Where is the oil in your buses air system coming from?
Why is it doing so much damage to your air system components?
Most buses in service today have an onboard air compressor. The compressor operates many of the important components which allow the bus to function. Unfortunately, most of these compressors leak or bypass some amount of oil. This in turn, leads to trouble in the operation of the bus.
In fairness, all compressors bypass small amounts of oil. However as compressors age, this amount tends to increase due to wear and tear. In addition, many of today's modern compressors operate at higher temperatures due to environmental concerns. Duty cycles have also increased due to new features (kneel assist etc).
Here's the big problem: Compressor lubricants contain detergents.
These detergents are there to clean the inside of the compressor much like the detergents in today's gasolines clean the inside of your cars engine.
However, when the detergent enriched oil bypasses the compressor, it mixes with the compressed air and travels throughout the air system of the bus.
Thus, the lubricant gets into all of the air operated devices on the bus.
Most of these devices contain buna-n seals. The detergent breaks down the seals, destroying the device. In addition, the oil may also clog the orifices of the pneumatic devices (such as door and wheelchair valves), and even leak out of the valve exhaust ports (windshield wipers, door valves and air starters for example).
As you can see, we have come to one main idea here:
the oil from the air system will decrease the number of
break-downs, cut your maintenance costs, save time, money and
benefit those depending on you and your fleet; your ridership.
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