Most Common Fleet Maintenance Problems
January 26, 2012
Fleet maintenance is essential if your business relies on mobile assets like trucks, buses, vans, and cars. Over time, your vehicles can start to wear out and break down. However, stepping up your fleet maintenance efforts will help prevent significant issues that could disrupt your business and profit.
Hiring commercial fleet services is a lot to think about. For instance, there are costs involved. And what are the service provider’s capabilities? Also, you must be environmentally compliant. To make your decision-making easier, download our FREE eBook Everything a Manager Needs to Know Before Hiring a Fleet Cleaning Company.
What Problems Does Fleet Maintenance Solve?
Fleet maintenance is about keeping your vehicles in good working condition through regular inspections, cleaning, and repairs. Reliable service providers will enhance the appearance and performance of your vehicles. Without this service, you risk safety issues.
Dirty trucks, vans, etc., can cost you money, too. For example, the Department of Transportation (DOT) can pull over a vehicle and issue a fine if it fails a roadside inspection. Here are fleet maintenance problems you may encounter.
1. Wheel Alignment Problems
Poorly aligned wheels on a vehicle can cause serious problems. For example, misaligned wheels make it harder for drivers to handle their vehicles safely on the road. And unnecessary swerving increases the risk of road traffic accidents.
Also, there’s a chance your tires will wear unevenly. Consequently, they won’t last as long, and you’ll have costly replacements. Poor wheel alignment can also cause the vehicle to work harder and consume more fuel, resulting in higher operating costs.
Furthermore, as a vehicle ages, its suspension rings wear out, making it sag. And these worn-out parts change the way suspension affects the position of the tires on the road. Accidentally running over a curb or pothole is jarring to the passengers and the car itself. For example, the force created by the impact can damage rubber bushings and metal suspension parts.
Regular fleet detailing will ensure you have properly aligned wheels. And the benefits include better handling and steering, and improved fuel efficiency. Aim to have your wheels aligned at least once a year.
2. Fleet Maintenance: Hydraulic Problems
A vehicle’s hydraulic system comprises brakes and shock absorbers. And well-maintained brakes are essential because they give your drivers control over the speed of their vehicle. A vehicle’s brake-related issues are usually caused by the following reasons: spongy or soft brake pedals, low brake fluid or hard brake pedals.
Low brake fluid results from a leak in the brake system. And this will cause brake failure unless you address this problem. Regularly inspect your vehicle’s master cylinder, brake hoses, calipers and wheel cylinders. If you spot a leak, fix it immediately to avoid further damage to other parts. It is a good idea to deep clean your truck or fleet vehicles. This extra care and attention can help identify fleet maintenance needs, such as leaks and worn parts.
A soft/spongy brake pedal happens when air is in the brake system. Fluid loss and improper bleeding are the leading causes of a soft brake pedal. The only solution to this problem is to completely bleed the brakes according to the instructions in the vehicle manual. Different cars have different instructions, so make sure you go by the book. You can also enlist professional fleet services to do this delicate task.
Hard brake pedals usually occur due to a leaky vacuum host, a faulty check valve, a defective booster, or a low engine vacuum. An easy way to diagnose this problem is to start the engine so the vacuum builds up. After a while, turn the engine off and wait at least 5 minutes. Slowly apply the brakes to check for power assist. The valve needs to be replaced when there is no power assist.
Destroyed shock mounts may result in bumpy rides. If you feel that your car jumps too much, even on smooth roads, then it is time you check or inspect your vehicle’s shock absorbers. If you think your shock absorber has already worn out, or the shock mounts are broken, replace them immediately.
The good news is fleet maintenance can prevent serious hydraulic problems and other issues. And hiring professional help is easier with mobile truck wash options or a mobile car cleaning service. Choose a provider who comes to you! This convenient service will save you time and effort. And you can get your fleet back on the road without delay.
3. Fleet Engine Problems
Don’t wait until National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to show you value your drivers! Ongoing fleet maintenance proves you care about your employees’ safety on the road. So, if you want a well-run fleet, ensure engine problems don’t bring your operations to a halt. There are several reasons why an engine may not work efficiently, such as:
- Lack of compression. Faulty compression often results from the improper sealing of the intake and exhaust valves.
- Bad fuel mix. This can be caused by impurities in the fuel or because the system isn’t providing the right amount of fuel to the mix.
- A faulty cooling system can be due to worn-out fan belts or a leak in the cooling system.
Spark plugs are small but essential components of your vehicle. They mobilize the car by igniting compressed fuel stored in the internal combustion engine. The presence of misfiring spark plugs can affect engine power. Fuel economy also damages your vehicle’s catalytic converter. Fortunately, a simple replacement of this part instantly solves the problem.
Preventative fleet maintenance optimizes engine performance. For example, cleaning engine parts and components can help identify potential problems. However, it is an intricate job. Choose a gentle but effective method. For instance, DetailXPerts uses steam cleaning technology to ensure the smooth running of your engine.
Regular fleet maintenance is beneficial in several ways, including enhanced safety. For example, service providers can repair potential safety issues before they become a problem. And this helps reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
Also, properly maintained vehicles are less likely to break down, reducing the risk of unexpected downtime and lost revenue. You will also enjoy better fuel efficiency. Equally important, keeping up with maintenance requirements ensures your fleet vehicles are compliant, reducing the risk of fines.
Finally, your drivers will be happier, too. Well-kept vehicles are generally more comfortable and easier to operate, which improves driver satisfaction. And happier drivers are key to employee retention.
To sum up, fleet maintenance helps protect your assets and those you work with. If you want to learn more about hiring fleet cleaning services, download our FREE eBook Everything a Manager Needs to Know Before Hiring a Fleet Cleaning Company.
DetailXPerts has 20+ years of experience in green mobile cleaning. Our services include fleet cleaning and maintenance, auto detailing, and janitorial and sanitization services. We believe a better clean begins eco green. Our difference is proven green tech and eco methods to clean and sanitize on demand. And you can trust our trained teams to show up and safely transform your vehicles and spaces.
Get in touch if you want to schedule a cleaning or have questions about how we clean. Our team loves to share how we achieve safe sanitization with steam. We write about everything from cleaning to franchising. So be sure to check back for our next article.
This article was updated in April 2023 for comprehensiveness.