Here's What Happens When You Crush A Car Spring In A Hydraulic Press

“This is one of our most stupid things that we have ever done,” the kindly Finnish man who runs the Hydraulic Press Channel says before smushing a spring out of a Toyota Corolla. “Do not do this at home or anywhere else. This is fucking stupid.”


SPOILER ALERT: It actually goes pretty okay!

But if you want to understand the trepidation here, springs can build up an enormous amount of energy when they’re compressed (the elastic potential energy is actually proportional to the compressed distance squared), so if they’re pushed too far, that energy is going to want to go somewhere – usually into flying mangled pieces that shoot out into nearby limbs, eyes, and pets.

Just as well, if there’s some sort of slip between the compression force and the spring, the spring could fly out and cause some serious damage. You can see what that kind of thing looks like in this Saturday Mechanic clip from Jalop alum and Popular Mechanics guru Ben Wojdyla here, around 10:15 in:

Scary stuff! Please do not work on springs at home. Or your suspension. Or cars. Or the outside world. Stay home, wrapped up under blankets where it’s safe. Be safe.

Never do anything ever.

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.



When he starts reaching for that spring and it looks like a coil is still binding, waiting to, uh, spring loose. Gave me the Heebie-jeebies.