How to Maintain Your Wheelchair Van
For those who own a wheelchair van, getting stuck can pose a critical problem. This is especially true if the driver and only occupant is the person with limitations. Depending upon where the vehicle is stalled and the seriousness of the problem, getting the assistance required can be a minor or a major problem that may include your own health issues. Because the wheelchair van is critical for mobility, it is important to know how to keep the van functioning at peak efficiency.
Make a Friend
When purchasing a new wheelchair van, don’t just shop around looking for bargain basement prices. The cost, while an important factor for finances, is not the totality of what you need to consider. Along with purchase price is the cost of maintenance. Beyond that, a very important consideration is the dealer, warranties and what features are included. Work with a reputable dealer who will back up promises and be on the other end of the phone should you have a question or a problem.
Keep it Clean
Just like in your home, clutter, dirt and grime builds up. Unfortunately, clutter, dirt and grime increase potential problems for you and for the long-term health of the vehicle. Put in place a regular cleaning schedule. At least once a month have every nook and cranny of the wheelchair van cleaned from the top to bottom and from the inside out. This should include the ramp door track. You don’t want the ramp to malfunction at a critical time.
Know Your Backups
Even if you do everything possible to keep the wheelchair van in good working order, things happen. No one can predict when a part might blow, mal-function or do something else unexpected that leaves you stranded or frustrated. These vans have backup systems for your protection. Do not assume everything will always work. Acquainted yourself with other ways of doing things like getting doors open and operating the ramp.
Maintain the Van
Unless a schedule is set up and adhered to, it is easy for forget to bring in the wheelchair van for regular maintenance or even required inspections. Your van extends mobility. It is critical to make sure the van is given routine maintenance. Everything needs to be checked inside and out. Regular maintenance usually discovers problems that might otherwise leave you stranded and prevents them. Regular maintenance also ensures that your van is kept in good working condition for as long as possible.
If you suspect a problem or something doesn’t seem “quite right,” don’t let it go or second guess yourself. Talk to a mechanic or the dealer about the problem. Keep asking until the problem is resolved to your satisfaction.