Peugeot and Citroen coil springs

Commonly when some Peugeot and Citroen models break their front coil springs they can also destroy the tyre as the broken end of the coil spring collapses onto the tyre and punctures it.

If the collapse occurs at anything more than a walking pace the damage to the tyre can be quite severe and also destroy the brake hose too.  Should it happen to you, arrange for the vehicle to be suspend towed to your repairer of choice, rather than risk further damage.

Peugeot Partner, 206,306 and 307 models seem to be commonly affected. Citroen models include the Berlingo, Xsara and Picasso .

Both Citroen and Peugeot have issued a modification in which a shroud is bolted around the lower spring seat, this does help, but I have seen one vehicle with the shroud fitted but the tyre was still damaged by the broken spring.

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23 comments so far

  1. […] Read some-more from a strange source:  Peugeot as well as Citroen curl springs « mot testing […]

  2. […] Earlier in these posts I refer  to the way some peugeots and citroens have a habit of shredding their  front tyres when a coil spring breaks, mentioning a modification made under recall by the manufacturers consisting of a retaining shroud fitted around the base of the coil spring seat. The above is an example of the retaining shroud in place, what cannot be seen in this instance is that the coil spring has broken and that the shroud has done its job and prevented the broken end of the spring falling down and shredding the tyre. The following image clearly shows how the spring has broken but remains securely on the spring seat.  […]

  3. Jim Butterworth on

    see my page http://tinyurl.com/6q4tmw5 – these failures are due to the salt on the UK roads – the springs start to rust and break at the high stress point where the spring leaves the bottom mount.

    I reported this to VOSA but they said the fault was not serious enough to warrant a recall. They did not accept the scenario that the spring might break on the motorway.

    Me ? — 8 new springs on our two 6 year old Peugeots as a precaution plus spring catchers on the from wheels. If you had one let go and shred the tyre you wouldn’t hesitate.

  4. Derry Graham on

    We bought a Citroen Picasso new in Sept. 2007 and now it’s done about 33,500 miles. The front offside coil spring broke whilst standing over night this week (17/2/13) First I knew about is was when trying to reverse and both the travel jammed immediately and the tyre instantly blew. Problem was that the spring had broken and allowed one end to be in contact the tyre, gouging into it when I drove the car! Closer examination showed that the spring was broken in 2 places, the end in contact with the tyre being clearly an old fatigue fracture. The other fracture was very clean and new. It had happened whilst the car stood and presumably relieved the tension on rest of the spring allowing it to move into the damage position. I dread to think what would have happened if this had occurred whist the car was being driven –particularly at speed. I now find that this is a recognised problem with these vehicles and will now be following up with the dealer and probably Citroen. The repair is costing £620 with 2 new springs, new ABS unit and a top seating component, plus one new tyre.
    Certain models (Berlingo?) were actually subject recall or free coil spring replacement.

  5. sfj642 on

    yes, same problem; cost me the same amount too. I DID get the Peugeot main dealer to replace the springs on my second car for free so maybe a stiff letter to Citroen and a request for a set of spring catchers would prove fruitful.
    This problem is obviously being suppressed by VOSA and even my MP has been gagged and has been unable to comment.
    The Peugeot answer is that Peugeot owners should walk around their cars and check the ride height before every journey – they blamed my wife for failing to do so when hers blew big time over a mile away from home and she was stranded with a grandchild and an immovable car.
    Don’t know about the Berlingo, but C2’s were certainly subject to a recall – check out VOSA and my page referenced above – and many WERE fitted with spring catchers (as well as new springs).

  6. Ben on

    The Front O/S coil has just failed on my 2007 307SW. Fortunately it was stationary when the coiled failed. I was sat in the car when this happened and it was just like a shot gun going off inside the car! It took out a £90’s worth of tyre too. I thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t driving when this happened. I spoke to my local dealer and they weren’t aware of the shrouds that go around the base of the coil. If anyone knows of the part numbers for these shrouds and if the shrouds fit all 307’s that would be great? The dealer wanted to charge me £380 to have the repair work carried out. I’ve got the work done by a good independent mechanic for £230. All I have to do now is buy a new tyre.

    • sfj642 on

      Not sure about the 307, probably have a similar design to the other Peugeots though – certainly a similar failure pattern.

