KONI FSD Possible FAILURE - CORROSION

Redcreek

Member
Hi people

I live in northern Sweden and our climate (especially by the coast) is really a recipy for corrosion. I'm talking epic conditions... We practically eat rear brake discs over here :-(
We have an annual safety/emission inspection for road going vehicles (not tractors), and these guys keep statistics on failures per vehicle model.
The statistics is used to make the staff aware of what to look for for each specific vehicle model (quite sinister!).
I know they have annual TÜV tests in Germany and you have MOT in GB.
What I can't understand is how these cars could pass these tests? This corrosion damage doesn't happen in just a year.
Our annual inspection is dreaded my most Swedish motorists (me included, I own a -00), but due to the stringent tests we rarely see similar "near distasters" happening as a surprise on open road.

The surprise for us happens usually at MOT when we're called to see the "giant" hole the guy managed to make with his "magic pointy hammer" in various (important) structural parts of the car.
The disaster happens when we realize the cost of repairs.
The dispair sets in when we realize it's time to part from our loved one...

What is a safety inspection worth when they miss such a obvious place for corrosion?
The lower spring cradle is practically the first spot where our "magic pointy hammer operators" starts banging away on over here.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be just as disappointed if I had FSD's fitted. I just can't understand that the failure had to happen in the first place making things dangerous.

Cheers to all of you!

Fredrik

PS, I once owned a Marina Saloon 1,8, This car taught me a lot and led me into becoming a hobby mechanic.
The car (and Lucas combined) tried to kill me on 2 occations, but if anyone knows anyone close to BBC, please ask the Top Gear staff to stop dropping them pianos.
 

simes2024

A2OC Donor
After reading all the posts here, I'm now hesitating on my order of these hitherto recommended shocks.
Is it at all possible that in the last 6/7 years since these A2 owners bought the shocks that Koni have noticed a ****-up and changed the method and materials of their rust-proofing??
 

chubbybrown

Member
2014-03-04 14.37.25.jpgAfter changing my springs and a good inspection of the Spring carriers this is the Highlands answer to prolong life.
 

John L

A2OC Donor
Not having much choice on a 1.2tdi I got some replacement shocks made by KYB and they lasted less than a year.
They rusted, corroded and leaked within 10 months. They had failed in less than one year and I was really unimpressed.
The shop refunded me my money but the shops here in town did not really stock anything else.

So I ordered some Bilstein B4's from Germany and thus far they are very, very good! The B4's last time I looked still had a full coat of paint and looked good with a shining piston.

The environment here is if anything maybe more extreme than in Sweden. We have much salt on the roads and are surrounded by the sea.

John
 

jarmoke

Member
A bit off topic, but: I believe environment here in Finland is even more extreme than yous (Norway & Sweden), as we have a lot of salt on the roads (southern Finland) and we a somehow surrounded by you, and you have a lot of salt... ... ... ;)

Anyway, I have B4's installed and I have been satisfied. Only problem I had was with "Suspension Strut Support Bearing BILSTEIN" which were so stiff that there was bad noise when turning the wheels (so they were not moving very well). I purchased original ones from Audi and I have not had any problems after that...
Money from Bilstein struts were not returned from seekpart24.com, as they wanted me to send products back with my own expence and fill some german language documentation. I do not speak/read/write/understand germany at all so I just let it be as postages from finland are quite expensive... But at least there is one place I will not order anything anymore, newer...
 

KekseKaempfer

A2OC Donor
I knew Bilstein are a good make. Prices varied from £80 each to what I paid, £38. I can take some pics if you are interested.
 

neo

A2OC Donor
How 'bout a set of lowtecs? I've been researching a bit and they seem to be OK.
Schnelletrecker mentioned them in his comprehensive suspension overview thread, but does anyone here runs one of those?
This set I think I'll go for. Yes, it is a 30/30 drop, but perhaps just shocks?
Here's the page that displays all suspension components for A2.


Cheers,
Neo
 

simes2024

A2OC Donor
Anyway, I have B4's installed and I have been satisfied. Only problem I had was with "Suspension Strut Support Bearing BILSTEIN" which were so stiff that there was bad noise when turning the wheels (so they were not moving very well). I purchased original ones from Audi and I have not had any problems after that...
That's a good point - I was wondering if Bilstein B4 shocks needed a particular Bilstein top mount and bearing. But you say you fitted Audi OE so I guess they're compatible with original parts. I was thinking of getting the febi brand top mount and bearing to go with
 

hotstuff

A2OC Donor
Koni FSD dampers are covered by a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser.
Whilst this in no way diminishes the very poor corrosion performance many members have experienced, there is recourse. I have communicated with the Koni importers and they assure me that their production methods have been altered to address the previous issues - time will tell.

I have FSD's fitted to my car and although there is discolouration, I certainly do not have evidence of corrosion. Every time the car is washed, the wheel wells are hosed down to remove grit and debris - this I think has been instrumental preventative maintenance in the results I can report. When I next have humpy on the ramps, I will take some pics and post.

