Category Archives: General motoring

Is My Van Roadworthy?

It is imperative to check that your van is road worthy and safe to drive. It has been reported that each year there are 1.3 million deaths linked to road crashes, with an average 3,287 deaths a day. There are precautions that you as a driver can take before jumping into your van, taking an MOT test is one.

 What is an MOT?

Legislation released by the UK Government states that by the third anniversary of its registration, the vehicle must get an Ministry of Transport Test, also known as a MOT test.

This verifies that the van is in full working condition and is safe to drive. The certificate needs to be granted, or your van could be at risk of repossession by the police. Additionally, without holding an MOT certification, your insurance company will not pay out a claim if an accident occurs.

What does the test examine?

This test assesses the following:

  • Lighting and Signaling equipment
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Wheels
  • Seat Belts
  • The general structure of the body
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel and emissions
  • The driver view of the road.

An MOT test examines the safety of your vehicle for all road conditions, with the anticipation of the life of any parts that may need replacing. During the test, van millage is recorded however it does not contribute or influence the results of the test.

 How much will it cost me?

MOT certificates vary in price depending on the size of vehicle. For example, a motorcycle will cost around £30 ranging to £130 for vehicles with more than 16 passenger seats. Vans typically cost from £40- £80, all dependent on size. These prices fluctuate if you take your van to a private garage.

How often do I need to get an MOT?

Once your van reaches three years old, it will require an MOT test once every year. Vans under three years old do not need an MOT certificate.

You can renew your MOT up to one month before the existing one expires. However, if you are a due for an MOT on a certain date, you should try to book the test before to avoid driving illegally.

Booking an MOT

When booking a test, you need to ensure that the center is an approved MOT test establishment, where a blue sign with 3 white triangles will be displayed.

You’ll need the vehicle registration number, the last four digits of the chassis number and if you’re using the online or telephone service, a debit/credit card.

I’ve passed the MOT Test. What do I do now?

You’ll get a call from the garage telling you to pick up your van at a selected time. When you pick up your van you will receive an MOT certificate from the test center, with a full breakdown of the results. The certificate will be recorded in an MOT database.

You will then need to return for an MOT test 3 years later.

Your MOT certificate should be kept safe if you intend on selling your van in the future, as the certificate shows the full history of the car.

 My van has failed the MOT Test. What should I do?

Your van will need to have the necessary work completed to ensure the MOT certificate can be distributed, once being retested. Driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal with the possibility of prosecution.

 

Tips On How to Maintain Your Engine

Here, we review some tips for maintaining your car engine. Proper maintenance helps to keep the motor reliable and the car ready for daily use.

A man is cleaning his car engine with a rag.

Though clearly important all year round, extreme summer and winter temperatures both place extra stress on the cooling and antifreeze system. Overheating can be avoided by maintaining an adequate liquid level in the system reservoir, usually a medium-sized white plastic structure that is fitted with a black cap. The system is pressurised when hot, so the cap should be removed with care – and only when the system is cool. Checking that the level of antifreeze is correct (as observed between the limit marks) is straightforward and reduces the incidence of defects.

To prolong engine life and prevent problems, good lubrication is essential. Regular oil checks are advisable with tank fill ups – or at least once a month. The owner’s manual will explain where the dipstick is located; first, it must be removed and wiped clean, then reinserted and removed again to confirm the current level correctly.

The choice of mineral (i.e. standard) or synthetic oil has a marked effect on engine performance and service life. Advisable in newer cars, turbocharged engines or in cold countries, synthetic oil lasts longer and does not thicken at freezing temperatures. It also withstands higher temperatures. Conversely, in high mileage engines and older vehicles, mineral oil may be better as it tends to ward off oil leaks which might result from less viscous synthetic oil.

Regular oil changes ensure that the internal parts are kept well lubricated. In particular, the recommended service and oil change intervals should not be exceeded; as oil deteriorates, it can build up unseen sludge and cause excessive mechanical wear.

The secret of successful maintenance is not to spend as little money as possible, but to spend it wisely and when due. Modern cars require an engine tune up which includes air filter, spark plug and lead changes. To maintain performance, older cars may also require distributor cap and rotor changes, as well as fuel filter replacement and cleaning of the engine throttle body. If fitted, fuel injectors require flushing at high mileage intervals.

It is a false economy not to have the timing belt (or chain) changed at recommended intervals. If a belt fails while the engine is running, considerable damage is likely. The typical recommended interval for cam belt changes is every 60,000 to 100, 000 miles (or 100,000 to 160,000 kilometres) – or before if a belt is excessively worn or soaked in oil.

