Vans are the tradesman’s best friend. Whether you’re a builder, plumber, electrician, or anything else, you rely on your van to get yourself and your tools around from one job to the next. In fact, you could say that your van is the most important tool that you have.
That’s why looking after your van is so important. These absolute essentials of van maintenance will help with both getting the longest possible service from the van you already have, or with maintaining its resale value if you like to regularly trade in your van to upgrade to a new one.
Van maintenance 1 – Tyres
You need to check your van’s tyre pressure more often than your car’s – and particularly the van’s rear tyres. This is because the extra weight you typically carry round in the back of your van is harder on the tyres there.
Check your air pressure at least once per fortnight, to make sure tyres are safe and delivering best performance. And don’t make the mistake of giving them ‘a good blast’ of air past their recommended fill pressure. While too little pressure increases wear and tear, too much pressure increases the chance of a blow-out.
Van maintenance 2 – Engine
You don’t need to be a mechanic to look after your engine properly. Simple things like regularly checking the oil are surefire ways to ensure all is running smoothly. Also check coolant level, screen wash level, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and air filter condition. Doing so will only take a couple of minutes, but could make all the difference.
Van maintenance 3 – Appearance
This won’t make your van run any better, but looking after its appearance will help its resale value. Keeping it clean and well maintained on the outside will reduce the chances of rust developing. It will also portray a more professional image.
On the inside, seat protectors can guard against the dirty clothes, dirty boots and even dirty hands that result from many jobs. Give the dashboard and steering wheel a regular wipe-down with a cloth and cleaning agent too. Again, this will leave the van in better condition when the time comes to trade it in, and so it will be worth more.
It is best to clean your van seats periodically, to get rid of all that dust and odour from tools and parts.
Van maintenance 4 – Lights
Maintaining your lights is important for your safety and other road users too. Broken lights are not only dangerous, but against the law too. Avoid fines and penalty points by regularly checking that all your bulbs are in working order.
Van owners working in particularly dusty or dirty conditions, such as builders on some sites, should take extra steps too. Regularly clean the lights of any dust or dirt gathered on them. Failing to do so can affect the light’s effectiveness and visibility, thereby again compromising road safety.
Van maintenance 5 – Security
As well as checking your van is safe, make sure it’s secure too. Add extra locks and/or an alarm if you’re concerned about carrying expensive tools or other items, leaving your van unattended in certain areas or overnight, or for any other reason. Making things harder for thieves can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. It can also save on your van insurance, as there’ll be no claims to affect your No Claims Bonus!
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