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Combatting Electrical Corrosion

Dec 3, 2018 1:29:25 PM

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Posted By Jawny Weimer



Fontaine Fifth Wheel Snow Covered

Special precautions should be taken during extreme cold weather to ensure that the fifth wheel locking mechanism operates freely. At low temperatures, ice and sludge can build up, and lubricants can become thick and binding. If you are in a region that experiences extreme and/or prolonged freezing temperatures (below 0°F) a thorough cleaning and de-greasing of the fifth wheel should be performed followed by lubrication with a less viscous lubricant. Following is the recommended cold weather procedure. (Refer to LT-072 for lubricating instructions under normal conditions).



WARNING! You should never attempt to couple a fifth wheel that has snow, ice, or debris in the throat area. Improper coupling can occur possibly resulting in serious injury or death.



1. Remove all snow, ice and debris from the fifth wheel especially focusing on the throat area; and remove all hardened lubricants that bind the locking mechanism.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel Remove Snow

2.  Lubricate top plate and locking mechanism

Ordinarily, Fontaine recommends that a moly based lubricant (XHP 320/321 or equivalent) be used to lubricate the fifth wheel (see LT-072 for lubricating instructions).  However, in extreme cold conditions, a less viscous lubricant should be used, such as: 9O-weight oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, motor oil, etc. (unless prohibited by government regulations).  This will help ensure proper movement and lubrication of the locking mechanism in extreme cold weather.  This less viscous lubricant can be distributed using a spray bottle.  Be sure to spray the top surface of the fifth wheel and all moving components including the pull handle, throat area (jaw and wedge) and secondary lock.  Fontaine recommends that you contact your specific lubricant manufacturer for guidelines on mixing compatibility of any lubricant.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel Lubricate Top Plate and Locking Mechanism


3.  After application of fresh lubricant, open and close the lock several times to make sure that it is operating freely.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel Open and Close Lock

Close the lock by inserting a pry bar into the throat of the fifth wheel to activate the trigger mechanism. Keep hands out of the fifth wheel throat. Move the handle back and forth several times without fully engaging the lock to distribute the fresh lubricant.



Coupling Visual Inspection Fontaine Fifth Wheel No-Slack® 6000, 7000, 7000CC, NT and H7

WARNING! When coupling, the fifth wheel must lift the trailer. Always inflate the tractor suspension air bags prior to coupling.  Coupling should not be attempted with the tractor suspension air bags deflated.  Inflating the tractor suspension air bags while positioned underneath the trailer may result in damage to, and incorrect coupling of the fifth wheel, possibly resulting in serious personal injury or death.


Visual inspection of the fifth wheel coupling is required by law. Some improper couplings can pass a “tug test” and sound is not reliable to verify proper coupling. The coupling procedure is not complete without a visual inspection. It is necessary to get out of the tractor and look. Incorrect coupling could cause the trailer to disconnect, possibly resulting in serious personal injury or death.




Verify secure coupling with a “tug test”, by easing the tractor forward, with the trailer brakes on, to feel the resistance of the load. Set the parking brakes on the tractor and trailer and get out of the tractor to visually inspect (using a flashlight if necessary) that the fifth wheel is properly closed.

The locking jaw and wedge must be fully across the throat of the fifth wheel, there must be no gap between the fifth wheel and the trailer plate, and the pull handle must be within 1” or less from the skirt of the fifth wheel. All three areas of the fifth wheel must be inspected to ensure that the fifth wheel is properly coupled.

Below are three critical areas of visual inspection that drivers must perform after every couple.

 Fontaine Fifth Wheel Coupling Visual Inspection


If the visual inspection indicates that you failed to obtain a proper couple, open the fifth wheel, inspect for damaged components, and repeat the coupling sequence. If damaged components are found, repair or replace the fifth wheel before attempting to couple.

Posted By

Fifth Wheel Cold Weather Maintenance

Oct 13, 2018 10:11:48 AM

Special precautions should be taken during cold weather to ensure that the Fontaine No-Slack® and No-Slack® II locking mechanisms operate freely. Ice and sludge can build up and lubricants become thick and binding at low temperatures.

When the temperature drops below freezing, Fontaine® recommends 

  • A thorough cleaning of the latching mechanism using a suitable cleaner or degreaser to make sure that all moving parts operate freely.
  • Lubricate the fifth wheel prior to opening and closing. Refer to figures below.
  • Grease the jaw and wedge on top and bottom. Separate the jaw and wedge with a large screwdriver and distribute the grease along the full length of the jaw and wedge mating surfaces.
  • Open and close the fifth wheel several times to further distribute the grease.

