Wheelchair Accessible Vans

The Wheelchair Accessible Vans section spotlights wheelchair vans in the news. We’ll explain the handicap vehicle laws and regulations behind handicap parking placards, handicap parking spaces, handicap parking permits, and other topics pertaining to accessible vans and their users. Look for illumination on new wheelchair vans, used accessible vans and information about converting existing vans into handicap accessible vans.

Synthetic Motor Oil vs Regular Motor Oil: Which Should I Use?

Hand mechanic in repairing car,change the synthetic motor oil close up selective focus

Motor oils are primarily responsible for keeping the engine from premature wear. When you find the right oil, your engine will serve you for longer. Choosing the right oil for your vehicle might seem like a simple job. However, engines are designed with a specific type in mind, and the more complex the engines become, so are the oils they require.

Choosing the right oil can become challenging when you begin examining the vast array of options available. But, we’ve come to the rescue! A little education goes along way. Understanding the basics of synthetic motor oil can help you make the right choice for your vehicle’s needs.

The API Symbols

API uses two symbols; the “Donut” and the Certification “Starburst.”

The “Donut.” This symbol, shaped like the sweet treat, has three parts. The top half describes performance levels, the center identifies viscosity, and the bottom informs you about the oil’s energy conserving potential. Performance levels are shown with an ‘S’ (which stands for Service) for gas engines and a ‘C’ (which stands for Commercial) for diesel engines.

Viscosity is all about temperature. It determines how well the oil flows at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This is used for the oil’s designation; 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30 and 0W-30. It’s important to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations on SAE oil viscosity, which can be found under the hood or in your owner’s manual.

The “Starburst.” This certification shows that an oil displaying this mark meets the current engine protection standard and fuel economy requirements of the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC), a joint effort of U.S. and Japanese automobile manufacturers, according to API.org

motor oil certification and service symbols

What’s the Difference between Regular and Synthetic Oil?

There are a lot of differences between synthetic and regular motor oils. Synthetic oils being more refined and distilled means they have no impurities. The refinement also allows the oil to be tailored to the specific demands of modern engines. How do you determine whether regular or synthetic is the right type of oil for your vehicle?

There are two main differences between synthetic and regular motor oils. The first difference is in how they are made. Second, their functionality and how they affect your car. When it comes to performance, synthetic motor oil is better. Synthetic oil engines perform 47% better than engines using regular motor oil. Synthetic oil’s low level of friction protects the engine while the additives help clean engine deposits.

Further benefits of synthetic motor oils include; fewer emissions, longer oil change intervals, reduced engine drag, better all-weather protection, and a quicker engine start time.

Your manual should be the first reference point if you want to know what type of oil is right for your vehicle. Some advise the use of regular motor oils while others specify the use of synthetic motor oils. Click To Tweet

Other Factors to Consider

Although synthetic motor oils can often provide better performance while helping your engine maintain a longer life-span, that’s not always the case. Some older engines run better on conventional or regular oil. Other factors affect the efficiency of motor oil in use, including the following.

External Conditions

External conditions such as weather and driving habits and distance play a role in determining how efficient your motor oil will be. Low temperatures affect the start time of your engine while high temperatures cause motor oils to break down or even evaporate which exposes your engine to wear.

Longer driving distance means a prolonged running engine. This prolongs the exposure of heat your motor oil will have to endure. Longer distances also imply longer running time which could increase the amount of sludge deposited in your engine.

Still not sure which oil is best for your accessible vehicle? Check out this comparison from idrivesafely.com.

AMS Vans side-entry wheelchair accessible van

Budget

Also, with synthetic motor oil being six to ten times the cost of regular oils, budget is also essential to consider. If you can afford it, and it’s right for you vehicle, go for synthetic motor oils. If full synthetic motor oils are out of your price range, and you have the option to choose something else, consider going with a high-quality regular oil. Visit our site for varied accessible vehicles with different motor oil needs. We will help you identify the right oil for your vehicle engine.

Need service on your AMS Van? We offer nationwide service and repair!

7 Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Accessible Vehicle

For most people, the arrival of spring means merely taking off their snow tires. It is, however, much more than that. A harsh winter can take its toll on your vehicle. Here are just a few tips on how to not only get your accessible vehicle ready for spring but also repair the damage that might have been done by the harsh winter conditions.

Minibus accessible vehicle for physically disabled people.

Minibus with wheelchair accessibility.

1. Vehicle Spring Cleaning

Winter can be tough on all vehicles. Your vehicle has been through a lot. From salt and brine to the potholes. Road salt helps against ice, but it causes a lot of damage to cars. It can even cause brake failures. Salt-filled brine coats your vehicle’s underbody, and if left unattended, it will begin to erode. It is therefore recommended to take your car for an undercarriage wash.

2. Check Accessible Features

Pay attention to the door, ramp, and kneeler. Ensure the sliding door is free of debris. Fix any exposed, frayed, or damaged wiring on the sliding door. If your vehicle has a folding ramp or an in-floor ramp, spray hinges with a silicon-based lubricant. Ensure you can operate them without any issue. Contact AMS Vans service department to find out how to have your ramp, hand controls, and other accessible features serviced.

3. Check the Brakes and Tires

During winter, the vehicle usually deals with a lot of slippery conditions. In addition to that, the bumps from snow and ice will cause vibrations that loosen the alignment over time. Wheel alignment extends your tires’ life, steering control, vehicle performance and improves fuel efficiency.

When removing your snow tires, also check for feathering. If the feathering is too bad, it may require replacing of your tires. Ensure proper inflation of your warm weather tires. The impurities picked up from gritted roads might clog the brakes. Abrasions that usually appear in winter could lead to bodywork rust. Ensure you have your chassis checked during service.

