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Summer Maintenance Tips

Jun 8, 2017 11:18:39 AM

Hot summer weather is coming soon. While many of us will relax outside a picnic, or visit the beach because of the warm weather, don't forget about maintenance you need to perform for your truck for the hot weather.Volvo Truck Summer Clouds

Most people forget to prepare their truck for the hot weather, even though they remember to winterize their truck. Preparing for the hot summer weather can be critical to ensure you don't experience unexpected downtime.

We recommend the following checks:

  • AC System - While this seems obvious that you want your AC system to work properly in the summer, A lot of people assume if the truck is blowing cold air that everything is ok.  We recommend ensuring your AC condenser is cleaned.  Ensure there is not dust or debris covering your condenser.  Also, check your cabin air filter, a restricted cabin air filter can force your system to work harder than necessary.  
  • Batteries - Hot summer weather can actually cause more damage to batteries than cold weather.  Inspect your battery cables for corrosion and clean these connections.  Inspect your batteries for cracks, or bloating.  If possible, load check your batteries to verify if they need to be replaced.
  • Tires - Hot summer weather can cause tires to wear quickly.  Verify your tire pressure is correct (not under, or over inflated).  Check the tire wear to ensure they are wearing evenly.
  • Belts and Hoses - The hot summer weather will give your truck's cooling system more work.  Inspect your hoses for any issues.  If the hose has any deformities or cracks, consider replacing them.  Check your belts that they are aligned properly on the pulley, and have proper tension.  Check your tensioners to ensure they operate correctly.  A blown hose or broken belt can mean big repair bills.  Some people carry a spare set of belts for their truck in the event of a problem.  Belt Tensioners and Pulleys for Volvo Trucks.  

Be sure to contact the heavy truck parts professionals at Class8TruckParts.com to help you find the correct parts for your truck.

 

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

5 Signs Your Clutch May Be Failing

Jun 7, 2017 7:33:05 AM

While technology has brought vast improvements to truck transmissions and electronics, the job of your clutch remains the same. It’s the “middleman” that links your engine’s flywheel to the transmission gearing.Clutch

Industry data suggests that the average lifespan of a clutch ranges from 350,000 miles, or four years, to 500,000 miles, or five to six years, depending on the truck and its application. Or course, driving habits are a big factor, too. Riding the clutch, upshifting before reaching top gear speed, and engaging the clutch while coasting will all wear a clutch out faster.

A failing clutch will show signs that it’s near the end of its life, so pay attention to the following:

  1. Noise – Most people know to listen for grinding noises, but growling noises are a concern too, as they may indicate a bad release bearing.
  2. Hard to shift – Difficulty getting a truck in gear, even after a recent clutch adjustment, can indicate that a disc spring is broken, among other things.
  3. Unexpected engine revving – If the engine revs in higher gears when you’re on the throttle and under load, your clutch is slipping and may need to be replaced.
  4. Creep – Your truck may creep forward when the clutch pedal is pushed all the way down because the clutch isn’t disengaging.
  5. Drivability – Even after a clutch adjustment, your truck is still difficult to control. It launches with the slightest movement of the clutch pedal or doesn’t engage until the pedal is at the top of its release point.

When it comes time to replace a clutch contact the pros at Class8TruckParts.com.  Don't wait until your clutch has failed completely and you're stuck on the side of the road.  Use these tips to diagnose the problem in advance to prevent downtime.

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

The time to diagnose a compressor is while it is on the vehicle and a failure can be determined by using a few simple steps. In many instances, compressors are removed due to low refrigerant or a blown fuse.

Step 1— Is compressor rotation smooth?

With vehicle off, turn the compressor shaft with a 14mm socket to check for smooth rotation. Grinding or hanging during shaft rotation is caused by broken components within the compressor.
If the answer is yes, continue with steps 2 – 4.
If the answer is no, replace the compressor.

Step 2 — Is field coil receiving greater than 11.5 volts?

This test should be conducted with the engine running and clutch engaged.
If the answer is yes, continue with steps 3 – 4.
If the answer is no, check and correct vehicle electrical system.

Step 3 — Is field coil resistance between 2.8 and 4.4 ohms?

The coil resistance outside of this range will not engage or will cause fused circuits to open.
If the answer is yes, continue with step 4.
If the answer is no, replace the compressor.

