How to prepare your van for winter

If you own a van for work, you probably spend a huge amount of your week in it and any downtime due to a mechanical or electrical failure would be a huge financial drain, not just in terms of the repair cost but also the lost work.

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With winter coming, you need to be especially vigilant to keep your van in peak condition. Here are four things to focus on to ensure your van makes it through the winter months unscathed.

Check your fluids before winter hits

The obvious starting point here is your antifreeze and windscreen cleaning solution, both of which can be easily checked and topped up with a quick look online or in your owner’s manual to identify the correct reservoirs.

Potentially more critically is engine oil. In cold weather, engine oil becomes far more viscous, meaning it will not move through the engine as well as in warmer weather. Especially if the engine oil level is low or the oil is quite old, this can cause serious problems.

If you are expecting extreme temperatures, you can even consider topping off or replacing your engine oil with a colder weather-appropriate oil, if compatible with your vehicle.

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Ensure your battery is up to the task

As with oil, cold weather can cause your battery to struggle if it is getting older. Additionally, the winter months tend to be the time when the battery is used the most, with heaters and lights used much more aggressively.

If your battery is five years old or more, seriously consider getting it checked or replaced before winter hits.

Make sure your heating works

You will be spending a great deal of time in your van, so make sure you will be comfortable. You can look at installing plylining or a similar lining from a supplier such as to improve your van’s insulation, or at the very least ensure that you heating is up to scratch.

Check your tyres

While you can usually get away with ageing tyres on summer roads, winter brings ice, slush and snow, all of which can make the roads fairly treacherous.

At the very least, you should ensure that your van’s tyres have three millimetres of tread. If you expect harsh weather, new all-season tyres or even snow tyres might be a worthwhile investment.

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