Everything You Need to Know About Servicing Your Bus

To provide the best travel experience for both your drivers and passengers, and to ensure their safety while on the road, you need to keep your bus in top running condition at all times. That means you need to have a schedule of regular service in place for your bus, covering maintenance and other service items such as oil changes, tire rotation, brake service, engine maintenance, and parts replacement when necessary.

Your bus owner’s manual contains the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals for basic maintenance of your bus and should be followed closely. Your bus engine oil is the life blood of the engine and should be changed on a regular basis to minimize engine wear and tear. How often you change the oil will depend on how the vehicle is used. If short, stop-start city travel is the norm, you should change the oil more often; if longer, inter-city journeys and/or freeway use is the norm, you can extend oil change intervals. For both gas and diesel engines, using a good quality, manufacturer’s recommended oil should allow you to easily go 6,000 miles between changes. A more expensive, fully synthetic oil option formulated for diesel engines will allow you to go as much as 10,000 miles between changes.

Oil filters and air filters should also be changed regularly, as they significantly affect the fuel consumption of your bus. Oil filters address dirt in the bus engine, removing any foreign particles to keep your oil clean. The oil filter should be replaced with every oil change. Air filters remove dust particles from the air being taken in for combustion and must be changed regularly to maintain proper fuel combustion.

According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), regular tire rotation is one of the most important factors in tire safety, performance, and service life. In its publication on The Care and Service of Commercial Truck and Bus Tires, the USTMA states “The purpose of regularly rotating tires is to prolong tread life and promote more uniform tread wear for all tires on a vehicle, particularly those showing signs of irregular or rapid wear.” Many conditions affect tire tread wear, including service conditions, driving habits, road surface or terrain, axle position, maintenance condition, improper tire inflation, and vehicle wheel misalignment. Since service and storage conditions vary widely, it isn’t possible to accurately predict the actual serviceable life of any specific tire based solely on its calendar age. Since the USTMA is not aware of accurate and reliable scientific or technical data that establishes minimum or maximum tire service life, they recommend following the vehicle and tire manufacturers’ specific recommendations, if any, regarding tire service life and replacement. Keep in mind that chronological age does not determine a tire’s service life, but rather the condition of the tire, and regular rotation can help extend the life of a tire and alert you to any irregular wear or other safety issues.

Inspection and service of the brakes on your bus is another key safety and servicing factor. In 2017, both the American Public Transit Association (APTA) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) published guidelines for the recommended practice for wheels-on transit bus front/rear axle pneumatic disc brake inspection, and to bring to the forefront the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) requirements to personnel involved in teaching, training, and testing the control systems and foundation brakes of air drum brakes including other types, i.e. air disk brakes, hydraulic, and electric. These publications contain exhaustive information on the proper inspection and servicing of bus brakes.

When the interior of your bus is showing excessive wear and tear and you need to replace items like seating or accessories, and you are looking to refresh the look or even give it an entire makeover, we can assist you with giving the interior of your bus a fresh, new aesthetic. Ask us about our conversion capabilities and let us show you how we can customize your vehicle according to your needs.

Davey Coach Service offers full bumper-to-bumper regular vehicle maintenance for buses, and medium duty trucks, including brakes, fluids, belts, hoses, tires, and engine components. If you operate a bus or medium duty truck chassis and you need service, then Davey Coach is truly your one-stop-shop for the utmost in quality, honest, and dependable service. Our state-of-the-art, 12,000 square-feet, 7-service bay facility can accommodate vehicles up to 35 feet in length and features extra-high vaulted ceilings for extra-tall equipment, hydraulic lifts, brake and tire equipment, and an alignment rack. At Davey Coach, we’ve got the space and the tools to get the job done right, and the people with the expertise you can depend on.

For more information, to make an appointment, or to speak to one of our helpful staff about any specific bus needs or questions you may have, feel free to contact us today at (303) 683-9500 or toll free at (800) 873-1856, or email us at info@daveycoach.com.