Prolonged, heavy rains in parts of the United States and Canada are reminders that brakes, wheel ends, universal joints, and other important heavy-duty vehicle components that have been submersed in water require a thorough inspection for damage. ArvinMeritor offers advice about the steps vehicle owners should take before the vehicle returns to service:
1. Don’t start the vehicle. You risk further component damage if the vehicle’s air lines, wheel-end sensors, seals, or electrical connections are contaminated by water.
2. Ask about Special Service Bulletins. Ask your suppliers or their field representatives about recommended service procedures for submerged components. ArvinMeritor has publications that specifically address the inspection and service of submerged components. Call ArvinMeritor’s Customer Service Center at 800-535-5560 or access publications in the Tech Library on ArvinMeritor’s Web site at www.arvinmeritor.com.
3. Record the conditions. Determine how long the vehicle or component was submerged. Note the type of water – saltwater or fresh – and any special conditions like heavy silt or chemical contaminants. Look for waterlines, dampness or other indicators of the depth of the water and inform your technician.
4. Clarify whether parts are warrantable or serviceable. In general, components that are damaged by flooding are not warrantable. Some components, such as the transmission, may need to be returned to the manufacturer for service.
5. Inspect, clean, replace. From the brake system to the wheel ends, there are special inspection and service procedures for components, air lines, wiring, and connections that have been submersed in water.
In some cases – universal joints and center bearings, for example – inspections isn’t possible, and the component should be replaced. Use OEM-quality replacement parts that match the safety, reliability or durability of the original. In other cases, the component must be completely disassembled and checked for water and contaminant damage that includes, but is not limited to, rust and corrosion.
Returning a vehicle to service after a flood requires a careful, comprehensive inspection to ensure that your components will perform as expected. Before you move the vehicle or make a repair, contact your component supplier’s customer service center or field representative about special procedures for vehicles affected by flooding.
ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry. ArvinMeritor serves commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and certain aftermarkets, and light vehicle manufacturers.