Most vehicle owners are well aware that it is essential to monitor warning lights and take prompt action, should they illuminate. Red lights such as the low oil pressure warning indicator require immediate attention.

In summary, making time for a regular user maintenance routine will help to keep an engine in best condition and extend its service life. In conjunction with vehicle servicing at regular intervals, reliability will be maximised and costs reduced over the long term.

Are your van tyres safe, legal, and efficient?

When you drive a van, there are a set of questions you always need to know the answer to. Where are you going? What are you transporting? Will the customer be in? Is your cargo safely secured in the back for the van?

These are the day-to-day questions you’ll ask, but you need to add another to that list. How are the tyres?

With all the miles you will put into a van, the tyres really should be your chief concern. They are the only thing connecting you to the road. They influence your stopping distance, your ability to steer and even your fuel efficiency.

Here’s what you need to know about checking your tyres:

Tyre tread

The law is the same for van tyres as it is for car tyres. They must have a tread depth of 1.6mm. It is obviously not ideal to be running a van at the limit and it will impact your ability to brake and steer. It will be especially noticeable in wet conditions.
It is regarded as good practice to change your tyres when they have 3mm of tread left. It’s really important to remember to check your tread regularly. When you are moving a heavy load with a lot of stop-start braking, the last thing you want to be concerned about is if your tyres are up to the job.

Pressure

Checking your tyres is more than just checking for tread and damage, it’s about maintaining the right pressure in them. Running under-pressurised tyres will greatly increase your fuel usage, your stopping distance and wear out your tyres quicker. In the same way that over-pressurised tyres will affect your steering and driving style. Running the tyres at the pressures they were designed for is the best way to get maximum life from them, increase your fuel efficiency and improve your driving experience.

Buy Efficient Tyres

All tyres are rated on their fuel efficiency. The rating runs from A, as the most efficient, to G for the least efficient. Buying as high up the scale as your budget will afford will save you fuel costs later on.

Driving a van should not be a stressful experience, making sure you have safe, legal and efficient tyres will help to make your journey as smooth as possible. Making a tyre check a part of your pre-driving routine will help you in the long run.

Are your tires safe for driving this Winter?

pine row path

As winter draws closer and the daylight hours become shorter, it’s time for motorists to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety on the roads.

Without thinking twice, most of us will have bought the can of de-icer, and topped up the antifreeze, but how often do we contemplate the suitability of our tyres for the harsh winter months? Let’s take a brief look at some important considerations concerning tyre safety as we head towards the end of the year.

Snow tyres are a great investment for any motorist. Living in the UK, it’s quite easy to be caught out by an unexpected snow flurry, so do consider being prepared by having a set of these specialised tyres installed. With a greater tread, and the ability to withstand the plummeting temperatures, a vehicle’s traction is greatly enhanced when driving on snow tyres.

Checking the tread on your current tyres is also of vital importance. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm, however, 3mm is the recommended minimum. The difference between these two measurements is a stopping distance of two car lengths on a wet road. Perhaps, the difference between a safe stop and a crash? Also check the tread on both sides of the tyre, as an uneven measurement may point to an alignment problem.

Tyre pressure is an equally important factor to consider at this time of year. For every drop of 10-degrees in temperature, a tyre will lose a single PSI of pressure. Those of us who had adequately inflated tyres during the warmer months, may now have dangerously soft tyres. Traction and handling are greatly affected by tyre pressure, so be sure to bear this in mind when heading out onto those hazardous roads. It’s also useful to point out that properly inflated tyres will lead to greater vehicle performance, allowing you to save money on fuel!

Taking steps to ensure your safety while driving in winter should be every motorist’s priority. Do ensure your tyres are ready to handle the changing environment as the colder months start to bite. After all, you never know when you might need to head out and deliver that missed Christmas present!

Tips for buying a used van

When you buy a new van that has just come off the production line, there is an argument that because you are the first owner, you are not buying other people’s problems. You can feel secure that it is in pristine condition, and you can use the extensive warranty that you have been given for any problem.

There is, however, a lot to be said for buying second hand. For a start, it is cheaper, and you could pick up a bargain. To ensure that you don’t purchase a vehicle that will cause you problems, certain essential checks are useful to know.

The body

Examine the bodywork for is rust. This may be easy to see if it is on the wings and sills, but also check underneath the wheel arches and don’t forget door frames. By pressing on a rusty spot, a sure sign of corrosion is if you hear a crunching sound. If not, it is just superficial.

The suspension

A van’s suspension should allow the vehicle to bounce once, before returning to a stationary position. If it doesn’t do this, you may have problems with a shock absorber. Always take a test drive before committing yourself to a sale.

Lights

If these are not working or are flickering, it is an indication that the electrical system isn’t healthy.

