Keeping your van clean

Go on…confess…do you pay attention to the hygiene of your van or is the thought of cleaning your van regularly somewhat of an unpleasant one?

As a whole, the majority of people do struggle to keep their vans clean and very few people clean their vans because they want to or enjoy it. For many, getting someone else to clean their van for them is a much better solution, even though a cost is involved, rather than do this job themselves.

sexy girls and vanPaying for a professional clean can be quicker and more efficient, after all, they are experienced at their jobs and have the correct tools for the work.

The state of uncleanliness can creep up on drivers, and very quickly a couple of takeaways, and a few choice items can suddenly make what was a clean interior something in need of TLC.

There seems to be a different in sexes, with women being more likely to pay for their vehicles to be washed than men. Of course the cost of cleaning depends on what’s needed… a simple wash is a small amount when compared with a full valeting service which is more time consuming and not needed as frequently.

There’s a difference in the generations too. Younger people are more likely to pay for cleaning services. So, in the era of convenient and fast pace, are we moving to a more lazy generation with each year that passes? Do you wash your vehicle?

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Motorists are cutting down on driving

High Fuel Costs Influencing Motorists Driving Habits

article-new-ehow-images-a06-d9-4e-self_employed-van-driving-jobs-1.1-800x800As fuel prices have risen consistently in recent times, and in fact doubled in the last decade, the price of fuel has influenced many motorists driving habits. There are some who have found the cost too much and have traded their cars for public transport. Others have cut down on the amount of driving they do, favouring walking or cycling where possible and shorter journeys over those longer distances.

Has the cost of fuel been a deciding factor in a journey you have made? Have you changed your plans because of the cost of fuel?

If the van is a necessity for you, what can you do to reduce your fuel bill? Certainly perfecting your driving techniques will ensure fuel economy and consumption.

Crude oil prices have risen dramatically since 2003 and this is a major factor in the fuel price hikes. Just 10 years ago, petrol could be bought at the pumps for 76 pence per litre. Van Parts are still expensive too.

It is fair to say that fuel costs are a wallet-busting issue and with the price oil not set to change any time soon, it is something we will have to live with.

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Van parts: Advice on replacement of shock absorbers and struts

There are many van parts which need regular replacement including things like brake pads, spark plugs and oil filters. But when do you know when your shock absorbers and struts need to be replaced and what are the signs to look out for?
Van Shock Absorbers

The first thing to remember about shock absorbers and struts is that they will only need replacing once they are worn or damaged and this is a result of use of the vehicle, and a certain number of kilometers driven. The reduction in condition of shocks and struts is also caused from general wear and tear and regular replacement should be expected regardless of the age of the vehicle and regardless of make and model.

If you notice that there is damage, that the parts are leaking or looking worn out, then it’s probably time to replace them. If you’d like to know how to inspect for leaks just look for any wet area or oil residue around the outer part of the shock absorber or strut. If there is any breaks in the mount or dents in the housing of the shocks this is a sign that they need replacing.

If you cannot see any wear and tear then it’s really down to how well the shock absorbers and struts are performing for the car that’s important. Over time, as they deterioriate, the ride of the car will become more heavy and unable to cushion the bumps of the road. You may not even notice this as the deterioration will be take time and you may become used to the bumpier ride as you drive it.

A tale-telling sign that replacements are needed is when you can hear thuds, rattles or feel bumps or bouncing over rough ground. This is where the strut and the chasis are coming in contact with one another as there is no support from the cushion. Other signs of wear include a dipping nose when braking and when taking a corner the car sways more than usual.

You may want to upgrade the shock absorbers if you feel they are not doing what they are supposed to do. Many people require an improved part, being more demanding on the capabilities of the shocks, particularly those who are not just driving in towns and cities and have more rural travelling, and would like to upgrade. Your suspension system can be improved and upgraded and heavier shocks or struts fitted to accommodate this.

If in doubt or unsure of whether new shocks or struts are required for your vehicle, please seek the help of an expert mechanic who will be able to advise you correctly on this matter.

And… don’t forget, you can find a huge range of new van parts and used van parts at Van Parts 4U!

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Keeping Safe on the Roads This New Year.

Driving in Snow

The holiday season is a very busy time of the year and this certainly applies to our roads. At this time of the year the roads are particularly dangerous with statistically more accidents and deaths being recorded on the UK roads than at any other time. How safe you are is of   course dependant on the accident and also the type of car you are in.

Location wise, the hotspots for accidents are in the bigger cities such as London, Brighton, Birmingham and Glasgow, however most areas show an increase at this time of year.

One of the reasons for this is busy shoppers with a lack of concentration, however a heightened increase in drink drivers is also seen. You might think that your typical drink driver is those who have consumed over the limit and drive home on a night out but it is also those who drive the morning after and do not stop to consider whether or not they may still be over the limit.

