Important Shortcuts for Auto Service and Repairs

How to Look After Your Trailer to Avoid Any Costly Issues

by Emilia Latvala

When you invest a lot of money in a boat or vintage car and need to transport them from one place to another, you need to ensure that your trailer is in tip-top condition. While these are fairly straightforward devices, you need to ensure that they are kept in good condition to avoid unwanted failure. This is especially important when it comes to the trailer suspension system, as should that fail and cause an accident, you may be facing a very expensive bill indeed. So what should you know about this system and especially when it comes to its general care?

Inspecting the Leaf Spring System

Most trailers today have a leaf spring suspension system. A set of springs will be attached on both sides of the trailer frame to support the axle and counter any suspension movement.

These springs are made from heavy-duty material and are meant to operate successfully in what can be a harsh environment. So you don't need to be too obsessed with their welfare but certainly need to inspect their condition from time to time and service them as necessary.

But what should you look for?

Looking out for Cracks and Spreads

Firstly, inspect the leaf springs themselves and look for any signs of cracks, especially around the mounting points (the eyes). Each eye should be symmetrical, but if one looks as if it has stretched to any degree, this is cause for concern. The bolts that hold the springs to the frame could shear under pressure. From time to time, they may need to be checked with a torque wrench to ensure they are still okay.

Avoiding Radial Shear

You should never overload the trailer and always keep it within the manufacturer's recommended guidelines. If you do so regularly, you may overload the springs, which can lead to radial shear.

Looking out for Old Issues

If you bought the trailer second-hand, you should certainly be on the lookout for any acquired issues. Sometimes, a previous owner may have carried out some frame repairs, leading to residual deposits known as weld splatter. In this case, some of the molten metal may have deposited on the spring itself, which can certainly affect both performance and longevity. You'll need to replace the springs if you find this mess.

Creating a Habit

So, get into the habit of servicing your trailer at the same time as you service your car or towing vehicle. You should avoid any unexpected issues as the technician will be able to take care of problems as they arise. 

For more info, contact a local mechanic