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.
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.
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!
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.