Many people make a living out of their vans, even though to some of them this means they actually spend more time in their vehicle than in their bedroom.
This is why you should ensure your van is in perfect condition at any given time, since you need to rely on it to cater to your clients. The last thing you want is to miss an important job only because your van broke down unexpectedly while on the road.
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Furthermore, the law requires you to ensure your van is roadworthy and that it meets the environmental and safety standards. Once your van celebrates its third anniversary, it needs to pass a Ministry of Transport test.
What Does Van Maintenance Include?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that all moving parts of your vehicle are in perfect condition and they are doing their job as expected.
Your van is subject to a high degree of wear and tear due to road friction, improper road conditions, bad weather, and many other such factors you have to put up with while on the road. This makes the number of kilometers traveled one of the fist things to take into consideration, if you want a fair evaluation of your van.
In addition, keep in mind that the wear and tear and the extent to which you’ve used your vehicle are in direct correlation.
Here are five tips that help you keep tabs on the condition of your vehicle, in order to ensure it always behaves as expected and keeps you safe on the road.
The tires are always in contact with the road, so they are subject to regular wear and tear, a lot more than other moving parts of your van. For your own safety, inspect your tires regularly and replace them as soon as you notice anything abnormal.
Here’s what you should check for:
- All wheel nuts are firmly secured
- There are visible cords interfering with the tires in motion
- There are no bulges or cuts in the tire sidewall
- The pressure is right (you can find this right value marked on your vehicle)
- The thread has a value above the minimum limit (according to the law) – buy tires featuring a Tread Wear Indicator to make this check easier.
Setting your tire pressure at the correct level is very easy to do if you use an air pressure machine. You just set the desired PSI level and the machine will automatically stop the very moment the pressure reaches this value.
Keep in mind that the rear tires of a van need to withstand a heavier load, and therefore may call for a higher pressure level.
Underinflated tires result in your vehicle eating up more fuel, while overinflated ones risk to blow out – neither of the two situations is to look forward to.
Once a week, take a look under the hood of your van, in order to check for various problems. Here are a few of them:
– Oil level
– Coolant level
– Screen wash level
– Air filter condition
If needed, add fluids to reach the desired levels. Next, inspect the battery. Take a look into the owner’s manual to see whether your battery terminals are in good condition or not.
Seek for breaks, oily residues, wire cracks or fluid leaks. If you notice any of these, schedule an appointment with your car mechanic right away.
Make sure that the rear doors of your van are always working properly. Oil them regularly and open them up to check how they work.
The lighting system should be in perfect condition at all times. Neglecting it may get you in big legal trouble.
To inspect your lights, turn them all on and walk around the vehicle to check that they all work. If you notice any flaws or faults, take your car to the mechanic to have these issues addressed before you embark on your next road trip.
In addition, take good care of your lights. Clean them frequently and keep them free from dust and debris, in order to enjoy a better visibility on the road. Fix all issues as soon as you spot them, in order to prevent them from becoming huge problems that are more expensive to repair.
Van’s Exterior Maintenance
If you’re using your van to make a living, you want it to speak volumes about your business. This means you need to keep it looking like new for as long as possible.
A rusty, poorly maintained van may deter potential clients from choosing you as their supplier. On the contrary, a clean and good looking vehicle would make your business more appealing to potential customers and would make your business appear more professional and more reliable.
In order to prevent rust and to protect the paintwork, you should wash your van at least once a month.
In addition, you should make sure that your breaks are in perfect condition and that you have enough windscreen wash fluid, in order to decrease the risk of getting involved into a road accident due to poor visibility or to the inability of stopping your van in case of emergency.
It is also important to take care of interior car maintenance. Rubbish should be removed and the interior regularly hoovered and cleaned. Attractive car mats will make the inside of your van look more appealing, easier to clean and a more pleasant place to be.
If you want to enjoy worry-free rides, you have to take good care of your van. Regular maintenance pays off each and every time. Most van owners can vouch for it.