Most Common Fleet Maintenance Problems
January 26, 2012
Over time, the vehicles in your fleet start to wear out and break down. Operating multiple vehicles needs a greater sense of responsibility and maintenance efforts to prevent major issues that could interrupt your business. As a fleet owner, here are some of the most common fleet maintenance problems that you may encounter.
Wheel Alignment Problems
Properly aligned tires will help you avoid wandering on a straight and level road. Moving your steering wheel now and then to keep your vehicle traveling straight ahead is definitely a hassle. The life of your automobile tires is at risk with wrong wheel alignment. Uneven or fat tire wear can occur and you will be forced to travel with a bumpy ride. Poor wheel alignment may cause your car to swerve dangerously in risky situations. In addition to that, wrong wheel alignment also causes tires to slide on the pavement, causing premature tire wear. Some causes of inappropriate wheel alignment include worn out parts, road hazards, and height modification.
As a vehicle ages, its suspension rings wear out and makes the car sag. These worn out parts change the way suspension affects the position of the tires as it travels along the road. Accidentally running over a curb or pothole isn’t only jarring to the passengers but for the car itself. Road debris, curbs and potholes can damage a car’s suspension. The force created from the impact can damage rubber bushings or damage metal suspension parts.
Fleet Maintenance: Hydraulic Problems
A vehicle’s hydraulic system is made up of brakes and shock absorbers. Brakes help stop speeding scars and is therefore of crucial importance. The brake-related vehicle 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. Failure to address this problem will cause brake failure. As soon as this issue is suspected, make sure you inspect your vehicle’s master cylinder, brake hoses, calipers and wheel cylinders. If a leak is spotted, it must be replaced immediately to avoid further damage on other parts. A soft/spongy brake pedal happens when the air is present in the brake system. Fluid loss and improper bleeding are the main causes of a soft brake pedal. The only solution to this problem is to completely bleed the brakes according to the instructions on the vehicle manual. Different cars have different instructions, so make sure you go by the book. You can also ask a professional fleet service provider to do this delicate task.
Hard brake pedals usually occurs due to a leaky vacuum host, a faulty check valve, defective booster or a low engine vacuum. An easy way to diagnose this problem is to initially start the engine so that the vacuum builds up. After a while, turn the engine off and wait for 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 to bumpy rides. If you feel that your car jumps too much even on smooth roads, then it is high time you check or inspect your vehicle’s shock absorbers. If you think that your shock absorber has already worn out or if the shock mounts are broken, make sure you replace them right away.
Fleet Engine Problems
There are several reasons why an engine may not work properly 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.
- Overheating. A faulty cooling system can be due to worn out fan belts or a leak in the cooling system.
Spark plugs may appear small but are 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 solves the problem in an instant.
As a fleet owner, make sure you are mindful of your vehicles and run regular inspections and fleet maintenance measures on them. Hire a professional fleet services or professional detailing provider to help you take care of your maintenance needs.