4. Check A/C

To get ready for the heat, you should double check the air conditioning as well. Turn the AC on and make sure that max chill effect is achieved. Look out for any strange odors or noises coming from the system.

5. Check Windshield and Wipers

Winter conditions can damage your windshield and wiper blades. Repair the wiper blades if you notice they are frayed or torn. Run them across your windshield, looking out for streaking or other signs of malfunction. To avoid a complete windshield replacement, repair the chips that might appear on your windscreen. Lastly, top up the washer fluid whose levels might be a bit low after a winter of clearing away the grime and salt deposits from your windshield.

6. Check Engine and All Fluids

Start the engine and listen for any abnormal noises; rattling, grinding or clicking. Check to make sure your oil level is topped up. Take the accessible vehicle for an oil change if you feel it’s necessary. Look at your coolant and brake fluid. If your brake fluid is low, it is a sign the brake pads could be worn down.

7. Check the Battery

Check the battery for corrosion on the terminals. Clean them off with a toothbrush, a little baking soda, and elbow grease. Disconnect it first. Checking the shape is more complicated since it requires a battery tester. Take the car to a garage to find out if the battery needs recharging or replacement.

Find More Tips for Your Accessible Vehicle

The better you take care of your car, the longer it will last. AMS Vans is committed to supporting our customers throughout the process. However, if you feel that it’s time for a new look for a new season, we’ve got you covered! Why not trade in your accessible vehicle for a newer model? We offer a wide range of new and used cars. Browse our inventory here.

5 Important Questions Answered About Uber & Lyft Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Uber and Lyft have become an exceedingly popular alternative to public buses and taxi cabs. Both of these companies are most notably known for allowing riders to choose their ride preferences and certain customizations. What about options for those who require wheelchair accommodations? Let’s take a look at the 5 most frequently asked questions when it comes to Uber and Lyft’s services to those who need wheelchair accessible vehicles.

What is a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle)?

A wheelchair accessible vehicle, known more commonly as a WAV, is a vehicle which has been modified to easily accommodate a wheelchair. Typically, the interior is adapted in order for a wheelchair to fit as well as either a wheelchair ramp or a power lift for convenient access.

Does Uber or Lyft Have Wheelchair Accessible Vans?

Uber offers UberWAV which connects riders to drivers with vehicles which can accommodate wheelchairs. UberWAV drivers have completed a special training course in order to help you or a loved one safely enter and exit the vehicle. It is important to note that in areas where WAV services are not available, Uber will send alternatives directly to your phone.

Lyft offers Access Mode, which puts riders in need of a WAV in touch with drivers who have a WAV. As with Uber, in areas where this service is not available, alternative transportation methods will be sent to you.

How to Request an Uber or Lyft WAV?

Requesting a WAV with both Uber and Lyft is quite simple. For Uber, you will simply use UberWAV to schedule an on-demand ride that meets your needs, schedule, and location. When utilizing Lyft, users will need to enable Access Mode, by tapping ‘settings’ on the app and making sure the ‘wheelchair access’ toggle switch is green. Next, you will type in your destination and access wheelchair mode to find your perfect ride.

Does Uber or Lyft Offer Any Discounts?

From time to time Uber offers promotional discounts for both first-time passengers and loyal customers. The type of discount and expiration dates are constantly being updated, so be sure to search for any eligible promotions before you pay full price.

Lyft offers a few different kinds of promotional discounts. These include:

  • Percentage discounts – Receive a certain percentage off of your ride.
  • Fixed discounts – Remove a certain amount from the total cost of your ride.
  • Flat rate – This means a set fare for rides that would typically cost up to a certain amount.

Lyft credit is a system in which Lyft users earn credit each time they take a ride. These credits can then be applied to a qualifying ride.

How Do I Identify an Uber or Lyft Driver?

Both Uber and Lyft take safety very seriously and have measures in place to ensure you are able to confidently identify your Uber or Lyft driver. Once you have been assigned a driver by Uber, you will be sent information about the make and model of the vehicle, name of the driver and a photograph of both the driver and the vehicle. Upon arrival of your Uber ride, verify the information and pictures match the approaching vehicle.

Lyft offers similar safety measures by also sending passengers detailed information and photographs of both the driver and the vehicle. Passengers can verify the vehicle that pulls up matches the information received.

For both Uber and Lyft, thorough background checks are conducted before they are allowed to become drivers for either company.

The Possibilities are Limitless

When it comes to transportation. It’s all about convenience. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are specially designed to allow for comfortable and convenient travel. With the WAV services of Uber and Lyft, transportation is easier now than ever. AMS Vans understands the needs of those who require wheelchair accessible accommodations and have over 20 years of experience in the industry. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Wheelchair lifts for vehicles

7-minute Mobility Guide: Exterior Wheelchair Lifts for Vehicles

If you have an over-sized wheelchair or power scooter, there are a wide range of wheelchair lifts for vehicles to enhance your mobility freedom. From hoists to lifts, there is a portability option to help you prepare your vehicle for travel. Our 7-minute mobility guide will discuss available models along with the accessories you’ll need to complete the setup.

Exterior wheelchair lifts for vehicles are mechanisms mounted to the outside of wheelchair-accessible vehicles that raise, lower, and secure larger wheelchairs and power scooters for transportation. They come in various sizes and designs that match your mobility device and the type of vehicle that you use. Wheelchair lifts for vehicles can also be mounted to RVs and motor homes for extended trips — a popular choice for retirees and road-lovers. Continue reading