While there are many contributing factors to trucking accidents, truck braking capability is often one of the leading causes.
Here are ten key things to know about truck brake maintenance that will help you stay safe on the roads:
While there are no hard and fast rules on how often your truck's brakes should be serviced, all brakes need servicing at least once or twice every year. On the other hand, your truck's brakes may wear out prematurely depending on the road conditions and your driving habits, needing constant brake service and inspection to keep them in top performance.
If your brakes are failing or getting worn out, brake service and inspections give you a chance to get recommendations on replacement parts from experienced truck repair experts. So, always ensure all brakes are properly inspected, adjusted, and maintained whenever you visit a truck repair shop.
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid in the braking system that plays a crucial role in the braking process whenever you step on the brake pedal. Over time, your brake fluid becomes contaminated with moisture from the atmosphere, lowering its boiling point. This eventually affects the effectiveness of your truck's brake system.
Having water in your transmission fluid also promotes corrosion of the master and wheel cylinders, which leads to brake failure in the long run. It is crucial to regularly perform a brake fluid flush to ensure you have fresh fluid for solid braking performance. A brake fluid flush may also be necessary if the fluid appears milky or cloudy.
Even the tiniest amounts of air in the brake line can significantly impact the effectiveness of the brake system. Besides changing the brake fluid, it's also important to bleed the brake lines to eliminate excess air. This is mostly done after every 2 to 3 years during a scheduled brake inspection service.
Rotors are the circular metal discs that the brake pads clamp on when you press the brake pedal. While rotors can last up to 70,000 miles, it's always best to have them checked, especially when inspecting the pads.
Some of the common signs of a worn-out rotor include rattling, shaking, or wobbling while braking.
During your scheduled brake maintenance, ensure the rotors are checked for grooves and stress cracks. Always replace rotors in pairs, for instance, either both rear or front rotors. This helps ensure they wear evenly and create an even gripping surface on both sides, preventing your truck from pulling to one side during braking.
Brake pads, usually found inside the brake calipers, are an important part of your truck's brake systems. When you step on the brake pedal, the pads attach to the rotor, creating the force and friction required to stop your truck. Over time, the pads wear requiring replacement. In most instances, rear and front brake pads wear at different rates.
So, if one rear brake pad needs replacing, the other may also need to be replaced.
Brake pad replacement should be done once the pads reach their service limit. Common tell-tale signs you need to replace your truck's brake pads include a squealing or deep growling noise during braking and when they're about 0.1 inches in thickness. Some trucks also come with a light indicator that signals ideal when it's time for pad replacement.
During your scheduled brake servicing, make sure the linings and air hoses are thoroughly inspected. Pay attention to the thickness of the lining. If it's too thin or too loose, it must be replaced immediately. Also, check that the linings aren't soaked with grease or oil.
Air hoses that connect to the brake chambers easily get worn out due to rubbing. So, it's crucial to inspect them for damages and replace those that are cracked, cut, or fully broken.
Combined with rotor and pad, calipers play an important role in stopping your truck. If they malfunction, stopping your truck can be difficult. Signs of a bad caliper to look out for include strange sounds and ineffectiveness when braking, cracks, and brake fluid leaks.
If you identify any of these issues, it's always a good idea to take your truck to a truck repair expert in Twin Cities, MN for caliper replacement services.
Another equally important component of truck brake maintenance is bearing maintenance. Common signs of brake-bearing damage include rumbling or grinding sounds, wobbling steering wheel, and uneven tire wear. Identifying wheel-end problems early enough can help save your truck from unnecessary downtime and costly repairs.
Defective bearings increase your truck's stopping distance, putting you and other road users in potential jeopardy. So, if you experience any of these signs, it's vital to bring your truck in for immediate inspection to establish whether the wheel bearings need replacement.
Common signs of defective brakes include:
If you experience any of these signs, ensure you take your truck to a truck repair experts in Twin Cities, for inspection and service to keep your brakes in a top-notch performance.
Are you looking for brake repair services in Twin Cities, Minnesota? Look no further. We offer a complete range of brake system services, including inspection, repair, and replacement of brake pads, brake drums, hoses, calipers, and rotors, among many others.
We understand the importance of having well-maintained brakes, and that's why we guarantee quality workmanship and the best parts to ensure your brake's efficacy and your safety on the road.