Category Archives: Van Guides

Van Maintenance 101

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Whether your van is required for personal or professional use, proper maintenance is extremely critical to make certain that it continues to function optimally. While there are inevitably times when the vehicle will require professional work, the best way to avoid the bulk of unforeseen circumstances is by performing a few regular tasks. Let us take a look at some do-it-yourself habits to adopt.

The Engine

Of course, the engine always needs to be running properly. Oil levels should be checked on a regular basis; preferably once every month. The same holds true for transmission and brake fluid. Still, there are some other mechanical devices that will need to be examined. Every 3,000 miles, make certain that the fan belt is tight and not frayed. Take a look at any hoses. If they appear to be cracked or signs of wear are observed around their connections, they should be replaced. Nonetheless, there may be other signs which are difficult to diagnose. If you begin to hear squeaks, rattles, “pings” or if the colour of the exhaust smoke changes, bring your van to a repair shop.

Tyres

Check the treads of all tyres to make certain that they are not “bald”. Worn treads can present a real braking hazard and even decrease the efficiency of the van. Once every week (particularly if you use the van every day) check the pressure of the tyres to make certain that they have not deflated. Note that improperly inflated tyres can decrease their lifespan by as much as 20 per cent!

Windscreen

Even the smallest chip within your windscreen can quickly evolve into a major problem. Any fracture should immediately be rectified with the use of do-it-yourself windscreen repair kits. These can be found at your local automotive store. If the crack is larger than six centimetres, it is wise to take the van to a professional repair facility. Not only can a crack obstruct your vision while driving, but never forget that your van is not likely to pass an MOT inspection should an imperfection be present.

Of course, you should also take a look at your headlamps and warning lights; these will fail from time to time. Proper van maintenance is an important responsibility that must always be taken seriously. By doing so, you can be assured that your vehicle will provide you with years of reliable service.

A Guide to Buying Your First Van

Van drive

When you’re starting out in business, what van you buy can has a huge influence on your profit, level of trade and efficiency. It is also worth remembering that first impressions count, so arriving at a job in a battered, tired-looking vehicle will not generate as much initial goodwill as turning up in a smart new van. Before purchasing a van you need to decide on several different factors which will determine what type of vehicle will best suit your needs.

Factors that will determine the right van for you…

Size and Type:
If you choose a van that is too large, you’ll be spending unnecessary money on fuel and may have difficulty parking it. If your van is too small, you will have to make several trips to transport all the materials and tools you’ll need.

Fuel economy:
This is often linked to size. However, many vans come in a variety of engine capacities. If you often need to transport heavy loads, a larger engine will be ideal. If your materials are more lightweight, a smaller engine will be adequate and help save you money on your operating costs.

Cabin style:
How many people do you need to transport in your van? Are you intending to replace your family car, or will you have workmates that you will be taking to jobs with you?
Will the basic model suffice or do you want extras like built in sat nav, parking sensors etc?

Cargo space:
How large your cargo area is will determine how efficiently you can work. Is the standard space suitable, or are you transporting more delicate items which would require the space to be ply-lined?

Once you have established a short-list of suitable vehicles based on your budget and the above criteria, it is highly recommended that you arrange a test-drive. Taking your prospective van for a test-drive will enable you to familiarise yourself with the handling and size of the vehicle, as well as gaining experience of the interior features and functionality.

By carefully considering your budget, needs and your test-driving experiences, you will find a van that meets all of your requirements and will serve you for many years to come.

If you are thinking of purchasing your very first van, why not visit http://citroenvansales.com/ and see what quality and value Citroen have to offer!

6 Top Tips to Get You Saving Fuel

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Here are six tips you can use to save fuel and they apply to cars, vans and lorries. Above all, keep your speed down and you will save more fuel in the long run.

1 – Drive more carefully
Drive carefully and do not go too fast and you will save more money. There are a lot of haulage and delivery firms that have added tracking hardware into their vans and trucks. It records the location of the vehicle, hard braking and heavy acceleration. It also records jerking and sharp cornering and reports it to the head office. Drivers may be disciplined by their bosses if they drive carelessly or wastefully.

2 – Have routine services
Servicing your vehicle on a regular basis is the best way to ensure your vehicle remains fuel-efficient. Between services, you should take note of any fuel consumption anomalies.

3 – Lighten your load if you want to save on fuel
Less weight means less fuel. Studies showed that if you drive 12,000 miles per year, then having a moustache will cost you £5 per year.

4 – Remove exterior racks and other accessories when not in use
Your vehicle is built to be aerodynamic. The drag from something such as a window open is tremendous and costs you extra fuel money, so you can imagine how much your racks and other exterior accessories are costing you.

5 – Turn off your heater or air conditioning
Air conditioners use fuel to operate and some heating systems do too, so turn them off if you want to save fuel.

6 – Keep your tires topped up
Having your tires at the wrong pressure can add up to a larger fuel bill. If they are over inflated, then you run the risk of a blow out if you have a heavy load and you risk wearing out your tires earlier than usual. If your tires are under inflated, it will cost you more fuel in the long run and may also wear out your tires before their time.