Step 4 — Is the compressor capable of producing 350 psig or more?

Excessive high pressures can be artificially produced by preventing air flow across the condenser, thus minimizing heat removal from the system. This can be best accomplished by disconnecting the fan switch / relay, or simply blocking the condenser with a sheet of cardboard.
If the answer is yes, the compressor is functioning properly.
If the answer is no, use the flow chart below.

AC Compressor Troubleshooting

 

 

 

If you need to replace your AC Compressor, Class8TruckParts.com has a great selection of AC Compressors available to purchase online here

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

Wheel bearings are some of the smallest components on a heavy-duty truck, but they play a big role. That’s because bearings support the weight of the tractor and trailer, allowing the hub assemblies to turn freely, and the tires and wheels to rotate smoothly.

Wheel BearingsWheel bearings typically last for hundreds of thousands of miles, and the signs they are failing are minimal – at most a grinding or grating noise. But if you don’t address the problem quickly, a failing bearing can drive up fuel costs, decrease stopping distances and cause the truck to feel loose while steering. Even worse, a broken wheel bearing can cause damage throughout the wheel end assembly and lead to a dangerous wheel-off situation.

Fortunately, it’s easy to prolong the life of your wheel bearings and ensure your safety while out on the road. Here are three easy steps you can take today.

  1. Make sure your bearings are properly adjusted – When it comes to wheel bearings, setting the correct amount of end play is critical. In fact, the difference between a too loose or too tight bearing is between 0.001 and 0.005 of an inch – the width of just one or two human hairs. The Technology & Maintenance Council has a great nine-step protocol, Recommended Practice 618, to guide technicians when they adjust bearings. Make sure your shop or local repair facility is following it.
  2. Lubricate – Inadequate or improper lubrication can speed up bearing wear, leading to spalling or fatigue. Always follow your bearing manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing a lubricant and for proper fill quantities.
  3. Avoid contamination – Contamination is the most common cause of bearing failure and can lead to the development of dents or impressions in bearing rollers or raceways. One of the leading entry points for contamination is a failed wheel seal, which can let foreign material in but still hold lubricant in the hub cavity. To avoid contamination, always leave bearings in their original packaging until the time of installation, install them in a clean environment, and replace wheel seals at the first sign of failure.

When it’s time to replace your wheel bearings or seals, turn to Class8TruckParts.com.

*Information courtesy of Road Choice Truck Parts

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

Simple Reasons and Easy Fixes for Failed Truck Lighting

One of the most common reasons a driver is pulled over and cited is for a faulty lamp; whether it’s completely out, flickering has a broken lens or housing or is mounted improperly. There are many reasons for a lamp to fail. Sometimes the cause for lighting failure can be involved or complex when the problem lies within the electrical system. However, sometimes the cause for lighting failure can be fairly simple, and easy to prevent. The following are just a few situations to watch out for, and suggestions to avoid them.

Installation/Replacement/Maintenance

Not Replacing the Lighting Connections– Corrosion on old lighting pigtail connections can lead to corrosion on the pins of the new lamp. When possible, pigtail connections should be replaced when the lamps are replaced to avoid corrosion build up, which can cause lighting failure.

Positioning Lamps in the Correct Direction

– The bulbs or LEDs within a lamp are positioned in a particular direction, and/or use reflective surfaces within the design of the lamp, to emit light in a specified direction in relation to its function. When a lamp is positioned incorrectly, it is not performing its job properly, offering poor or inadequate lighting. In most situations, proper positioning of a lamp can be determined if text on the lens is right side up. It’s also important to note that there are those lamps that can be mounted in any direction and perform their job function properly.

Over-Torqued Mounting Hardware

– Too much stress placed on the polycarbonate material of a lamp, over time, can lead to cracks in the lens. Mounting hardware should be torqued to no Installation/Replacement/Maintenance Not Replacing the Lighting Connections Positioning Lamps in the Correct Direction Over-Torqued Mounting Hardware more than the manufacturer’s specifications, typically between 8 – 20 In. Lbs. and mounting holes should be periodically checked for damage.

