As the weather begins to turn colder, now is the time to prepare your van for winter. The last thing you want is to experience issues when the snow sets in and find yourself stranded on the way to a job. So to help you ensure you’ll stay on the road without a hitch this season, here are our top tips.
Checking your tyres is essential for winter maintenance. Inspect the treads to ensure they are no less than 3mm in depth – although the legal limit is 1.6mm, it pays to have more grip in the winter. Look for nails or bulges and cracks in the tyres as well and ensure you’re carrying a spare. If you’re likely to be driving around in temperatures of below 7°C, you may want to consider investing in winter tyres. Winter tyres for vans reduce the risk of losing grip in slippery conditions as they keep their flexibility in lower temperatures.
It may not seem obvious, but checking your wipers is vital for winter van safety. Older blades can leave smears on the windscreen, obscuring vision which, it goes without saying, can prove dangerous. With gritted roads, more rain and the threat of snow, you’ll need to ensure your wipers are up to the job of keeping the windscreen clear.
In addition, make sure your washer bottle is topped up with a solution that is less likely to freeze, so that you can wash away grit and dirt easily.
Vehicle batteries are put under increased strain during the winter months as we use lights, wipers and heaters more often. Carrying out a basic check can help you to avoid facing a flat battery on the coldest day of the year.
Look at the lights and listen to the engine pitch for clues as to how the battery is performing. A battery over five years old will struggle more than a newer one, so get a replacement if you feel it’s necessary. If in doubt, run your van over to a mechanic to have them check the battery health.
Taking a look at your radiators will also help you prepare your van for winter. If they need topping up, ensure you use the right kind of antifreeze, and check how much water is needed to dilute it.
With daylight hours short during winter, it’s important that your lights work properly. Before setting off, scrape any ice off them and quickly check to ensure they’re working. Check the brake light by asking a colleague to press the brake while you stand at the rear of the van to confirm everything is working as it should.
Vanwise group offers servicing and maintenance for your van to help you get it ready for winter. With branches in Dunstable, Maidstone and Harlow, we can help commercial vehicle owners across the South East stay safe on the roads this season.