May 05, 2017 at 11:30 AM
Preparing your van for the summer months is much the same as preparing it for winter. Not only are you making sure that all the internal parts are ready for anything, you’re checking it over to see if anything has become damaged during the colder months.
To help save you money and cut the cost of expensive repair bills, this month we’ve created a list of ways that you can prepare your van for summer. Let us know in the comments at the end if there’s anything you think we’ve missed out.
Make Sure Your Van Stays Clean
Whilst the weather is cooler (and more likely) wetter, dirt and debris starts to collect all under your van. In the wheel arches, in the engine bay, even in the window and door seals, there’s nowhere dirt won’t find it’s way into.
This combination of salt, grit and mud from the roads will start to collect over time and cause problems with your van. The excess moisture that pools against the paint of your van can cause rusting. Left unchecked, this can start to erode the metal body of your van.
Ensuring that you’re cleaning your van regularly means that it’s easier to check for leaks or damage to internal engine parts too.
Don’t forget about the interior of your van too. It’s easy to let the rubbish accumulate, but make sure it doesn’t get so bad that it starts to pile up. Clear all the rubbish from the boot, the foot wells and the seats, making sure that you give everything a good vacuum can help prolong the life of carpets and foot mats.
Check Your Engine Oil
If you haven’t done it in a while, now might be the time to check your engine oils. Ideally you should do this every six to eight weeks, but it’s always worth having a double check before you start out on a long journey.
Modern synthetic oils have been developed to protect internal parts against corrosion, sludge formation and small particles joining together to form clumps.
You probably already understand how to check the oil in your van, but if you’re new to the scene we’ll tell you anyway.
- Make sure that your van is parked on a level service
- Take out the dipstick, wipe it clean and put back into the oil well
- Take out the dipstick again, take note of the oil colour and level using the markings at the end of the stick
- If it’s too low, add oil. If it’s the right amount, simply put the stick back in and get on with your day!
Remember though, if the oil is a deep amber colour and you don’t need to add anymore, then don’t worry. However, if it looks black and lumpy, then it’s time to get the oil changed.
Check Your Tyres
We all know the importance of your tyres being the right pressure. Not only does it make for a smoother drive, it also helps to increase your fuel efficiency.
If you’re driving at the wrong pressure and the temperature drastically changes, you’re going to be at risk of a blowout. Each van comes with a recommended pressure chart, this will tell you the optimum tyre pressure levels for both the front and back wheels.
Take note though, the pressure needs to be adjusted based on the total load of your van too. If you regularly carry heavy loads, including tools or equipment, then make sure you’ve topped up to the right amount.
Give Your Brakes A Check
It’s common knowledge that during the winter months when the roads of busier, motorists are more likely to use their brakes, especially when it’s been particularly icy. To prepare your van for summer, you need to make sure that the brakes on your van haven’t worn down to the disks.
Driving with underperforming brakes can lead to an accident should they fail in an emergency.
When you’re checking your brakes, make sure that you’re clearing away any compacted sand, mud, salt and general debris. This gives you a clear view to check for visible damage. If you do notice a change in your brakes when you’re driving, it’s best to get them checked out.