No matter where you are or what you are doing, when your vehicle breaks down it causes a big inconvenience. You have to figure out where and how to get it fixed and you may need to cancel plans or appointments while you find alternate transportation methods. But for wheelchair users, their handicap van breaking down usually leads to a loss of independence, as alternate transportation may not be an option at all. And while vehicle breakdowns cannot always be altogether avoided, there is one thing that vehicle owners can do to help prevent them. Simply put it is routine maintenance.
Routine vehicle maintenance helps keep a vehicle in proper working order and helps to reduce the likelihood of any unexpected breakdowns caused by mechanical or technical components being in need of repair. So, how do you know if your van’s maintenance is up to date? In this post, we will cover that question and more. We will take a look at why maintenance is important for a wheelchair van, ways owners can help with the upkeep at home, how to know if the routine maintenance is up to date and why wheelchair van owners should schedule their next service appointment.
The Importance of Handicap Van Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance is one of the most important things any owner can do for their vehicle. But, it is even more important for wheelchair van owners. This is because converted vans have additional mechanical components beyond that of a standard vehicle from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Conversion features added to vans like hand controls, ramps, lifts, tie down devices, transfer seats, among others require specific maintenance to remain in working order. By maintaining these features and the vehicle as a whole, wheelchair users are less likely to run into costly unexpected repairs.
Ways to Help Upkeep Your Wheelchair Van At Home
Routine maintenance by a service technician should be completed roughly twice per year. But outside of those service appointments, there are ways to help with the upkeep and maintenance of a wheelchair van at home.
Start by checking the interior and exterior lights (including headlights and tail lights), checking fluid levels (including but not limited to engine oil, windshield washer fluid, engine oil and transmission fluid), and checking tire tread depth and pressure. These should be checked on a daily or at least weekly basis if the vehicle is not being used every day.
Prior to using the van each time, check that the sliding door is free of debris, check the door alignment to ensure they open and close smoothly, lightly lubricate the kneeling chain, check the ramp to ensure it can be operated without sticking or jamming, check the wheelchair tie down tracks to ensure they are clear of debris, and check the hinges on the ramp (if it is a folding ramp). Folding ramps should be sprayed on the upper and lower hinges with teflon based lubricant and in-floor ramps should have their hinge sprayed with teflon based lubricant, as well (as needed).
Every time the vehicle is running, make sure to listen to ensure the engine sounds normal and there are no strange noises or rattling. Additionally make sure to check the electronic components like the navigation display, back up camera, etc. to ensure they are in proper working order.
Why Schedule a Routine Maintenance Service Appointment?
While at home measures can truly help the longevity of a vehicle’s maintenance, regular service appointments are the only sure thing that can help vehicle owners avoid unexpected costly repairs and keep their vehicle out on the open road. At a vehicle service appointment, the technicians will conduct any oil or fluid changes that need to be completed, they will check the battery and also rotate the tires and adjust the tire pressure. They will also check for any OEM recalls that may require work to be completed on the vehicle. Some recalls by Dodge, Chrysler, Ford, GMC or Toyota can be completed during routine maintenance appointments, but other more time consuming fixes may require an additional appointment. The technician will go over these options should a recall arise during a service visit.
For a wheelchair van, the service appointment will also include conversion equipment maintenance like checking the sliding door wiring and alignment, lubricating and checking the hand controls, tightening and lubricating the 6-way trackless transfer seat, checking the tie down device and alarm are in proper working order, and much more based on each unique conversion van equipment and needs.
Don’t Forget Our Rollx Vans Guarantee
At Rollx Vans, we want our customers to know that we stand behind the work that we do. That is why we offer an industry best vehicle warranty on all of our vehicles. Our unmatched protection on the conversion equipment includes a 7 year/100,000 mile warranty which includes our technician services for routine maintenance and our 24/7 roadside assistance program. The service includes at home service by one of our experienced technicians, service at a shop of your choosing, service at one of our recommended shops or service at our location in Savage, Minnesota. And we are so confident in our work and our warranty that we back all of this with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Why Wait? Schedule Your Appointment Today
Routine maintenance helps to protect your investment, avoid costly unexpected repairs and keep you going wherever you need to go. At Rollx Vans, we know how busy everyday life can get, so we make it easy for our customers to get the vehicle maintenance their van needs to stay out on the open road. With three different ways to get your routine maintenance done on a regular basis, our goal is to help complete your maintenance with as little inconvenience to you as possible. If your vehicle needs a check up, there is no better time than now. Give our team a call today to schedule a service visit.