Just like anything else in life, it takes time to get to know your truck’s braking system—what feels right and what doesn’t. But once you’ve been driving your truck for a while, you should have a good idea how your brakes work and should operate. So, what do you do when they’re suddenly not performing like you’re used to? How do you know when it’s time for a brake inspection, brake service, or brake repair? Here’s more on how to test the integrity of truck brakes to ensure you’re driving safely.
Air Brakes on a Truck Versus Hydraulic Brakes
Perhaps the most vital part of your truck’s braking system are the drums, shoes, and lining. These are likely the sources of your problem if you are noticing issues with your brakes are operating. The purpose of the brake drum is to house the braking mechanism, so that the lining and the shoe get shoved inside the wall of the drum when the truck air brakes are active. This adhesion is what causes your truck to slow down or stop. The engagement of your truck air brakes produces heat taken in by the drums. The drums are made with the intent to take on heat, but how much heat depends on the usage of the brakes. Excessive amounts of heat could be detrimental to your brakes.
Don’t Wait to Replace Brakes
To test your truck brakes to see if you need a brake repair or brake service, after starting your truck, build up the pressure to 90-110 lbs. Check your parking brake by:
- Applying the parking brake
- Shifting into gear
- Releasing the clutch
- Attempting to move
You should not move. Next, charge your truck’s air system and allow the airlines to fill. (It will take about a minute to be able to check for leaks.) Apply 90 pounds of pressure and hold for one minute. Three psi should be the maximum leakage. Pumping the brakes should cause the light/alarm to activate, and if you keep pumping, the truck’s protection valve should pop out. Then, running and in neutral, check to see how long it takes for the pressure to build back up to between 65 and 100 psi. As the pressure builds, the air governor should blow out.
We’re a Truck Shop Specializing in Brake Inspection, Brake Service & Brake Repair
Because brakes don’t fail overnight, it isn’t always easy to know when your brakes have reached the point where they are dangerous. That’s why it’s so important to have your brakes checked regularly and to take care of any brake service or brake repair you need sooner rather than later. If it’s time to replace brakes or any braking system components, make sure you go to a reputable auto repair shop that uses quality parts. You can trust our mechanics to keep your brakes in excellent condition, so you can drive with confidence.