      The Spring Catchers for the Peugeot 1007 came from Citroen so you may like to check with their stores personnel whether they are available for your car – or see my page referenced above which has a link to the Spring Catcher manufacturers – or direct to the Suplex article here:
      http://tinyurl.com/783z3f6

    • Derry Graham on

      Ben, Hopefully you’ve seen my comments that I made on 19th Feb. about the same problem with our Citroen Picasso. After some research I found that this is a well-recognised problem by Citroen to the point where they issued a recall notice (number R/2005/95). As Citroen and Peugeot seem to use identical components I understand they also have the same problem. The outcome in my case is that Citroen have paid for almost the entire cost of our repair after it was raised with them by our main dealer.
      Like in your case, the spring broke whilst the car was parked on our drive overnight — the consequences if it had occurred whilst driving could have been complete disaster, for myself, passengers and other road users.

  7. Derry Graham on

    Just to add :– Whilst Citroen have paid for most of our repair (including the tyre) it was me that had to prompt the Dealer involved to sort it with Citroen. I only found out about the history of this problem by chance and, if I hadn’t, the dealer would have quite happily have me pay the £620 quoted. I’ve also written to Citroen asking for technical (rather than PR) comments about the issue. No reply received yet.
    Ben, I note that your vehicle, like our Picasso, was also a 2007 sale and it makes me wonder if, technically, Citroen and Peugeot were still taking a calculated risk with their build at the time. Presumably, the springs all came from the same supplier so the problem may be sourced further up the supply chain or it relates to the actual spring design and specification at the time.

  8. Katie on

    My 04 picasso has just failed its mot for the first time. Offside front coil broken and also nearside front suspension arm bush. After reading the above posts. Does anyone think I should contact citreon too? Or is my yr too early?

    • Derry Graham on

      Katie,

      Citroen did issue a recall notice for Picassos built between 1/12/02 to 30/9/03 because of the spring problem. The vehicle VIN numbers were
      VF700000094000192 to VF700000094068124. Could be worth you checking the number on your vehicle.
      The recommended action for the suppliers/repairers was to fit a suspension cup to each side of the front suspension. It doesn’t necessarily follow that your vehicle when new would have had these present as mine bought new in 2007 didn’t —Citroen having clearly decided that it was safe enough again not to fit these or, they’d done something in build which was better. Citroen wouldn’t answer on this point when I asked them.
      So, yes, it could be worth you contacting Citroen to see if your vehicle would have been in the ‘risk’ area.
      Unfortunately also, with the condition of our roads, coil breakages have been increasingly common and it’s the motorist who bears the cost.
      If it helps, the Customer Support Manager at Citroen is Mohammed Ishaq, Tel.0844 463 3500. Their address is:-
      Citroen Contact Centre, Pinley House, 2 Sunbeam Way, Coventry, CV 1ND.
      If you do find that it is a Citroen-related problem then it’s worth sticking to your guns a bit and at least asking for a contribution to your costs.
      Good luck.

      • sfj642 on

        Derry Graham – I agree with all you say; however there is the added problem of salty roads. Other countries with bad roads (eg South Africa) don’t seem to have spring breakages.
        According to the AA, http://tinyurl.com/oljukjr
        the salt causes “hydrogen embrittlement” of the springs and this is the reason they break in the UK.
        It might be argued that the front springs should be changed every five years as a routine maintenance item.
        To my mind, any component failure that leads directly to the catastrophic failure of another safety-related component (like a tyre) should be the subject of a recall, but VOSA don’t agree with this fundamental H&S premise.

      • Ben Garston on

        Unfortunately I found that contacting Peugeot UK was a complete and utter waste of time when a front coil failed on my 307sw. Peugeot UK expected me to wait 7 days before getting a response for a start. I needed the car fixed ASAP as I need it for my living. Getting blood from a stone would be easier. My local dealer dealer wanted over £400 to fix my car, I took it to a reputable automotive mechanic who changed both front coils and a few other related minor bits and bobs all for less than £200 (I think it was ~£170 but don’t quote me on that)!

        I am more shocked and concerned about the prevalence of the issue and the complete lack of concern from both VOSA and Peugeot UK that this is an issue that is putting peoples lives at risk! I look after my car regardless of cost, the OSF coil failed on my car when it was stationary just days after a full service and MOT at a Peugeot Main dealer. However the previous day to the coil breaking I drove my car at motorway type speeds……I dread to think what the outcome would have been if the coil failed then – a completely different story no doubt for which I know VOSA and Peugeot would show no culpability for!! 😐

        Ben

      • Derry Graham on

        My case with Citroen was helped considerably by the Warranty Manager of the main dealer in Sheffield (to whom my car was taken for repair) who dealt with Citroen on my behalf and had a very positive answer within about 3 hours.
        I also was extremely concerned at the thought of the problem arising at speed and was not entirely consoled by Citroen’s comments that the problem normally arose at low speeds or when the vehicle was stationary. In our case, we think the coil break occurred whilst the vehicle was standing over night.

