After spending a lot of time researching, viewing and test driving you’ve bought a van. You’re happy with your decision and it now means you can get to and from jobs very easily. But how do you make sure your van will continue to give you nothing to worry about? It’s not only a vehicle to get you to and from work, but also a moving advertisement for your business, so it needs to be looked after.
Here are our top tips on making sure your van stays healthy…
This will take 2 minutes every morning or night. Do a visual inspection and check for tyre treads, loose wheel nuts, any scratches or damage to the body work. You can also look out for any fluids that might be running low, which can include screen wash, coolant or oil.
Gov.uk have a useful checklist of what to look for on your daily walk around. It might seem like a bit of a chore, but it can help you catch problems before they become expensive issues!
You should check your tyres weekly. By ‘check your tyres’ we mean you need to check the pressure and the tread, as both have equal importance in making sure your tyres are safe.
Your tyre pressure will depend on how you drive your van the majority of the time. This will depend on whether it’s full of tools and equipment and therefore heavy, or light. To find the best tyre pressure for either weight, please check your vehicle’s manual.
With modern vans now telling you when you are only miles away from being empty, it’s easy to get into the habit of only filling up at that moment. We would advise against this. It’s good practice to always consider filling up when the gauge gets to about a quarter of a tank full. This will stop the fuel filter beoming blocked by sediment that sits at the bottom of the fuel tank.
Keeping your van looking as fresh and clean as possible will help to impress not only clients but passers-by. If your van is dirty enough it could cover over your telephone number. causing you to miss out on valuable business.
It’s also incredibly important to keep your van clean for your own safety. Always make sure that your lights, side mirrors and number plates are visible and clean.
Getting your van regularly cleaned will also hold value in the van. If paint work is damaged, it instantly devalues the vehicle. By cleaning the paint work regularly your van will be kept shiny throughout its lifetime.
Driving safely is a given no matter where or what you are driving. Driving carefully doesn’t just mean you’ll get there safely, but it will also keep your insurance premiums down and help you keep a clean licence. These are all things to be aware of when you are running a business and you need to drive to and from your work.
Better still, driving carefully will also make your fuel last longer putting less strain on the van’s mechanical components.
If you overload your van you need to be careful with the way you drive. Overloading your van can cause a number of problems, including heavy consumption of fuel and a lack of stability when driving. You will also need to keep a bigger braking distance to make sure you reduce the risk of accidents with other vehicles.
Your van should never be loaded above it’s maximum weight, and whatever you are transporting should be secured safely with the appropriate strapping. You can normally find the maximum load weight of your vehicle inside the driver’s door.
Don’t shy away from visiting your garage. It’s important to give your van a regular service, but also taking it for an interim service as this can save you money in the long run. If you rely on your van to do your job, then it’s better to book it in more regularly. You don’t want to have to turn down jobs because your van is in the garage for a long time!
Make sure the little problems that could be easily fixed, don’t turn into big ones, by getting a regular service. Check out our guide which explains how often to service your vehicle.
Ensuring you service and maintain your van is extremely important, but making sure your car is fitted with the right parts is just as much so. Make sure the mechanic uses parts with the correct specification to ensure that your van is looked after as best as possible. This will could also help with your van holding its value, meaning you’ll be able to get the top price for your vehicle if you ever come to sell.
If you look after your van you’ll be paid back with greater economy, reliability and a higher value when it comes to selling. Our tips may seem obvious, but we hope it gives plenty to think about.
Look after your van and you’ll have a good life on the road.