Fontaine suggests the use of a Moly based lubricant such as Mobilgrease Moly 50 or equivalent when applying lubricant. (Areas or regions that experience extreme and/or prolonged freezing temperatures should consider using a less viscous substance such as: 90-weight oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, motor oil, etc. Doing so will help ensure proper movement/ lubrication of the latching mechanism. Fontaine suggests contacting your specific lubricant manufacturer for guidelines on mixing compatibility of any lubricant.)

The regular performance of the routine, "90-Day/ 30,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance Procedure," is also recommended.

Please refer to “Section IV – Inspection and Maintenance Procedures” of the Fontaine Fifth Wheel Instructions Handbook (LT-001) for additional maintenance recommendations.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel Cold Weather Maintenance


**Special Thanks to Fontaine Fifth Wheel for this Maintenance Tip.

Posted By

Bendix offers new guidelines and service interval recommendations across its range of air dryer cartridges. These updates reflect the results of extensive real-world testing and customer input from a wide array of vehicle applications, as well as a growing number of aftermarket replacement choices, according to the company.

 “The quality of a truck’s compressed air supply is more important than ever,” said Richard Nagel, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions for air charging. “With higher levels of automation come solenoid valves that provide precise control but require cleaner air than traditional manual brake valves. Some automated manual transmissions also rely on pneumatic controls, along with emissions controls and other systems that improve driver safety and comfort.”

Factors impacting dryer life

Dryer cartridge service intervals depend on many factors, including the type, age and duty cycle of the vehicle’s air compressor, along with the amount of air consumed, and the vehicle’s operating environment. Drivers and fleets should always monitor the quality of the air in their service tanks to ensure air dryers are functioning properly. If excessive moisture—or oil mixed with water—is present in an air system, the air dryer’s cartridge may need to be replaced. Nagel suggests always referring to the appropriate service data sheet, pointing to the availability of a new tool, “Recommended Service Intervals for Bendix Air Dryers,” (BW8068 on the Bendix online literature library).

At a minimum, Bendix recommends draining the air reservoir and checking for moisture in the system every 25,000 miles, three months, or 900 hours under standard air usage conditions; every 12,000 miles, two months, or 450 hours for medium air usage; and for heavy air usage vehicles, every 6,000 miles, one month, or 300 hours.


Replacement intervals also depend on the type of cartridge: A standard OEM-grade cartridge, an oil-coalescing cartridge, and an aftermarket replacement have different performance expectations. Bendix’s new service intervals were created with its own specific dryers—its standard cartridge; the PuraGuard oil-coalescing cartridge; and the Bendix GC Green Cartridge—in mind. Bendix always stresses looking first to the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines, which may vary based on a particular engine or air system’s needs.

Recommended service intervals

Volvo Daycab TruckFor easy reference, Bendix categorizes vehicle air usage into three general levels: standard, medium, and high.

PuraGuard cartridges in standard usage situations (five axles or fewer; line haul; city; delivery) should be replaced every 24 months or 200,000 miles. PuraGuard cartridges experiencing medium use—pulling double-trailers; light transit; light off-highway; eight axles or fewer—should be replaced every 18 months or 150,000 miles. And those in high-air-use applications such as multiple trailers, city transit, heavy-duty off-road, and nine or more axles should be replaced every 12 months.


Vigilance is particularly key with oil-coalescing cartridges because of the specific job each medium has within the component: The oil filter doesn’t remove moisture, and the desiccant isn’t designed to remove oil—but both are crucial.

“Especially on newer trucks, oil-coalescing filters are protecting components that can carry a significant repair cost,” Nagel said. “So if your truck was originally equipped with an oil-coalescing cartridge, it’s important to replace it with one. And you can always upgrade from a standard cartridge to an oil-coalescing version, even if it’s not OEM spec: It’s just an added level of protection.”

For OEM-grade standard Bendix cartridges without oil-coalescing technology, the recommended standard/medium/high usage replacement intervals are 24, 18, and 12 months, respectively. And in the case of the Bendix GC Green Cartridge, which is intended for older trucks and uses a proprietary mix of new and Bendix-remanufactured desiccant, recommended replacement intervals are 12 months for standard and medium usage, and six months for high.

“Standards are changing,” Nagel said. “Oil-coalescing technology is the norm on most of the North American OEM builds now, and we’ve got more years of cartridge testing, field evaluation, and detailed usage reports from customers upon which we’ve based these recommendations. Customers expect more, and the Bendix team is always working to develop product support that will help maximize vehicle performance and safety.”

This Tech Tip was contributed by Bendix.