Now, to add my bit.

There is no component that is fitted to a motor car that is "fit and forget", there is a definite life span and will eventually fail. Components should be regularly inspected, tested, serviced and reported on. This is a minimum and should be part of a standard service from any respectable service centre and can only be effectively done by a competent and dedicated technician. From there informed decisions can be made.

I have recently completed around half dozen suspension upgrades and can confidently report that I have noticed corrosion - some quite severe, in almost all cases across different brands. Two of these have been replaced with FSD kits which will be monitored to see how they fare.

Later today, I will seek permission, from an A2 owner on whose car I recently worked, to post some pics of work done by another "highly respected" service centre. Members can then draw their own conclusions and appreciate the value of a thorough inspection and report.

blue skies
tony
 

bretti_kivi

Member
Agreed, there is a certain amount of potentially preventive maintenance which may or may not have been completed. One thing I will add, though, is that FSDs per se don't seem to be consistent, and the corrosion issues don't just affect UK cars, it's europe-wide (there have been at least two cases I know of on the German forums, too), and again there, FSDs have been replaced by Koni.
The only annoying part about that is that the struts need to be sent to Koni themselves for testing and evaluation - in the mean time, if you want your car on the road, you need a different set of struts. The corrosion reports are frequent enough to be more than an anomaly as far as I'm concerned.

Add to this the inconsistency of behaviour... I experienced this myself a couple of years ago at Easter. I drove to the summer house loaded (3 up and 100kg or so) and the suspension bottomed out frequently. I unloaded, turned around and then went back to the next pharmacy. The difference in behaviour was stunning - it was beautiful. The car simply flowed, and I could easily do 30+km/h more than an hour earlier. Especially where FSDs were previously being recommended, I simply don't see how I can do that any more.

Considering B4s are supposed to be slightly stiffer than FSDs but are significantly cheaper, I don't see what FSDs have to recommend them.

- Bret
 

nick4tl

Member
Well I contacted the company I bought my koni FSDs from as the front ones are very badly corroded. I have the receipt still but here's what they tell me

"
These are not covered by a lifetime warranty in the UK, However they are covered by a 2-year warranty against failures caused by manufacturer defects.
The Lifetime warranty is only covered in certain countries of which the UK is not one of them.

Sorry about that.
"

Has anyone else had that experience?
 

d4v1d sm4rt

A2OC Donor
I think the issues are more wide ranging than just a 2 year warranty! They concern a vital safety component failing and the potential to cause an accident. Go direct to Koni
 

the grim reeper

A2OC Donor
Hi All

Well i thought i would update this thread as my O/S front Koni FSD failed on saturday luckly i was not going very fast and i was only 200 yards from work where i managed to limp my car back to. The lower spring cup has become detatched from the strut thus allowing the spring to become un-loaded and so rubbing on my tyre but no damage.

Anyone running Koni FSD's that have had these on for more than 5 years be vigilant as i feel it's only a matter of time before yours fails too.

Cheers Phil
 

Darren C

Admin Team
As a safety issue which involved my family, I just wanted to bump this thread back up the timeline for the visibility of Koni FSD owners in particular, but relevant to all. I'd recommend a thorough inspection of your suspension components on a regular basis. The magnitude of failure was missed during servicing and MOT, so it pays to raise the car and give these a targeted assessment of their own. Stay safe folks.
 

Skipton01

Well-Known Member
Mine failed earlier this year after 10 years on Tank. Although I could have argued the toss with the distributor, having the box an receipt still, I couldn't be bothered and decided just to fit Bilstein B8s instead, which are superb.

My failure was the main tube, around the top where the seals are crimped in. Offside front started rattling after going over a minor pothole and when I got home, 15 miles later, I discovered the damage. No impact on the arch, tyre or anything else though, so I got quite lucky. Popped the original dampers back on whist I waited for the Bilsteins to arrive, so ended up doubling the work (swapped out to originals, then 3 weeks later, swapped originals out for Bilsteins), but an alignment check showed that things were out by 0.1º overall, which isn't bad.
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
Mine failed earlier this year after 10 years on Tank. Although I could have argued the toss with the distributor, having the box an receipt still, I couldn't be bothered and decided just to fit Bilstein B8s instead, which are superb.

My failure was the main tube, around the top where the seals are crimped in. Offside front started rattling after going over a minor pothole and when I got home, 15 miles later, I discovered the damage. No impact on the arch, tyre or anything else though, so I got quite lucky. Popped the original dampers back on whist I waited for the Bilsteins to arrive, so ended up doubling the work (swapped out to originals, then 3 weeks later, swapped originals out for Bilsteins), but an alignment check showed that things were out by 0.1º overall, which isn't bad.
What made you choose the Bilsteins, Michael? Or, rather, why didn't you decide to go for FSDs again? I love the frequency-dependent nature of the Konis and have read that they've solved the quality issues that plagued their products around the time that many A2OC members fitted them. Have you lost confidence in them or did you simply want to try something else?

Cheers,

Tom
 
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