8 – Winter Tips

Well winter is well and truly upon us and it’s time for some preventative maintenance.

Firstly – Battery Checks.
Neither battery is particularly easy to get at but a small mirror and a torch or lead lamp will help here.
Engine Battery fist.
Remove the battery cell caps and using the mirror check the electrolyte levels. If low then top up with distilled water only. A cheap (and seasonal( turkey baster can help do the trick here. If any cells appear dry, then after topping up use a hydrometer (available at most motor spares outlets such as Halfords) to check the condition of the electrolyte. Dry cells can mean a faulty battery and a hydrometer test will indicate if a replacement is needed. Finish up by greasing the battery terminals and while under the bonnet, grease the bonnet release catch & cable, and check the water, brake fluid and power steering levels.
Leisure Battery
Depending on the model it may be necessary to remove the driver’s seat. This is held down by 4 Torx type fasteners; 2 at the front of the seat runners and 2 through the rear. Take care when lifting the seat clear as they are very heavy and must be lifted clear of the handbrake mechanism. Once access is gained treat it as for the engine battery.
Check for any damage – cracked walls, uneven sections of tread, low tread depth etc. The AA recommend a minimum depth of 3mm for winter use. Finally check the pressures. The correct pressures can be found displayed on the door pillar of your van. Don’t forget the spare.
General Lubrication
Purchase a can of spray grease or oil and use this to lubricate all external moving parts including the step, corner steadies, waste valve and all door locks. Don’t be tempted to use WD40 as this soon evaporates and can even remove some of the original lubricant.
Have someone help you check your lights, including trailer connections if applicable. It’s a good idea to carry a spare set of bulbs in your toolkit at this time of year. See and be seen might sound a bit corny but it is good advice nevertheless,
And finally, if you are intending to leave your vehicle standing for any length of time throughout the winter don’t forget to drain the water from both hot and cold systems. Leave all taps and waste tank valve open and fit any covers you may have to fridge and water heater vents.
That’s about it for now. It just remains for me to wish you all a (belated) Merry Xmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.