Operating an Incandescent Lamp Above It’s Designed Voltage

– Operating an incandescent lamp on an overvoltage has the potential to create a fire as well as significantly reduce the life of the lamp. By operating an incandescent lamp at just 5% over it’s operating voltage, the lamp life has the possibility to be decreased by half. LED’s are a little more forgiving since they usually operated within a wider voltage range.

Lenses Coming Into Contact with Harsh Chemicals

– Harsh chemicals that come into contact with the lenses on a lamp can weaken the integrity of the lenses over time, leading to damage. Avoid using harsh chemicals when washing a trailer since it’s inevitable that the exterior lighting will most likely come into contact with the cleansing solution.

Parking in Padded Docks with Lamps On

– Heat is created from the light, reflecting off the padding and back onto the lamps, which can cause lenses to melt and even shorten the life of the light bulb or LED. Turning off the trailer lamps when parked in a dock with a padded frame will help avoid this.

Shock and Vibration From Multiple Sources

– Road vibration is a known culprit for premature lighting failure as some bulbs/filaments may break, or become disconnected. However, damage from shock or vibration can also occur during loading an unloading, (including containers onto trailer chassis), when backing in too hard to a loading dock or brunt force contact with stationary objects. So it’s always good to check the exterior lighting after aggressive/heavy loading and unloading, or after a hard jolt with a loading dock. Information courtesy of Phillips Industries
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

Commercial Truck drivers will log substantially more miles than the average driver does in a year. Today’s modern truck is safer than ever, with improved safety technologies in trucks, allowing shorter stopping distances, stability control equipment, improved ABS. Even with all of these improvements, unfortunately, accidents can still happen, and often it is not the fault of the truck driver. You need to be prepared before you get into an accident, so you know what to do.

The following is 11 steps that will help you get through the immediate aftermath of a crash, and to help you protect your professional reputation and your livelihood as a professional driver.

  1. STOP! When involved in an accident, even if it is minor, do NOT leave the scene until speaking with the other driver, the police, or both. If the incident involves damage to property, not a vehicle, ensure you are able to notify the property owner.
  2. Stay Calm. Try to remain as calm as possible, and do not react in anger.
  3. Is everyone safe? Ensure everyone involved is safe, and contact the authorities immediately to come to the accident. They can dispatch the emergency help needed. The basics in first aid training is, do not move anyone unless there is a danger of fire or future injury if they remain where they are. If anyone in the accident is bleeding, feels lightheaded, or has any physical injury contact emergency medical help.
  4. Safety First. If the accident is minor with no injuries, move the vehicles to the side of the road and out of other traffic. If the vehicle cannot be moved, remain in the vehicle with seat belts fastened until authorities arrive. Walking around in traffic can be dangerous.
  5. Contact the Authorities from the crash site. If you are unable to contact the local authorities, instruct someone to call the local police, or state highway patrol. Do NOT leave the scene until the police officer authorizes you to leave.
  6. Dangerous Cargo? If you are hauling cargo that is dangerous or hazardous, ensure you know the protocols for your cargo to keep everyone on site, and the environment clean.
  7. Prevent another accident. Setup road flares or warning triangles to warn other drivers to prevent another accident. If you have a safety vest or other brightly colored clothing to stand out to other drivers.
  8. Do Not Admit Fault. Do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone by the police. Stay calm, and be polite. Do not admit fault to the other driver or the police. Do not sign any documents or statements, other than what the police require.
  9. Contact Your Employer. Call you dispatcher or fleet manager as per your company’s procedures.
  10. Document the Accident.
  • Photos: When it is safe, take photographs of damage to all of the vehicles, and property involved. Include any photos that also show road conditions, intersections, traffic signs, traffic lights.
  • Report: Write a detailed report of all the details of the accident including time, date, weather and traffic conditions. Keep your driver's logs with this report information.
  • Involved Parties: If possible, ask for the contact details of the other drivers involved in the accident, including their insurance company, and insurance policy numbers, and driver’s license number.
  • Witnesses: Also identify any witnesses or third parties to the accident, and record their contact information for reference.
  • Police Officers: Record their names, badge numbers, and instructions on where and how to obtain the police report, and/or any issuance of citations.
  • Dash Cams: If you have invested in a dash cam, ensure you keep this video footage safe for evidence
  1. Cooperate with authorities. You may be subject to blood and alcohol test that authorities will administer. Remember always stay calm and cooperate with local police and authorities.
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

SPN, MID, PID, FMI, What do they mean?

