Although considered to be critical safety components, Federal Mogul, probably one of the better known manufacturers and distributors of automotive component parts in South Africa with a series of specialist brands such as Ferodo in its stable, consider them to be two of the most misunderstood items on any vehicle, be it a passenger car, bakkies or truck.
How often do you check the wiper blades on your trucks? This is an absolute essential maintenance check for wiper blades ensure two functional aspects of visibility. The first is for cleaning the bugs off the windscreen and the second for their main design purpose – to maintain visibility while driving in wet and rainy conditions.
Using the wipers to clean bugs off the windscreen leads to accelerated damage to the entire wiper blade structure. Simply put, this means that the rubber portion of the blade itself is chemically attacked and mechanically stressed by the bug residue. The frame of the blade is also stressed more than it should be as the resistance of the bugs causes the blade frame to shake in ways that it is not supposed to. This leads to a reduced lifespan.
A wiper blade is intended and designed to withstand UV rays and high temperatures. However, this is not for an indefinite period of time. The manufacturing and design recommendation is a replacement interval of 12 to 18 months. A wiper blade in good condition will provide a continuous, smooth and clear wipe across the windscreen; anything less than that requires a wiper blade change.
Brake systems are complete systems comprised of more than just a set of brake pads. Keep in mind that the system as a whole should be assessed and that it needs as much maintenance as your vehicle’s engine does. Assess these points for an extended lifespan and excellent performance on Ferodo brake pads:
‘¢ Are the slide pins clean and greased properly?
‘¢ Has all the excessive brake dust and contamination been cleaned off the callipers prior to installing the new brake pads?
‘¢ Are the brake rotor thickness dimensionally still within specification and are the rotors free of stress fractures and wear ridges?
‘¢ Have the rear brakes been adjusted accordingly?
‘¢ When last was the brake fluid changed?
Callipers need to be correctly cleaned to remove any residual brake and road dust. The slide pins and their rubber grommets need to be cleaned and lightly lubricated with molybdenum disulphide grease prior to re-assembly. When retracting the calliper pistons into the calliper housing, a limited amount of effort should be required to push the piston backwards. If any excessive effort is needed, a specialist should overhaul the calliper.
The brake discs also need their fair share of attention. Whenever brake pads are required, the skimming of the brake discs or replacement thereof is equally important. Not only does this ensure a flat surface to match the pads, but it also removes all residual friction material from the disc surface. This permits for a new bed of friction material to be bedded into the disc, allowing for the best brake function.
The final step in ensuring the safe and long lifespan of the brake system is to conduct a proper bedding-in process. This does not entail burning the brakes. In fact, it requires not much more than about 100 to 200 km of gentle, sensible driving. That’s about it.