This year is a busy time for visiting family, friends and socialising with many get-togethers and parties. All drivers need to be vigiliant of the amounts of alcohol being consumed and whether they are fit for driving at any time.

The weather also plays a part in accidents at this time of year with rainy, icy and snowy conditions all typical.

So if you are planning a trip this new year, remember to drive sensibly, ensure you plan the journey well, do not rush, be vigiliant of others, never use your mobile phone whilst driving, check the car before leaving and always keep to the speed limits.

Happy New Year from Van Parts 4U! The worlds number one online Breakers Yard!

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The New Ford Transit Launches in 2013

Ford Transit 2013 Model

Next Year, 2013, sees the launch of the new Ford Transit, already making it’s first appearance at the Hanover IAA Commercial Vehicle Show this September.

Ford have not only committed to a complete redesign of it’s entire commercial vehicle group but to have the new line-up of vehicles in place by the end of 2013.

The Transit, being an icon in the automotive world for many years, will also go through Ford’s global product strategy and see new features added such as Ford’s SYNC voice activated in-car connectivity system with emergency assistance. Other features include a rear-view camera and adaptive cruise control.

The heavier two-tonne Transit will be replaced with the new model Transit, and both this and the smaller Transit Connect model will be sold all over the world. Powered by a 2.2litre Duratorque diesel engine, the Transit will have three power outputs of 99, 123 and 153 bhp. It will provide very competitive levels of versatility and durability, in keeping with it’s excellent record and reputation over the past 50 years. The Transit Connect will also offer excellent fuel economy and emissions and will be offered with both petrol and diesel engines in Europe.

The Transit will be available in a variety of different body styles including Van, Combi, Bus and Chassis Cab and also different lengths and heights.

We look forward to seeing the new-look Transit next year!


Darren Storey is the owner of Van Parts 4U. The best place online to buy Ford van parts.

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MPG Marathon shows Ford’s Fiesta is on Top!

If you could guess which car is the most economical and has the highest miles per gallon, which would you choose? Well, for the twelfth year running, Fleet World Magazine have organised their annual ALD Automotive/Shell Fuelsave MPG Marathon, and the results are in.

Ford Fiesta

The winner is the Ford’s Fiesta Econetic with a staggering result of 108.78 mpg. The Ford was driven by former rally drivers Andy Dawson and Andrew Marriott. Second place went to the Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi eco, driven by another former rally driver, Mick Linford, with 102.21mpg; a result which originally was thought to be unbeatable. This is the first time in history that a car has broken the 100mpg record, and this year the marathon saw two cars meet this challenge.

The marathon does not test these cars in lab conditions, the driving route is set out across a variety of roads and motorways in South Wales, the Cotswolds and also the South Midlands. It is a challenging 370 mile route over a two day period, incorporating all types of weather conditions.

The entrants were varied, including cars and vans from a variety of manufacturers and the drivers included not only race and rally drivers but also some journalists and fleet managers.

Coming in third with a respectable 93.4mpg was the Peugeot 208 e-HDI driven by a motoring journalist and Peugeot’s PR manager.

Not only does this marathon test the MPG of the car but challenges it’s drivers to better the fuel consumption figure officially given to their vehicles. The winner would be the driver who has improved the figure the most. This year this prize went to the Citroen C1 1.0 VTR with an improvement of 28.92 percent, whilst only two cars actually failed to beat the official figure given.

On the commercial side of things, the winner of the best mpg was a Vauxhall Vivaro ecoFLEX 2.0 CDTi covering the route on less than six gallons of diesel.

Vauxhall Vivaro ecoFLEX 2.0 CDTiThe marathon has demonstrated clearly that no matter what type of vehicle you own, it is possible, through smarter driving, to achieve substantial cost savings. Interestingly,average improvements were 16% on fuel and emissions economy. This should make drivers see that the official figures are a target to beat not a maximum out of reach goal.

Darren Storey is the owner of Van Parts 4U, the UK’s leading online salvage yard.

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Renault Master Van Improvements

Renault Master Van PartsFrench vehicle manufacturer Renault has announced an improvement programme to better it’s medium sized van, the Master. Introduced in May 2010, Renault’s Master van is the third in it’s generation and includes the rebadged Opel/ Vauxhall Movano and Nissan NV400 in a joint initiative between the manufacturers.

The Master is bigger and better than ever before, with up to 2.2 tonnes payload, 17 cubic meters of load volume and a choice of both front or rear wheel drive.  Improved economy and emissions, audio system upgrades and availability of air suspension are just some of the changes announced by Renault.

New to the range is a 2.3dci diesel engine with three versions; 99, 124 and 148 bhp models, all with better emissions and fuel consumption. The best selling dci is the 125, which is much improved going 3.3mpg further than before.

Co2 emissions have also dropped, averaging a 16g/km decrease and with a saving of 24g/km in the dci 125 Quickshift6 Euro 5 versions of the SL28 and SL33 vans.