Mar 5, 2017 11:05:30 AM

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?

Here is a guide from Volvo to help you interpret those SPN, MID, PID, PSID, SID codes.

Volvo Truck Diagnostic Trouble Code Guide

 

Volvo Truck ECU Diagnostic Codes Guide

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Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

How To Spot A Radiator Leak and More

Feb 28, 2017 11:18:03 AM

What do a damaged head gasket, burst hoses, and a busted thermostat have in common? Each can lead to a costly engine repair, and each can be caused by a failed or malfunctioning radiator.

Radiators are heat exchangers. They take the hot coolant from a truck’s engine and feed it through the radiator core and into a series of tubes. From the tubes, the heat is transmitted to the radiator’s fins, which then release the heat into the outside air. The now-cooled coolant is fed back into the engine to absorb heat again.

If a truck’s radiator isn’t working properly, that exchange of heat is diminished. At minimum, a truck will experience a power drain as high coolant temperatures force the fan to run more often. At worst, multiple engine components can be damaged.

Luckily, there are several easy-to-spot signs that can indicate a radiator problem. Here are some of the things to look for:

  • Dirt, debris, or paper in the grille. Open the truck’s hood and check for obstructions on the grille or the radiator’s front surface. If either is blocked, airflow cannot circulate properly through the radiator and transfer heat from the coolant. Higher coolant temperatures will force the radiator fan to turn on more often, which can drain 30 horsepower or more from your drivetrain.
  • Cracked radiator housing. One of the top-reported causes of OEM radiator failure is using the longer side-tank bolt in the top tank position. This can cause visible cracks in the plastic on the sides of the radiator.
  • Cracked radiator cap. A cracked radiator cap can throw off coolant pressure, increasing its boiling point and affecting cooling system performance overall. A cracked radiator cap can allow too much pressure to build up, which can lead to a burst hose, radiator tank leak or radiator seam leak.  Click here to check out our selection of Volvo Truck Radiator Caps
  • Dirty of damaged fins. Fins that are clogged with dirt or debris, or excessively damaged, will make the heat-transfer process much less efficient.
  • Low coolant levels. You can visually check coolant levels to see if a truck is low. But don’t just add water. To achieve the correct temperatures, a radiator must maintain the correct balance of coolant and water.
  • Leaking coolant. Don’t ignore drips or streaks of coolant. And don’t delay identifying the source of the leak. Even a slow leak can raise coolant temperatures, creating an air pocket that can cause an engine to overheat.
  • Collapsed radiator hose. A collapsed or spongy hose can prevent coolant from moving through the cooling system as designed and cause an engine to overheat. Collapsed or spongy hoses should be replaced. Click here to check out our selection of Volvo Truck Radiator Hoses.
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

Driver Information Display

Feb 22, 2017 2:08:59 PM

What does this little light mean?

Notice a strange or unfamiliar light appearing on the instrument panel of your Volvo Truck? It could be a normal indicator light or it could mean a potential issue with your truck. Find the specific light you’re looking for within the icons provided below. Then, learn what the indicator or warning light means and how we can help diagnose the cause. Remember, don’t wait for a light to come on that signals a simple service. Stick to your Maintenance Booklet, or ask us when service is due. You can view more information about the Volvo Truck Driver Information Display Manual here
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

FAQ's Truck Lighting

Feb 14, 2017 2:22:15 PM

FAQ's Truck Lighting


What are combination marker/clearance lamps, and how do I mount them?
It is one light doing the work of two. It must be at a 45-degree angle (on corners) to be legal. It needs to be marked "PC" in the lens code. If there is a question, contact the Truck-Lite laboratory.

How hard should I tighten down (torque) plastic lights or devices?
I know over torquing will generally cause cracking or distortion. Use the torque spec provided by the manufacturer. A marker lamp will generally be in the neighborhood of 8 to 20-inch lbs. The "rule of thumb" is to use the minimum torque necessary to hold the device.

Are heavy-duty harnesses worth the extra cost?
Heavy duty harnesses provide an independent (secure) ground, less voltage drop and are completely sealed to avoid corrosion.

