If you’ve been forced to press pause on your operations for a long period of time, you’ll want to ensure everything runs as smoothly when normal service resumes. Whether that’s transport wise or company operations, as a business owner you need to ensure you can adapt, perform and deliver all your services no matter what.
If your van has been sitting around for a while, it may need some essential van repairs. To ensure your business can perform at its best, without any problems occurring, it’s essential to be organised and give your van the once over – inside and outside.
There are substantial risks that stand behind a lack of van maintenance. To help nullify any issues, we’ll cover everything you need to know in this post. From van repair tips for maximising performance to the issues that may occur if you don’t prioritise necessary maintenance. It’s time to get your van running properly so you can meet the expectations of your clients.
Van Repair Tips for Maximised Performance
How long has your van been left for? In general, the longer a van sits, the more likely problems will arise. However, it’s not all negative. With the correct tips and organisation in place, prevention can help this. Completing van repairs and checks are simple but essential. The quicker the problems are identified, the better. Meaning, you’ll be back to business in no time.
If you’ve left your van for a while, then it’s important to know how you can get it up and running with safety measures in place and ensure that its performance isn’t hampered. After all, your van is necessary to help you deliver excellence.
Look for Leaks
Before doing any other checks, looking for leaks is essential. Driving your van with leaking fluid can cause all sorts of serious and expensive problems. It’s important to avoid any driving if there are any signs of a leak.
Before checking the engine oil, take a look under the van to see if there are any signs of spillages. You can sometimes narrow down the issue by observing the colour of the leak. However, it’s always best to have a professional inspect and diagnose a leak before driving.
Leaks can affect the engine function, they can affect the mechanical wiring inside the car and they can even cause explosions. This is something not to ignore when considering van repairs.
Check the Battery
The first thing you might find that needs repairing on your van when it’s sat idle is your battery. When left for a period of time, the voltage will have likely dropped below the amount necessary to start the van.
However, if your van won’t restart, there could be a problem with the battery or your vehicle’s electrical system. It’s important to check it over thoroughly because if this repair isn’t resolved – you could break down and your services will be affected.
Before you consider jump-starting your van, remove the battery cables and check the battery terminals – these should be cleaned and clear of any debris, rust or even corrosion. You should aim to have your battery fully charged so you can deliver, perform and execute successful deliveries every single day.
Inspect Engine Oil
Engine oil’s primary job is lubrication. When there’s not enough oil or it’s been sat dormant, moving parts within the engine don’t get the lubrication they need. If you don’t replace your dirty engine oil or you don’t get engine oil leaks repaired, it could result in damage, destruction or even a vehicle fire.
Check the oil level of your van – if you’re unsure of how to do this, refer to your owner’s manual for a diagram. But before you do this, ensure the van hasn’t been switched on and if it has, allow it to cool for at least ten minutes before checking anything over.
When checking the oil, look out for the oil level, check the consistency and observe the colour. If the oil is thick, gritty or even dark in colour – then it’s time for an oil change. This is a vital van repair to ensure health and safety are at the forefront of your business operations.
Test Your Lights
Van lights are an essential feature and they’re important for your safety and other road users. It’s easy to miss a light that’s dimming or a bulb that’s stopped working.
But with the help of someone else, you’ll be able to check your headlights, fog lights, high-beam lights, brake lights, reverse lights and indicators. Whilst you’re doing this, you can check your interior lights too. Not only are they important for making other road users aware of your presence but they’re essential for your vision.
Activate the various lights around the vehicle and with the help of someone else, get them to check any faulty bulbs or issues. Bulbs can easily be repaired with the help of a professional.
Look At Your Tyres
A visual check of your tyres should be performed to make sure they’re in good condition but are also safe and free of any punctures or holes.
Air pressure should be checked and adjusted according to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI. Maintaining the correct tyre pressure will help to extend the life of your tyres, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency. Of course, all of these are essential for maximising your performance as a van driver.
It may take a few minutes to do and it may need to be tested a few times to ensure the readings are accurate. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tyre too – they’re essential for emergencies. You can do this with a mechanical gauge or you can get them checked professionally.
