How to Replace Truck Air Brakes

What You'll Need
Flash light
Pry bar
Wheel chocks
Open end wrench set
Safety gear like hard hat, gloves and goggles

Truck air brakes are similar to other brakes, however, they are powered with the use of compressed air instead of hydraulics. This type of brake needs to have adjustments made to them daily or when using to be sure that they are working the proper way. If you are foregoing the truck stop and replacing your tuck air brakes on your own, here are a few things that you will need along with some steps that can help you through the process with ease.

Step 1 - Park the Truck and Prepare

Before you begin, make sure that you are wearing the proper safety equipment. Gloves, helmet and goggles are all necessary to keep you safe as you work. Once you are suited up, you can move and park your truck to an open area that is easy to work on and is set on flat ground. Once you have parked you will be able to set the rear brakes by pulling out the air brake button. Then place the wheel chocks in front of both sets of wheels to make sure that the truck stays put while you are working. While this is an added safety precaution and may not seem like a big deal, it is essential that you preform this step before moving on. Once you do that you can push back in the air button so that the wheels free up a little bit.

Step 2 - Adjust the Bolt

Now you will need to locate the slack adjusters. This can be found near the rear axle, typically behind. Check the head of the bolt once you have located it so you can tell how big it is and what types of tools you will need to work with it. Use the wrench to turn the bolt head clockwise. This will cause the brake pads to become fully compressed. You can make any changes or replacements now if you see that they need to be done. Once you have finished up, use the wrench again to turn the bolt the other way, in the counter clockwise direction. Be careful as you are removing the wrench when you are finished though because sometimes it will pull out and the head of the bolt gets stuck inside. If you pull straight out, you can avoid getting the head stuck and potentially breaking off inside of the wrench. If it does break off, make sure to replace it right away.

Step 3 - Professional

If you find that you are having trouble you will want to consult a professional right away. While this can be done easily on your own with no prior experience, problems should be addressed by a professional so they do not progress into something much worse. Letting a problem go now without getting it checked out could end up becoming much worse and more expensive.