Semi-trucks are some of the most important vehicles on any highway; drivers transport goods from one place to another. However, when these behemoths experience brake problems, they can quickly turn into the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Semi-truck drivers should know some troubleshooting tips for air brake issues. Continue reading to learn how to troubleshoot common air brake problems.
Low Air Pressure
Low air pressure is one of the most common air brake problems. A leaking valve, leaking air lines, or a faulty compressor can decrease air pressure. To troubleshoot this issue, make sure the compressor is functioning correctly, then check the valves and air lines for leaks. Additionally, inspect the air dryer and replace it if necessary.
Brakes That Won’t Release
If your brakes don’t release, it could result from a malfunctioning relay valve. The relay valve controls the brakes’ release, but they won’t disconnect if the valve is malfunctioning. Check the air supply of the spring brakes to troubleshoot this issue. If the air supply works properly, move on to inspecting the relay valve.
Brake Shoe Wear
Another common air brake issue is brake shoe wear. Over time, friction can wear down the brake shoes, reduce their effectiveness, and increase the distance required to stop your truck. Inspect the brakes regularly, and replace worn-out brake shoes as needed.
Slack Adjuster Issues
Slack adjusters alter the distance between the brake shoes and the drum. Over time, slack adjusters can wear out and cause air brake problems. Check for signs of wear, and install new slack adjusters if necessary.
Air brake issues can threaten the safety of your semi-truck. Keeping your brakes in good working order requires regular inspections and maintenance and immediate attention when problems arise. By following these tips, you can troubleshoot common air brake problems.
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