Winter maintenance for your van

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It’s getting to that time of year again, and nobody knows better than us at Speed Courier how important it is to take care of your vehicles in colder weather.

Sub zero temperatures can put a serious damper on your vehicles use plans, and can even derail your day entirely.

Here we share some of our pro tips so that you can stay mobile, and safe, in the coming winter months. Not our usual post but we thought we would try something different and if you can’t keep your van on the road. You know where we are.

Check your battery

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Cold weather can have a debilitating effect on your battery and its overall performance. If your battery is not fully charged, or it has been adversely affected by the cold, there is the increased chance of stalling – and perhaps not starting at all.

Some batteries do have a built in hydrometer so that you can check the charge of the battery, and for those batteries that do not have them there are handheld hydrometers that can be used instead. While you are checking the battery, take a look at the cables and terminals too for signs of cracks or breaks.

Top up windscreen wiper fluid

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To improve visibility, and increase the chances that your wiper fluid won’t freeze over, you should ensure that you use antifreeze solution for your fluid.

Making sure that the blades themselves are free of debris and cracks is also a good idea, this makes sure that the blade gets a clean ‘sweep’ across the glass of your screen.

Check your oil

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You also need to make sure that you use the correct oil type for your vehicle during winter, this is because many vehicles need a thinner oil this time of year because thick oil doesn’t flow as freely in cold as it does in warm weather.

The easiest way of finding out which oil you need is by consulting the owner’s manual or speaking to a mechanic.

As an example, though, if you currently use 10W-30 then you may benefit from switching to 5W-30 for the duration.

Get your air-con serviced

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Have your air-con fully serviced, as this can help to demist your vehicle more effectively, thus improving visibility.

There is a right way, and a wrong way of using your air con in winter though. When you enter your vehicle, your body has an effect on the air in there – your breath mixes with the cold air, creating a mist and this then appears on the glass when it comes into contact with it.

When this happens, switch on your air conditioning and raise the temperature slowly. This has the effect of warming, and drying out the air – stabilising the temperature inside the vehicle and eliminating misty glass. If the heat is turned up too quick, the effect actually takes longer and the condensation sticks to the glass; potentially making the situation worse.

This is something you really don’t want, as it is illegal to drive in this way when your visibility is diminished.

Nobody wants to see you, or anybody else get into difficulty this winter, so hopefully these pro tips from Speed Courier will keep you on the road safer, and legally.

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