What Are Differences Between Leaf Spring Vs Coil Spring?

Mar 09, 2021

You may wonder if there are any differences between the two kinds of suspension systems - leaf spring vs coil spring? Read this review below for more information!

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: Introduction

If you are a car enthusiast and are always exploring for their specifications, you may be interested in vehicle suspensions. Currently, on the market, there are two popular systems of springs and shock absorbers types, which are leaf spring vs coil spring.

Even as a senior in the auto hobby, some people may find it difficult to find the distinction between them. So in this article, we will show the difference between the two kinds of suspensions so that you can conveniently choose the right suspension for your vehicle.

Let’s get started with Philcarnews.com right now!

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: Overview

Leaf Spring

A leaf spring is the system of spring and shock absorber which helps vehicles moderate the impact of road situations. It has an arc shape of layers of steel, with several annulets to attach to the car’s chassis.

If the heavier the vehicle, the more leaves or steel bars are put or arranged in a stack. Typically, the length of leaves or steel bars gets gradually shortened. 

From your knowledge about cars in general, you can see that leaf spring is a quite simple system. It plays an important role as a connection that unitedly links the axis and the chassis of the motorized vehicle.

leaf springs vs coil springs

Rear leaf spring suspension

Despite the uncomplicated structure, leaf spring is useful for commercial vehicles, pickup-trucks, or other motorized means of transports. 

Typically, this kind of suspension system is only equipped for the rear ends of cars. The reason is that this part of cars usually performs all heavy lifting jobs.

>>> Related article: All You Need To Know About The Car's Suspension System

Coil Spring

On the other hand, a coil spring is firm but flexible placed on top of the car’s axle or the framework and below the control arm. In terms of appearance, it looks the same as its name. 

The purpose of a coil spring is to stock and free the power a vehicle produces during transportation. In other words, it engrosses the shock of velocity impacts and extra intense portions accompanying a certain terrain.

leaf spring vs coil spring suspension

Also, it gives more movement than its counterpart, a leaf spring.

It can be adapted or attuned to users’ interests. A coil spring is also suitable for high-performance means of transports because it can accommodate drivers a more extensive turning envelope via the postponement scale compared to a leaf spring.

>>> Check out: Coilovers or Springs - Which Is The Best To Lower Your Ride?

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: Which Suspension Is Better?

From the detailed information above, you can see the difference between leaf spring and coil spring. However, it is quite tough to say which one is better. Leaf springs vs coil springs are good or bad, it is up to the specific using situations of users. 

When it comes to the applications of leaf springs, they are more fitting for load-bearing purposes. That is the reason why they are often furnished for commercial vehicles or pickup trucks.

leaf springs vs coil springs offroad

Notwithstanding, in the modern pickup truck part, some alternatives only accept coil springs.

Let’s take Ford Ranger Raptor as an example. This car belongs to the sporty and athletic car brand, which means it does not use for carrying bulky loads. However, the Raptor is equipped with coil springs to optimize and go fast over rocks, sand, unpaved roadways, and even on concrete highways.

On the contrary, Ranger Bi-turbo applies leaf springs for the car’s rear suspension alternatively with the equal powertrain. As a result, it has better load capacity than the Raptor.

difference between leaf spring and coil spring

The Suzuki Carry can haul up to a ton of cargo due to its sturdy leaf spring suspension.

Leaf springs are strong but difficult to install and lug around because of their elongated shapes. By contrast, coil springs are much easier in adjusting. Some coil springs even provide camber adjustability, ride height adjustability, caster adjustability, or damping.

About the price, coil springs are much expensive to manufacture and develop rather than leaf springs. They are further automatically more complex and are more arduous to restore or repair.

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: Pros & Cons

Suspension type

Pros

Cons

Leaf springs

  • Offering a considerable amount of support between axles and the car’s chassis
  • Coping much better with vehicle damping
  • Giving users more control when driving
  • Simple in layout and affordable to manufacture 
  • Not excellent in suspension tuning
  • Allowing few directions of movement
  • Not comfortable when driving 

Coil springs

  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Unnecessary maintenance
  • Versatile for a variety of applications
  • Not the excellent load-bearing capacity
  • Costly
  • Not regularly fitted for extremely heavy vehicles

Car Types Using Leaf Spring

Some cars using leaf springs are most midsize pickup trucks such as Toyota Hilux, all variants of the Ford Ranger (except for the Raptor), and all variants of the Mitsubishi Strada, 

Also, many commercial vehicles are equipped with leaf springs like Suzuki Carry,  Mitsubishi L300, and Kia 2500 Carga. 

>>> Also read: 5 Car Parts That Are Particularly Damaged By Potholes

Cars Types Using Coil Spring

Modern crossover vehicles use coil springs for increasing comfort and handling. Most pickup truck-based SUVs also replace leaf springs with coil ones for the same reason.

Besides, most small cars like hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, and motorcycles use coil springs for more control when running. 

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: FAQs

1. Which suspension type is better for carrying heavy loads?

Leaf spring-type suspension systems are better for carrying heavy loads.

2. Why are cars with leaf spring suspensions less comfortable?

This is because leaf springs are more rigid and have less scope of movement than coil spring suspensions.

3. What is the most common problem when it comes to leaf spring suspensions?

All springs, consisting of leaf and coil springs decline with time.

4. How long do coil springs last?

It depends on how one applies a transport, although some have been known to endure for very extended times.

5. Which suspension type is better for a track car?

Coil springs are more suitable for high-performance utilization like racing as they’re more tunable and offer more reliable handling.

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: Wrapping Up

After this comparison, we are sure that you can distinguish the difference between leaf spring vs coil spring suspension, right? Which one is better? We cannot give the final judgment because each type of suspension has its benefits. 

coil springs vs leaf springs for towing

We would say that the best suspension is the most suitable one for your car’s rear and brings you comfort when driving. 

For more automotive tips and advice in the Philippines, keep reading here on Philcarnews.com.

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