Whether you use your van for work or personal use you must look after your van in every way you can. You could be a van enthusiast who’s spent a lot of time and money making your van your own or your van could be the livelihood of your business, either way, you should know you need to perform regular maintenance checks and give your van some TLC.
Here are our top tips for looking after your van:
Perform a daily walkaround.
Before you go to use your van, we always recommend carrying out a daily walkaround to ensure your van is ready to drive. It will only take about 5 minutes, but it is worth it because you could prevent a huge garage bill if you find something wrong earlier rather than later. So, the DVSA recommend you should do the following checks daily:
Your lights and indicators are working correctly.
Dashboard warning lights.
Wipers and Washers.
Horn and steering.
The view through your mirrors and glass.
Seats and seatbelts work properly.
All doors shut and lock securely.
Your load area is secure.
Your exhaust doesn’t emit high amounts of smoke.
Tyres and Wheels.
Fluids, fuel and oil.
Maintain your tyre safety.
You should be checking your van’s tyres every day during your daily walkaround to make sure they are in a good condition, check for any slits, bulges or cuts in the tyre sidewall or any noticeable wear. If you do notice any damage to the sidewall of your tyres your van isn’t roadworthy, and you should get them fixed immediately.
It is recommended that you check your tyre pressure every fortnight but if your van is in regular use, we would recommend checking once a week. As well as checking the tyre pressure you should also be checking the tread depth to ensure it meets the minimum depth of 1.6mm, you can do this by using the AA Tyre Safety Kit.
Keeping an eye on your fuel level is very important, you may let your van’s fuel level run down until the petrol warning light comes on, but this can ruin your van. We recommend keeping your fuel tank between a quarter and halfway full to prevent damaging your fuel pump and filter, vans do give a mileage countdown, so it is easy to keep track of.
Making sure you get your van serviced regularly is essential especially if you use your van for work. Having regular services can save you a lot of money in the long run as you may find a problem that you would have otherwise missed. It is highly recommended by professionals that you should get your oil and filter changed once a year or every 10,000 miles.
Keeping your van clean.
Keeping your van clean is a minor choir if you keep on top of it, so getting in the habit of having your van cleaned every two weeks is a great way to do it. If you use your van for business and it is branded it’s important to keep it clean otherwise your company’s reputation could be tarnished.
There are also safety reasons behind keeping your van clean if you let your van get filthy and layers of dirt build-up over your lights it can reduce your visibility to other drivers because your lights won’t shine as bright. Allowing your van to be dirty can cause issues like rust which will affect the working and bodywork of your van and in the long-term will reduce the resale value of your vehicle.
Driving carefully should be done by all road users anyway but it often isn’t, but ensuring you drive safely can keep you and other road users safe and save you money. It will certainly help keep your no claims and licence clean if you stick to speed limits and drive carefully but it will also help maintain the condition of your van’s mechanical components and control your fuel economy.
Insist on Good Quality Parts.
When your van needs repairing no matter how small or big the job is you need to make sure you get good quality parts fitted. Any repair work you get done it is best to get it done with main dealers or at trusted garages to prevent failures that will result in more work being done to your van.
It is important to not overload your van past its maximum load weight otherwise you can damage your van and increase your fuel consumption heavily. Make sure you keep your load secure with appropriate storage systems, racking and tie-downs to prevent unwanted movement, damages or injuries.
For many van drivers your van is your livelihood and as van theft is continuously on the rise you must invest in different security methods to protect your van and tools. Here is how we recommend you keep your van safe:
Van Door Locks to enhance the security of your van and act as a visual deterrent.
Our Van Guard Tool Storage Boxes are an extra security measure in case someone does get into your vehicle.
Lockable Pipe Tubes will protect any materials you keep on your roof rack.
In terms of the condition of your van, you will certainly get out exactly what you put into it. So, look after your van properly by following our tips and it will extend the life of your van, keep your repair costs down and keep the resale value of your van.