This article shows the experimental results of the operational thermal cycling modeling of structural carbon steels with temperature range from the point of phase transition of type II cementite to the beginning of phase transformations of steel. In this study the influence of temperature that the number of thermal cycles and the histogram of temperature loading on the magnetic and mechanical properties of the steels were investigated. The possibilities of controlling the residual life of the elements, which are subjected to thermal cycling on changing the magnetic properties of metal, were determined. The functional dependence of the coercive force and hardness on the number of thermal cycles at a given temperature is obtained. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.