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VW mini-coil rear springs T4

david mcmillan

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I have an Autosleeper Gatcombe which I bought new Jan. 2005 It has now been driven17.000 miles and a rear spring has broken. A new spring has cost me £90 from a VW dealer and I will fit it in order to save a considerable sum of money on labour! To rub salt into the wound I have found that Partco can supply me with one for £63

I should never have bought another motorcaravan based on the T4 after my previous experience with a 1995 registered Compass Calypso which I bought new. The first spring breakage came at 15,000 miles and 4 more breakages occurred at similar short mileages before I part-exchanged the 'van at 78,000 miles. But I buried my head in the sand, convincing myself that the greater gvw at 3200 kgs must mean that stronger springs must have been used in it's construction---but no, these are standard heavy duty ones as were those on the Calypso at gvw 2,800 kgs. I am going to fit auxiliary Grayston coil springs in the hope that these will extend the lives of the VW components.

The springs fail due to metal fatigue, I believe, in the reduced size coils of the top and/or bottom pig-tails. If you don't hear them break then you will be unaware of their failure and I have to wonder how many vehicles are on the roads with broken springs since I have read no reports of a problem. And it is quite difficult for MOT testers to see the lack of these broken coils. When cycling I have found, over the years, several of these broken off pig-tails in the road gutters.

In the early years I twice wrote direct to VW complaining about the poor quality of the springs but did not get a reply to either of them.

So , if you have a T4 based motorcaravan I suggest that you get underneath your vehicle and look carefully for failed ones.

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