3 Ways to Look After Your Van Tyres This Winter

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Whether you love it or hate it, winter is here, and as per usual it’s likely to bring rain, snow and ice. Challenging driving conditions mean that it’s more important than ever to keep your tyres in good condition. Apart from regularly checking the depth of the tyre tread, what else do you need to do to look after your van tyres?

 

1.Check Your Tyre Pressure

Keeping your van’s tyres inflated to the correct pressure is vital for several reasons:

Safety
When your tyres are under-inflated, your van will not handle as well, so putting yourself and other road users at risk. If they are over-inflated, they may overheat and will be at increased risk of failing.

The Environment
The second reason to keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure is to protect the environment. If the tyres are under-inflated, your van’s fuel efficiency will be lower, and its CO2 emissions will be higher.

Save yourself some money
Vans with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance and so use more fuel than they need to. Over-inflated tyres are at greater risk of damage and are likely to need replacing more often.

 

2.Check for Damage

Some common reasons for cuts and tears on your tyres include impact between the tyre and the kerb or driving over potholes or other irregularities on the road surface. If you spot any damage, get your tyre checked as soon as possible as the tyre will be at increased risk of failing. Kerbing can also cause wheels to get out of alignment and lead to further uneven wear on the tyres. Heavy emergency braking can also result in “flat spots” on the tyre, so if you have had to brake sharply, get your tyres checked soon.

 

3.Your tyres are your responsibility

New regulations including the Duty of Care and Corporate and Social Responsibility place responsibility squarely on the driver of the vehicle for checking that it is maintained in a safe condition. Keep yourself and other road users as safe as possible this winter by making fortnightly tyre inspections part of your regular van maintenance.

9 Tips to Help You Master Driving in Heavy Rain

Isometric White Van Flooded in Two Positions

Autumn has rolled round and you know what that means for us brits? Rain, and lots of it. Be prepared for hazards and increase your chances of staying safe when driving in heavy rain by following the tips below.

1. Delay your journey, drive only if it is an absolute necessity. Plan in advance, and be careful to avoid areas that are prone to flooding. Allow extra time for the journey, as there may be traffic congestion.

2. Adapt your driving to suit the weather conditions. Adhere to stopping distances in poor weather. Avoid sudden moves such as reckless steering or sudden braking that may unbalance the car and lead to skidding.

3. Only attempt to navigate flood water if you are certain of its depth, and keep to a slow, steady speed to avoid creating waves.

4. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle immediately ahead of you, remember the two second rule. Be aware of the actions of drivers around you, especially in heavy rain.

5. Try to avoid driving through water that is fast flowing as, even in a good sturdy van, you may easily get swept away and serious damage may be caused to the vehicle.

6. If you do drive through flood water, keep to the highest part of the road. If possible, observe other vehicles to judge the depth of the water. Flooding the engine may cause it to stall, and deep water may actually float the vehicle off the road.

7. If you find yourself aquaplaning, (tyres gliding along on the surface of the water, instead of the road surface), do not brake sharply but gently ease off the accelerator to avoid skidding and let the van slow, while you steer in the direction you’re headed. The tyres will eventually regain contact with the road surface.

8. Do not try to restart the engine if it cuts out after driving through flood water, as the engine may be damaged. It is better to call for assistance and have the vehicle professionally checked. Remember to also have the brakes tested to ensure they are in good working order.

9. Remember to take emergency supplies on your journey as you may be delayed. A flashlight, blankets, snacks and hot drinks are essential.

4 Ways to Keep Your Van’s Engine in Tip Top Shape

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There are many benefits that you get when you perform regular maintenance of your van’s engine. One, it makes it last longer. Secondly, it’s cheaper in the long run. By regularly carrying out preventive maintenance of your van’s engine, you save a lot of money you would have spent in repairing the engine when it breaks down. Here are some of the maintenance tips meant to help keep your engine in good shape for a long time and save you money for repairs.

 

Changing Oil Regularly

Engine oil becomes dirty over time. This causes it to lose viscosity which is necessary for keeping the engine from the effects of wear and tear. To prevent this from occurring, it is important that you change the engine oil regularly so that it does not get dirtied. Usually, manufacturers haves specific guidelines on when and how you should change the oil. However, it is advisable that you change the oil ahead of the time recommended by manufacturers.
 

Maintenance of the Transmission

To replace or repair a faulty or damaged transmission, you need hundreds, or even thousands of pounds. Yet most of the problems that the transmission often faces can be prevented easily with proper maintenance. This maintenance is not complicated. It involves periodically checking of the level of the transmission fluid when the van is running to make sure it is always at the correct level. After every 3,000 miles of running, make sure you change the filter of the transmission fluid and the fluid itself.
 

Regular Changing of the Air Filter

Once the van goes for around 10,000 miles, replace the air filter. This will keep away dirt and other unwanted materials from the engine, thus helping it keep operating at maximum efficiency.
 

