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Renault Clio mk3 2008. Offside rear coil spring has broken and I've been quoted £129 to replace the spring and shock absorber but does it need a new absorber?.

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Its normally a good idea to replace both springs on the same axle together, as just replacing one may result in a different ride height or stiffness on one corner of the car afterwards. Older springs start to soften over time with general use and if heavily used can soften & sag more and more, this then changes the springs rate and ride height which can upset the balance of a vehicle even in a straight line, this is more of a concern however when cornering or braking etc.

Shock absorbers should at least be checked for correct operation at the same time, if operation is in doubt or shocks have any leaks etc, then replace it/them.

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The answer, according to the detail you provide, is it may do as the broken spring could have damaged it or the shock absorber is worn out anyway.

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    My understanding is the number one cause for spring failure is when the shock absorber no longer ... well ... absorbs the shock. When the shock (or strut) dampening stops, the spring has to take up the slack. it soon runs through its useful life very quickly and metal fatigue sets in. You're asking the spring to do something it isn't designed to do, so it fails. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 30 '17 at 20:27
  • also the paint gets scratched and corrosion sets in then, when hitting a kerb for example, it breaks - sometimes the broken end rips the tyre open... – Solar Mike Aug 30 '17 at 20:48
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Hi Ricky From personal experience I've never had a coil spring break on me, although a broken damper could be part of the reason the spring failed.. Although on a 9 year old car I'd be surprised if the shockers were on their way out, but driving styles and conditions are the main reason for premature failures with coil springs and shockers.

You can check if your shocker does needs replacing quite easily, one way you can check is by looking at the shocker, you can usually get your head in under the rear wheel and look up, look out for any oil running down the shocker or sludge build up (shock absorber oil mixed with road muck). If the shocker does have oil coming out then yep it's time to replace it.

Note : I'd personally recommend changing both the shock absorbers on the rear too, just because it makes more sense to have new on both sides, rather than one factory shocker and a fresh new one.

£129 does sound a bit more than what it would cost to buy the parts new on eBay and fit yourself, but a garage will be adding their own bit on too! A spring for the rear of your Clio I'd be looking at around £30-£45 and the shockers for the pair, around £60. So you'd be looking at around £95 to do yourself.

Hope this helps.

  • I have had both coil springs and leaf springs break - it is not uncommon.... – Solar Mike Aug 30 '17 at 11:26
  • 'from personal experience I've never had a coil spring break on me'. I'm sure there's unlucky folk who have springs break on them every day 🤔 – Daniel W Aug 30 '17 at 13:13

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