Spring has sprung...

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by MOCAŠ, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    Having seen a few threads about it, I wondered whether my SLK would also fall prey to spring failure at some point. Well, the wondering is over. When doing a three-point turn on Sunday, I noticed a clonking noise coming from the front off-side as the wheel reached full lock. Pulled over to have a look, but couldn't see anything fouling the wheel. Then later, on the A40, it started pulling strongly to the right, to the extent that I had to hold the wheel at about 10° to the left in order to keep the car pointing straight ahead.

    Took the car in to my dealership this morning, and got a call just before lunchtime: front offside spring broken, both sides will need to be replaced. They've had to order the springs in, and are aiming to get the car back to me tomorrow.

    The service manager offered me a 10% discount on the parts and labour cost unprompted, bit is there much of a precedent for MB making a goodwill contribution to this kind of work? The car is just over seven years old, has covered about 34,000 miles and has a full MB service history.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  2. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    What's a precendent?

    Seems generous - springs are pretty much wear and tear items nowadays.
     
  3. GP801

    GP801 MB Enthusiast

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    Most main dealers offer at least 10% off on older cars. You might get a bit more if you ask nicely.
     
  4. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Enthusiast

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    What would happen if this were a Toyota?

    This should be fixed free of charge, they should be paying you for your time (lost) and a shock/horror payment to restore your confidence in the brand. Not only that but they should explain what went wrong with the springs, how they have now fixed the problem, how they are now going to monitor the springs they have put in and why they did not contact you to recall your car for a known MB problem.

    Anything less is extremely disrespectful.

    This is a very dangerous thing to happen, just imagine what the effect could be if this occurred on the Autobahn, how many could die?
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    Well done for spotting that. Wouldn't be me if there wasn't at least one typo. :)

    Having never previously had a broken spring on any car I've owned, some of which have been quite basic, it's worrying to think that this is becoming such a frequent occurrence on MBs these days. I shall be discussing this with the service manager tomorrow.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    I tend to agree, WDB. While I wouldn't claim there was any risk of the car crashing (in my case, at least), it was rather inconvenient and an unnecessary, unplanned expense for something that I would normally expect to last as long as the car.
     
  7. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Enthusiast

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    I'd be inviting the Dealer Principal to sit in on the discussion too TCAS. I am not too sure the traction you deserve could be provided by a Service Manager.

    This type of petty attempt at appeasing a customer under this circumstance especially is disgusting to me, cynical, condescending & insulted is what I'd be thinking/feeling.

    When a failure like this happens it's the putting right that counts, and to be frank MB have not come close to putting this right. All they have done is offer a 10% discount on putting you, your family and the rest of the motoring & pedestrian public back under risk of severe injury or even death for all you know. What confidence do you have in the repair?
    They need to convince you they have fixed the problem so it never happens again, not just make the customer wonder if they have fitted another time bomb for a discount.......
     
  8. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Sorry to hear this MOCAŠ. No harm in asking for a discount, obviously, but other than that... it seems that spring failure is quite common on all makes of cars in the UK.
     
  9. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Enthusiast

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    Shouldn't the Dealers be inspecting for cracked springs with MPI at service time if this is so common in the UK.........?
     
  10. Dichtung

    Dichtung Active Member

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  11. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    I will see how the service manager handles this before deciding whether to escalate it. So far I've just had a brief phone conversation with him, so I want to undertsand their general attitude towards these failures, and whether they do now view springs as service items.

    I'm not going to dwell on the potential risk to life and limb, as in truth there was none. Had it not been for the clonking/scraping noise on full lock, and later on, the pulling to the right, I wouldn't have known there was anything wrong. It's not as though the car's bodywork had collapsed onto its wheels, as one might imagine would happen. The car remained driveable at normal speeds throughout.

    I will, however, be seeking to establish whether the replacement springs are to a higher specification than the original ones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  12. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell MB Enthusiast

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    Springs are common to fail now. Interestingly when replaced under warranty Renault swore blind that it was perfectly acceptable to do one only.

    Answer seems to depend on who is footing the bill....
     
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  13. OP
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    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    Perhaps, but I'd rather see it as a precautionary measure against the spring on the other side also failing in the near future.
     
  14. flt.eng

    flt.eng Active Member

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    I have just had a B service done at main agents Gloucester. Prior to taking the car in. I discovered that both rear springs, were broken. Admittedly, the brake's were right down at the bottom coil. I did'nt inform them of my discovery. Just to see how thorough, this major service would be. & also I was going to get my Indi to do the work. Unless of cause, if they found the fault & offered a reasonable rate. Guess what. Off cause they did'nt find it. Even though they had removed one rear wheel. Because, I got them to swap one to the front. After collecting the car. I informed the manager. No comment. Whats your thoughts.
     
  15. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Enthusiast

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    Springs are not a consumable. If they break it is a major fault and a dangerous one at that. Do not let anybody tell you otherwise.

    I'd expect the failure mechanism to be fatigue related which is detectable before total failure - if they are inspected regularly.

    If a manufacturer is suffering from spring failure to the point where it is expected then not to inspect or replace them at service time is negligence at the very least and quite possibly even criminal. That’s what I think.
     
  16. Dichtung

    Dichtung Active Member

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    That is a shock! :dk:
     
  17. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Loads of cars have springs break due to cold rolled steel and speed-humps.
     
  18. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Enthusiast

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    This must not be normalised. It is a serious fault.

    Ever seen one on a Toyota break with such low mileage and less than ten years old?
     
  19. holbay

    holbay Active Member

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    I agree with this the mech next door to us replaces at least 3 to 4 coil springs a week and the ones he removes still have all the plastic coating on them. And the Vw camper we are welding for mot also has a broken front nearside spring and both the spring and shocker look about 4 month old and the gabriel labels look nice and clean. Bloody disgrace!!!!.
     
  20. Dichtung

    Dichtung Active Member

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    IMO, Insufficient lab. testing of steel spec. and or `tempering` temperature not being precisely monitored, probably because of `corner cutting` will result in spring failures.

    A spring should easily outlast the life of a car.

    Speed humps as DM says, don`t help.
     
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