What Causes Leaf Springs To Break? (Solved!)

Imagine you’re in the middle of the road and your car starts bumping abnormally. After checking a while, you just discovered the leaf springs are broken. Isn’t it quite frustrating? Of course yes. 

Like any other components of your car, leaf springs also tend to break or fail. You might wonder what causes leaf springs to break even though they’re made with one of the toughest materials. 

Well, no matter how strong leaf springs are, there are a few things that can lead your leaf springs to break down. And here, we’re going to discuss some of the major reasons behind breaking leaf springs that will help you to avoid those circumstances. 

What Causes Leaf Springs To Break?

Leaf spring breakage is a problem that can affect vehicles of all makes and models. As you can’t skip that disastrous situation, it’s better to have some basic idea about the reasons and prevention measures. Let’s have a look at some of the common reasons for breaking leaf springs.n 

U-Bolts Are Not Tightened Properly

Leaf spring center bolts can break, or shear, if the bolts are not torqued properly (not tight enough). U-bolts should be checked periodically to ensure they are tightly positioned. Due to the fact that brand-new springs are installed in trucks, this is especially significant immediately after installing new springs.

You should inspect your U-bolts to make sure they haven’t come loose even if you happen to go straight to a professional installer to have them installed.

Overloading

Everyone falsely asserts that they don’t do it, but we see it all the time. Placing more weight in the back of a pickup or trailer than what the manufacturer permits you leads to greater force on your truck springs. We all would love to do this, but the damage to the leaf springs is unavoidable.

Corrosion and Fatigue

Corrosion and fatigue are common culprits that can occur as a result of a combination of time and environmental conditions. A number of variables are likely to cause your leaf springs to corrode or deteriorate over time.

The quantity of weight you lift, the geographical region in which you reside, the roads you drive on, and all other variables will affect the life of your leaf springs.

If you drive your truck on salted surfaces, or in environments where corrosives are present, it’s a good idea to spray the leaf springs with moisturizing fluids to prevent unnecessary corrosion.

Welding Splatter

It’s likely you’ll see a lot more welding splatter on pickup trucks that aren’t among the most expensive models, minivans, or campers. This is because the manufacturer welded a bed or accessories to your truck in the same area as your leaf springs.

If your spring has been loaded with weld spatter and wasn’t monitored, it can be ruined quite rapidly. The most effective way to ensure your springs keep working fine is to check them once the body has been installed and to make sure no one was clumsy when working with the welder.

Age and Overuse

As leaf springs get older, they tend to become less sturdy. This is mostly due to the fact that the metal that makes up a leaf spring becomes harder to work with as it gets closer to its expiration date. 

In addition, if you subject the leaf spring to too much abuse, like repeatedly slamming your car into a curb, it may eventually wear out and break. 

Related: What Kind Of Steel Are Leaf Springs Made Of?

Can I Drive With Broken Leaf Springs?

Damaged leaf springs expose your vehicle to a number of hazards. A pickup requires an adequate suspension system to operate correctly, no matter where you drive it. Having only a broken leaf, your automobile could wobble in one direction because of an imbalance of weight across one area. 

This extra stress could have a quicker effect on the overall suspension of your vehicle. The severity of the challenges connected with a broken leaf spring vary, including both damaged and worn axles, deflated tires as well as deteriorated automobile stability.

Severe damages contributed to a broken leaf spring may include causing it to become a hazardous hazard on the roadway.

How to Prevent Leaf Springs Breaking

If your car has leaf springs, you’re likely aware that they can break. Leaf springs are a type of suspension system found in a lot of cars, including domestics and imports. Even though leaf springs comprise one of the toughest metals,  they can be susceptible to breaking if not treated properly. Here are some tips on how to prevent them from breaking: 

  • Inspect the leaf springs regularly for cracks or other damage. This will help you identify any problems early on, which will make it easier to take care of them. 
  • Don’t overload the spring with heavy objects or weights. This can cause it to stretch beyond its limits and eventually break. 
  • Make sure the ground under the car is smooth and level. 
  • Follow all vehicle maintenance instructions so as to prevent rust or corrosion. 

FAQ

How do you know if you have a broken leaf spring?

If you can push on the leaf spring and it pops back and forth, then it is most likely broken. If the leaf spring is completely gone, then you will need to replace the entire suspension.

How long do leaf springs last?

Many pickup trucks and vans come with leaf springs, which normally last 200,000 miles or more. It’s not unusual to find that leaf springs can malfunction much earlier, with anywhere from 50,000 to 300,000 miles, although they may experience 200,000 miles or more.

What happens if leaf spring breaks?

The numerous potential difficulties of a broken leaf spring range from damaged axles and deflated tires to an unstable vehicle. Many broken leaf springs can drive your vehicle over the edge of a cliff, at the worst.

How do you strengthen leaf springs?

If you increase the height of your vehicle by attaching an extra leaf to each rear wheel, you increase the amount of weight your vehicle can lug by adding an additional leaf to the existing leaf stack. This may ultimately strengthen your leaf springs.

Conclusion:

Leaf springs can break for a variety of reasons. A common cause is metal fatigue, which can be the result of the spring being overused or subjected to excessive vibration. Other causes of spring failure include corrosion, improper installation, and structural defects. In addition, leaf springs can become brittle and break if they’re exposed to cold weather or road salt