Regular Change of Fuel Filters

Build-up of moisture in the engine can often have negative consequences. You should always have the fuel filter changed regularly to prevent this debilitating build-up.

10 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Van

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As the saying goes, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Even when travelling for short distances, it is important that you keep these essentials in your van to help you better handle emergencies.

Spare Oil

This is important even if your van runs perfectly well. More so if it is a new one that requires only a specific type of oil.
 

Cell Phone Charger

While there are some vehicles that have inbuilt phone charging capability, many don’t. If your van doesn’t have such features, carrying a charger will help keep your phone on in case of a breakdown.
 

Flashlight

This can be very handy especially when you get a van breakdown at night. Even during the day, looking under the vehicle can be difficult without enough light. A flashlight solves that.
 

Flat Tire Fixer

Some new vans lack space for spare tires. If you have such a van, carrying a sealant for tire sealing and inflation will help you to keep driving.
 

Food and Water

When travelling, keep some food and water so that if you get a breakdown in difficult circumstances where help might take a lot of time to arrive, you will have something to keep you going.
 

First-Aid Kit

A basic first-aid kit will help you better handle injuries resulting from accidents. A good kit might include bandages, pain reliever and antibacterial ointment.
 

GPS and Map

Some vans have in-built navigation system. If your van doesn’t have one, have a map and portable GPS for emergency purposes.
 

Reflective Triangle

This will help prevent getting hit on the road when you get a breakdown at night. A reflective triangle will enable other road users identify your van before they reach you.
 

Jumper Cables

These are important for jump-starting your van when the battery dies while on the road.
 

Ice scraper

If it is in winter, having an ice scraper will help in clearing of the windows and windscreen.

Why a Citroen Van Will be Right For You

Citroen Vans

Nemo

The affordable Nemo is the baby of Citroen’s range of vans, and is perfect for zipping around busy cities, with exceptional fuel efficiency, low CO2 emissions and intelligent traction control. Its comfortable interior, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth make it a pleasure to drive.

There is plenty of space inside the Nemo with a load volume of 2.8mᶟ when the passenger seat is folded, and the ability to carry loads up to 2.49m long. Large sliding side doors, asymmetric rear swing doors and a low sill make loading and unloading simple.

Moving up the range is the Berlingo, with inner space of up to 4.1mᶟ and the ability to carry loads with a length of up to 3.25m, either inside or through an opening section in the roof. Loading the Berlingo couldn’t be easier, with its wide sliding side doors and 60/40 asymmetric rear doors opening to 180°. 

Berlingo

Driving aids available on the Berlingo include the advanced anti-skid Grip Control system, Hill Start Assist, giving the driver valuable seconds to move his (or her) foot from the brake to the accelerator, and a speed limiter. Without a gear lever, driving modes are adjusted using a knob on the dashboard or on the steering wheel.

 Dispatch

The versatile Dispatch is bigger still, but feels like a car, with cruise control, speed limiter, Grip Control, Bluetooth and USB socket, plus a new six-speed automatic gearbox. Exterior lines are fluid and stylish, with useful extra-wide rubbing strips in case of accident. It comes in a variety of shapes and styles, meaning it can be used for many different types of jobs.

Relay

Top of the range is the class-leading New Relay. Every part of this large panel van is designed to lessen the chance of a serious accident or reduce repair costs, including high-mounted daytime running headlights, large, multi-piece front bumper and large door mirrors, plus innovative optional features such as a lane departure warning system. A huge range of body styles and with conversions available, all models able to hold at least three Euro pallets.

What Size Van Should I Buy?

White Commercial Vehicle Mockup
 

Buying a commercial van can be a challenge, especially if you can’t determine the right size to suit your needs. Of course, there is always the option of hiring a van rather than buying one, which can be a good option if your budget is limited. Here are some considerations when selecting the right van for your business needs.

When it comes to transporting goods from one premise to another, size definitely matters. Bear in mind that the equipment you have needs to fit in your vehicle, so it is important to consider the floor space as well as engine capacity and resilience. If you are going to do lots of starting and stopping, you need to make sure your van has a large engine size.

Heavier tools demand power steering so you should make sure your chosen van has this feature. This means that the road tax and insurance costs will be higher.

When choosing the most suitable van for your business needs, it is worth researching and seeking recommendations from reputable dealers. For larger loads, you should consider transit vans with higher roofs and larger wheelbases in order to maximise the space. The Citroen models can easily take the extra weight of heavier loads.

new cars

On the other hand, if you only need a small van for local trips, you should consider the smallest engine size for fuel efficiency and lower tax bill. The door arrangement will also play an important factor in the type of load you need. Some transit vans come with sliding doors for easier access, and some have extra features such as built in rollers on the floor for better portability of tools.

Finally, it is worth checking the previous insurance claims of the van to ensure it has not been written off or stolen. This is especially important if you are buying a second-hand vehicle from a private seller.