How to Change Coil Springs

Coil spring replacement

Source | Flickr

Follow these steps to replace coil springs that are worn out and to restore the vehicle’s ride and handling.

Coil springs expand and contract countless times whenever a vehicle is driven, absorbing the bumps and turns encountered along the way. Acting as a buffer between the road and vehicle and absorbing and storing energy, these coil springs eventually wear out from old-fashioned metal fatigue. When they do, the vehicle tends to sag, droop, and/or handle poorly. Changing your coil springs can restore the vehicle’s suspension and significantly improve vehicle ride, handling, and safety. It’s recommended to replace coil springs in pairs, and also to replace the shocks at the same time.

Vehicle System
Steering & Suspension Systems
Skill Level
Expert

This is a challenging and technical project

Time to Complete
3–6 hours
  1. Replacing coil springs can be extremely dangerous because of the incredible amount of energy stored by a compressed coil spring. As such, you’ll need a coil spring compressor. Apply and remove the spring compressor slowly. There are different types of coil spring compressors available. Check with your local auto parts store or mechanic to determine the type you need.

  2. Raise the front of the vehicle using a jack and secure it with jack stands.

  3. Remove the wheel on the side you’re working on.

  4. Remove the brake rotor, caliper and lower ball joint knuckle if necessary. Spring compression may be required at this point. If so, remember that the jaws on the coil spring compressor fold in to fit inside the coil spring. Turning the thru-bolt allows the coil spring to be compressed and decompressed slowly.

  5. Remove the old coil spring.

  6. Replace the brake rotor, caliper, and lower ball joint, if they were removed.

  7. Using the coil spring compressor, compress the new coil spring.

  8. Install the compressed coil spring between the upper and lower control arms or rear coil seats. Reinstall any components that were removed during the spring’s removal.

  9. Reconnect the upper and lower control arms or coil seats and secure them.

  10. Slowly decompress the coil spring.

  11. Check for proper spring seating. Torque all fasteners to specification.

Last updated June 26, 2017

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