It is important for owners to protect new and used buses in winter and other extreme conditions. This is the time when the fleet displays its weakness and mechanical failures. It is a long term investment it needs to remain profitable years after purchase. With a huge thrust on vehicles being environmentally friendly, manufacturers have to deal with issues that range from rusting, gas emissions and ensuring that the kneeling equipment hold up to the life expectancy of the bus. When a customer chooses to buy a bus available for sale from NationsBus.com, this informative handbook protects their hard-earned asset.

The vehicle needs to be protected in extreme weather conditions that bruise northern parts of US and Canada. Preservation tips ensure buses and coaches transport passengers safely to various destinations.

When is the right time to initiate protection procedures for the fleet for winter months?

Owners of passenger vehicles like a tour bus or a coach bus require protection from:

  • Rust
  • Corrosion
  • Cold weather weakens batteries
  • Belts that go bad
  • Mechanical faults
  • Keeping kneeling modules functional
  • Managing in high temperatures that induce solenoid failures
  • Water in airlines freeze
  • Salt on the roads and ocean sprays that damage the vehicle

Start early!

It is never too early to start preparing for the winter months. As dealers we cannot give you tailor made solutions while you are buying a new bus from Nationsbus.com. However, our experts will guide you to keep the investment safe for the 3-4 months’ extreme weather conditions. We assist customers in offering appropriate information to safeguard a shuttle bus or a large passenger bus. The snowy conditions barrage Northern cities where vehicles have problems on and off the roads. This booklet also offers guidelines to maintain the fleet in hot weather which are common in Florida, Texas and Mexico.

Nations Bus Sales (https://nationsbus.com/) has a wide variety of buses from different manufacturers available for sale. Each brand is equipped to handle cold and hot weather. Harsh climates bring down the roadworthiness of the bus. Hence, there are different strategies required for adequate safety.

The methods used depend:

  • The road conditions a bus has to endure
  • Age & size of the vehicle
  • Garage equipment available to keep it in a running condition

Handling various weakness

Our team of experts handle the upkeep of buses on sale and share information with prospective buyers. Having helped customers across the nation, the technicians are aware that batteries get weak in the cold season. They create problems for the owners. One operational solution is to have an effective charging system to stay on course. Northern temps it is best to strategize as the season arrives. For instance, there is no need to modify the fuel blend or enhance it with any additives before the winter sets in since most fueling stations, do this automatically. Antifreeze or engine coolant should be Ph tested yearly. Ensuring the rust inhibitors and lubricants are within specs. A standard oil choice of 15W-40 is ideal to keep it well stoked.

Handy tip: If the mornings are very cold, it is good to warm up the buses in advance. A mechanic could be required if the weather is 5 degrees or below zero to fire it up. A used bus would need a little more cajoling to get it going in the morning. When the climate is sub-zero, ether is sometimes used to start the vehicle. If the engine has glow plugs, then there is nothing to fear, the bus is likely to rev up quickly.

Tire-some under zero!

A snowy morning can be a total nightmare! Yep, especially when a bus mechanic is called to check the tires. Snow tires should only be used in the winter months to avoid extra wear in the hot conditions. Snow tires are made of softer compound to create better traction in the snow. Make sure to adjust tire pressures to manufactures specifications before every trip. Cold air compresses in the tire and lowers tire pressure.

Handy tip: An expert mechanic may try out diesel fuel which is modified with anti-gel additives for overall defense. Siped tires are more useful when the bus has a layover in wet regions.

Which bus would require additive all year around?

When buses are used for multiple trips all year around, they need good fuel. A fleet owner will prefer to utilize fuel additives constantly and not wait for winter to set in. Condensation and fuel gelling is eliminated by use of additives. When you buy a bus from our extensive fleet our guidance is not just related to maintaining the bus body but also internal advice.

Handy tip: Safety instructions for drivers are equally important to share. Knowing how to recover from a skid is a must in winter conditions. A good set of snow tires are designed to aid the vehicle in getting traction.

Regular inspections

Block heaters need to be operational in extreme areas when winter comes calling. It is a mandatory inspection routine to follow. After buying a bus, the driver should adhere to instructions relating to regular inspections of defroster motors, heater ducts & filters. In the extreme weather it is difficult to fire up the mechanical parts like blower motors and get them moving. Nightly inspection for leakage is important as it needs to plugged. Drivers are also responsible for the fuel tank to be at least ¾ full to avoid condensation and getting water in the fuel. Air tanks should be drained nightly so the moisture from the air doesn’t freeze in the lines.

Salt on the roads & rusting- Winter menace

It is common to get a layer of salt on a snowy road. How can this affect the bus? In many states across USA and also Canada, it is used to avoid weather related collisions. But the salt affects various parts of the vehicle and causes rusting. De-icing is now an issue as it is also not eco-friendly and affects vegetation around the areas. Salt from ocean sprays also affect vehicles that use that route frequently all year round. Your vehicle will get rustier and it may add up costs to maintain and preserve it.

How does it damage the bus?

  • Metal parts get damaged when water molecules and oxygen combine to form Iron oxide (rust).
  • Rust forms in the form of iron oxide as a layer. The process of rusting accelerates due to salt water.
  • Free floating ions from the salt come in contact with the metal parts.

Getting the bus waxed and washed is essential to stem the problem. If it is done before winter sets in, the vehicle gets protected. It is good to seal the undercarriage before the snow salt rubs off the rusting process.

Impact of heat on buses during hot summers

Summer can be hostile for buses as soaring temperatures can reduce its ability to perform. The most impact is seen on overheated batteries and tires that may burst while speeding on the highway. During such times our technicians’ advise customers to carry a spare battery box. Checking the battery terminals for corrosion regularly is equally important. We offer services for buses sold by us. The oil should be changed to ensure that lubrication keeps the engine running. Oil levels should be checked daily and maintained at the proper level. Low coolant or anti-freeze can also overheat and kill the engine. This can happen when a hose or the radiator develop a leak. Fuel evaporates quicker in summers than winters and disturbs the fuel economy. The vehicle needs to be parked in a shaded area to keep it from being damaged by the ambient temperature.

Handy tip: Take care of the other fluids required for transmission and power steering. We offer a summer break down kit. Adding sun shade keeps the interior of the bus cool in warmer climates.

Bonus tip: Check wiper blades monthly. They can deteriorate in both warm and cold conditions.

Have we missed out on any other point to keep the bus safe from weather? We’d like you to tell us in comments.