My car's springs are shot...advice needed

Ok, so I took my used 1995 Ford Taurus to get it inspected today, and it failed. The right front and left rear springs were completely broken. The other ones looked fine, although they did have a little rust. I know I’ve been driving on these for awhile. Strangely, I replaced the front tires about 4 months ago, and the mechanic didn’t say anything about the springs being bad. Today, I was warned that the current springs could spring out and jab my tires at any moment. The mechanic said all four needed to be replaced, and that approximately 4 hours of labor were expected for the task.

Anyway, I’ve gotten prices quoted to me of anywhere between approximately $500 to $800 for repairs with new parts. But the private dealer I bought the car from recommended that he could fix it with used parts, which will obviously be much cheaper. (like maybe $350 or so…He didn’t give me a quote yet, and since he is gone for labor day weekend, I still have some time to decide what to do.) *Would used parts from a junked car be safe? *

My other idea is just to trade the car in for a new or used car, before anything else goes wrong. I can’t decide if I should bother fixing it first if I decide to this. I suppose I could fix it with used parts, and then eventually sell the car, instead of making a trade-in. Any opinions?

Here’s my situation: I can afford to get a new car and make monthly payments on it with my current job; however, I am concerned that if I decide to go back to school withing the next year or two, I will not be able to continue making all the payments. I could probably pay off a decent used car, though, before that time. I estimate that I could save up about 5 grand in the next six months. I need any car I get to last about 5 more years, without any major repairs needed.

If the springs are that bad, your biggest worry should be the complete collapse of that wheel’s suspension. I’m not sure which generation your Taurus is, but if the springs from a newer model will fit, try to get them. Used shouldn’t be a problem, but I’d have a mechanic inspect them first. If you’re mechanically inclined, you might be able to replace the springs yourself. Grab a Haynes manual and some tools!

If you can afford a new car, but are unsure of your financial future, why not a slightly older car (maybe 2-3 yrs old)?

This isn’t a recommendation about using salvaged parts. However, your 1995 car is just loaded with well used parts. If the repair shop is reputable there isn’t a thing wrong with parts from a wrecking yard for an older car. If the repair shop isn’t reputable you can get scalded even on supposedly new parts.

By “private dealer” do you mean a licensed automobile dealer or a private party?
You might go back to the repair places and ask them about used or rebuilt parts.

Thanks, Mr. Blue Sky. This weekend, I was supposed to drive to the Adirondacks for vacation. :frowning: I guess I should go with the used parts option. But if I decide to get another car, should I even bother to fix this one first? Or, will selling the car on my own give me better value than a trade-in?

Yes, he’s a licensed dealer, but has a really small shop/business of selling used cars and with just one mechanic. I’m surprised none of the other big-name places I’d called had even suggested used parts to me.

I just replaced my leaf springs in my '87 Astro van. It’s a service vehicle and severely overloaded constantly. I got both springs used including shipping for 60.00 and spent another 60.00 saving my knuckles by having a mechanic install them.

Like a new truck it is.

Since I’m a believer in “driving it forever”, if you’ve taken good care of your rig otherwise, I’d replace the springs with new. Do an internet search for your best price, because if your’s are like mine, there was a wide variation.

Not certain of your ability or access to tools. Expensive parts can be had on the cheap from some yards if you know how to do the R&R. Example: side window from dealer $120. Same window from you-pull-it yard $15. Turn signal/hazard switch assembly $95. Switch from you-pull-it yard $3.

You’ll need a spring compressor kit for the front, but they can be rented.

Your call.