Tips to Protect Your Wheelchair Van

Cody Schuelke, one of the service techs at HDS
Cody Schuelke, one of the service techs at HDS

Maintenance Helps Protect Your Wheelchair Van

Many people consider vehicle maintenance to be a necessary evil. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your investment and save money. Vehicle maintenance should be a top priority for any vehicle owner, especially those of us with wheelchair vans.

All vehicle owners should keep up with a couple universal maintenance tasks. Oil should be changed approximately every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever occurs first. Then there are the tires, which need to be rotated roughly every 6,000 miles to promote their longevity.

Conversion vehicles require even more vigilant maintenance than ordinary vehicles. I visit my local BraunAbility dealership, Handicapped Driver Services Inc., every six months or so for routine maintenance. In fact, recently I took my latest BraunAbility Entervan for its third “check-up” since I purchased it a year ago. The first maintenance was done two weeks after I purchased my van just as a routine inspection and the second one was at the six-month mark.

I don’t do this because something is wrong or broken; on the contrary, I take my Entervan in for maintenance as a proactive and preventative measure to keep it in tip-top shape. After all, for me and for the millions of people who use wheelchairs for mobility, my van is my main mode of transportation. It’s not like I can just use my husband’s car if my van is broken down. As a result, it’s even more important to be proactive in maintaining my BraunAbility Entervan.

According to Richard Douglas, Service Manager at Handicapped Driver Services, Inc., routine maintenance consists of the following:

Richard Douglas, service with a smile!
Richard Douglas, service with a smile!

1). Checking the vehicle’s battery

2). Cleaning and sealing battery terminals

3). Checking door and ramp fasteners and hardware for tightness

4). Lubricating the hinge and pivot points

5). Cleaning lower door channel

6). Lubricating door slides and rollers

7). Checking tire pressure and inflate tires

8). Test door, ramp, and kneel systems to make sure it’s working properly

Remembering to schedule vehicle maintenance is easy as C-A-R: Calendar – Mark your calendar for the next time your vehicle is due for its routine maintenance. Anticipate – Look ahead in your calendar so that you remember to make your maintenance appointment. Repeat – Do the above steps every six months.

It sounds simple, but trust me, taking the time to maintain your vehicle will not only help keep your vehicle from breaking down but will save you money in the long run.Keeping up with vehicle maintenance can really protect the money you have invested in your wheelchair van. Savvy consumers do not neglect vehicle maintenance and neither should you. So remember to schedule vehicle maintenance for your BraunAbility van today!