Tools for maximising brake system service life

actuator maintenance gauge - imperial engineering

Maintenance for braking systems

Inexpensive special tools such as measuring gauges play an essential role in maximising the service life and performance of bus disc brake systems. That’s according to the UK’s leading OEM bus parts supplier, Imperial Engineering.  The use of disc brake systems has now become universal throughout the UK’s PSV parc with Knorr Bremse, Meritor and Wabco being the most prevalent OEMs.

With the majority of buses typically operating high duty cycles and a number of these vehicles running at low speeds in city centres, considerable demand is placed on the brake systems.  As a result, these safety-critical systems demand regular inspection and maintenance, in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Imperial Engineering is experiencing an increase in demand from PSV operators for replacement OEM disc brake components, despite the fact that key items in the system, such as calipers, are intended to last the typical 15-year service life of a vehicle, providing they are properly maintained.

To help make the inspection of disc brakes more straightforward for technicians, as well as more cost-effective, brake manufacturers such as Knorr-Bremse provide special tools for brake system maintenance.  As well as being designed to undertake a specific task, tools such as brake disc measuring gauges can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining the service life of an OEM brake disc.  Here, system-specific tools enable accurate measurements to be taken, with the added time-saving benefit of not having to remove the wheels to obtain readings.

Other Knorr-Bremse special tools for disc brake systems include an Actuator Maintenance Gauge, which provides a quick check of the actuator’s seal and push rod while ensuring the actuator corresponds exactly with the original installation by verifying the seal condition.  The tool also helps to maintain the integrity of the water tight seal between the actuator and caliper to prevent water ingress.  Knorr-Bremse also offers a caliper service tool kit which contains all of the special tools needed for servicing and maintaining a range of the manufacturer’s disc brake types fitted to PSV applications.

Electronic test equipment is available for more complex tasks, such as the Wabco ABS reader which allows technicians to see faults stored in a vehicle’s ABS ECU, enabling them to diagnose and repair defects quickly.  The handheld device also permits the user to clear faults on the ECU, turning off the ABS light on the dash following a reported vehicle fault.  In addition, Knorr-Bremse offers a Digital Testing Device for Wear Potentiometers, which is designed to test potentiometer functionality and the wear condition of the brake pads and discs.

For brake system sensor testing, the Sensor Master tester for GAP and exciter ring testing is an easy-to-use device for confirming the operation and effectiveness of each ABS sensor in the brake system.  Simply connected to the sensor socket on each wheel, the sensor tester allows faults to be easily identified, as well as testing the ABS exciter ring and the distance between the ring and sensor.

Imperial Engineering has a wealth of disc brake system knowledge and is pleased to support operators with technical advice and guidance.