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Okay, let’s start with what is hopefully obvious. Rear suspension springs are a part of your car’s suspension system. That much you probably could have figured out on your own. If you don’t know what a suspension system is, here’s the quick and dirty breakdown: It helps your car drive well and smoothly, and keeps you from having a severely uncomfortable ride. And it’s pretty important. So, let’s get into some details. Your car has a suspension spring at each wheel. Can you guess which two wheels have rear suspension springs? Most suspension springs are standard coiled springs, and, in fact, are often called coil springs. Or suspension coil springs, if you feel like throwing a lot of words onto the table. The suspension springs rest between the upper and lower control arms and absorb shock as your car drives. And that’s the meat of what they do. Your car travels over a lot of imperfections on the road, such as potholes, speed bumps, and those random objects strewn across the tarmac. Yet your ride is usually pretty smooth, thanks to the suspension springs absorbing a lot of that impact. The springs are what allows the suspension to move up and down with the road, instead of the entire car doing so. That keeps the impact from going to the frame of the car, and to the people sitting in it. Including you. In addition to absorbing road impact, your car’s rear suspension springs also aid in supporting the weight of your car, which is pretty important. So, if you like having your car sitting at the right height, then send a thank you note to your rear suspension springs. Rear suspension springs are extremely durable, and usually last the entire life of the car. If yours don’t, however, they’ll need to be replaced in pairs. You’ll have to replace both rear suspension springs at once. One last note: Replacing suspension springs can be dangerous, given the amount of pressure holding them in place. So, no matter how confident you’re feeling after that DIY project you did, don’t try this at home.
So, the suspension springs support the weight of your car at each wheel. Which means the rear suspension springs support the weight of the rear wheels. Which means that, if they fail, you might find your car leaning towards one of those wheels. It looks funny, I’ll admit. But it’s no laughing matter. So, if you see your car leaning towards the rear driver’s side wheel, or the rear passenger’s side wheel, you very well may have a malfunctioning rear suspension spring. Your car also might just sit a little bit too low in the back, which, again: Looks funny, but no laughing matter. Keep your eye open for when your car doesn’t look right. Usually an important sign.
Hopefully you don’t need to be told that your car shouldn’t be making weird noises. If your car has damaged rear suspension springs, then it will likely make a knocking noise. You’ll notice this noise coming from the suspension when you drive over bumps, or other imperfections in the road. It’s the sound of busted suspension springs being forced to move when they don’t work.
Your car is safe to drive short distances when it has a broken rear suspension spring. That doesn’t mean it isn’t urgent, though.
The longer you drive a car without a fully functioning suspension system, the more pressure and impact is put on the suspension, which can lead to further damage. So, if you ignore a rear suspension spring replacement, you may end up with a much worse problem on your hands. And a much larger bill.
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