The air conditioning system

If this is not functioning correctly, then it could cost a lot of money to fix. Check this and the van’s heating system.

Braking

On your test drive, find a piece of straight road and see how the vehicle stops. Listen particularly for any grinding or squealing noises. The van should also stop in a straight line and not pull to the left or right.

Tyres

If there is wear on the tyres, this should be even. If not, then it a sign that maybe the tracking needs adjusting or there is a problem with the suspension. Check that there is a ‘proper’ spare tyre.

The engine

Look for smoke and listen for any strange sounds.

Steering

This should be responsive with no free play.

The cabin

Make sure that there are no warning lights on the dash that are lit up, and also try out the seat belts.

After doing all of the above checks, take a long look at the service history.

Finally, make sure you buy your second-hand van through a reputable dealer.

Top 10 classic Citroen Designs

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The French automobile company name of Citroën has always been associated with imposing style and automotive innovation. But what are the 10 cars that stand out above others from the make as past and future classics?

1. The Citroën Traction Avant was produced between 1934 and 1957 and was the first production car with four wheel drive. The classic looks and technical innovation, which also included independent suspension on all four wheels and a unitary body without a frame make it an obvious choice as a classic.

2. Although not the most beautiful of Citroën vehicles the 2CV or “deux chevaux” meaning Two Horses, a reference to the two horsepower engine, must rank as a classic piece of design. The car was produced from 1948 until 1990.

3. One of the most striking of motor cars and perhaps the most impressive of all Citroëns must be the DS or ‘Deesse’ meaning Goddess. As well as hydropneumatic suspension this car featured innovative directional headlights which turned as the front wheels did so.

4. Almost as impressive as the DS the SM, produced from 1970-75. A large car it was a sport coupe based upon the DS and in one version featuring a Maserati engine reflecting the fact that Maserati were during that time owned by Citroën.

5. After the SM the GS was born. Somewhat squarer in shape than its predecessors but still striking the car bore a number of innovations including suspension that would famously hold it up with only three wheels.

6. Next came the CX, another new design that was reminiscent of the DS and its successors.

7. The BX, produced between 1982-94 was an innovative new design that moved away from the smooth curving forms of previous models, and was a popular hatchback of the 80s and early 90s. The diesel-powered version became extremely popular due to the high performance and good fuel economy.

8. The XM of 1994 was a perfect example of old meets new. The sleek angular lines retained Citroën style and was a worthy successor to the DS estate.

Top Tips to Help Maintain Your Van’s Tyres

Citroen Berlingo Multispace

Choosing the correct type of tyres for your van is very important, as is regular maintenance. Below we share some tips on how to look after your van’s tyres.

The importance of choosing the correct tyres

The correct tyre is essential in helping the van cope with heavy loads, rigorous journeys and varying road conditions. Ultimately, van tyres need to be hard wearing and tough.

There are many things you should look for when choosing van tyres.

Tread

Tyre tread is very important. The tyre tread needs to be 1.6mm or more, as stipulated by UK law. Having the correct tyre tread for your van improves handling, responsiveness and overall safety when driving.

Pressure

When your van tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, then this greatly improves the safety of your vehicle. If tyres are inflated incorrectly, then this will result in more wear and tear of your tyres and ultimately cost you more money, as they will need to be changed more regularly. Your fuel consumption will also increase, resulting in yet more expense. Check your model of van to find out what the correct tyre pressure should be. The pressure of your tyres will also change depending on how heavy the load is, so always check tyre pressure once the van has been loaded. One great tip here is to check the tyres when they are cold, as you get an accurate result.

Condition of your van tyres

Your van’s tyres should be inspected at least every 4 weeks, or before embarking upon long journeys. Van tyres are subjected to a lot of use and can easily accumulate debris in the treads. You also need to be vigilant for any cracks or bulges in the sidewall of the tyre, as these can prove fatal.

Alignment of wheels

Vans have to navigate multiple road surfaces, busy streets and are on the road more often than cars. For this reason it is very easy for them to drive into pot holes on the road and to hit kerbs, both of which can misalign the wheels and damage tyres. If you find that you are having to correct your driving, due to the van veering off to one side; or if one side of the tyre is more worn, then you need to get your wheels checked to make sure that they are aligned correctly.

 

Ensure Trouble-Free Driving with Proper Car Engine Maintenance

Car parts (2)

The engine is, quite literally, the driving force of a car. Although a full engine replacement is possible, in reality when an engine fails it’s usually time to consign the entire vehicle to the scrap heap. Even before things get to that stage, an engine that’s running poorly is not efficient, which not only costs more to drive, it makes for a more frustrating and uncomfortable journey. Bearing this in mind, keeping your car’s engine in good working order as you go with proper maintenance is vital if you want to enjoy years of happy driving.

