Common Brake Issues for Heavy Duty Trucks

Issues in a heavy duty truck’s air brake system can lead to reduced braking performance, downtime, and potential safety hazards. As a heavy duty truck operator or fleet manager, it’s crucial to be familiar with common brake issues and know how to troubleshoot them effectively. In this blog post, we will provide you with tips for diagnosing and repairing some common brake issues in heavy duty trucks, helping you keep your fleet safe and reliable on the road.

Identifying Brake Noise

Brake noise can indicate various issues with the brake system, such as worn brake pads, warped brake rotors, loose brake calipers, or contaminated brake components. Different types of brake noise can indicate various problems with the brake system, and identifying the type of noise can help pinpoint the underlying issue. Here are some common types of brake noise and possible causes:

  • Squeaking or squealing noise: This type of noise is often caused by worn brake pads. When brake pads wear down, the wear indicator built into the pads can come into contact with the brake rotor, creating a high-pitched squeaking or squealing noise. If you hear this type of noise while applying the brakes, it’s likely an indication that the brake pads are due for replacement.
  • Grinding noise: Grinding noise from the brakes usually indicates that the brake pads have worn down completely, and the metal backing of the pads is coming into direct contact with the brake rotor. This can cause severe damage to the rotor and may require more extensive repairs. If you hear a grinding noise, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage and ensure safe braking performance.
  • Knocking or rattling noise: Knocking or rattling noise from the brakes can indicate loose brake components, such as caliper bolts or anti-rattle clips. These loose components can create vibrations and noise when the brakes are applied, resulting in a knocking or rattling sound. It’s important to inspect and tighten any loose brake components to prevent potential brake failure.
  • Other unusual noises: In addition to the above mentioned common brake noises, there can be other unusual noises coming from the brakes, such as thumping, clicking, or buzzing sounds. These noises can indicate other issues with the brake system, such as warped brake rotors, damaged brake hardware, or loose brake pads. Identifying the specific type of noise and investigating the cause can help determine the appropriate course of action for repair.

When diagnosing brake noise, it’s crucial to visually inspect the brake components, including the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and hardware, for signs of wear, damage, or misalignment. If you are not familiar with brake system diagnosis and repair, it’s recommended to consult with a qualified technician or follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper inspection and repair procedures.

Reduced Braking Performance

If you notice reduced braking performance in your heavy duty truck’s air brake system, it’s crucial to address it promptly to ensure safe operation. Reduced braking performance can be caused by various factors, such as worn brake linings, contaminated brake components, air leaks, or improperly adjusted brakes.

If you experience reduced braking performance, start by visually inspecting the brake linings for wear and replace them if necessary. Additionally, check for any signs of contamination, such as oil or grease, on the brake linings, drums, or other brake components, as this can affect braking performance. Address any air leaks in the brake system, such as leaking valves, hoses, or connections, as air leaks can impact the air pressure and reduce brake effectiveness.

Proper brake adjustment is also critical for optimal braking performance. Ensure that the brake linings are adjusted to the manufacturer’s specifications, as over- or under-adjusted brakes can affect braking performance.

Regular brake system inspection, diagnosis, and repair are critical for maintaining safe and reliable braking performance in heavy duty trucks. By following the tips and recommendations provided in this blog post, you can effectively troubleshoot common brake issues and ensure that your fleet operates safely and efficiently on the road.

Brake Parts at Iron Wing Sales

Need replacement brake parts? Iron Wing Sales carries a large inventory of wear parts such as brake shoes, pads, drums, and more. At Iron Wing Sales, we are your global parts resource. Our inventory contains a range of genuine OEM parts, including New Old Stock (NOS) and other hard to find parts. We have parts from Haldex/Midland, Bendix, Carlisle, and other manufacturers in-stock and ready to ship now. Browse our heavy duty truck parts inventory categories or use the search function to search using part #, description, or manufacturer. Contact us with any parts inquiries via email at: or by phone at:  216.912.9089

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright Iron Wing Sales. 2024