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Hi before i start i have seen this question, Is it safe to drive a car that has a broken suspension spring?

But My problem is a bit different I sat into My BMW 320d 2006 and heard a weird loud noise, and the car collapsed on the front driver side, the spring coil broken on the bottom, I was trying to move the car (it does move) but the tyre is scratching of the "Fender" (the plastic cover above the wheel). The distance i need to travel is about 1-2km (2-5min drive), my friends advised me that it would be fine but I'm just looking for some clarification, Could this cause the tyre to blow?

  • As pointed out, your insurance may not be vaild, so can you afford to pay if it goes wrong? The answers seem comprehensive so take note... I have seen broken springs move and rip a tire open - can you control such a catastrophic loss of control? – Solar Mike Aug 6 at 11:22
  • @SolarMike I could take it very easy to drive up to the garage, but if there is a high posibbility of the tyre ripping i think i would consider to tow the car – Wojtek T Aug 6 at 11:56
  • Enirely possible the broken end of the spring will catch on the tyre. – Kickstart Aug 6 at 11:57
  • I have seen broken springs move and rip a tire open - can you control such a catastrophic loss of control? – Solar Mike Aug 6 at 11:57
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You asked,

Could this cause the tyre to blow?

The answer is yes.

When springs break, the larger piece often remains "in place" and under compression by the vehicle's weight - the issue caused by this is that the car will ride lower on that corner. In your case, the car is riding low enough for the tire to be contacting the inside of the wheel well liner. This can be an immediate problem - as you drive the vehicle, the suspension will move, but as it's moving, it'll be forcing the (turning) tire against the inside of the fender. This can easily cause a tire to rupture.

Further, even though the larger chunk of remaining spring will often settle under the car's weight, the smaller, broken-off piece can have a mind of it's own. I've seen cases where the smaller piece is ejected from the vehicle under high energy - landing 30 yards away! Even if the smaller piece isn't totally ejected from the vehicle, it may shift or bounce around as you drive, and it can easily rip open the inner sidewall of the tire, or become jammed in the suspension or steering, causing loss of control.

Even when your car is sitting still, suspension spring store a tremendous amount of energy as they're compressed by the vehicle's weight. It's not something you want to fool around with.

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    How likely might it be that a catastrophic failure would happen in a mile or two? I know it's good to generally err on the side of safety, but I can't tell from this answer what level of risk it would be. Likely to break in the first 30 feet? Probably will be fine for 50 miles, but get it checked? – Cullub Aug 6 at 20:31
  • @Cullub +1 to your comment – Wojtek T Aug 7 at 8:08
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    I don't know if anyone can give a percentage chance of any specific outcome within any specific distance since it's going to depend on details we will probably never know (where the spring broke, how it "settled," what happened to the broken-off piece). I would say though, in the OP's case: if enough broke off that the tire is actually touching the wheel well liner while the car is stationary, there is a very high chance of tire failure in a short distance. I've seen tires get shredded from fender contact due to broken springs in less than a mile of driving. – dwizum Aug 7 at 12:50
  • I have travelled the 2km in the end, Nothing major happend but my tyre got a burning from the spring coil sliding on the tyre i would not do it again and don't recommend on driving with a snapped coil – Wojtek T Oct 10 at 15:36

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