Basic Tips on Leaf Spring Maintenance
April 22, 2014
When it comes to suspension technology, there’s no question that leaf springs are the best. With the use of several metal strips combined together to absorb shock and equalize weight distribution of a vehicle, leaf springs are much better in dealing with heavy cargo than coil-type suspension.
But just like any car component, it will wear over time. So in order to ensure that leaf springs stay in tip-top shape, consider the following tips on how to maintain them. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you require when visiting a leaf spring store in the Philippines.
Tip 1: Pre-set
Over the course of your travels, driving your vehicle through potholes, humps, or any kind of bump that can shift’s your vehicle’s weight, will be handled by your leaf springs. The stress causes the suspension to droop or “sag”, making it lose its ability to properly absorb shock.
Experts from Suspension Specialists, Inc. maintain that pre-setting leaf springs with a “bulldozer” will bring it back to its original shape. Doing this makes the device useable for another 16,000 km (1,000 miles).
Interestingly enough, this method is done before installation to test for defects and evaluate if the leaf spring is in good working condition.
Tip 2: Re-tighten the u-bolt
The u-bolt, which is located at the center of the leaf spring, is used to hold all the metal strips together in the middle. Re-tightening it prevents further sagging, allowing the device to absorb shock properly.
Suspension Specialists, Inc. experts recommend that drivers have their u-bolts tightened every 800 km (500 miles), 1600 km (1000 miles) and at regular intervals based on the driver’s judgment.
Tip 3: Replace the individual leaves
In some cases, the entire leaf spring doesn’t have to be replaced – only the individual leaves. If you find a strip out of place, it can be re-bent with a hydraulic press. You might want to take your leaf springs to an auto shop and have a mechanic work on that, as it takes a skilled person to bend the individual metal sheets to the right curvature.
If the leaves are hopelessly straight, rusty, or old, then consider getting new leaves from a metal bar. Again, this might need the expertise of an experienced auto mechanic, so bring this case to your nearest car repair shop.
Tip 4: Lubrication
Grease or oil the entire leaf spring. When a vehicle goes over a hump, bump, or pothole, the leaf spring moves upwards, taking the stress for the entire car. If unlubricated or rusty, every component that braces for impact will make a crunching noise. The abrasive absorption affects the suspension of the entire vehicle, contributing to very uncomfortable ride.
Lubricating the leaf spring eliminates that. It might mean taking apart the entire device to get the job done, but if it means a much smoother ride in the end, then the hard work is well worth it.