Glaring sun. Blinding rain. Stop-and-go driving on congested roadways. The summer months can be a destructive time for your wheelchair accessible van. And because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, these summer car care tips are just what the mobility expert ordered.
The ideal summer car care process combines a handful of DIY activities that you or a caregiver can take care of at home. Those chores should be followed by quarterly visit to a mechanic for the more complicated procedures. Some tasks will require basic, affordable parts that can be found at any commercial auto store in your area.
1. Check, top off, and change any essential motor fluids
The scene of the helpless driver parked on the side of the road with smoke billowing out of the hood might seem cliche — but it can happen without essential fluids. That’s why checking fluid quality and levels show up first on our list of wheelchair accessible van summer car care tips.
Coolant system and fluid. This includes examining the state of the hoses and coolant reservoir — especially at the joints and connectors — to ensure a tight seal. The level of coolant has a direct impact on your wheelchair van’s AC system.
Oil fluid and system. Checking the cleanliness and level of the vehicle’s motor oil becomes increasingly important as your wheelchair van ages. Dark oil is a sign that you need a complete oil change.
Braking fluid and seals. This summer car care tip ensures you can stop on a dime. Brake fluid serves to lubricate all movable parts of the system and prevent corrosion.
Power steering fluid. Replacing your power steering fluid regularly extends the life of your pistons, hoses, valves, and pump — especially during months of high, intense heat and stop-and-go driving.6 #wheelchair accessible van #summer car care tips #mobility #wheelchairlife Click To Tweet
2. Test and charge the wheelchair van air conditioning system
You never really considered the state of your vehicle’s air conditioning system over the winter — which left plenty of time for the system to develop leaks and lose charge. Fortunately, your AC can be brought to life quickly with the proper care.
This means having all of those leaks sealed properly. Then, check the level of the freon refrigerant in the system. Finally, have a qualified wheelchair accessible van mechanic recharge the entire system and give the repairs a thorough road test.
3. Replace the air filter with a high-quality make and model
Because the air filter is so important to your wheelchair van’s overall drivability, you’ll want to resist the urge to skimp on a good air filter. In fact, this is an area where you’ll want to pay a little bit more for an air filter that has been proven to last.
Your air filter is the last line of defense against dust, pollen, and debris — which are all out in force during those summer months. The right air filter allows the perfect amount of air into the engine for maximum performance and higher mileage per gallon of gas.
4. Examine all engine belts and replace them accordingly
The engine belts in your wheelchair accessible van are critical components in performance and drivability, as well. Drive belts — also referred to as serpentine belts — provide power to the power steering pump, the air conditioning pump, the cooling fan, and other essential parts.
Look for wear and tear in the form of small cracks. Also consider the tension in each belt as a sign that it’s time to replace them.
5. Test your windshield wipers and fluid for performance
The summer rains can become particularly hazardous without a good set of wiper blades. Torrential showers can blind you from hazards on the roadway. Worn wipers can also create annoying streaks across your windshield with every use.
Most technicians will encourage you to allow them to replace worn wipers and top off fluid when you come in for an oil change. Some shops even offer to replace wiper blades for free as an incentive for doing business with them. Take advantage of this deal.
6. Remember to care for the little things that make a big difference
Any summer car care list would be incomplete without mentioning the little things that often go unnoticed. If you really care for your vehicle, you’ll take the time to attend to the following details.
Wash the vehicle — inside and out. There is a popular myth that a freshly-washed wheelchair van not only looks better, but it simply runs better.
Insert a windshield sun shade. You can avoid expensive repairs to sun-fueled cracks in your dashboard by purchasing and using a windshield sun shade.
Refurbish the first aid kit. Make sure that your vehicle’s first aid kit is refilled in the areas that ran low over the winter — think band aids, bandages, itch cream, and sun block.
Let AMS Vans help you keep your wheelchair accessible van in showroom condition throughout the summer months. We can do that one of two ways — through our experts technicians at our hi-tech maintenance facility or coordinated through your favorite mechanic at your neighborhood garage.
About AMS Vans
America’s Mobility Van Dealer is a national wheelchair accessible van dealer and manufacturer with a mission to deliver the industry’s best adaptable vehicles and mobility equipment that meets the unique needs of our customers at a price they can afford.