School Bus Parts and Maintenance: What to Expect
Transporting students, athletes, and children of all kinds is no small task. Doing this requires a fleet of reliable school buses to get the job done.
It’s important that you’re using high-quality school bus parts to ensure the buses are running smoothly for their daily routes and extracurriculars.
Whether it’s scoping out a school bus parts catalog for repairs, doing weekly and monthly preventative maintenance, or taking the bus into the shop, it’s all equally important.
This guide breaks down some of the parts of a school bus, what breaks down most frequently, and what you may need to perform proper maintenance on your new or used bus.
Taking Care of a Bus: Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is essential to avoid breakdowns and costly repairs down the road. You need to have a proper inspection schedule and stay up to date on it so you can catch issues early.
Regularly Check Lights and Horns
Lights and horns ensure safety on the road. Mechanics should test them biweekly to verify functionality—checking for burnt-out bulbs, damage, volume for horns, etc.
Monthly Cleaning for Air Filters
Clean air filters monthly to protect engines. Dirty filters lower performance and can cause bigger issues over time. Replacement filters are inexpensive and keep buses running smoothly.
Check Miscellaneous Mechanical Components
Electrical systems, gauges, gears, and more should be inspected monthly. Look for abnormal wear and tear. Addressing minor issues quickly prevents bigger mechanical problems from arising down the line.
Check Wheels and Tires Frequently
Wheels become misaligned over time while tires wear down. Every few weeks, inspect for proper alignment and tread depth. Catching damage early increases safety and prevents breakdowns during routes. Replace tires as needed.
Monitor Health and Safety Equipment
First aid kits, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits should be inspected monthly to ensure proper working order. Replace depleted supplies to keep passengers safe in case of an emergency.
What are Common Problems in Bus Maintenance?
Even with thorough upkeep, buses face plenty of wear and tear. Brakes take the biggest beating with frequent stops. Pads and rotors require replacement yearly or more often. Engines also rack up mileage rapidly, requiring regular oil changes and tune-ups.
If you’re overdue for any of these issues, be sure to bring your bus in for service and maintenance.
Essential School Bus Mechanical Components
While all parts are important, certain mechanical components form the foundation of reliable functionality. These key systems enable safe, dependable transportation day in and day out.
Engine and Transmission - A strong engine and transmission allows a bus to rack up countless miles.
Brakes - Brakes endure constant use stopping at numerous pick-ups/drop-offs daily. All brake components like pads, rotors, and calipers wear down rapidly.
Electrical - Buses couldn't operate without electrical systems like alternators, batteries, and control modules. Alternators and batteries require testing a few times per year to verify optimal performance.
What is the Service Life of a Bus?
With proper maintenance, buses typically last years before replacement. Age isn't the only factor though. Mileage plays an equally important role. Once a bus passes 200,000 miles, it reaches the end of its dependable service life.
At this point, breakdowns become more frequent even with diligent upkeep. Retiring buses over this milestone keep routes running reliably.
Finding Used School Bus Parts Near Me
When a bus starts nearing its replacement age, this is when you may find yourself looking for school bus parts for sale more frequently. There are several websites out there to find used OEM parts but you never know exactly where these parts are coming from and what they’ve been through.
This is why we recommend avoiding this altogether and bringing your school bus into our shop for maintenance and service.
Staying on top of your school bus maintenance ensures you don’t experience breakdowns when your passengers are on the way to field trips, sporting events, church outings, and wherever else you may take them.
Are you in need of school bus parts for your fleet but not sure where to start? This is where National Bus Sales comes in. We’ll take the work off your hands, provide you with an honest quote, and replace and repair what’s necessary to get your bus back on the road.
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