Each year, thousands of holidaymakers hook up their caravans and trailers, taking to the open road in search of good times and a relaxing break.With the best of the weather behind us, many will be pondering how to improve their vehicle handling for next season.
Typically a caravan connected to a fully-loaded car will cause the rear of the vehicle to sit noticeably lower than the front (figure 1). This ‘sitting down’ effect puts extra stress on the rear springs, which may result in sag (long-term shortening) and increase the risk of premature breakage. Additionally, because the rear springs have been severely overloaded and are unable to return the vehicle to its original ride height, vehicle handling will be adversely affected unless the suspension is changed. Standard springs are not designed to do a heavy-duty job.
To compensate for the additional load and reduce the ‘sitting down’ effect, Lesjöfors has designed a tailor-made range of heavy-duty coil springs.
Heavy-duty coil springs are 15 to 30% stronger than standard springs, depending on the vehicle, and this means they are able to support a heavier load without compromising vehicle handling. Lesjöfors heavy-duty springs are also designed to have a progressive spring rate, meaning that resistance increases as the load increases, allowing heavy-dutysprings to be used even when the vehicle is unloaded, with minimal reductions in ride comfort.
Heavy-duty springs also work with standard shock absorbers, so further suspension upgrades are not required, and most heavy-duty springs are slightly shorter than standard springs to ensure the car does not sit too high when unloaded.
Given their different characteristics to standard springs, it’s vital that heavy duty springs are fitted in axle pairs to avoid creating a potentially dangerous imbalance. Installing heavy-duty springs in pairs, when towing or transporting heavy loads will secure improved vehicle handling at the correct vehicle ride height, avoiding potentially severe safety risks such as less responsive steering, less secure road holding, and increased braking distance.
All Lesjöfors heavy-duty coil springs come with a 3-year warranty and the range covers, amongst others, the following popular models:
- Opel/Vauxhall Astra
- Ford Focus
- Volkswagen Passat
- Renault Espace
- Peugeot 407
- Nissan Primera
- Audi A4
- Opel/Vauxhall Vectra
- BMW 3-Series