Do you need to change the springs every time you replace the shocks

Unfortunately, even in the twenty-first century, the general condition of roads in the world is far from perfect. Broken asphalt, potholes and other irregularities slowly (and sometimes quickly) destroy our cars. 

Shock absorbers (dampers) and springs are the main parts of the chassis that are responsible for mitigating shock when the car is moving. Do I need to change them at the same time? Is it possible to leave old springs when replacing shock absorbers? Let’s take a closer look at these issues.

What are shock absorbers and springs

Shock absorber and spring – an inextricable duet. Their main task is to make the car as smooth and controlled as possible.

The spring, due to its elasticity, smooths out jolting and bumps, which are inevitable when the car moves along rough roads. When the car runs into a pit at any speed, the wheel jumps up. For a moment there is a loss of adhesion of rubber to the road surface. The task of the spring is to push the wheel down to the road as quickly as possible, because the “jump” blocks the steering.

Read more about difference between coilovers and regular shocks with springs in our article.

But the spring does not just press down. It makes oscillatory movements, damping the energy of the impact. The number of vibrations depends on the elasticity of the spring. The softer the steel from which the iron spiral was made, the stronger the compression and quenching of the impact energy.

The same forces come into play that allow the basketball player to drive the ball. The wheel acts as a ball. If there were no shock absorbers, the car would constantly swing up and down on the springs when driving on bumps. The shock absorber dampens the oscillatory movements of the spring. In this case, the vibration energy of the body turns into heat, from which the shock absorber body heats up.

The damper is much more complicated than the spring. And we all know that complex systems break more often than simple ones. Therefore, the shock absorber wears out faster than the spring.

When it is necessary and not necessary to change the spring when replacing the shock absorber

The maximum suspension efficiency is achieved only with the correct operation of the spring-shock absorber pair. These two elements complement each other and individually become useless.

The spring holds the mass of the car, and the shock absorber absorbs rocking and oscillations. Normally, the load is evenly distributed between these two parts of the suspension. But if one of the components fails, the second has to work for two.

If the spring becomes very soft (for example, from old age), then the shock absorber takes on a huge load. In this mode, the damper will not work for a long time and will quickly break. A worn shock absorber ceases to limit the movement of the spring. The car starts to “jump” on the road, which makes it almost impossible for her to drive, which can lead to accidents.

Do I need to change the springs every time you replace shock absorbers in a car

Unfortunately, even in the twenty-first century, the general condition of roads in Russia is far from perfect. Broken asphalt, potholes and other irregularities slowly (and sometimes quickly) destroy our cars. And the main blow falls on the suspension.

Shock absorbers (dampers) and springs are the main parts of the chassis that are responsible for mitigating shock when the car is moving. Do I need to change them at the same time? Is it possible to leave old springs when replacing shock absorbers? Let’s take a closer look at these issues.

What are shock absorbers and springs

Shock absorber and spring – an inextricable duet. Their main task is to make the car as smooth and controlled as possible.

The spring, due to its elasticity, smooths out jolting and bumps, which are inevitable when the car moves along rough roads. When the car runs into a pit at any speed, the wheel jumps up. For a moment there is a loss of adhesion of rubber to the road surface. The task of the spring is to push the wheel down to the road as quickly as possible, because the “jump” blocks the steering.

But the spring does not just press down. It makes oscillatory movements, damping the energy of the impact. The number of vibrations depends on the elasticity of the spring. The softer the steel from which the iron spiral was made, the stronger the compression and quenching of the impact energy.

The same forces come into play that allow the basketball player to drive the ball. The wheel acts as a ball. If there were no shock absorbers, the car would constantly swing up and down on the springs when driving on bumps. The shock absorber dampens the oscillatory movements of the spring. In this case, the vibration energy of the body turns into heat, from which the shock absorber body heats up.

The damper is much more complicated than the spring. And we all know that complex systems break more often than simple ones. Therefore, the shock absorber wears out faster than the spring.

When it is necessary and not necessary to change the spring when replacing the shock absorber

The maximum suspension efficiency is achieved only with the correct operation of the spring-shock absorber pair. These two elements complement each other and individually become useless.

The spring holds the mass of the car, and the shock absorber absorbs rocking and oscillations. Normally, the load is evenly distributed between these two parts of the suspension. But if one of the components fails, the second has to work for two.

If the spring becomes very soft (for example, from old age), then the shock absorber takes on a huge load. In this mode, the damper will not work for a long time and will quickly break. A worn shock absorber ceases to limit the movement of the spring. The car starts to “jump” on the road, which makes it almost impossible for her to drive, which can lead to accidents.

The quality of the spring affects not only smoothness.The force of adhesion of the wheel to the road, the handling and braking qualities of the car depend on it.

Despite the simplicity of the device, the spring gradually loses its elasticity. There may be several reasons for this:

  • natural wear of the metal, which leads to its “fatigue”;
  • damaging factors (stones bouncing off the road, friction, frequent full compression);
  • frequent transportation of heavy loads;
  • fast travel of bumps on the road;
  • metal corrosion accelerated by road salt and high humidity;

Do I always need to change the spring along with the replacement of the shock absorber?

This question can often be found in automotive forums. In almost any car service, the masters will say that “yes, one does not change without the other.” Ideally, indeed, the replacement of the spring can be done together with the change of the shock absorber.

If during a visual inspection you do not find obvious signs of corrosion and spring wear, then you can leave it. It will also be useful to check it for softness.

Please note: Leaving the old spring, the driver takes a small risk. Sometimes visually determining the condition of a part is not so simple. If the spring has lost its working qualities, then the replaced shock absorber will become unusable faster than would happen with the new spring.

By replacing both components of the depreciation system, the driver can be sure of it perfect condition.

There are situations when the spring must be changed:

  • in the event of a breakdown of any coil (springs break more often in the upper or lower part);
  • with obvious corrosive processes;
  • reducing the height between the wheel arches and the road surface;
  • with a clear difference in height of the rear and front of the car;

In any other cases, the spring can be changed through one replacement shock absorber.

If you do not carry passengers, then when replacing the damper, the left and right springs should be interchanged.

It is important to recall that shock absorbers and springs always change in pairs on the same axis. This is done in order to avoid unbalanced suspension. A suspension imbalance worsens the handling of the car.

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