The strut has to be removed to be disassembled to replace the spring. Now that it's broken, you can take it off yourself but you'll need a spring compressor to put the new one on. Springs should always be replaced in matched pairs so you'll want to replace the left one also. Don't try taking that one apart without the spring compressor. I saw one take out an overhead light fixture when it flew apart, and I had one come apart with such force I had to chase it through the shop and out through the parking lot. A spring coming apart can easily kill you. Remember, it's under enough pressure to hold up a thousand pounds worth of car.
If the springs are broken, that's due to the protective coating breaking off and the resulting rust. By the time that happens the struts are probably worn too. This is a good time to replace the struts and the springs. You also can't tell if the upper strut mounts are worn until you get the assembly apart. For all of those reasons a few aftermarket manufactures are offering "Quick Struts" that are perfect for do-it-yourselfers. Mechanics like them too because while they cost more, you get a whole new assembly and it takes much less time to install them. They include the spring, strut, upper mount, and protective boot. You will need to have the car aligned after the struts are reinstalled.
If you do this yourself, be aware that if the two lower mounting bolt heads have only two flat surfaces instead of six, you can't turn them to get them out. You have to pound them straight out because there's splines under the head to prevent them from turning.
Sunday, February 16th, 2014 AT 7:38 PM