says Peter Dancer Lesjofors UK Sales Manager. “In contrast Lesjofors springs are produced using only the highest-grade specialist spring steel, manufactured to match or exceed OE standards, such standards require no breakage within at least 1 million cycles, whereas some budget springs break at less than 100,000 cycles, falling very short of OE requirements!”
Corrosion is the most common cause of spring failure, as chips within exposed paint cause rust to rapidly spread underneath. Lesjofors coil springs feature an advanced Zinc Phosphate and Epoxy Powder Paint treatment to provide an additional layer of corrosion protection. “This provides protection from corrosion even after defects occur in the paint layer and is significantly more effective at preventing corrosion than other methods, such as iron phosphate, sometimes used on cheaper springs,” explains Peter.
Other processes that Lesjofors springs undertake to improve strength, service life and provide OE levels of performance include multi-heat treatment and ‘shot peening’, whereby millions of tiny steel shots bombard the spring.
Choosing to replace a single spring rather than the axle pair is another false economy say Lesjofors. When only one coil is replaced the life expectancy of the other spring will decrease. This typically causes the remaining spring to be changed within a short period of time, with the motorist incurring additional labour costs.
Vehicle safety may be compromised too, with uneven ride height; less responsive steering; reduced road holding; increased braking distance, tyre wear and fuel consumption, often a consequence of just one spring being changed.
To highlight the importance of fitting in pairs Lesjofors, along with Monroe, have teamed up with The Parts Alliance. Throughout February customers buying an axle pair of coil springs or shock absorbers will receive a ‘Tasty Snack Bag’, containing a soft drink, chocolate bar and crisps.”
“We’re delighted to spread the message of quality and best practice, with respected manufacturers such as Lesjofors and Monroe,” says Simon Moore, Parts Alliance Head of Marketing. “Through our latest promotion, customers can look forward to receiving a snack bag, ideal for break time, each time they choose to fit in pairs.”