Unlike a new just-delivered and fully-equipped van, used vans have usually traveled thousands of miles for several years. The history of its use and maintenance can be a mystery, and it’s always a concern that your chosen truck may not be as good as it looks. Whether you want to buy a van regardless of its brand, you can be bold of your chances of achieving great value by performing ten basic checks.
Rust is the most important thing to check. Rust is particularly noticeable on fenders, sills and under bumpers, but can also be found under wheel arches, around door frames, and in windshield corners. If you find rust, press gently. If you hear cracks, corrosion may occur below.
The lights can indicate the general electrical condition of the truck if dimmed or flickering oddly. Before buying a van, think carefully about whether the brake light, headlights, fog lights, indicators, and interior lights are not working properly.
Pressing every corner of the truck should give you an idea of the condition of your shock absorbers. If the truck bounces once and then return to its normal position, the shock absorbers should work properly. If you have concerns about the suspension, a road test will help confirm your findings.
look for a safe and level road where you can test the brakes. The brake test will help you determine if the brakes feel solid and stop in a straight line. When testing the brakes, listen carefully for a squeal or grind noise.
Assuming the van has air conditioning, it is important to make sure it is working properly. Fans should run at all speeds and the air conditioning compressor should not be too noisy. After checking the air conditioner, perform similar truck heating checks.
The Steering of a used van must be reactive, with no free play.
Tires are the only point of contact between the van and the road. For this reason, it is important to check the tread pattern and the sidewall of each tire, including the spare part. Belt lesser than 1.6 mm is illegal in the United Kingdom. The sidewalls of the tires must not be damaged or bulging.
The van must be cold before starting the engine. If the bonnet is warm, it means the engine is hot, which could be a problem. When starting the engine, look for signs of excessive smoke and listen for unusual noise.
Checking the inside of a used van is just as important as checking the outside. When sitting in a van, make sure that the windows and electronic parts of the car are working properly. Inspect the dashboard and make sure there is no warning light: The engine control light on can cause problems. Check that the seat belts and locks are working properly. The van is not legal without seat belts.
See the details of each van in the DVLA online database. You should also ask to see the full history of the service as well as the receipt for work carried out.
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