Front suspension springs / MOT

The missus 2014 Volvo V40 has just failed on a broken nearside front spring. I think I'll be able to replace it okay (although Haynes
haven't produced a manual yet, so I'm not 100% sure), but I'm just wondering how long it has been like that. We don't remember any bangs, so it's possible it has been like that for a while. It isn't easy to see, up in its recess, so I can imagine that it would be easily overlooked; but is it possible that this is something they have only just started to look for? It's broken near one end, so it's still like having three quarters of a spring on that side.
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On 14/08/2018 10:46, Dan S. MacAbre wrote:

It's always been in MOT.
Most cars in 1960 when test was introduced had rear leaf springs. A broken leaf spring when it's part of the axle location would be very seriously dangerous.
A broken coil it depends on where the spring has broken. Usually it's like yours near the tail where it seats on the lower perch and the car just rides a bit lopsided. So long as the spring isn't loose on full rebound it can be like that for a long time.
https://www.mot-testing.service.gov.uk/documents/manuals/class3457/Section-5-Axles-Wheels-Tyres-and-Suspension.html#section_5.3
MOT tester at Halfords didn't complete the MOT for my mates Fiesta with a broken spring. Before the new test regs this MOT guy was saying it was too dangerous to drive. Now he's put straight as the manual says it's Major and not Dangerous - the car can be driven with a broken spring.
Broken coil springs are much more common on European cars since the fall of the Iron curtain as much of European car spring production has moved there.
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On 14/08/2018 10:46, Dan S. MacAbre wrote:

I had a broken spring on an Espace some years back.
The break was near the end, in the 'cup' where the end sits.
I heard no bang etc., just an odd rattle, almost a buzz. I spent ages crawling under the rear looking for something wrong. The springs looked fine, it was only a 'finger tip' led to my finding it. A bit, about 2" long was broken off the end, it had fractured lengthwise.
The bad news is, you should replace both sides, even if only one is broken.
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On 14/08/2018 20:49, Brian Reay wrote:

If the springs are prone to failure then the other won't be far behind.
Mates Fiesta had one go before last years MOT, I replaced it but weather prevented doing the other one. That failed sometime in the last year and was done for this years MOT.
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On 14/08/2018 21:24, Peter Hill wrote:

Are springs prone to failure, or is it the drivers? Serious question. I ease my 12 year old car over speed bumps rather slowly. Other people don't slow down and bounce over them. Am I just being over-cautious?
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On 14/08/2018 22:40, GB wrote:

I suspect there are some cars which are prone to spring failure. Some will be due to use- overloading, rough use, etc. Others defects in the spring.
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It's very odd. My brother had several broken springs on his BMW. He did tow with it - but the fronts broke too.
It's very unusual on my much older Rover SD1 with coils all round. Even when used for towing.
My BMW - different model to my brother's - didn't break a spring in the 15 years I had it, but broke both of the front suspension struts at the platform the spring sits on.
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GB wrote:

I drive my 2003 Fiesta over such things every day, and quite quickly (it doesn't actually feel like it makes much difference, although I know it must put more energy into the spring), and the springs are still good. OTOH, the missus (whose Volvo has the broken spring) slows right down. But having taken the broken bit out last night, and after inspecting the broken end, I think it was done before she got it.
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On 15/08/18 11:45, Dan S. MacAbre wrote:

It seems pretty random. My Scirocco had a broken rear spring at last MOT: it is hardly ever heavily laden and I slow right down over speed bumps.
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I'd guess it's more down to metal fatigue through constant flexing rather than overloading. And does seem to be down to poorer quality steel than once was used.
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On 16/08/2018 00:39, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Or to saving weight and cost by using thinner wire with fewer (more widely spaced) turns. You can get the same spring characteristics, but at the expense of considerably higher stresses.
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Can't say I've noticed an obvious difference between the ones on my various cars. Which was why I'd guessed it might be down to steel quality.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Well, I just finished replacing the broken one. I got a Kilen replacement, and they say that they shot-blast the surface to make it tougher. We'll see :-)
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On Sat, 18 Aug 2018 00:30:39 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

I understood it was partly down to springs being 'cold wound' these days?
I would be interested to know if it was the o/s/f spring that most commonly goes as that is the one most likely stressed by mounting kerbs (the front would probably be going up faster than the rear and have more shock load on it than the o/s/r), roundabouts (dynamic loads) and drain holes (along with the o/s/r of course) etc?
Speed bumps should impact <g> both sides equally (again, possibly more on the front because of general loading and higher speeds as we slow to cross them).
Cheers, T i m
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On 23/08/2018 09:37, T i m wrote:

You are assuming people 'mount' kerbs'- surely they avoid it?
Likewise, who drives in the gutter where drain covers are?
I've noticed n/s front tyres tend to wear more quickly- across several vehicles and mentioned it to a friendly mechanic who has also noticed it. I assume this is due to debris collecting on the left of the road (grit etc) causing more abrasion. It isn't so noticeable on the n/s rear.
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Of course you avoid it in ideal circumstances but few of us live there Brian. ;-)

Anyone driving up a narrow road, meeting another vehicle and not wanting to lose a mirror?

Sorry, yes, I meant n/s above.
No, I think it's more likely to be 1) we go round roundabouts clockwise so put most the stress on the n/s front tyre (load and steering) and 2) because of the camber we are generally always turning right slightly and so again, put more load on the n/s front.
Cheers, T i m
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On 23/08/2018 09:37, T i m wrote:

The majority of speed bumps I encounter are not the full width of the road but are discrete bumps sloping on all 4 sides and about the width of the car. If you car has enough ground clearance you can take these at 30+ mph as long as you position the centre of the car with the centre of the bump. On busy roads this may be impractical and you may have to position the vehicle with the nearside to miss the bump and the offside (drivers) side takes the full height if the bump.
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wrote:

We have both round here.

And much easier in something bigger that really can straddle the 'lump' easily.

Quite (and I think part of the design).
On a motorbike you can usually avoid even the full width speed bumps as they rarely fill the gutter. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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On 24/08/2018 01:53, T i m wrote:

On the few full ones I've encountered around my way they stop around 2 feet from the gutter and the local council has thoughtfully made this small area a cycle lane (for a few yards at a time) and painted the appropriate cycle lane logo/wording on the road. Presumably it's not legal for a car to drive in a designated specific cycle lane[1].
[1] The council have designated one area of the town as a pedestrian/cycle/car area with a speed limit of 20mph and average speed cameras. I believe the only serious accident in this area has been between a cyclist and pedestrian.
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wrote:

Oh, I can't remember seeing one of those.

Or motorcycles then (or any 'motorised' non cycle)?

We have some 20 mph bits on the high streets around here and have had for a good few years now.

I see more and more (adult) cyclist on the pavement but not seen any being addressed by 5-O?
I can remember doing 100 yards on a pavement as a 15 year old, finding myself face to face with the local Copper and getting my ear clipped. ;-(
But then it is *always* me who will be caught out by such things ... and partly why I don't.
Cheers, T i m
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