Three Common Air Brake System Problems

When you’re hauling however many thousands of pounds of cargo, you cannot afford to have air brake system problems. Your rig’s air brakes are one of the most important systems on the semi, and we here at Fleet Truck & RV Repair service and repair air systems regularly to ensure our clients never have to worry about brake trouble when they’re on their routes. Here are three common problems with air brake systems most fleet managers and drivers face at one point or another on their rigs.

Slow Pressure Build

Basically, air brakes work by building up pressure inside the system to stop the big rig. In order to stop, your rig needs high pressure within the system. When you step on the brakes, air is pushed through the brake lines from the air reservoir and the air brake system compressor is then responsible to build up the air pressure again in the reservoir. If the compressor is leaking or malfunctioning, it will not build up the air pressure fast enough, which in turn reduces your stopping ability.

Excessive Leaking

If there is a leak somewhere in the system, the compressor will work too hard in an effort to keep the correct amount of pressurized air in the reservoir. The leak could be in the compressor, particularly the compressor lines, or it could be in the reservoir’s airflow valves. In order to ensure you do not have air brake system leaks that exceed normal air loss, check your air brake system regularly. Leaking that exceeds 2 psi per minute is dangerous and will affect your brake system’s ability.

Oil/Water Contamination

Air brake systems have an air dryer that makes certain to remove oil and water from the air brake reservoir. The dryer has a filter that collects water and oil droplets. It also has a desiccant bed that traps water vapors. If water or oil seeps into your air brake system, they will corrode the reservoir. When you drain the air reservoir, you should not see any water or oil. If you do, the air dryer cartridge is full and it needs to be replaced. Oil in the reservoir can also signal damaged piston rings.

Let Fleet Truck & RV Repair in Great Falls, MT, check your air brakes. We’ll service them regularly and repair them when necessary. Call us to discuss your semi-truck or fleet maintenance and repair needs. We bring vast experience and know-how to our big rig services.

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