Findings about the microstructural features of, spring steels are necessary for the producers to enhance their mechanical properties. There are several reports revealing the basic relation between microstructure and fatigue performance. However, the results are commonly obtained from universal test procedures and have limited use due to the lack of real service conditions. In this study, the microstructural features of 51CrV4 alloy, used as spring steel component, were investigated by metallographic examinations starting from raw material to the final product. Its fatigue behavior was investigated using a self-designed test machine and a test procedure approved by the automotive industry to simulate the service conditions. Fractographic examination of fatigue failed surface was carried out to specify the effect of microstructural features on the fracture. It was concluded that (i) both oxide and decarburization layers were minimized by shot peening and (ii) although tested samples had superior fatigue resistance and failed above 10(5) cycles limit, oxide layer played a major role for crack initiation.