If you are new to owning a van, you may be a bit worried about how to maintain it.
There are several things you can do to keep your van running and looking great, and it’s not much different from maintaining your sedan. Here are tips specific to van care, that can also transfer to some of your other vehicles.
Any vehicle chassis can be subject to rust and corrosion. However, vans are especially susceptible. This is usually due to the fact that they don’t ever get to sit in the garage. Most vans are too big for the homeowner’s garage, so they sit in the driveway. This leaves them exposed to the weather 24/7, and can wreak havoc on the chassis and paint job.
And – a word about salt. If you live near a beach, or in areas in which the roads are salted in the winter, make sure that you wash the undercarriage of your van on a regular basis. This goes for any vehicle that is exposed to salt.Some people will park their van under a tree for protection. Unfortunately, this may destroy the paint and corrode the body in a mere matter of a few years. Sap that leaks out of trees can gum-up the paint, and if left, can seep down into the trim around windows and doors. Bird feces, too, is terrible on your paint. You may think that the paint on top of the van doesn’t matter, but that’s where you’ll find the first indication of corrosion, directly from the result of birds, tree sap, and direct sunlight. If at all possible, try to build a carport under which to park your van. This will preserve the finish and chassis much better than a tree. In addition, washing and waxing – especially the top of your van – will preserve the integrity of the vehicle.
You probably know all about keeping the oil changed in your vehicle. This extends the life of your engine, and is just common sense. But, what about vacuuming? Yes, your van will see some heavy use. Most people who buy vans are looking for a vehicle that can haul a lot of people or a lot of gear. This traffic inside your vehicle can tear up the inside very quickly. A regular vacuuming of the interior will remove dirt, sand, and debris that would otherwise get ground into your carpets and seats.
This, alone, is enough to extend the life of the fabrics inside your van. The wear and tear inside is bad enough, but when all that traffic grinds in dirt, the friction does double, or even triple, the damage. In addition, if you vacuum your van regularly, you’ll be more likely to find minor damage to seats and carpets, and repair it before it becomes major.
Vans are heavier, and have bigger engines, than most sedans. The motor mounts need to be checked every 30,000 miles or so, to extend the life of the engine.
With these simple steps, your van will last much longer.
Steve Holt loves everything automotive, when he isn’t writing you can usually find him working for Falcon Vehicle Solutions, a vehicle hire company.