How to Look After Your 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 ensure that your van is running in optimal condition.
It can be regarded as tedious but all of those who have received a large, unnecessary bill will all agree that its way better to be doing the small checks regularly, than be hit with a big bill that could have been avoided.
UNDER THE HOOD
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.
EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR MAINTENANCE
Keeping the interior and exterior of your van clean will have profound effects on your van maintenance that may not yet be that obvious to you. Of course, we are bot proclaiming if you keep the vain tidy that this will boost the performance... but if you maintain a well kept, clean and tidy van, then you will be far more proud and therefor likely to perform these smaller, sometimes tedious checks that will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Rust is a common theme that we see amongst the exteriors of most vans. We have some crazy weather conditions all over the UK and this can be a perfect recipe for rust if your vehicle is left neglected for long periods of time. Rust can be a nightmare, and it certainly doesn't look good! So be sure to give your van a regular clean (once a month) to ensure there is no time for rust build-up to prevail on your van.
Again most people would agree that they feel better and cleaner when they keep their surroundings tidy. Your van is no different. We understand this can be difficult from time to time, but there is always things you can do in order to keep it as clean as it possibly can be.
Make sure you have a specifically allocated bin that you keep in one spot at any given time. Do not allow empty food packaging or bottles be allowed to lie around. Dispose of them instantly upon finishing them.
Arguably one of the most important areas to maintain as this is your biggest source of visibility. The windscreen is often neglected though by most van users. The motorway is the prime culprit for random pieces of debris coming up from the roads and attacking your nice, clean glass.
You want to make sure that you access and fix and small chips that you may notice, no matter how small. leaving these small chips or not noticing them at all leaves you wide open to much larger cracks and even breaks, further caused by going over speed bumps and general pot holes etc.
Cleaning your window is the slightly more obvious one. It's always good practise to make sure that you give it a quick wipe down when necessary.
Essentially your second set of eyes, its very important to make sure your head lights are operating as well as they possibly can be, ensuring maximum visibility on the roads and especially when driving late at night.
Small stones and other debris may be a factor in reducing your visibility. They can easily ping up from the road ond over time, make the plastic casing work against the light and reduce the brightness.
You can replace the casing every now and again to make sure that you have maximum visibility. Also cleaning the casing would be highly recommended also, especially if you have to work around messy environments i.e dusty sites where many power tools may be used.
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 overheating, 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 in 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.