I got a car inspection in November and they told me my coil springs were cracked and needed to be replaced. I got the work done as recommended and pretty soon after this, my car was making a weird clunking noise. Because of holidays and things getting busy, it took me a while to get that looked at (almost 2 months). When I came in this time, they are saying that both my rear struts are blown out and they'll need to do the same amount of labor as the coil springs to fix it.

Does this sound reasonable? The mechanic is saying the struts recently broke (based on them being wet inside) and will probably drain out within the next week. I haven't noticed anything different recently and just came in because the timing was convenient.

Does it sound like I screwed something up by waiting to get that sound looked at? Is it likely the car inspection just missed something and I'm going to get double-charged for labor?

Car Description: Subaru Forester 2014 Mileage: ~75,000

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair. I have no experience working with shops and mechanics, but that sounds pretty ridiculous if you ask me. How much did you drive the car within those 2 months? Jan 23, 2019 at 19:11
  • I'm not sure on the exact number of miles (looks like they recorded that incorrectly on the last invoice) but it would probably be 3000-4000 miles Jan 23, 2019 at 19:29
  • 1
    Damper seals can go at any time, and if they are still "wet" then that is recent as the damper still has oil in it to leak out. Investigating noises and weird behavior is nearly always cheaper done quickly instead of being left...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 23, 2019 at 19:36
  • How much do you trust this mechanic? A favorite trick of dishonest operators is to have a small squeeze bottle of oil to spray on the strut to make it appear to be broken and leaking. If you stand behind the car and bounce the rear of the car does continue to bounce or does it stop quickly. If it stops quickly it means your dampers are damping. I have NEVER heard of a car driven normally cracking the coil springs. They are insanely strong. I could be completely wrong, but this whole thing sounds fishy to me.
    – Tim Nevins
    Jan 23, 2019 at 21:50
  • 1
    A common cause of broken springs is a worn strut. When the strut is worn it fails to dampen the spring movement. The rapid up and down expansion and compression causes the spring to fail. Most spring suppliers recommend strut replacement when installing new springs. My guess is the struts were worn before the spring replacement but wasn't diagnosed.
    – mikes
    Jan 23, 2019 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


Having done many years of metallurgical failure analysis and all my own auto work ; It is very rare to find a fatigue crack in a suspension spring. If stresses are enough to initiate a crack , the stresses are high enough to cause it to grow to failure quickly. My simple answer is to find a new mechanic.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .