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    DOT Inspection methods

    hey TRusers, I have a quick question regarding the method DOT Inspectors use to check for air leaks. I have read somewhere that a vehicle that leaks more than 4psi per minute is subject to out of service, but I cant seem to find any citation.

    But here's an encounter I heard on the airwaves today, DOT Pulled over a truck for inspection and the kid was using soap and water to check for air leaks. So My two concerns over this method are; isn't an air leak audible not visible?, and wouldn't the water create rust on delicate brake components like foot valves and relay valves? Is there a way to refuse the inspector from using soap and water?


  2. #2
    Light Load Member jorlee's Avatar
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    Are you serious? Best way to pinpoint an audible air leak is to make it visible.

    Have you looked at those valves? What happens when you drive down the road when it's raining?

    Do you believe everything you hear over the airwaves? Well he got cleaned, how about did they use lube?

  3. #3
    Medium Load Member Yatista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesvg View Post
    hey TRusers, I have a quick question regarding the method DOT Inspectors use to check for air leaks. I have read somewhere that a vehicle that leaks more than 4psi per minute is subject to out of service, but I cant seem to find any citation.
    Pay attention the next time you are inspected. The applied pressure test is a leak test, lose 4 psi or more in 1 minute, you failed. The same test that is done during DMV testing for a CDL.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorlee View Post
    Are you serious? Best way to pinpoint an audible air leak is to make it visible.

    Have you looked at those valves? What happens when you drive down the road when it's raining?

    Do you believe everything you hear over the airwaves? Well he got cleaned, how about did they use lube?
    Lol that is not what I mean, he was using soap and water to check for leaks there was no audible air leaks. According to the driver.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yatista View Post
    Pay attention the next time you are inspected. The applied pressure test is a leak test, lose 4 psi or more in 1 minute, you failed. The same test that is done during DMV testing for a CDL.
    Actually the OOS criteria is somewhat different than the CDL test.

    k. Air Loss Rate
    If an air leak is discovered and either the primary or secondary reservoir pressure is not maintained when: (396.3(a)(1))
    (1) Governor is cut-in;
    (2) Reservoir pressure is between 80 90 psi (551 620 kPa);
    (3) Engine is at idle; and,
    (4) Service brakes are fully applied.

    Best regards

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesvg View Post
    and wouldn't the water create rust on delicate brake components like foot valves and relay valves? ?
    The exterior of the valves are not that delicate, most made of aluminum and no soapy water can enter the valves (If there is a leak the escaping air prevents entry and if there is no leak it can't enter either. Most valves are exposed to the elements anyhow.


    Quote Originally Posted by thesvg View Post
    Is there a way to refuse the inspector from using soap and water?
    If an officer or anyone els suggests using soapy water to help find a leak that you cannot otherwise find, why would anyone object?

    Best regards

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  9. #7
    Trucker Forum STAFF Allow Me.'s Avatar
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    Audible with traffic going by ? Not hardly. But soapy water on all fittings ? Must have taken inspector 5 hours for this inspection.......

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allow Me. View Post
    Audible with traffic going by ? Not hardly. But soapy water on all fittings ? Must have taken inspector 5 hours for this inspection.......
    Driver that had this done was probably a #### to the inspectors or pulled the "this is my home, you can't search it" crap and it bit him in the ###.
    Last edited by CondoCruiser; 03.21.2012 at 05.25 PM. Reason:: language

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allow Me. View Post
    Audible with traffic going by ? Not hardly. But soapy water on all fittings ? Must have taken inspector 5 hours for this inspection.......
    Any driver (Or inspector) that doesn't have a clue where the leak likely is before he exits the cab may want to learn a few things or possibly reexamine his career choice.

    Best regards

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  15. #10
    Medium Load Member Scalemaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibstr View Post
    Actually the OOS criteria is somewhat different than the CDL test.

    k. Air Loss Rate
    If an air leak is discovered and either the primary or secondary reservoir pressure is not maintained when: (396.3(a)(1))
    (1) Governor is cut-in;
    (2) Reservoir pressure is between 80 90 psi (551 620 kPa);
    (3) Engine is at idle; and,
    (4) Service brakes are fully applied.


    Best regards
    That is the procedure we use to determine if an air loss, any air loss anywhere in the system, if the vehicle should be placed out of service.

    Another air loss item that can place a vehicle out of service is an audible air leak in a brake hose that is at a place in the hose other than at a proper connection. This refers to AUDIBLE air leaks, no soap required.

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