February 01, 2017 at 11:16 AM
A used van is a huge investment, especially if you’re self employed or just starting out in the trade. Maintaining its life through care and attention can save you time and money in the long run.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a list of top ways to help you prolong the life of your used van. Each method is easy to implement, and easy to monitor throughout your vans’ life.
Avoid Short Journeys
Regularly taking shorter journeys in your vehicle can put extra, unnecessary strain on your vehicle. Not only does the engine have to work harder more often, but it can lead to internal damage, especially if the oil is cold and harder than normal.
If you have to use the vehicle whilst you’re not at work, then combine daily tasks that mean you vehicle gets a proper run through, not just the odd drive to your local shop for milk.
Top Up The Fluids
Making sure that the fluids are regularly topped up in the engine is essential when it comes to extending the life of your vehicle. When left to drop to low levels, you run the risk of a component breaking, leading to costly repair bills.
You should always check the manufacturers’ instructions for the optimum levels of each fluid, and we recommend that these be checked at least once a week, especially if you’re driving long distances on a regular basis.
These regular top ups should include:
- Brake fluid
- Engine coolant
- Screen wash (make sure it is the anti-freeze variety)
- Power steering fluid
- Transmission fluid
Regularly Replace Components
All engines should work as they should, but if one or more components begin to deteriorate, then it can soon lead to costly repairs. Make sure that you’re checking components on a regular basis, and if they look like they may be coming to the end of their lives, then replace them. These can include:
- Checking and changing the oil filter
- Checking and changing the air filter
- Checking the condition of the cambelt
- Checking the condition of the spark plugs
We would always recommend that you change these components based on the manufacturers’ instructions. Always check the appropriate mileage, and don’t leave it until the last minute.
Keep Up To Date With Oil Changes
Keeping up with oil changes is essential when it comes to prolonging the life of your vehicle. As time goes by, dirt starts to accumulate in the oil, and this can lead to damage to the moving parts within the engine.
The recommended mileage for an oil change is between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. However, this may differ based on each vehicle, so again you should check the manufacturers’ instructions before you leave it too long.
Make Minor Repairs
These minor repairs might not seem like a lot, but they can soon add up, especially if they start to affect other internal components of your vehicle. That little scratch in the paintwork might soon start to corrode if the weather is exceptionally wet over a long period of time.
Maintain The Tyres
Without properly maintained tyres, your vehicle doesn’t operate at its optimum performance. Tyre pressure that’s too low can put added strain on your suspension, and decreases the level of control you have over your vehicle.
Other ways to maintain the tyres include:
- Checking the appropriate type pressure. Ideal especially when it comes to increased loads in the back of the vehicle, this can not just an adverse effect on your tyres, but the vehicles performance as a whole.
- Regularly rotate the tyres. This helps to reduce uneven wear and tread on the tyres, and can help extend their life. The vehicle’s manual should have the recommend way to rotate the tyres, usually front right and rear left, or vice-versa.
- Checking the brake pads. Don’t let them wear down right to the metal. This not only damages the pads themselves, but the tyres on your vehicle. If you have to brake suddenly this can have a disastrous outcome.
Keep It Clean
Allowing dirt and dust to accumulate in you van doesn’t just look bad; it has a detrimental effect on the vehicle as a whole. Make sure that you keep your vehicle washed and cleaned throughout the year, and its’ life will be extended.
Take note to maintain the interior of your van too. Make sure that all the surfaces have been washed, dusted and protected, as this decreases the change of cracked leather or scratches.