Fleet maintenance is essential. Brake maintenance should be near the top of the priority list for any fleet manager. Brake failure is not something any driver wants to experience. Failing hydraulic brakes brings the danger of injury, crashes, or emergency roadside breakdowns. That’s where fleet maintenance comes into play to prevent those things from ever happening.
Read on to learn some preventative care and fleet maintenance tips for your hydraulic brakes:
Check For Brake Tube Contact
Excess contact on a braking system’s parts, outside of regular contact from braking, can quickly lead to premature wear of the system. As the tubing in a hydraulic system wears out, it risks the brake fluid leaking and causing severe damage. It can also lead to brake failure with hydraulic brakes because as the fluid is lost, the brake pressure is also lost. If that happens, the vehicle won’t be able to stop.
Keep The Caliper Pads And Guide Pins Lubricated
Caliper pads play a significant role in extending the overall life of the brakes and brake pads. When working correctly, the caliper applies even force across the brake pad to slow the vehicle. The caliper guide pins help angle the brake pad for smooth stopping.
Misaligned pins, corrosion, or inadequate lubrication can all cause the pins to become stuck. If that happens, the vehicle either can’t stop properly, or the brake pads will press against the rotor at the wrong angle. Over time, that can cause the rotor to become warped or damaged and need replacing. Proper lubrication will keep the guide pins moving smoothly. So will cleaning away any dirt or grease from the pinholes. Corroded or damaged guide pins will need to be taken to a professional to repair.
Replace Brake Pads Regularly
Brake pads will eventually wear down and need replacing. With worn out brake pads, the brake rotor and caliper parts all risk overworking and wearing out.
Generally, brake pads can last for thousands of miles, but it also depends on the type of vehicle and driving style. Urban areas, compared to commuting traffic, for example, will lead to wear at different rates.
As a general rule, follow the driver’s manual guideline for when to replace the brake pads. Since replacing brake pads involves the brake rotor, caliper pads, and guide pins, it’s worth checking every part during any replacements and fleet maintenance.
Always Check The Brake Fluid
Brake fluid is the most critical part of a hydraulic braking system. Without it, the system falls apart. The fluid itself does have a lifespan and can run the risk of wearing out. Regular driving and braking create a continuous exchange of heat that passes into the fluid. Over time, the combination of heat and oxygen passing into the brake fluid causes it to break down.
The main risk of that is corrosion building up inside the hydraulic brakes, which leads to blocks and brake failure. During oil checks and changes, also test the brake fluid’s copper levels with a strip test. Always change brake fluid before the copper levels reach 200 ppm. Checking and changing brake fluid should be a regular part of your fleet maintenance regime.
Get a Professional Inspection
Regular fleet maintenance is one part of the equation, but so is getting professional maintenance and inspections. While pre-and post-trip checks can catch obvious issues, a professional can see less obvious signs of trouble. Any parts that are blocked or showing signs of wear will be cleaned, cleared, or replaced to prevent accidents. With professional fleet maintenance and proactive driver maintenance, those hydraulic brakes will stay in top condition.
Need professional hydraulic brake maintenance? Motorplex is here to help! With shops in Auburn and Spokane, WA, our team is ready and waiting. Contact us now to book an appointment in Auburn, WA or Spokane, WA!