Check Your Refrigeration Unit
Your van’s refrigeration unit is the essential system that keeps products and goods cooled ready for transportation. This cooling system is usually powered by the van’s engine and if the engine has faults then this can affect the whole cooling system.
Conducting regular checks and inspections of the interior and exterior of the van is vital to preserving the van’s performance. Whether it’s a failure with the compressor unit or perhaps the insulation has been punctured, keeping goods cooled successfully means engaging in regular inspections. Regularly check the temperature of the van, inspect products to see if they’ve been affected in transit and check if your engine has any faults. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.
If a fault occurs, it could put your operations on pause. If the problem develops, you could be looking at a van replacement altogether – an expensive outgoing that can be prevented with regular checks.
Check the Fuel Pump
Fuel pumps can quickly break down in a van if it’s left sitting around. With no vehicle operation comes no flowing fluids. If there’s no lubrication through the pipes, this can cause malfunctions when you eventually do start using your van again. The fuel pump may even need replacing.
A faulty fuel pump can cause your van to break down or you may struggle to even start the vehicle. It’s hard to determine if you’ll need to repair or replace it but a mechanic will be able to put your mind at rest and get it sorted for you.
If this problem isn’t addressed immediately, then this could cause serious van repairs in the near future. Meaning more money spent and less successful operations.
The Problems That Can Occur From No Van Repairs
Vans are designed to transport goods daily, not left idle. When left unused, engine fluids can break down, and mechanical parts that aren’t lubricated can start to corrode.
Corrosion, oil spillages and hidden faulty wiring can all lead to many risks. Not only health and safety risks but financially, your business may end up suffering in the long run. More repairs may need to be made or even replacement vans might need to be considered.
If you forget to do van checks or you don’t prioritise your van maintenance, then you could be looking at pricey van repairs or even van replacements. Prioritising van maintenance will ensure that all problems are dealt with before they become real issues that could slow down your operations.
Financial loss isn’t something any business should suffer from, especially when it can be prevented in certain areas. If you’re regularly changing your van operating battery, checking your refrigeration unit, keeping the vans clean and covered – these unnecessary expenses shouldn’t be needed.
Your business reputation is something you build and maintain over a period of time. It’s hard work and it’s absolutely essential to the success of your business. But in a matter of moments, it can be ruined by van breakdowns, inconsistent delivery timings and poor service due to faulty van performance.
If you continue to prioritise your van repairs and give your vans the once over, not only will you be ensuring they’re safe to drive but you’ll continue to meet and exceed the expectations of your customers. You’ll be able to continue to go above and beyond for them – your business reputation will continue to grow and you’ll gain even more custom – winner!
Health and Safety
The health and safety of your workers and other road users is paramount. If your van is faulty or hasn’t had adequate repairs, the health and safety of others will be compromised.
Ensuring all checks and van repairs are maintained ensures that anyone driving the van or anyone who comes into contact with the van will automatically be safer. You need to ensure that your van meets the health and safety regulations and protects the welfare of your team.
Faulty fuel pumps, flat tyres, oil spillages and broken indicators can all violate the minimum requirements needed to be on the road. Failure to comply with the requirements will result in a violation and a possible hefty fine. This will affect your business reputation, your financial stability and you could even lose your drivers’ and business license.
For the sake of some regular maintenance – the risks aren’t worth it. Be organised, think about your business success long term and don’t let the essentials slide.
Maximise Your Van Performance
Now you’re equipped with the tips you need to know. It’s time to give your van the once over and see if it requires any serious maintenance. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can continue to focus on your main business objectives.
If you want to explore a range of vans in-depth and see the benefits of regular van maintenance, then look no further! We’ve created a visual guide of our extensive fleet of vehicles – within this guide you can expect to find vehicle overviews, maintenance tips and more.
However, it’s not quite ready yet – we’re just adding the finishing touches. In the meantime, if you have any queries at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Keep your eyes peeled, our FREE guide will be available to download VERY soon.