Brake Maintenance

By: Parts for Trucks 

When performing scheduled maintenance on the tractor and trailer service life, the following tips can increase performance and brake longevity.

  • Just because an automatic slack adjuster (ASA) says it’s automatic, doesn’t mean it’s maintenance free. For the slack adjusters to do their job, you must check to ensure that the slack adjusters were installed properly. Also, ASA’s must be properly lubricated.
  • Avoid potential problems on the road by replacing the cam brake return springs at every reline. The return spring is critical to shoe alignment as well as the accurate return of the brake away from the drum. It also impacts proper adjustment with the ASA.
  • Insisting on quality friction material ensures fewer replacements and greater compatibility with the present system.
  • There are no unimportant brake replacements parts. When an original part is replaced by one that does not meet OEM specifications, performance of the entire brake system may be compromised. Although substandard parts may be less expensive to buy initially, they could cost more down the road in downtime or reduced performance.
  • When replacing single drive or tandem axle brake linings, remember: If you replace one, you should replace them all. Always replace the linings on both brakes of a single drive axle or on all four brakes of a tandem axle at the same time to avoid brake balance problems. Failure to replace all brake linings at the same time may contribute to uneven wear, reduced lining lite, maintenance problems and drum cracking on the drive axles.