When you rely on a business vehicle to carry out your day-to-day tasks, you want to know it’ll be running smoothly for as long as you choose to hold on to it. While regular van maintenance and servicing is a big part of ensuring your commercial vehicle’s overall health, there are a few other things you can do to prolong its life.
Of course, in business you go where your work takes you, but where possible try to take longer journeys. Shorter trips can put additional strain on the engine, which has to work harder and more often. This can lead to internal damage, particularly if the oil is cold. Try to combine daily tasks so that your van gets a proper run.
Another van maintenance tip for extending the life of your vehicle is to check and top up the fluids when necessary. Allowing fluids to get below the minimum levels means you’re risking a component breaking and therefore a repair bill.
Check the manufacturer recommendations for optimum fluid levels and take a look under the bonnet once a fortnight, or once a week if you frequently drive long distances. Fluids to check include:
In addition to fluid checks, it’s worth checking certain components to ensure they are functioning correctly. While many drivers wait for their annual van servicing appointment to find out if anything needs replacing, making your own checks on a regular basis will help to ensure optimum performance.
Check the oil and air filters, the cambelt and spark plugs for wear and tear, and arrange to have a replacement if necessary. Again, the manufacturer recommendation will provide a useful guide as to when components need replacing.
Looking after your tyres is an essential part of basic van maintenance, especially in winter when outside conditions affect grip. Check tyre pressure on a weekly basis and ensure it meets the manufacturer recommendations, particularly if you are carrying cargo.
It’s also advisable to monitor tread depth regularly to ensure it doesn’t fall below the legal limit of 1.6mm. Many dealers and manufacturers suggest that tread depth shouldn’t fall below 3mm, and to arrange a tyre change when it does. This ensures maximum security on the road at all times of the year.
Washing your van isn’t simply for aesthetic purposes. When dirt accumulates it can cause moisture and condensation to damage the bodywork and, over time, lead to rusting. A wash each week or fortnight will reduce the chances of this happening and also give you an opportunity to look at the overall condition of the vehicle, ensuring no new scratches or dents have appeared.