How do you know when a vehicle needs new
Type topic text here. When the original springs
are no longer able to maintain proper ride height or are not capable
of handling vehicle load requirements, new springs are in order.
All springs sag with age. The constant load
they bear leads to creep within the molecular structure of the metal.
Over time, the spring weakens and begins to lose height (coil spring)
or arch (leaf spring).
As the spring settles, ride height decreases
and causes undesirable changes in wheel alignment. That is why alignment
technicians are always supposed to measure ride height before they realign
the wheels. More than an inch of sag usually means time for new springs.
Spring sag also reduces suspension ability
to support its normal load. This, combined with decreased ride height,
means less clearance between suspension stops and chassis. The result
can be bottoming on rough roads or when carrying extra weight.
Spring sag can also have a negative effect
on safe handling and braking. A wheel's ability to maintain traction
during acceleration, braking and cornering depends to a large extent
on the load it carries.
A weak spring does not carry its fair share
of the load, so the wheel with the weakest spring is most likely to
break traction and spin or skid during hard acceleration, cornering
or braking. Weak springs also allow more body roll, which puts added
strain on the shocks, struts and other suspension components.
Weak springs need to be replaced and when
they are, both springs on the same axle should be replaced (both fronts
or both rears). This maintains the same side-to-side ride height.
Trying to "shim up" a weak spring
with inserts or a spacer is not the professional way to address the
underlying problem. Shims and spacers can be used to restore ride height,
but they cannot duplicate the original ride.
Such products usually make a spring more rigid (stiffer
spring rate) and decrease the amount of suspension travel the spring
can handle because of less space between the coils. Nor can shims or
spacers provide many of the benefits that are available with various
types of specialty replacements like variable rate springs (those that
become increasingly stiff as the load is increased).