A simple driver’s health check on your vehicle can help you ensure your van is safe and legally compliant. Here is a simple guide on how to check your van will be safe on the road, which should take no longer than 5-10 minutes.
Wiper Operation – Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen. If the windscreen is not clear, this may be a sign you need to replace your wiper blades.
Wiper Condition – Lift the arms of the wipers away from the windscreen to assess the condition of the rubber. The first sign of ware is usually a split at the end of the rubber or an obvious wavy edge and indicates they should be replaced.
Windscreen Condition – Look across the windscreen, looking for any chips or cracks. The maximum damage size is 40mm or 10mm if the damage is in the driver’s line of vision (a vertical strip 290mm wide, centred on the steering wheel).
Lights – Wipe all the lights with a clean cloth, checking them for any damage. Damaged lenses must be replaced as soon as possible, both for safety and to prevent moisture entering the lamp fixture. Make sure all lights and indicators are working correctly.
Reflectors – Check that the reflectors are red in colour, in good working order, secure and are not obscured.
Brake fluid level – Make sure that the brake fluid level is within half an inch of the cap and check that it is not dark in colour.
Coolant Level – Make sure that the coolant reaches the full line; if the liquid doesn’t reach the line, open the bottle and add a 50/50 mix of water and coolant until it does. Also make sure the coolant isn’t colourless, looks rusty, or has things floating around in it and if so, flush your cooling system and add new coolant.
Washer Fluid Level – Many washer fluid reservoirs have marks to show the fluid level. If the tank is less than half-full, you’ll need to refill it.
Fluid Leaks – With the van on, check underneath the van for any fuel and oil leaks looking for puddles on the ground. If leaks are detected trace the cause.
Tyres – Check as much of your tyres and wheels as you can see. Make sure there is:
A minimum tread depth of 1.6mm
Sufficient inflation of each tyre
No deep cuts in the sidewall
No cord visible anywhere on the tyre
No missing or insecure wheel-nuts
Make sure to download our free printable Visual Health Check Sheet to help you complete these checks regularly along with this guide.