It’s not too unusual for a coil spring on a higher-mileage car to eventually break, I’ve seen it many times. A lot of times it’s just half a loop from the top or bottom and it rattles around and makes an awful noise. If it breaks more in the middle of the spring it can all collapse and get twisted all together and make noise too.
This one ended up a little different. After the spring broke, the entire upper spring seat, which is the white portion in this picture, fell down with the upper portion of the spring. I don’t know if the remaining lower portion had wedged against the body to keep the car up or if it was just the shock absorber providing all the support in that corner, but the spring was definitely not functioning properly.
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