How often you maintain your van depends on how important its longevity is to you, and if ensuring a high resale value is a priority. Regular maintenance, however, is also necessary to ensure that your van runs without any problems during your ownership. The three most important things to regularly check are the coolant, oil and tires.
* Oil: When you check the oil, make sure that the colour is as dark as treacle and that it is clean without any bits in it. Any change to the colour or consistency of the oil should be immediately investigated.
* Coolant: Coolant is extremely important as it safeguards your van against overheating and damaging the engine and other mechanical parts under the bonnet. Top up as soon as you notice that the levels are running low to avoid your engine overheating.
* Tires: Regularly maintaining the tires is vital to ensure that your van performs as well as possible. Low tire pressure means that your van will consume more fuel. The tread on your tires should also be regularly examined as bald tires are illegal.
Keeping your van properly secured with alarms and locks is another sensible way of protecting your investment. Deter nosy opportunists by having tinted windows or curtains. Using a heavy-duty immobilizer in the ignition circuit will stop the fuel flow and hopefully act as a deterrent to any thieves in the vicinity. Make sure that your van does not look like an easy target, as a botched burglary attempt can easily damage the appearance of your van and have a negative impact on its resale value.
Lastly, remember to keep the interior looking spruce by using protective covers and mats where appropriate, and giving it a hoover and wipe-down once in a while with suitable interior-cleaning products.
Following the above tips should help your van to run smoothly and keep its resale value, whether you plan to trade it or keep it.
Doing a lot of driving around the Christmas period? You might want to read this before you do. The festive season can present a number of challenges when driving a van, such as excessive traffic, adverse weather, and slippery road conditions. Here are four tips on how to prepare your van for the Christmas break.
1. Keeping your van in working order
You might be using your van less frequently during the Christmas period, especially if you have time off work or the weather is particularly bad. Remember – the cold can damage any electrical or mechanical components in your vehicle, especially your battery. Plan ahead and if your battery begins to malfunction, use a trickle charger to help it start in cold weather. You might also want to keep some jump leads in your boot in case of an emergency.
2. Prepare your van engine
Your van engine might take much longer to get going when the temperatures drop, so steer clear of using full power and limit any revving until the motor has reached operating temperature. Making sure your vehicle’s oil is also working well can prolong the life of your engine and save you a lot of time and hassle in an emergency situation.
3. Stay safe
In adverse weather like heavy rain or snow, it is imperative that you stay safe when on the road. You must ensure that your van lights are clean, and that mirrors and windows are clear. Take some time to clear all snow or ice from your van before driving, and remove any snow that has fallen from your van that could provide an obstacle for
pedestrians. You might also want to take greater care when planning your journey. Check the latest traffic and weather reports on local television or radio stations, and find alternative routes if the weather is particularly bad.
4. Book your van for a service
If you suspect something is wrong with your van, book a service as soon as possible. It might take longer to get the van repaired during the Christmas period, so always plan ahead.