Compressing a Vehicle's Coil Spring

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A coil spring is one of the most dangerous components of a vehicle. Learn how to compress a vehicle's coil springs when replacing front struts on a front-wheel drive vehicle in this free car maintenance video from an automobile repairman.

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Video Transcript

In this clip, we're going to talk about the proper service procedure for removing and replacing a front strut on a front-wheel drive vehicle. In this step, we're going to talk about compressing of the vehicle's coil spring. Now this coil spring is one of the most dangerous components on the vehicle. Even with it off the car and the weight of the vehicle not on it, there is still a massive amount of tension on that spring held down by the upper strut retaining nut. So what we're going to do is use our spring compressors. They have grooves here and locking tabs that hook on to the coil spring. What that's going to do is compress that spring and hold the tension for us while we remove the nut and change the strut. What we're going to do is take the cup portion of it and slide them onto the strut. Ok, I'm going to go ahead and screw it down hand tight just like so and make sure that my retaining pins are popped all the way through and remain that way for the duration of the compression. I'm going to take and rotate the strut 180 degrees and install my second spring compressor. Once you have your strut compressors installed 180 degrees away from each other, you can see they are directly across, and hand tight, you can go ahead and take your socket wrench and begin slowly compressing the spring. This one happens to take a three-quarter inch socket. Just going to take and drive it around and you're going to want to work from side to side on this. There we go. We're going to put a bunch of turns on this one now. As you can what we're doing is squeezing the spring together, unloading the top of the strut so we can safely remove the nut and slide the strut out the bottom, reinstall the new strut and put the nut back on. Alright, now that have both of our coil spring compressors ran all the way down and the spring is compressed, again I want to stress the importance to you about safety. This spring has what they call a huge amount of potential energy stored in it. The spring is very heavy duty because it holds up the whole weight of the car, the engine and the transmission for this side of the vehicle. As you can see here, the rubber is coming away from the spring and that indicates that we have the top coil, the tension remove off the top coil. We can then safely remove the nut and the mount and continue changing our strut. That is the proper way to compress your strut coil spring and ensure that it is safe.

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