Shop our selection of Genuine Bendix Air Dryers.

Posted By

The check engine light illuminates in your dash. Now what do you do?

You see the codes and they are another language. What does the code mean? There are many ECU's on your truck, which one is the problem?

We have compiled some guides to help you interpret these codes and understand these codes.  


Engine Control Module (ECM), Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC), Guide for 2010 Emissions - Volvo Trucks

Volvo Truck Diagnostic Trouble Code Guide

MID 130/223 DTC Guide (Volvo Transmissions)- Volvo Trucks

  Volvo Truck Transmission MID 130 - 223 DTC Guide

Electronic Control Module (ECM), Aftertreatment Control Module (ACM), Electrcial System Version 3 Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC)

Volvo Truck GHG DTC Guide Version 3


Volvo Truck Transmission Control Module (TCM) Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)

Volvo Truck Transmission TCM DTC Guide

Volvo Truck Vehicle Electronic Control Unit (MID 144) Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Guide

Volvo Truck MID 144 DTC Guide


Posted By

Our latest tech tip focuses on the diagnostic procedure of a starting system equipped with a Smart IMS starter. It’s important to note that some of the Smart IMS features could be misdiagnosed as a starting problem. These features help protect the starting system.
The procedure for a Smart IMS-equipped starter is similar to that of any standard starter.
Step 1: Determine the symptom of the complaint, which may include a click/no crank condition, a no click/no crank condition or a slow cranking condition.
Step 2: Assess the state of charge and condition of the vehicle batteries. If it is less than 65%, then the batteries must be charged. You should not continue testing with a discharged or failed battery as it can lead to misdiagnosis.
Step 3: Perform a starter voltage drop test on the main starting cables. The voltage drop on a 12-volt heavy duty system should be no more than .5 volts at 500 amps. If the main cable voltage drop is excessive, then review the test results to determine if the positive or negative cable is the cause and make the needed repairs. Be sure to complete any needed repairs to the main cable before continuing testing.
Step 4: Test the starter control circuit.

  • If the symptom is slow cranking, the control circuit is working properly since the starter is cranking.
  • If the battery and main cable test are within specifications and the symptom is a slow crank condition, then the starter is the cause and should be replaced.
  • If the symptom is a click/no crank or a no click/no crank, then a voltage drop test should be performed on the starter control circuit. There must be at least 8 volts at the Smart IMS “S” terminal with the key in the start position.
  • If the voltage is less than 8 volts, make the necessary repairs. If the voltage is above 8 volts and the batteries and main cables have been tested, then the starter is the cause and should be replaced.

Step 5: If the diagnosis requires a starter replacement, inspect the ring gear for damage first. If there’s damage, be sure to replace it because installing a new starter on a vehicle with a damaged ring gear will create repeat starter failure.
Certain Smart IMS Features May Prevent Cranking

When diagnosing either a click/no crank or no click/no crank condition, keep in mind the Smart IMS features that could also prevent cranking—these are normal and should not be confused with genuine starting problems.
These features include:

  • Limiting cranking time to 20 seconds with a 10-second delay before re-engagement, reducing damage caused by excessive cranking.
  • A three-second delay after each start attempt to assure the engine and starter have come to a complete stop, protecting the pinion and ring gear from milling damage.
  • Preventing starter engagement if battery open circuit voltage is below 11.75 volts on a 12-volt system, preventing solenoid disk chatter and terminal overheating.
  • Preventing starter engagement if the battery voltage is 13.75 volts or greater, protecting the starter from engagement into a running engine.

What is IMS? IMS stands for Integral Magnetic Switch which is integrated into starters and offers protection against six common failure modes that can arise from system issues. In each instance of failure, a protection feature has been specifically designed to counteract the failure and keep it from happening. This technology, as it has many advantages, is being implemented by more and more commercial fleets.

To install the Smart IMS, you must first disconnect the batteries from the vehicle. You must then remove the starter from the engine. Do this via the manufacturer's instructions. Once this is complete, you'll need to do the following:

  • Remove the IMS leads from the motor terminals
  • Remove the IMS from the motor, remembering to keep the fasteners to reuse them
  • Remove solenoid motor terminal nut
  • Clean connections

Now it is time to install the Smart IMS. You will want to follow these steps*:

  • Mount the ground lead, if required, between the IMS mounting and solenoid ground terminal.
  • Mount new Smart IMS onto the motor
  • Attach Smart IMS motor terminal lead to the solenoid motor terminal
  • Attach the Smart IMS battery terminal lead to solenoid battery terminal and keep finger-tight until mounting on the engine.
  • Attach the Smart IMS switch terminal lead to solenoid switch terminal.
  • Secure all leads to the solenoid with a zip tie and assure all fasteners are properly torqued.
  • Reinstall the starter via the manufacturer's instructions and reconnect the batteries.

