Protect Your Brakes From Winter Hazards
Good brakes can be a literal lifesaver during the winter months. That’s why it’s essential to maintain your commercial brakes’ integrity and prepare for wet conditions, snow and ice, and corrosion.
Whether it’s debris, road salt, or magnesium chloride, contaminants can build up on your brake systems and cause breakdowns on the road. While chemicals are good for clearing away ice and snow, they’re harsh on metal parts and can rust your brakes.
Corroded brakes wear out faster and lead to costly repairs and downtime in the shop. Listen for squealing in your brakes because it may be a sign of corrosion. Wash your fleet regularly to clear away harmful contaminants and build-up, especially on the undercarriage.
How Moisture Affects Brakes
Snow and ice on the road mean less traction, so your brakes are working harder in the winter. Excess braking builds up friction and pressure and will wear your brakes down faster. The heat may also create cracks in the brake system.
Cracks allow moisture into the brake system, affecting the integrity of your brake fluid as well. Mixing moisture – water, snow, or ice – with brake fluid decreases its effectiveness and can cause your brake system to “freeze.”
Lubricate Moving Parts
Lubrication keeps moisture and corrosion under control and cushions the moving parts during colder months. Conduct inspections before trips and lubricate parts like:
- Automatic slack adjusters
- Clevis pin connection points
- Cam tubes
Cars And SUVs
Be mindful of your brake pads and rotors. Slippery road conditions mean you’re likely pressing harder on the brakes, which can cut into their lifespan. Brake fluid lines can crack and leak and put you at risk for brake failure.
Run your vehicle through a carwash if you’ve been driving on salted roads to avoid chemical damage and corrosion.Bauer Built Blog, Car Care Tips, Commercial Services