Tag Archives: van maintenance

How to Look After Your Van

Citroen Nemo Van

Preventive maintenance is the most important thing you can do keep your van in proper working order and potentially save you money in the future. Carrying out these few simple procedures on a regular basis will insure that your van is running at optimal condition.

Firstly, start under the hood. Checking the brake fluid level is a simple but very important step in van maintenance. Brake fluid plays a crucial role in your van’s braking system. Keeping the fluid reservoir full will prevent brake failure and possibly even an accident.

Routinely checking the washer fluid reservoir is also a simple yet essential step in looking after your van. Neglecting the washer fluid can result in zero visibility, causing a dangerous and stressful situation.

Keeping water/coolant levels topped up is vital to your van’s engine to prevent over heating, or water freezing in the engine, resulting in expensive repairs.

Check the oil in between scheduled oil changes. Your van’s engine requires constant lubrication, and oil also has cleaning properties which help to reduce the dirt that clogs the engine openings. Low oil levels can cause extensive damage, and tremendous repair bills.

Lastly, tyre maintenance is key in regards to safety and economy. Under-inflated tyres can result in overheating, and over-inflated tyres cause poor handling on the roads. Tyre pressure ought to be carefully monitored to prevent dangerous situations. If need be, pressure should be adjusted in accordance with the van’s current load.

In addition to preventing unsafe scenarios on the motorways, regular checks of tyre pressures keep the treads from wearing too quickly or unevenly. Another reason to perform regular inspections of tyre treads is the fact that illegal treads can result in a fine, as well as three penalty points, which may mean an increase on commercial insurance payments.

Correct tyre pressures can equate to lower CO2 emissions coming from your van than those with incorrect tyre pressures thus reducing the environmental impact of your vehicle. Maintaining good tyre pressure could even save a bit of money at the petrol station.

Staying on top of these simple but essential maintenance routines can save you money, and keep your van running smoothly, and make it a safer place to be.

Van Maintenance 101

Tank

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.

How Often Should I Maintain My Van?

postal delivery courier in a van showing thumb up hand sign

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.

Looking After Your Van This Winter

pine row path

If you are not planning to use your van every day through the winter months, it is vital to take certain precautions. Protecting your vehicle during the colder months will ensure it can be used again at the start of spring. To help you with this task, go through the following tips and use them as a checklist.

Check the antifreeze level on a weekly basis and if needed, add the coolant mixture as appropriate. Another most common cause of breakdowns in winter is the battery. If your battery is older than 5 years, it may be time to replace it with a new one.

You should also check that all your lights work properly. If necessary, carry spare bulbs just in case. Your van’s tyres should have at least 2mm of tread. For convenience, you can opt for winter tyres as they improve safety.

As damp and condensation are most likely to build up inside of your can over the winter months, you may end up with mouldy carpets and seats. If left untreated, the bodyshell of your vehicle can get damaged. To prevent this from happening, open the windows to circulate air every once in a while and place a bowl of salt inside the van for dehumidifying reasons.

If you are not going to be driving your van very often in the winter months, certain areas of the vehicle may get damaged or cracked. It is best to keep the van in an enclosed garage in order to prevent tyre damage. But by far the simplest way to reduce stress to the vehicle is to move it every so often as this ensures different parts of the vehicle are on the move. Don’t forget to check the van’s tyre pressure as this will help preserve the tyres over winter.

By taking the above precautions, you can rest assured that your van will stay in tip top condition throughout the winter months.

 

Creating an Emergency Winter Car Kit

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During the Winter you are more likely to suffer a car breakdown than at any other time of year. Luckily you can equip your vehicle so that you are prepared for all the most likely eventualities. As well as all the usual items that you should regularly carry year round in your car there are several things that prove extra useful during the cold Winter months that could be a lifesaver should you encounter problems in inclement weather.

Throughout the year you should always be sure to carry practical items such as a warning triangle, spare bulbs for all your car lights and a first aid kit to deal with any emergency treatment that may be required. During the Winter you should also consider carrying the following to assist you in the event of snow, ice or extreme cold:

A blanket to keep you warm while waiting for emergency assistance to arrive. Temperatures can drop quickly once the engine cuts out so wrapping up warmly is vital. A reflective jacket would also be useful to wear while waiting by the roadside for the rescue crew to make you easier to see in bad weather or in the dark. A torch (with spare batteries) would be a great help in this situation too.

A shovel to help dig yourself out of any snow drifts you may encounter. This may be especially useful if driving in hilly or rural areas. Some spare carpet or cardboard would assist in giving traction to your wheels on icy surfaces. Some salt or sand would also be helpful in these circumstances to help clear ice around your vehicle and get you moving again.

An ice scraper, de-icer and spare screen wash are essential items to carry with you. Temperatures can often drop quickly and you need to be sure that your windows are completely clear and ice free before driving.

A tow rope and snow chains are helpful items to carry with you in the event of snow especially if you live or are planning to travel in remote areas.

How to Prepare Your Van for the Christmas Break

Vector delivery van

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.

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

Car parts (2)

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.

4 Reasons You Should Insure Your Van

Burning Delivery Vehicle and Police Cars
 

It is mandatory that all vehicles be insured and vans are no exception. However, is it necessary? Well, van insurance has lots of advantages, most of which protect both your wallet and livelihood. The following is an outline of some of these.

You get the benefits when you really need them

Each time you take your van out for a spin, to work, or transporting family and relatives, you are generally not only risking your bank account, but also yours and potentially other people’s lives. These are risks that apply to all vehicles on the road as they are all susceptible to accidents. When they happen, there are bound to be unforeseen expenses, which can sometimes be very high as a result of injury, direct damage to assets, and liability lawsuits. That said, a policy that has high compensation limits, collision, as well as medical payments coverage, can save you thousands of pounds.

You save time

When you insure your van, the insurance company takes over the post accident process and works with the other driver’s insurance company. It also guides you through the processes of claiming, finding a reliable repair shop and also getting the settlement. In the event that you are in a collision with a driver who has no insurance, the company can help cover the costs through the uninsured motorist coverage. This will not only save you time, but also money.

Transport und Verkehr

It gives you peace of mind

The roads today have their fair share of beginners and careless drivers, and van insurance protects you from paying for the mistakes of others. It offers liability protection against the lady tweeting while driving, the woman applying makeup while on the driver’s seat on the highway, and the intoxicated teen who took his mother’s car to go partying. The good news is that getting comprehensive van insurance coverage covers all these aspects saving you a lot of hustle when accidents occur.

Insurance covers your own mistakes

A lot can go wrong on the road, including the fact that your own van can develop complications at the most inappropriate moment, for example develop brake failure while going down a slope dramatically increasing the odds of causing an accident. Adverse weather conditions can also result in poor visibility and tire grip, consequently leading to accidents. However, the fact is that some of the aforementioned situations may cause you to be liable for accidents occurring as a result, but the good thing is that van insurance also covers these.