How to Check your car’s Leafspring on your own
October 19, 2010
Buckling up isn’t the only way to prevent accidents from happening. Checking your suspension can also save you. Leafspring suspension work hand- in- hand with shock absorbers to give you that smooth ride on a bumpy road. Oxymoron? Not!
A leaf spring suspension maintain your car’s level and keeps your tires on the road while shock absorbers are responsible for taking the impact of bumps and other road obstacles. Having your head in the clouds doesn’t have to be literal when you can check the suspension at the comforts of your own garage.
Here’s how you can check the suspension of your car:
- Park your car on a hard and level surface. Measuring on the beach is not advisable.
- Get the measuring tape and measure from ground to the top of each tire.
- Compare data and see if there is at least 1 inch discrepancy, check the lower side of the leaf spring.
- Go under the vehicle and inspect the shackles of the leaf spring. It would be located at the front and rear end of each leaf spring. These shackles are used to hold the springs to the chassis of the vehicle. This is also a good time to see if the shackles are doing their job well and are not rusty. Rusty shackles can’t hold a prisoner for long.
- Inspect the leaf spring for any signs of damage like cracks, holes and the sort. It is easier to inspect smaller and lightweight vehicles due to the fact that it uses a mono- spring (one single spring per side), while larger heavy- duty trucks use a multi- leaf spring suspension. If your car uses a mono- spring, it would be obvious to see the cracks.
- Gently run your hands down each spring, taking note of the area near the axle clamp. The spring should snap where it meets the axle, but a broken multi- leaf spring might swing outward, away from the spring assembly and striking the tire while driving. This is something you do not want to happen as it can jeopardize the passengers’ safety.
Leaf springs can be found at the rear axle in rear wheel, four- wheel and all- wheel drive vehicles.
With these steps in mind, you can rest assured that you did your part in keeping the road a safer place for drivers (yourself included) and pedestrians alike.