Yesterday my Ford Fiesta 2007 has a sudden total steering failure as I was coming off a roundabout. I could turn the steering wheel but the wheels didn’t respond and I crashed into the roundabout. Luckily I wasn’t going fast. The garage have found a snapped coil and replaced it. I’m confused and scared now as this could easily have been a terrible accident. How did this happen and could it happen again? The car was fine at the last MOT.
Hi Rachel. Is the garage able to ascertain that the coil spring snapped before or as a result of the accident? This will be very important in working out what the cause may have been.
Car coil springs are made out of very strong steel, and normally only snap as a result of an impact such as smacking a kerb or particularly severe pothole. Even then, the wheel or tyre would normally take all the damage before the spring broke. If the spring has snapped as a result of impact, it may have been perfectly fine at the last MOT inspection.
With the slippery conditions all around over the last few weeks, it makes it harder to argue that the accident was due to mechanical failure as there will have been a significant increase in the number of cars sliding off icy roads in exactly the sort of circumstances you have described.
I think that the coil spring broke first making you lose control. Breaking suspension springs is a known occurrence on Ford Fiestas of your series. It was due to cost cutting by not flattening off the base and top rings of the coils which puts extra stress on them. I don’t think that breaking springs can be predicted.
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