Checking Your Leaf Springs
How to know if your leaf springs need replacing?
If you want to ensure your leaf springs are working exactly as they should be, the right level of care should be taken. For those of you that aren’t too clued up when it comes to auto parts, in particular leaf springs, this short guide will help you along the way.
5 steps to checking your leaf spring
Below we have listed the 5 steps you should follow when checking your leaf springs. Following these steps will help you to remain safe whilst out on the road:
#1 Flatness Test
If one of the leaf springs is flatter than the other then you should take note. You might have noticed that your vehicle is tilting to one side already and if that’s the case, your springs might have something to do with it. Check them for fractures and cracks as this might be the reason for the flatness. If you discover any of the above, you’ll need to replace your spring(s) as soon as you can as, unfortunately, they can’t be repaired.
#2 Secureness Test
Assuming all is well in step 1, we’d recommend you check the secureness of the nuts next to make sure your springs are securely in place still. Loose nuts will mean that the axle can move, which will cause problems with steering, braking and tyre wear. You should tighten any loose nuts before moving onto step 3.
#3 Shackle Pin Test
As with step 2, it’s all about tightness and security. Check the shackle pins that pass through the rubber bushes in the eyes at the ends of the springs. Also check them to make sure they haven’t corroded or bent in anyway. These can be tricky to replace sometimes if they are bent or corroded, so you might need to call in some help once you have got your hands on the replacements. At this point, we’d also recommend you check the rubber bushes for cracks and oil contamination. Either of these will also result in a trip to the local garage as specialist equipment will be needed.
#4 Clip Test
Again, assuming all is well up until this point, we’d recommend you move onto checking the clips that hold the individual spring leaf’s of the spring together, securing them in place on a multi-leaf spring. If you spy corrosion or looseness in the rivets then this problem will need to be solved quickly. The control of your vehicle might be seriously compromised if left untreated.
#5 Slack Test
It takes a little more effort to check the leaf springs for slack. You will need to take the pressure off the suspension using a jack placed under the firm part of the chassis, not the axle.
Grab the leaf spring at both ends and try to move it from side to side. If the spring is secure it will not move when you do this. Before you finish, it might be worth checking the nuts and shackle bolts again to check that they haven’t loosened during the slack test. If they need tightening, then be sure to do so at this point.
Advice: Take the opportunity to check all leaf springs and parts for rust. While you’re at it, you might as well check other parts under the rest of your vehicle for rust. This helps to ensure your springs and your vehicle overall, are in the best condition possible.
How can we help?
Sanderson Leaf Springs supply a wide range of leaf springs for a range of vehicles, manufacturers and models. We can deliver products to the whole UK, so be sure to check them out! If you need any help or assistance, feel free to get in touch.