Q:

How do you troubleshoot electric brakes?

A:

Quick Answer

Troubleshooting electric brakes depends on the specific problem being experienced. Common problems, which are mostly caused by worn parts, include failing brakes, noisy brakes, surging or erratic brakes and locking brakes

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Full Answer

When the brakes fail, it could be because of an open circuit. Look for broken wires or loose connections. If problem persists, check for a poor brake adjustment and correct it. Also check whether the magnets and the resistor are in good condition, and replace them if necessary.

A weak or dead battery can cause erratic or surging brakes; replace the battery to correct the problem. Also check for a poor electrical connection and repair any loose connections, broken wires or worn insulation. If only one brake is working, confirm amperage at each brake. If there is no amperage, check the wires leading to the brakes. If the wires have no defect, remove the magnets from the backing plate and check for amperage capacity. Finally, check for mechanical defects if the brake is electrically functional.

Noisy brakes can result from weak or broken springs, worn magnets, grease on linings among other causes. Replace the worn springs, the magnets, and the leaky seals and linings to correct the problem. Weak springs, contaminated linings and an over-sensitive controller are some causes of grabbing or locking brakes. To correct the problem, replace the springs and the contaminated linings, and properly adjust the brake control.

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