Around 100 million people in the United States go boating every year. Many people own recreational boats and take them out on the water regularly. This is only possible if you have a boat trailer.
But how can you keep your boat trailer brakes in good shape? Letting them wear out will require you to repair or replace the trailer. No one wants to do this if they don’t have to.
You can avoid this problem with some simple boat trailer brakes maintenance. But where should you start? Keep reading and learn more about how it works below.
Keep the Boat Trailer Brakes Clean
Cleaning the brakes is one of the most important things you can do. Many people don’t realize they have to clean their brakes. This leads to some of the most common issues with boat trailer brakes.
It may also lead to boat trailer brake repairs or replacing boat trailer brakes. Replacing or repairing the brakes can be expensive. It is best to prevent the problem.
Cleaning the brakes can help them in a variety of ways. Brakes will build up residue and other debris after being used. This residue will pile up over time if the brakes are never cleaned.
This will then make the brakes not run as efficiently. It may be hard to activate the brakes or they may not work at all. Cleaning the brakes after several months will be difficult.
This is because the residue on the brakes will have solidified and piled up. This makes it more difficult to give the brakes a quick cleaning. The brakes may be so dirty and encrusted with grime that it is impossible to clean them.
You would need to replace them instead. You should ideally clean your brakes after every trip. Taking your boat trailer for a short trip will warrant cleaning the brakes too.
Always use fresh water when cleaning them. Salt water won’t help the problem and may continue to corrode the brakes. You can use a hose to wash away whatever residue and debris might be on the brakes.
You can also use a rag or a brush if there are pieces of debris you can’t move. This will help get into the crevices and make sure the brakes are clean. This will keep your brakes in good shape for many years to come.
Inspect the Brakes Often
Keeping your brakes clean will help, but it won’t make them invincible. They will eventually start showing signs of wear and tear. All brakes are like this and you need to be prepared.
But how can you know that your brakes are starting to degrade? You need to inspect your brakes often. Any sign of wear and tear should be clear.
The brakes might look tattered or scratched. Some of the pieces may be loose or rusted. Using the brakes too hard and too often will accelerate this process.
It will grind the brakes and put unnecessary pressure on them. People who use their brakes too often have to replace them more often too. But if you use your brakes sparingly and when you’re supposed to, they should last much longer.
What You Need to Know
The main way to see how your brakes are doing is to inspect them. If they still look new or relatively new, they should still be in good shape. But if there are clear signs of wear and tear, it might be time to replace them.
You should never drive with worn-out brakes. This can be dangerous as your trailer might not stop when it needs to. It is best to check your brakes every season.
This will ensure that you are caught up with the state of the brakes. But what should you do if you don’t know what to look for when checking the brakes? You can instead go to a boat trailer service for help.
Such a service knows all about how boat trailers work. The professionals also know how to inspect the brakes for any signs of damage. If your brakes are not in good shape, the professionals will tell you.
This gives you the chance to fix or replace the brakes.
Keep the Brake Fluid in Check
Brakes can’t function without brake fluid. Brake fluid will naturally get old and will no longer be effective after some time. This may cause various problems with your brakes.
It may be difficult to stop the trailer on time or your brakes may make a loud screeching sound. You may also feel that there is not a lot of pressure or resistance from the brakes. These are all common signs that there is something wrong with the brake fluid.
You can fix the problem yourself if you are familiar with boat trailer brakes. If not, you can go to a boat trailer service instead. This service will do all the heavy lifting for you.
The service can also let you know if there are any other problems with the brakes. The professionals can then fix or replace the brakes for you.
All About Maintaining Boat Trailer Brakes
Maintaining boat trailer brakes doesn’t have to be hard, but there are some things to be aware of. You should inspect your brakes regularly every season to make sure they’re in good shape.
Cleaning the brakes after using them will be helpful too. You can bring your trailer to a professional service to check the brake fluid as well. To learn more about boat trailers, check out our products.