Vehicle Tech Tip: Air-brake Contamination Explained

One of the vehicle systems subject to too much oil contamination is the air-brake system. Look: vehicle compressors are very much reliable. But they do fail sometimes. You will diagnose this through large oil amounts that get passed to the wet tank. However, the air-brake system can be effectively cleaned by use of automatic drain valve and maintain its efficiency.

But the sad truth is: the cleaning system may not be such reliable if proper diagnosis is not conducted on the very vehicle to be certain that vehicle balance and timing stay on check. So, it is recommended that you check timing and balance just after you clean the brake system.

The issue of oil contamination

One of the problems that could easily arise in the air-brake system is oil contamination. If it occurs, it should be handled concisely an in a clear manner. See, the specific rubber used to make the valve system components can stop to function normally if it is exposed to contamination by oil.

In case it is contaminated, those vehicles that use this system will have a problem with its air brakes and this may result to poor braking.

See: the air brake system contains a number of valves and each one of them is specially designed to perform on a particular pressure. There is a co-relation to all those valves- the relay valve, etc. and if there is a contamination on the crack-pressure valves, which are made of rubber, the timing is affected thus it may allow or inhibit brakes from applying. However, this is dependent on the degree of damage on the valve and the spring.

And you need to be aware of this; you can clean the valve but that does not bring normalcy of the crack pressure. You might be required to go for a replacement of the valves. However, the rest of the system should be cleaned while taking care not to re-contaminate valve which may lead to the same issue.

After you are done with your cleaning, the air dryer should be reconditioned or simply serviced in order to make sure the wet tank does not contain oil after cleaning.

How About Timing and Balance?

It should be maintained.

Here you need to use the most appropriate method to check timing and balance. Also, you should perform a thorough inspection of the functioning of the air brake system just after you are done with cleaning.

The reason why you need to perform the above stated checks is to simply make sure the system is operating within the specifications of the manufacturer. However, to ensure that there are no oil problems in the near future, it is highly advisable to check the air intake system and the air compressor.

Conclusion

In most cases, it proves to be difficult to make sure the air brake system is dry, clean, and oil-free. However, if you want to experience safe operation and prevent any future issues that could cost you a lot of time and money, it is advisable to keep it that way.

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