The Master van will now start much more quickly, with an improved water circuit. Other improvements are to the oil and power steering pumps, low fuel- consumption tyres, and a new gearbox lubricant. New air suspension options ensure that there is a level height no matter what the load. The rear suspension can be dropped; similarly the rear deck height can be adjusted manually.

Radios are now easier to use and better equipped with Bluetooth and USB as standard. The sports versions have a separate display, and CD player and MP3 playback as well.

If you choose a rear wheel drive version, Renault can now offer a 3.5 tonne towing capacity, adding an additional 500kg to the current capacity.

So there you have it! We don’t envisage these new vans to need replacement parts just yet but if you’re currently driving an older version of the Renault Master, Vauxhall Movano and Nissan NV400, you can source fully guaranteed van parts from us here at Van Parts 4U! ;)

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Van parts- The low down on steering racks

The steering rack is a vital part of any vehicle and is fairly detailed in design. Rack and pinion steering is common in most modern vehicles but before this technology was developed, a recirculating ball system dealt with steering turns. In summary, this involved a “worm” of recirculating ball bearings moving around in a box, allowing an arm to steer left or right. Typically these boxes were very tricky to repair and involved a huge amount of time and effort to do so.

Rack and Pinion Steering Rack
Technology advances meant that vehicles developed from this detailed setup to a  more simple rack and pinion steering system. The pinion, round in shape, is connected to the end of the steering wheel shaft. When the steering wheel turns, the pinion turns. This then turns the rack, which is flat in shape, sending this left or right. The front wheels of a vehicle are connected to the rack, with the help of steering knuckles and tie-rods. This system is enclosed in its own housing and would be mounted to the vehicle, to its chassis.

Like all moving parts, the rack and pinion will wear eventually and will need to be replaced. The tie-rods and rubber boots protecting the tie-rods first show signs of wear. They can be easily damaged and crack, allowing moisture and debris into the system and also allow the grease to escape. Once this happens, the wear of the rack and pinion system is more rapid. It is always important that, when the system is repaired, all tie-rods and rubber boots are replaced too, in order to protect the newly repaired rack and pinion.

Not only is the rack and pinion technology an advance on the ball system but there is also the added bonus of power steering. Almost all new vehicles come with power steering as standard. This does cause added issues when replacing the rack and pinion system. When dealing with a rack replacement, check the power steering components. Checking for leaks from the hoses and power steering pressure would be the first port of call. It is important to fill the system with fresh power steering fluid when making any rack replacement or repair so as to avoid any dirt entering the new rack and possibly you will need to bleed the system also.

Power Steering RackWhen making any repairs to vehicles, always follow procedure and ensure you put safety first. Simple, front- line components such as tie-rods and ball joints play a vital roll in ensuring the car is safe and cost little to replace. Ensuring that these parts are maintained, in turn, ensures that the more expensive and larger parts of the car last longer. Having the right tools for the job also ensures that the quality of the work is kept high.

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Van Sales Plummeting in 2012

New car sales for 2012 are on the up. However that cannot be said for the van market which has seen a huge decrease this year, particularly in April, with new van registrations seeing a slide to 14,508 units, nearly 20 per cent lower than the figure seen for the same period last year. Pick-ups and sub 2 litre vans are the worst affected out of all of the categories, with only 4×4’s showing a slight rise.

2011 was a good year for van sales which could account for some of this years slow performance, however there are a number of new sophisticated and technologically enhanced vehicles due to hit the market by storm in the near future which will be important for the sectors growth.

Ford remains on top of the market as leader in this sector, followed by Volkswagen, with Vauxhall not far behind in third place.

So with van sales appearing to be plummeting this year it seems that many people are holding on to their current vehicles. We’ve already seen an increase in customers purchasing their van parts online to keep them in service and that is something that we are delighted about – naturally of course ;)

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Axone 4 Diagnsotic Unit is Launched!

Vehicle Diagnostic specialists Texa have launched their latest unit, their “flagship” Axone 4. What makes this unit superior is its technology…lots of it! The impressive touch screen is an eye-catching 9.7” and has high quality graphics – an impressive 1024×768 resolution. The touch screen is all you will need, with the on/off and multifunction buttons being the only physical ones on the unit.

Axone 4 Zoom Diagnostic Unit

What makes the Axone 4 special is its advanced technological equipment, with the ability to provide unrivaled assistance to the mechanic through its help center call functions. Texa can remotely access the vehicle, to make any required changes or inspections, all with use of an internet connection.

Access to updates and online services are all available through Wi-Fi. The unit can also connect to a smartphone, allowing access whilst on a journey. Other features include a VGA camera and a huge database of tables.

Axone 4 Van Diagnostics

For a limited time, Texa are offering the Axone 4 at a special price and trade-ins with the earlier model, Axone 3, are being accepted. This type of equipment will reduce repair bills, vehicle fuel and workshop downtime and ultimately improve customer service.

And when it tells you somethings wrong and you need spare van parts you know who to call right? ;-)

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