      • sfj642 on

        Quite right, they USUALLY fail when stationary. However I am aware of at least three (Peugeot 1007) that have broken whilst moving (fortunately not too fast).

        I wonder how many unexplained high speed accidents go unrecorded due to the death of the driver and the inability to decide whether the tyre or the spring broke first?

      • Derry Graham on

        Whilst one means of failure is hydrogen embrittlement it could be that crevice corrosion cracking and fatigue failure may be another mechanism. Curios thing is why Citroen/Peugeot springs have been particularly prone to failure —after all, all cars are exposed to salt on the roads.
        The answer is somewhere between the metallurgy and design of the springs and the design assembly. Surface protection or not will be another factor. I have heard Ford having a similar problem but not to the same extent as Citroen/Peugeot.

  9. Simon on

    In March 2011 the front offside coil spring (0n Peugeot 307 estate) shattered as I pulled onto my drive, having just finished a motorway journey.
    It sounded like a gunshot when it broke.
    I had both front coil springs replaced at the Peugeot dealership (approx £400 to repair).
    A rattle on the car had been annoying me for a few days and on examining the car at the weekend it have discovered that both front coil springs are broken.
    Would it be unfair to ask Peugeot to foot the bill? I am also shocked that such a serior issue is being swept under the carpet.

    • Derry Graham on

      Simon,
      Given the state of the roads and the relatively high level of spring breakages they are causing I would think that Peugeot may not be too receptive to ‘foot the bill’. But, both springs are broken which sounds more excessive than normal and it could be a good start to discuss the situation with your Peugeot dealership.The nature of the breaks could also be important. Are the springs fractured in a very clean break across the diameter of the spring or are the broken ends more pointed with a longer face of fracture and perhaps some rust or discolourment showing. The former could still be the embrittlement problem whilst the latter more a case of impact and fatigue failure. Question also, did the dealer use original equipment springs or were they some ‘equivalent’ and probably cheaper. I would expect a proper dealership to be sympathetic and possibly help you if an approach to Peugeot is made. A final comment, in law your ‘purchase contract’ was between yourself and the dealership as they sold you the springs so they should be involved first.

      • sswb123 on

        Thanks for the comments. Both springs have a clean break (there is a slight angle) around a quarter of the way up. They look in good condition to the eye with mimimal surface corrosion. I am waiting for a call back from the dealer and will post how I get on.

    • Ben Garston on

      The gunshot noise is exactly how I’d describe what happened on 307sw; how was your hearing for the next 5 minutes after the spring broke? I am a reasonably confident motorist and it took me a while to regain my confidance in the car after too.

      Ben

  10. Simon on

    Your right about the confidence Ben. For such an important component the quality should be spot on.
    Peugeot have advised me that they fitted cheaper springs, although this was never discussed at the time! They have offered to take the springs off and send them back to the supplier to see what they can do, but are offering no guarantees. The only problem with that is they will want to charge another £400 if the suppliers feel it just ware and tear.
    I`m not sure I want to give them any more business at the moment.

    • Ben Garston on

      Hi Simon, With all due respect what you’ve been told sounds like a load of coblers to me. Peugeot DON’T make springs, they buy them in and slap a Peugeot badge on them. Having been shopping for springs I now know there aren’t too many manufactures of springs either.

      Rightly or wrongly I gave up with Peugeot in the end because I needed my 307 back on the road for my job. I had both front springs changed and a few other minor related bits and bobs done (top mount bearing for example) at the same time all for ~£170 by a reputable local automotive mechanic (the sort that doesn’t advertise and still has cars lined up waiting for his attention) – I suggest you might have to do the same.

      As a guide the most expensive spring for my car at Euro Car Parts is this one at the mo: http://tinyurl.com/puyvrdh so makes me wonder how Peugeot justify their prices especially when you don’t get the backup afterwards when something goes wrong! It’s a shame as despite their reputation PSA cars are generally good if maintained correctly.

    • Derry Graham on

      Not sure I understand your comment. Are your springs OK but that Peugeot have told you that they were cheaper springs with the implication that they’re inferior and therefore more likely to fail ? Did Peugeot tell you this direct? Did you buy the car off a main dealer or even new? If so, it’s up to the vendor to take responsibility and this idea of sending the springs back to the spring manufacturer leaves you very vulnerable as you’ve indicated. Equally, the idea of a car manufacturer sending a component back to the component maker on behalf of a customer with maybe a problem seems very questionable. Also, Peugeot will have their own quality control facilities who would first investigate if a problem exists before going to the spring maker about it. And, I’d doubt they’d do that anyway for one or two suspect /cheaper springs. All rather confusing—sorry.


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