Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring Suspension System

All types of vehicles have a form of suspension system, which attaches the vehicle’s body to the wheels so that these parts share a correlative movement. Made of a collection of components including springs, linkages, and shock absorbers, this system monitors and handles the braking and handling of a vehicle. The springs in the suspension system can be two types, leaf springs and coil springs, when it comes to trucks and SUVs. Is there any difference between leaf spring vs coil spring?

Does variation in springs affect the performance of a suspension system? There has been debate but both types have their unique advantages and downsides. The only factors that may play a part are the vehicle type, driving conditions, and budget.

Leaf Spring vs Coil Spring: Which Type Performs Better?

There is no definite answer. These spring systems have their own strong points and perform better in specific driving conditions. Here’s a comparative discussion so you can take an informed decision.

Leaf Springs

A leaf spring suspension offers the best comfort in situations when you need to apply the brakes frequently. It absorbs the shocks of the jolts created by braking randomly and bumping into speed breakers. Leaf springs are better than coil springs in dampening the impact of these kinds of minor jolts.

leaf spring suspnsion
Leaf springs are great for urban roads. (Photo Source: f150forum)

Do you live in an urban area? Then, a car featuring a leaf spring suspension will be the most practical choice because city roads are all about stop-and-go traffic where you need to apply abrupt braking. Most commuter vehicles are equipped with this suspension system.

For the same reasons, vehicles having this suspension are a good choice for driving on gravel roads. These often send the vehicles to an up-and-down motion. Due to the leaf springs’ position in the rear side of the vehicle, they can stifle these movements, making the ride comfortable for the driver and passengers.


Coil Springs

Coil springs are good for all the back-breaking work. If you need a vehicle for off-roading or hauling loads regularly, buy one with a coil spring suspension system.

Driving off-road means the vehicle endures plenty of abuse and shocks along with abrupt up and down movements. Coil springs offer the best protection for vehicles in such conditions.

coil spring suspension
A coil spring suspension performs better in off-road conditions. (Photo Source: carsworld)

They are also good for carrying heavy loads on steep inclines. They prevent a loaded vehicle from sagging low and lift the body to the required level when the vehicle is empty.

Which Spring System to Choose?

After comparing leaf spring vs coil spring, it becomes clear that no once excels over the other. Their performance depends solely on the conditions you have put them into. A leaf spring suspension system works better in urban areas where traffic is heavy. On the other hand, a spring coil suspension suits more for off-road conditions and carrying loads. For this reason, commuter SUVs are likely to have the former type while trucks, pickups, and off-road vehicles feature the latter.