Flat batteries are the number one reason for breakdown recoveries. If you hear the dreaded engine crank or clicking when you attempt to start your van or worse yet an eerie silence, you’ve most likely got a flat battery.
You may have left the lights on and need to jump start your vehicle or it could be something more serious like a faulty alternator.
Cold weather can significantly drain your battery too so it’s important that you charge it up either manually or by going for a long drive.
Remember, batteries don’t last forever and you may need to replace yours every few years.
These tend to be more serious (and costly!) and you’ll likely need to be towed to the nearest garage for diagnostics.
Your van’s alternator is responsible for the battery's operation and if this is faulty your battery is likely to go flat. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prolong an alternators life but noticing the signs of a dying alternator like dimmed headlights or your ignition warning light can give you time to get it fixed before you breakdown.
As more and more vehicles are being fitted with intelligent technology that requires specialist treatment to fix, it means issues with the electrics usually can’t be fixed by the roadside.
The UK has a huge pothole problem. Over 1,031,787 potholes were reported in 2016 across the UK and it only takes one to damage your tyre, leaving you by the side of the road and most likely pretty annoyed!
Punctures are another bug bear but unfortunately there’s little you can do to protect yourself against them. If you do hit a severe pothole or run over some debris in the road, you may have to check for damage. When it’s safe, pull over and repair or change your tyre if needed.
Be aware that increasingly, new vans don’t come with a full spare tyre but may include a run-flat which allows for travel up to a short distance. Alternatively, your van might include a repair kit but these are also only meant for short-term onward travel to a tyre garage.
It’s wise to make sure you have a spare tyre on your vehicle along with nuts, bolts and a jack, just in case!
Accidently putting the wrong fuel in your car happens to the best of us. A whopping 150,000 drivers make the mistake every year. What you do next though is the make or break of the situation.
If you haven’t started your engine, then it’s a case of having the fuel pumped out. However, if you’ve fired it up and driven you might have done some mechanical damage to your van.
Losing your keys
Whether you’ve misplaced your keys or locked them in your vehicle, you’ll most likely have to call for help if you find yourself in this tricky situation.
It’s always a wise idea to keep a spare set of keys somewhere just in case you lose them, as the cost of getting a new pair can be pretty pricey. If you do lose them here’s a helpful guide to getting replacement keys for your van.
If you don’t have breakdown cover and one of the above happens to your van, then you’ll have to cover the cost of getting rescued yourself.
Follow our handy checklist of things to keep in your van in case you’re left stranded by the side of the road!