Tag Archives: van

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.

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.

Citroen Nemo named 2014 Best Light Van

Citroen Nemo Multispace Front

A high payload and spacious loading area makes the Citroen Nemo stand-out as one of the most practical light vans found on Britain’s roads. And at the Van Fleet World awards show this year, the judges certainly seemed to agree. The Citroen Nemo came out on top in the ‘Best Light Van’ category, despite fierce competition.

Dan Gilkes, editor for Van Fleet World, cited the Nemo’s ‘versatility and load carrying capabilities’ as qualities that set it apart from its competitors, including ‘car-derived launches in the last year.’

Jeremy Smith, the Head of Commercial Vehicles and Business Sector Operations at Citroen, was understandably delighted with the award, stating that ‘Citroen is pleased that the Nemo’s load carrying versatility and efficiency has been recognised.’

Now that we’ve heard from Citroen and a Van Fleet World judge, let’s take a look at what all the fuss is about.

Why So Many Love the Nemo

Adapted from the Fiat Punto, this Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) offers a choice between diesel and petrol. The petrol engine comes with the standard X specifications, whilst diesel can be paired with one of four models.

Both engines predate the Nemo and have been tried and tested. As such, they have excellent reliability and low running costs. The petrol engine runs at 40 miles per gallon (MPG), whilst the diesel engine is more efficient at 50 MPG. Petrol prices are cheaper, however, so both engine types balance out on running costs.

As the Nemo is modified from the Fiat Punto, its responsiveness and feel is like that of a car. The power steering is light and the mirrors provide a wide angle view, making it easy to manoeuvre at any speed.

Of course, the main consideration is storage space, which the Nemo is lauded for. In comparison to a hatchback, there is twice the load-space, and the Extenso seat provides the option to increase the length of the loading area.

Overall, the Nemo combines practicality and efficiency, making it an ideal light commercial vehicle.

6 Ways to Keep Your Van Clean and Organized

Van interior

For many people, their van is their second home. They use it to transport the kids to and from school, for work, road trips and a wide range of other things. With all that living, this can mean that before you know it your van becomes cluttered and messy. Here are a few easy ways to keep your van clean and organised.

Throw Away the Junk

Things tend to build up over time and before you know it, your van is filled to the brim with rubbish. The first task is throwing away any rubbish and damaged or broken items.
 
Only Take the Bare Minimum with You

It’s time to work out what you really need. Be honest with yourself, do you really need a road map of France with you at all times? Take a good look at everything in your van and if you don’t use it every day, or at least every few days, don’t keep it in your van.
 
Clean Out the Glove Compartment

Unwanted items often end up in the glove compartment and before you realise, you have a rubbish nest in there. Take a good look at your glove compartment and throw away or remove anything that you don’t really need. Now you will have more space to store the things that you do need in your van.
 
Find Places for All Your Essential Items

Invest in storage boxes so that you can store items in them without taking up too much space. Plastic storage boxes are particularly good because they are see-through, allowing you to see what you have inside without having to rummage through loads of boxes.
 
Keeping the Seats and Floor Mats Clean

Dirt and rubbish can easily build up on the seats and floor mats of your van. Invest in a vehicle vacuum cleaner and try to use it every week. You should also shampoo you mats and seats every once in a while to stop them from smelling like sweaty pillows.
 
Cleaning the Windows

The windows often get overlooked when cleaning vans. Make sure you give those windows a good clean with a good window cleaner.
 
Now you can sit back and chill in your clean van space. Ahhhhh.

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.

How Citroen Took The Van World by Storm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Citroen has been in the business of vehicle manufacturing since the early part of the 20th century and the company, which is now part of the PSA Peugeot Citroen Group, is one of the famous names in the motor industry. They have been at the forefront of many automobile innovations during their years in operation and this has been for more than just cars. In the late 1940s they took the van world by storm with the introduction of the Citroen H Van. This remained in production for over 30 years.

Conception

The idea for the H van was conceived in the early 1940s, with Citroen looking to produce a vehicle using some of the new techniques being developed at the time. This included constructing the van as an integrated unit, where the bodywork and chassis were one piece as opposed to the existing manufacturing method that bolted bodywork onto a separate chassis. The benefit of this was it resulted in a lighter, stronger vehicle more capable of coping with the everyday demands it was needed for.

Innovations

Other features used in the design of the H van that were innovative for the time included an ultra low floor to make loading and unloading easier, a larger 2 litre engine, side loading door, front wheel steering, and torsion bar suspension. Its most distinctive feature was its corrugated bodywork and this helped in making it lighter and stronger, which gave it the advantage of being able to carry heavier loads in comparison to other vans in its class. All this was intended to make it the best vehicle possible to help Citroen become the top manufacturer for commercial vehicles.

Production

Production of the van commenced in 1949, with the first vehicles being given the H designation. In the years following, this was replaced by the upgraded HY and HZ models, with manufacturing work being carried out in the UK, Holland, and France. It was immediately successful when brought to market, with van buyers taking to in their thousands and this ensured it remained in production for many years. Almost half a million were manufactured during this time, with the last one rolling off the production line in 1981.
 

The Citroen H Van was well ahead of its time when it first came to market, with the many innovations ensuring it took the commercial vehicle world by storm. This helped it become one of the most successful vans of all time.

10 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Van

Van drive

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.

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.