Can You Weld Leaf Springs? Here’s What You Need to Know

Driving with a broken leaf spring could make the vehicle unstable or impossible to drive. You would need to either replace or repair it ASAP.

Replacing a leaf spring is expensive if you hire a professional. The next option, if you are on a low budget, is to repair it.

But what is the safest way to do it? Can you weld leaf springs?

Nope. Technically, welding a leaf spring is possible under controlled environments. But it’s super unsafe. Welding heats the spring’s material to a higher temperature. This causes the carbon steel to lose its tensile strength. If that happens, the area you welded might become very fragile (brittle) and prone to breaking. This is not what we want for a leaf spring that should support the suspensions of a vehicle. 

In this article, we will go over different issues you can encounter if you weld broken leaf springs back together. We will also talk about why leaf spring breaks and explain alternative ways to replace one or more springs.

Let’s begin.

Introduction to leaf springs & its properties

Leaf springs are widely used for suspensions in wheeled vehicles. Almost every type of leaf spring has an arc-shaped form. We also call them semi-elliptical spring or elliptical spring.

Their main purpose is to ensure the passengers get a smoother ride by absorbing all the shocks generating from the wheels due to road imperfections.

Using high carbon steel and other materials, such as chromium, we can give leaf springs the desired properties, such as higher toughness and resistance to fatigue.

Because of this, it can be expensive to replace a broken one. The next solution is to weld and quickly fix the broken leaf spring. This may sound easy, but you’re going to face a lot of trouble.

Problems you may face when welding leaf springs

Let’s start from what causes a leaf spring to break: the most common reason is that you overload the vehicle. Sometimes it’s because of a loose U-bolt, other times it’s a broken center bolt.

You can identify this clearly as the vehicle tilts to one side or the tires start to wear unevenly.

Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent issues to occur, however, people often tend to skip maintenance.

Regular maintenance of vehicles to prevent damaging leaf springs

This said, what happens if you attempt to weld springs?

The main problem is that the heat that comes from the welding process is going to anneal the steel right next to the area of the spring you’re going to weld. This means the steel will become softer, weaker and lose its initial properties.

Moreover, the filler metal that you need to use won’t be as strong as spring steel, making the welded leaf spring more prone to breaking.

Other potential problems

The problems don’t end there though. The way you cool down the spring also requires attention and it’s easy to do it in the wrong way. If you cool the spring down too slow, it will become too soft, while if you cool it down too fast it will become brittle.

This happens if you don’t do it under controlled environments. But with knowledge of metallurgy, you could successfully weld a leaf spring without losing the desired properties. I suggest leaving it to the pros as they do this regularly. Furthermore, you can just avoid the problem by simply replacing the leaf springs.

Bottom line is: Even though you can weld leaf springs in general conditions, it’s going to complicate your life more than necessary by having more cons than pros.

What to do if a leaf spring breaks?

People often ask how to fix a broken leaf spring. Before I start, I’d like to say the steps are the same if coil or torsion springs give you problems.

The first thing you need to do is assess the damage. Generally, leaf springs should look like semi elliptical.

If the spring looks flattened out, but it’s not old, then you can try to bend it back. I advise asking for the help of a professional that can tell you how much pressure you need to apply.

If your spring is fully broken, then I don’t recommend welding the leaf spring back together. If that’s the case, the only safe option is to replace it with a new one.

There’s a catch though: The cost of replacing a broken leaf spring can go from $450 to $750 if you hire a professional. However, if you try to weld it, the chances of it breaking again are very high and, on top of that, your safety is at stake.

Final thoughts:

Welding leaf springs isn’t safe, it can lead to more complications and the steel will lose its toughness and properties.

If you are having leaf spring problems, always try to go for the safest option, even if, in this case, it’s also the more expensive one.

Remember that, just as I advise not to weld leaf springs or any springs in general, I also don’t recommend welding anything that is located near a spring since it could compromise the durability of the whole suspension.

Related FAQ’s 

Can you repair leaf springs?

It depends on how severe the damage is. If the spring’s cracked or broken, the safest option is to replace your spring with a new one. In any case, avoid trying to weld it back together. If the spring is just bended, you can try to straighten it out. A professional can tell you exactly how much bending you need to do to fix your leaf spring.

How do I know if my leaf springs are worn out?

One of the most common ways to tell if your springs are bad is examining the front and back of your vehicle while it’s parked on a flat surface. If it’s slouched to one side, then you probably have a problem with the springs. Broken leaf spring symptoms also include hearing a squeaking sound or a scraping noise when you drive.

Can you weld spring steel?

Yes, but not recommended. It also depends on what you need to weld. The area around the weld will lose its strength and will then break more easily. If you are planning to do it, then you must pre-heat the spring, otherwise, cracks will appear after welding. Use special filler metals so that the weld will have similar properties to the original material.

Do leaf springs flatten out?

Yes, leaf springs often tend to flatten out over time. When a lead spring is too flat, it means it’s probably time to replace it with a new one. Bending it again will not last long if the spring is too old, to begin with.

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