The other day my car started making a clunking noise, it had been on the drive for about a year. After further investigation I discovered the coil springs on each side had split.
I spent the next week getting quotes from garages. Quotes were in the region of £165 + vat per spring all the way up to £500!!
It is best to replace both springs especially if they are old. In my car I replaced one and the other spring went soon after, besides the ride was really uneven. I purchased my springs from ECP online for £60 for the pair.
Here is a quick summary of what I did. It will vary from model and make of car but the idea is the same nonetheless, you should consult with your manual / dealer first. Please note – that I took the struts with springs in place to my local garage to have them removed and the new springs fitted.
They charged me £15 to do this. Do not attempt to release a spring from the struts without a spring compressor. Springs are under extremely high tension. If you attempt this without the proper tools and /or experience it could result in a very serious injury!
Raise the Car
You will need to raise your vehicle to a height that it is safely off the ground. Once you have done this you should be able to easily access the coil springs. Make sure you securely place the jack under your car securing it beneath the solid part of the engine cradle before use. You can also use a hydraulic jack to support the suspension.
I suggest loosening the nuts a bit before raising the car. Remember to work safe! Be sure everything is stable and your work area is clear.
Remove the Wheels!
You will need to remove the front wheels, after the car is jacked up of course.
The Ball Joint
You will need to remove the lower ball joint from the control arm. Make sure you have the correct socket sizes before starting this job. The nuts on my car were very tight, cheap tools will not do. Make sure you have good quality tools. You may need to jack up the rotor to remove the control arm from the spindle stud. You may also need to unclip ABS leads etc. Make a note and take a photo of how everything was fitted before you start unclipping things!
Get Your Struts Out
Open the bonnet and find the three mounting bolts. These hold the strut into the body of the car. You will need to undo all three of the nuts. The strut should be able to be pushed down and away from the car.
Compressing the Coil – Fitting New Coil.
I recommend that you take the struts, as they are to your local garage. They should have a spring compressing machine and it will take them about 5-10 mins per spring to remove and fit the new coils. My local garage charged me £15 but anything up to £30 would be, in my opinion very reasonable.
If you do have spring compressors, hopefully you know how to use them! But in the interests of safety please seek help and advice from a professional before you attempt the job.
Reinstalling the Strut
This is a little tricky to do by yourself as the struts can be a bit heavy, essentially you have to feed them backup into the body so the three bolts line up with the strut mounts at the top of the car.
A friend is useful at this point as when you have the bolts pushed through, they could screw the nuts on to hold the strut in place ready for you to tighten. Once the struts are fitted in place jack up the rotor and lock the spindle and control arm back together – you may need some force, be careful not to nip the cv-gator! Once in place reconnect all the other connectors and clips etc. This is where the notes / photos that you took earlier come in handy!
Needless to say, replace the wheels once all is connected and securely tightened!
******I am not a mechanic and this is an account of what I did- I am not suggesting that this is the correct way to do this job – I cannot offer any advice via email but thanks for your interest.******