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Promoted | How to get your van ready for winter

As the bitter weather begins to bite, it’s important to prepare for the icy road ahead – whether it’s giving your van a complimentary health check or adding accessories to keep it working hard...

It’s important to prepare for the icy road ahead – whether it’s giving your van a health check or adding accessories

We live in uncertain times right now. Whether it’s dealing with the relentless pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and ever-changing lockdowns, or facing the inclement weather of winter – with rain, ice, snow, chilly temperatures, dark mornings and evenings all impacting how you work – the next few months are set to be tough for all businesses, small and large.

So, if there’s one thing you need to rely on, it’s your van. Keeping your van working reliably through winter is key to keeping your business running smoothly. So, we’ve put together a comprehensive package of advice for beating the winter weather. From a pre-emptive complimentary health check that keeps your van on the road and working hard for you, to simple everyday tips and tricks that help you stay working efficiently, here are the top tips for conquering the cold.

To find out how your local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Van Centre can give your vehicle a winter health check and help you stay ‘winter ready’, click here.

Give your Volkswagen van a Van Centre winter health check

The best way to get your van winter ready is to give it a precautionary in-depth winter health check – making sure it’s in tip-top condition or identifying any problems that might flare up over the winter months. After all, you don’t want to waste time (and lose money) with your van frozen on the side of the road through an easy-to-spot problem. To make sure your van gets the most comprehensive once-over, it’s worth getting it done by the experts.

Participating Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Van Centres are currently offering a complimentary health check[1] on selected models. Taking your vehicle to a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Van Centre for a winter health-check ensures that your brakes are operating effectively and safely, your tyres have sufficient tread depth to tackle greasy and icy roads, that the battery is ready for the demand of cold starts, and that your lights and windscreen are clean and running properly.

Volkswagen Van Centre’s aren’t just there for a pre-winter health check or a major annual service. They can also help you with other essential winter maintenance tasks – such as bulb and windscreen wiper replacements. In short, getting the professionals to solve the problem and check it has been done right gives you the peace of mind that whatever the weather throws at you, your van will be more than up to the task.

To find out more details about Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ pre-winter health check, click here.

It’s important to prepare for the icy road ahead – whether it’s giving your van a health check or adding accessories

Give your mobile office a clean

For many small business owners, your van isn’t just a workhorse – it’s also a mobile office. So, it’s worth making sure it stays clean and tidy. During the winter months, water, mud and all manner of debris is dragged in via boots, jackets and tools. If left to fester, a dirty interior will cause problems. Wet carpets, for example, can begin to mould, while dirt left on fabric surfaces will become increasingly difficult to remove over time. So, if you own a Volkswagen van, it’s worth investing in some Genuine Volkswagen Accessories to keep the inside of your vehicle spick and span.

Waterproof seat covers will keep your seats dry and dirt-free, while heavy-duty rubber floor mats prevent liquids and dirt from spilling onto the floor carpet. In the back, easy-clean rugged load-liners will prevent grubby tools and sodden gear from soiling your loading area, meaning you won’t have to waste time deep-cleaning your van.

To find out what winter Genuine Volkswagen Accessories are available for your van, click here.

It’s important to prepare for the icy road ahead – whether it’s giving your van a health check or adding accessories

Protect your van – and your image

It’s also imperative to keep the exterior of your van clean during the winter months. Vans get mucky faster in winter, and a dirty vehicle can reflect poorly on your business. Equally, it’s worth looking after your van’s paint and bodywork to protect its long-term residual value. 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers a range of van care and cleaning products to protect your paint and keep your upholstery immaculate. For a more extensive job, you can also have your van treated with Autoglym LifeShine at a Van Centre. The paintwork gets a protective coating to maximise resistance to the elements, while a durable coating is applied to seating and carpets to repel moisture and resist staining. The side and rear windows also get an easy-to-clean coating so water runs off more easily, keeping your vision clear.

Headlight protectors will prolong the life of your lights by preventing damage to the lens casing, while a bonnet protector will deflect grit, stones and other debris from chipping the front of your van. A multitude of bumper load protectors are also available across the Volkswagen van range, meaning you don’t have to worry about minor knocks and scrapes when scrabbling to load your van quickly in the cold.

It’s important to prepare for the icy road ahead – whether it’s giving your van a health check or adding accessories

General winter driving tips

Getting ready for winter doesn’t only mean checking your van, but it also means subtly changing your approach as a driver in order to avoid accidents. 

When it’s icy or wet, make sure you leave significantly longer braking distances to the car in front in case you lockup on an unseen patch of ice. Equally, if you’re struggling for traction while accelerating on ice or snow, change up a gear to avoid excessive wheelspin. Should you feel the van sliding around on the road, stay calm and avoid aggressive and sudden inputs into the steering, brakes or accelerator as these risk disturbing the van further.

Equally, think ahead and stay on top of the conditions to make sure you’re ahead of the weather – saving you time and effort later on. Check your washer fluid more often and use a screen wash with a low freezing point of -35C so you’re ready for even the worst icy mornings. And, if overnight frost or snow is forecast, lift up your windscreen wipers the night before to prevent them freezing to the glass, saving you time when you’re defrosting and scraping your windscreen clean. Finally, don’t use your wipers to clear excess snow or ice – you could damage the blades or the motor.

Be ready for any emergency

In winter, it’s important to be prepared for the worst – especially if you live and work in more remote parts of the UK, such as the Pennines, the Welsh mountains or the north of Scotland. Snow chains may not seem an essential investment until the point where you absolutely need them – keeping you moving and working, even when your rivals aren’t. Even the most sophisticated traction control struggles in thick snow and having a set of snow chains mean you can safely get to customers’ doors despite the drifts.

And, if you’re traveling long distances, it’s a good idea to have winter safety gear in the van at all times. Volkswagen can provide kits containing an orange triangle, high-visibility jacket and first-aid equipment in case of a breakdown, but it’s also advisable to have your own ‘overnight kit’ – containing things like blankets, snacks, water and a thick coat – in case you’re stranded by really bad weather.

To find out how your local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Van Centre can give your vehicle a winter health check and help you stay ‘winter ready’, click here.

[1] Please see https://www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/en/buy-a-van/offers/aftersales-offers.html for full terms and conditions on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ pre-winter health check offer