April 27, 2017

Van maintenance: Summer suggestions

van maintenance

We are about half way through the traditional summer months, and as the heat rises so does the risk of your van breaking down.

The RAC reports that during periods of hot weather, the RAC can sometimes experience a 20% surge in call outs, due to issues with air conditioning, over heating, lost keys and jammed fuel caps. If you’re buying a new van – which then becomes an asset to your business – you should be right on top of van maintenance.

Van maintenance tips

To make sure your van is ready for the summer, follow the RAC check-list below to keep you and your van on the move:

  • Check oil and coolant levels following the instructions in the owner’s handbook
  • Have the cooling system checked – a leaking cooling system or inoperative cooling fan could cause the vehicle to overheat and cause extensive damage to the engine. It’s worth noting that owners of vehicles with air conditioning will often see a small amount of water on the floor – this is perfectly normal and is simply condensation of the air conditioning system
  • The electric cooling fan is designed to run only when needed, it’s worth getting this checked also to ensure it’s operating as it should
  • Check the operation of the convertible roof, especially if it hasn’t been used for some time. Make sure you know how to open or close it manually if needed
  • Check all wiper blades for wear or splitting, check the windscreen washer fluid level (screen wash additive is also recommended) and check that the washer jets are adjusted correctly
  • Have the auxiliary belt (sometimes called the fan belt) checked on a regular basis by your local dealer/garage
  • Check the operation of all exterior lights to ensure they comply with any legal requirements, especially if you’re travelling to Europe
  • Check the condition of the tyres (including the spare) for correct pressures and legal tread depth. The current minimum legal tread depth for cars and light commercial vehicles (up to 3500 kg gvw’) is 1.6mm.
  • Inspect the jack and wheel brace making sure they are in correct working order. If locking wheel nuts are fitted, ensure the locking key is safely stowed away in the vehicle. It may be useful to practise changing the spare wheel, following instructions from your owner’s handbook. If no spare is supplied with your vehicle make sure you are familiar with the tyre repair kit in case you need it
  • Ensure all dashboard warning lights operate correctly. If not, consult your owner’s handbook or call your local dealer
  • Make sure you have a spare set of keys for your vehicle in a safe place
  • If you are towing a caravan, check the tyre condition – tyres can deteriorate quickly when not used for some time, so check for any cracking in the sidewalls. Also check the braking system, the indicators and brake lights and coupling gear. In addition, make sure that the caravan is properly balanced with the load distributed as advised by the manufacturer.
  • Never overload your vehicle or caravan beyond their designed carrying capacity

For more information and advice on van maintenance and how to safe guard your van throughout the summer months, visit the RAC today. For advice on vans and to view our great range, click here. You can call us on 0845 021 0444 or alternatively, enquire online!