*Courtesy of Delco Remy

In addition to counteracting the six most common failure modes, the Smart IMS prevents cost repairs, replacement costs and/or denied warranty claims that frequently result from these failures.

Posted By Jawny Weimer

Signs of Torque Rod Wear

Aug 3, 2018 11:17:55 AM

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Posted By Jawny Weimer

Don't Let Bad Air Get To You

Aug 1, 2018 8:51:33 AM

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Posted By Jawny Weimer

Four Steps to Safer Braking

Jul 24, 2018 3:56:03 PM

Brake Slack Adjuster Facts

When it comes to your brakes, most people take them for granted that they will always work and sometimes that is just not the case. In the last twenty years, new vehicles are required to have self-adjusting brakes (S-ABAs). And although they have been around for twenty years, people seem to not understand how they work and are under the misconception that automatic slack adjusters will never go out of adjustment. Unfortunately, this is not the case.  

Over time, slack adjusters do go out of adjustment. This can be due to use or just because of the length of time they have been in service. Because these changes might not be noticed on day-to-day drives, it is critical to check your brakes before every single trip. If your stopping power is reduced too much, you will get cited/fined when you get inspected.  The federal reduced stopping distance regulations are in place to protect you and other drivers.

If you discover that your S-ABAs are out of adjustment, please do not try to adjust them yourself as this is the most ticketed item in DOT inspections. In these inspections, the brake chamber pushrod stroke is measured down to 1/8 of an inch, so the risk is not worth it.

However, it is a simple procedure to measure the pushrod stroke. You will need the following items to complete this small task: Chalk to mark the pushrods, protective eyewear, ruler, flashlight, pencil and paper, someone to assist you and a little time. You then want to follow these 4 steps:

  1. Park your vehicle in a safe spot and make sure you have chocked the wheels.  Release the spring brake and make sure your psi pressure in the air brake reservoir is 90-100. Do this while the vehicle is running.
  2. Manually inspect each brake to verify it is in the normal release position and you cannot visually see any issues. Mark each pushrod with the chalk to confirm the starting location where the pushrod exits the brake chamber.
  3. Push your brake pedal down until it stops. Have your helper measure the distance each pushrod has stroked and record this. Make sure your pressure does not drop below 90 psi. If this happens, stop testing for a moment or two to allow the pressure to build back up.
  4. Compare the regulation stroke limit with the numbers you compiled and if there are any measurements that are near or under the regulation limit, then you know it is time to have your brake components serviced immediately. 

Be sure to remember that if anything feels off with your brakes, you can always contact your local Volvo Truck dealership to conduct a brake system check. Our certified technicians have the latest information regarding stroke limits and will be happy to help.

Need to purchase Slack Adjusters for your truck?  Check out our selection.

Posted By

Volvo Genuine Painted Parts Program

Jul 10, 2018 1:43:04 PM

Nowadays, just one day of downtime for your commercial truck is estimated to cost up to $750 in lost productivity. Volvo's Genuine Painted Parts Program (VGPPP) is designed to get you back on the road sooner, saving you both time and money.

With the VGPPP, Genuine Volvo painted parts are built in the factory, painted and then shipped directly to your body shop to reduce downtime and speed up body repairs. This program, designed for Volvo VNL, VNM and VHD models, guarantees OEM quality parts and is only available from Volvo's network of authorized dealers. The dependability you get from Volvo's Truck dealers means you will get a longer service life and exponentially faster installation times.

The following Genuine Volvo Parts are available in the VGPPP and all include mounting hardware and shipping is included in the price.

• VNL & VNM Hoods and Bumpers - Many options available with these models. Buy Volvo Truck Painted Bumpers
• Fully Dressed Hoods - Mounting hardware included. Ships within 5 days. Contact us for more information.
• Painted and Sealed Cabs - Arrives complete with hood-mounting brackets, grille, splash shields, headlights, hood mirrors, and
more. Ships within 15 days of order approval.  Contact us for more information.
• Semi-Groomed Daycabs - Comes complete with finished doors, factory-grade trim, and many more goodies. Ships within 25
days of order approval.  Contact us for more information.

All items come packaged sturdily to avoid damage in transit and will be delivered directly to you. 

Posted By Jawny Weimer
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Wheeling Truck Center
23rd & Market St., PO Box 6808
Wheeling, WV 26003 USA

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