During the winter, it’s not uncommon to come across air lines that are frozen. For thawing frozen air lines, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC gives the following do’s and don’ts:
• Check the air dryer for proper operation, changing the desiccant cartridge and purge valve as necessary.
• Thaw out frozen air lines and valves by placing the vehicle in a warmed building. This is the only method for thawing that will not cause damage to the air system or its components.
• Use dummy hose couplings on the tractor and trailer.
• Check for drooping air lines, which could form water traps.
• Do not apply an open flame to air lines or valves. This practice is unsafe and can result in a vehicle fire. It can also damage the valve and melt the air lines.
• Do not pour fluids into air lines or glad hands. Certain fluids can cause immediate and severe damage to rubber components. Even methanol, which is used in alcohol evaporators and injectors, should not be poured into air lines. Fluids poured into the system wash lubricants out of valves, collect in brake chambers and valves, and can cause malfunction. Loss of lubricant can affect valve operating characteristics, accelerate wear and cause premature replacement.
• Do not immediately park a vehicle outside after thawing its air system indoors. Condensation will form in the system and re-freeze. Place the vehicle in operation when it is removed to the outdoors.
Also, ensure tie wraps are replaced and support brackets are re-attached, if removed. These items prevent the weight of ice and snow accumulations from breaking or disconnecting air lines and electrical wires.
For more air line tips, watch our video below.