When it comes to your air brake system, it’s not something you want to forget about or ignore. Unfortunately, when there’s a problem in the system, it leads to the potential for some serious risks and accidents. Routine maintenance and inspections can catch an issue immediately, but it’s still important to know what causes the problem.
Here is all you need to know about what causes air brake leaks:
Signs of Air Brake Leaks
Smaller air leaks are harder to find, but there are always signs that can warn you of a leak. For example, the vehicle loses proper air pressure when an air brake leaks. That can lead to the brakes setting and locking when the pressure gets too low. Other signs of a leak can be that the system takes longer to charge or even charges more often than usual. If you suspect there is a leak, call in the professionals right away and get the system repaired.
Poor Initial Installation
Sometimes the root cause of an air brake system leak starts at the initial installation. When technicians don’t install the components correctly, it leaves gaps and space for a leak to seep out and cause trouble. It could also be that a part used isn’t of high enough quality, leading to it breaking down sooner or wearing out prematurely.
Another cause is when the hoses in the system aren’t cut properly, which makes the seal imperfect. That can again lead to a leak developing and causing unwanted problems needing air brake repairs.
Look for Corrosion
A significant cause of leaks is corrosion, especially when it settles around the pressure protection valves or the air tanks. Roadway surface treatments, like salt and other chemical de-icers, splatter on the vehicle’s underside, causing corrosion over time. Checking for signs of corrosion should be part of your pre and post-trip inspections.
As the season changes, the shift from cold to warm can also cause corrosion. Trapped moisture from a freeze/thaw, metal expanding and contracting or plastics softening and hardening can lead to trouble. Small punctures can develop and quickly turn into bigger holes as things shift or expand. That’s why pre-and post-trip inspections are essential. Regular checks will catch issues early before they can develop air brake leaks and worsen.
Call the Professionals
Call a professional if you suspect you have an air brake system leak or are looking to upgrade the system. Motorplex will ensure proper system installation, using quality parts and can handle any future maintenance and routine inspections. That way, you won’t get caught unaware or suddenly find yourself facing brake system troubles while on the road.
Motorplex offers a full range of fleet maintenance and services for heavy trucks, including air brake repairs. We have shops in Spokane and Auburn, WA, to serve you.