Oil Issues

Without oil, your engine will soon collapse into a clanking, screeching mess of tortured metal before seizing up completely. Ensure your oil levels are kept high enough by checking them regularly, and don’t rely on your dashboard warning light to remind you to top up – by this time, damage may already have been done.

Over time, the quality and efficiency of your oil will start to degrade, and the oil will start to pick up dirt and debris which it will pass on to your engine parts. Prevent this by changing your oil regularly so that it stays clean and retains its lubricating power.

Finally, if you find you need to top up your oil levels more and more often, take this as a warning sign that there could be a fault somewhere causing leaks – get it checked out urgently, as a serious oil leak can cause fatal engine damage with little warning.

The Cooling System

An overheating engine is still the most common cause of a car breakdown, but it’s not just a nuisance when this happens: if your engine is regularly running too hot, its lifespan will be drastically reduced. It’s vitally important to ensure that the levels of liquid coolant in your engine’s reservoir are kept at the proper level, and that there are no leaks in the system. Also, keep an eye on the various belts, fans, and hoses which are visible within your engine compartment – if they look worn, cracked, or even overly dirty, then either replace them or have them checked out by your mechanic.

Keeping in Tune

Although having your car serviced may seem like an unnecessary expense, skipping it will be a false economy if your poorly-maintained engine suffers a catastrophic failure. Schedule regular major and interim services, during which the engine tuning will be checked and adjusted if necessary to keep it running smoothly, as well as the overall state of the engine being inspected for early signs of wear and tear.

Today’s car engines are highly engineered marvels of power and reliability – help yours to stay that way by looking after it properly!

 

Why you should choose us

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Pure Vans Limited (PVL) is among top companies that have been listed for offering van sales in Britain for more than 20 years, maintaining the right code of conduct and offering diverse choices. They deal in top of the range vans from leading companies like Citroen and all the vehicles listed for sale are inspected prior to approval for sale. Therefore, you are assured to receive a trouble-free van that will serve you for a long time.

David Greenhaf, Pure Vans Limited’s managing director, is an individual who has been in the motor trade market for more than 20 years, starting his career as a salesman in leading motor trade companies. This relationship has allowed him to get vans at favourable prizes, a benefit that is passed to buyers of the same vehicles. The company also works with other well experienced sales representatives and managers, who have ensured the vans procured meet the requisite criteria for approval to be sold.

 

Reporting
All information provided to the FCA is accurate and a reflection of Pure Vans Limited’s activities, so no item listed in the information is an imaginary creation meant to earn the company a reputation. Pure Vans Limited also invites external auditors to collect and interpret information about their products and transactions.

Treating customers fairly
PVL works in accordance with the regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority and are committed to applying the principles outlined by the FCA. This includes treating customers with fairness in all transactions and activities. Treating customers well, therefore, is a core policy in the culture of the company.

Buying a Van that works for your Business

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Ensuring that a van is capable of meeting the specific transport requirements of a company is just as important as employing people with the right qualifications to perform specific duties. Larger, well-established and successful businesses will have realised the importance of functionality and reliability when it comes to their commercial transport needs and those planning to enter this arena should take careful note. It is imperative that small start-up businesses in particular spend time researching available options, while taking into account budget and future transport demands as a business expands.
Important Points to Consider When Choosing a Van

The first consideration would be whether to purchase a new or a used van and the decision requires a careful analysis of the pros and cons of both options, as both are potential money-savers. A new van offers the perk of being able to choose specifications that are perfectly suited to precise business requirements. Further incentives are peace-of-mind warranties, no MOT for three years and a precise history of the van. If budgets are really limited, then leasing a vehicle is another available option, as the cost can then be spread over several years. The decision to purchase a used van can also be a money-saver if the proper steps are taken to ensure its reliability.

What to Check For

A thorough test run will ensure the functionality of a van’s steering, brakes and gears, so that taking someone along who is qualified to judge the efficiency of a vehicle is imperative if buyer’s remorse is to be avoided. A van’s service history, as well as its insurance claims history can determine whether mileage is genuine and whether possible past damage may have an impact on its future performance. It is also important to check the finance and ownership histories, as well as the V5C registration certificate and MOTs. Tyres would be a very unwelcome expense for a start-up small business, so they must be carefully checked to ensure that they meet legal safety requirements.

General Tips

Use only reputable motor dealers when purchasing either a new or a used van and if the sale is private, then the above precautions are crucial. Road tax and insurance costs must also be taken into consideration, as well as the cost of servicing the vehicle. If proper care is taken, a van can help to drive the success of a business.