Tell Tale Signs That You Need to Replace Your Leaf Springs
If you own a pickup truck, van or SUV, chances are good you expect a lot from your suspension. One of the key components that help you carry and tow those heavy loads day in and day out are leaf springs designed to support your vehicle's suspension system. In fact, you often don’t know exactly how important the performance of your leaf springs are until you find that they are not working correctly any longer.
Your factory-installed metal leaf springs are made to last for a general period of time before eventually wearing down and requiring replacement. If you're in tune with the way your vehicle handles and performs, you're sure to notice signs of worn-out leaf springs. This might be due to a rough ride, excess vibration when your car or truck is fully loaded and many other indicators.
No matter what tips you off that your suspension isn't doing its job, when it is time to replace your leaf springs, it is best to get it done right away. Be alert to the tell-tale signs that you need to replace your leaf springs to avoid unsafe driving conditions and keep your vehicle on the road and running strong.
Look out for these tell tale signs that you need to replace your leaf springs:
- Squeaky sounds while your truck is in motion
- Slouching on one side
- Sagging in the back
- Diminished handling
- Trouble hauling and towing loads
- Suspension bottoming out
- Cracks on leaves
What Are Symptoms of Bad Leaf Springs?
One sign of vehicular distress is the occurrence of squeaky sounds while your truck is in motion. The sound will only occur as you drive the vehicle, which can make it difficult to pinpoint the source of the problem. However, squeaky leaf springs might be the culprit.
To determine whether the squeaking is being caused by the leaf springs, park your truck on a flat piece of land and examine the front and back of the vehicle from side to side. If the truck is slouched on one side, there's probably a problem with one of the springs. Squeaking noises can also occur if the bolts are loose in one of the springs. To see whether this is the problem, jack the truck and examine the springs. Do any of the bolts feel loose? If so, the leaves might shake while the vehicle is in motion. This problem should be remedied immediately before it leads to more costly issues with your truck.
What are the Signs of Damaged Leaf Springs?
There are certain services you know you're going to need over the lifespan of a car or truck, ranging from changing fluids, batteries and tires to replacing brakes, the timing belt and the water pump. As important as they are to your vehicle's performance, the question of when to replace leaf springs is often the last thing on your mind. If you are not checking and inspecting your leaf springs regularly, then you might end up with problems that end up ruining your ride.
While further inspection is required to confirm worn-out or broken leaf springs definitively, using your senses is often enough to detect a problem. When you hear creaking and squeaking when traveling over rough terrain or a scraping noise as you drive, it's possibly due to issues with your leaf spring suspension. If you're experiencing diminished handling and trouble hauling and towing loads, or your suspension bottoms out whenever you go over a bump, you might have worn or cracked leaf springs that need an immediate replacement.
How to Tell if You Need New Leaf Springs
Even subtle clues your leaf springs are showing signs of wear and tear or failure is warning enough to take a closer look. Often, you can see if there are problems by parking on a flat surface and looking at your vehicle to see if one side sits lower than the other. If the car lies low on one side, then it’s time to remove the wheels and inspect further.
This procedure can quickly be done by an amateur mechanic using a few basic tools. However, some may also wish to bring their vehicle to a professional repair shop for a more thorough inspection. After lifting your truck and taking off the wheels, clean the leaf springs with a wire brush to remove the dirt and grime and look for wear and cracks. If any exist, then replacement leaf springs are the only logical choice.
A compromised suspension system not only diminishes your capabilities but is also potentially dangerous. If the leaf springs break completely and your axle is detached, with further use you risk extensive damage to the chassis of your car or truck. A failure of this nature can also impact the condition of a variety of other systems and components, resulting in far more costly repairs or a total loss.
Leaf Spring Replacement Options
At General Spring, we carry a range of options in replacement aftermarket leaf springs depending on your make and model as well as your applications. We offer standard options that meet or exceed the quality of OEM parts.
If your leaf springs have only lasted a short period due to heavy use and challenging jobs and work environments, you may want to talk to our experts about heavy-duty leaf springs. The standard leaf springs on a car or truck are only rated to hold a certain amount of weight, and if you are routinely carrying heavy loads, this can affect the wear on your leaf springs. Our heavy-duty options are designed to increase hauling and towing capacity and stand up to the most challenging applications.
Find out more before you just replace the springs with the factory models.
Need a Leaf Spring Replacement? Turn to General Spring
You may have many questions as it relates to finding the right leaf springs to replace those that are damaged on your vehicle, and talking to experts who work on suspensions every day can help. At General Spring, we have been an automotive leaf spring and suspension authority since 1965, and even today still operate a full-service shop in the New Century, KS area.
When you call the technicians on the floor, you’ll be speaking with the same people who build our high-quality suspension products. Our experienced representatives will be happy to answer all your questions about when to replace leaf springs and assist in identifying the products that make the most sense for you. We can also design and manufacture custom-made leaf springs for any application, including older vehicles where leaf springs are no longer readily available.
Order Your Replacement Leaf Springs Today
Don't put off inspecting your suspension or ignore the signs of broken leaf springs. General Spring offers a complete range of cost-effective solutions for fixing the problem and restoring the quality of your ride. We provide fast shipping across the country as well as an excellent one-year warranty on all of the leaf springs we sell.
Contact us using our online form for more information on the tell-tale signs your leaf springs need replacing or to request assistance placing an order. We’re confident that we can assist you with any suspension problem you may have.