What is the "12 Square Inch rule?
On December 1, 1991, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made effective the final ruling regarding the "12 Square Inch Rule." This ruling requires that the total luminous lens area for a stop and turn lamp must not be less than 75 centimeters squared (11.625 square inches) when used on vehicles over 80" wide. It must be noted that the reflex reflector ring cannot be counted as square inch lens area. When the reflex ring is subtracted from the total 12-inch lens, it leaves less than the 12 square inches required.

My light doesn't work. Is it the light or the wiring?
Use a tester or multimeter to check for open or broken filaments in the lights, --or for voltage from the vehicle. Another method is to substitute a known good light. Lack of vehicle voltage means there is a problem with the vehicle wiring or ground.

Why are my lights cracking?
Most lights are made from polycarbonate which is the toughest, highest melting plastic generally available. However, it can be attacked (cracked) by some chemicals or cleaners? The answer is to avoid the incompatible material and/or use Diamond Shell protected products.

What are the best ways to make lights last longer?
Use sealed chock-resistant lights employing a long-life LED or filament. Do not forget to grease the plug connection, if recommended.

Can you tell me approximately how long a bulb burned and what caused it to go out?
Yes, by looking at the filament under a microscope and by examining other telltale signs about the bulb.

Some of the electrical pin connectors in my plugs have completely corroded away. What can I do about this?
We use the most corrosion resistant metal available in the plugs, but if water or "conductive" dirt gets in the plug, it can provide a "short cut" for the voltage which "corrodes" the metal in the plug. The answer is to use new plugs and plenty of grease. If possible, move the lights to a more protected area and/or add a module box for protection.

Why are the lenses on the back of my truck melting?
It is probably due to extended contact of the lights with the insulating material provided by loading dock air seals. Turn the lights off when at loading docks or move them to a more protected location or use a bracket protector or switch to LED's which generate less heat.

Most of your lights seem to last a long time, but I have this one that's always failing. Why is that?
There is something different in the way it is being used; otherwise, there would be a problem with all your lights. Look for a loose mounting bracket or excessive vibration in the vehicle body at that location. If you find it, try to find a way to stop it. Look for impacts from loading docks, tailgates, doors, or cargo and try to reduce them if they exist or find an improved shock-mounted light, or an LED.

Would it be alright to mount a light at an angle that isn't "square" on the vehicle?
"Maybe." You need to contact the Lab for a test in that position; otherwise, it can be questioned by NHTSA or enforcement people.

Can I ever use the Model 40 with Reflex reflector ring legally?
Yes, as follows: On any vehicle under 80" wide. As an "extra" light on over 80" (reflex is legal). On vehicles made in 1991 or earlier, when installed by the vehicles owner, although most states enforce the Federal requirement.

Is "SAE" or "DOT" lettering required on lights?
No lettering is required by NHTSA (108) except for headlights and conspicuity tape. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety manual mentions that some lights should be marked "SAE" but this is not enforced. Truck-Lite marks all their lights with "SAE" and/or "DOT" markings.

Are there any special lighting requirements for vehicles hauling flammable or explosive materials?
There are no "special" Federal requirements as "108" covers all over-the-road vehicles. Some states or municipalities have regulations, but these cannot "supersede" 108, they can only add to it. Truck-Lite’s sealed lights and wiring systems have been tested to all known standards and certification. Reports are available from the Truck-Lite lab.

"108" says that some lights must be mounted as high as "practical." What is "practical?"
NHTSA has stated that the vehicle manufacturer has the responsibility to choose the best mounting location "in light of the particular design/configuration of the vehicle involved" and they will not contest it unless it is "clearly erroneous." Recently, Canada has started to strictly enforce the word practical as meaning "capable of being done." In the case of side markers, not more than six inches from the edge of the vehicle.

My customer wants to use a light for a "side turn" that isn't listed for that function. Is this OK, seeing as how side turns aren't required anyway?
Be careful that it doesn’t violate some state laws regarding color or location. If it is also used as a side marker, that function must be listed on the lens code.

My customer wants to add some auxiliary lights (ie. illuminated signs, deceleration lights, decorative lamps). Are these legal?
Yes, provided they do not: Render inoperative any device in compliance with "108". Negatively affect the performance of required equipment.Create confusion or misunderstanding of lighting signals. Always contact the lab if you have any questions.

Information Provided by Truck-Lite

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com
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PO Box 6808
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