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Be Proactive! Preventive Vehicle Maintenance Saves You Time & Money

Save time and money with preventive vehicle maintenance

Your work van or truck is a complicated collaboration of gears and machinery. Modern vehicles incorporate more electronics than ever, too. The best way to keep yourself on the road and make your deadlines is to minimize unexpected breakdowns by keeping up with your preventive vehicle maintenance.

Importance of Preventive Vehicle Maintenance

Having a work truck or work van is critical to your job. Without it, you don’t just lose your means of transportation. You lose your mobile office, your mobile garage or your mobile toolshed. It’s organized just the way you want it. Bottom line, your vehicle keeps you working.

Unexpected issues will eventually happen. But preventive vehicle maintenance keeps you on the road longer and more consistently – avoiding most of the hundreds of potential issues automobiles face.

Here are some of the key benefits of staying on top of your vehicle’s maintenance:

It Saves Money

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine. Most major automotive repairs come with a hefty bill. But minor maintenance steps to prolong the life of your vehicle’s core moving parts are typically just a fraction of the cost.

Regular tune-ups should be considered a planned expense for your vehicle. Don’t become complacent just because your vehicle hasn’t shown any signs of wear-and-tear over the last year. Be proactive.

Choosing to skip practical maintenance brings you to major repair milestones earlier. Ignoring your oil means you’ll burn your engine out years earlier. If you don’t rotate your tires regularly, you’ll need to replace them far sooner than if you had.

Anyone who’s ever had an unexpected major repair knows how pricey they can get, too. Waking up one morning to vehicle that doesn’t work and being told it’s over 1,000 dollars to repair won’t help with your stress!

You Will Save Time

Every minute your vehicle is in the repair shop is a minute of normal work you’ve lost. You’re not only paying the cost of sudden repairs, you’re also losing out on at least some of your expected income.

A simple warning light diagnostic could be the difference between making it to a job and suffering an engine failure on a busy highway. That means being late to, or completely missing a job.

Even if you have access to a second vehicle, unless it also has an upfit designed for you, you’ll also lose out on the increased productivity an upfit offers.

Well-maintained vehicles improve your image


Missing a job or being late reflects on your business. It could decrease your chances of repeat business or rob you of potential referrals. That alone should be motivation to keep your vehicle in peak condition!

But it’s also important to remember your vehicle is often your first impression. A well-maintained truck or van lets you start on the right foot. If you drive up to a client’s home or office with a sputtering van or rusted truck, it can impact the perception of your professionalism. This, like being late, will lower your chances of generating more sales from referrals or repeat business.

Six critical maintenance steps for your vehicle

Critical Maintenance Steps

While you’re an expert in your trade, you may not be an expert in vehicle mechanics. Here are some of the most critical bits of vehicle maintenance to note to keep your vehicle running smoothly:

Engine Oil

The most commonly known aspect of vehicle maintenance is also one of the most important. Your regular oil changes help keep the engine properly lubricated, preventing overheating, improving gas mileage and longevity.

Running your vehicle with low or dirty engine oil leaves your engine and its components vulnerable to damage. While an oil change is usually less than 30 dollars, a complete engine rebuild costs thousands!

Serpentine & Timing Belts

The average mileage that your vehicle’s belts can last is around 70,000 to 80,000 miles. Around this time, you’ll start to notice signs of trouble. The most obvious symptoms are:

  • High-pitched squealing or chirping sounds
  • Shaking/vibrating vehicle
  • Difficulty starting
  • Visible cracks or fraying on the belt

Damaged belts can lead to issues with everything from your engine to your alternator. Don’t ignore the signs – if you hear or see signs of wear, it’s likely time to replace them.


Batteries should be tested around twice a year to check if they’re charging correctly. If a battery begins to fail, it’s not able to be repaired – it will need replacing.

The biggest risk to your battery is sulfation. This happens when it’s left discharged for an extended period. While it is reversable, it decreases your battery’s performance and ultimately leads to complete battery failure.


One thing to never overlook is the state of your tires. They support the entirety of your van or truck and accidents involving tires can be extremely dangerous.

Over time, tires wear down and begin to bald. Eventually, this balding reduces their traction and your safety. Your chances of hydroplaning increase and your ability to maintain control while moving decreases.

Tire rotation prevents them from wearing unevenly and keeps them in service for longer. Don’t use tires for longer than they’re safe to use!

Spark Plugs

Unless your vehicle runs on diesel, you have spark plugs which require proper maintenance as well. These spark plugs have limited lifespan due to the carbon build-up or by a failure to maintain the engine properly.

Replacing spark plugs before they start causing problems can prevent their failure from damaging other engine components. Due to the cost of replacing an engine, this makes them relatively low-cost maintenance items with high-costs if ignored!

Cabin Air Filter

While not necessarily key to the operation of your vehicle, the cabin air filter is easy to overlook. This filter captures dust, dirt and all kinds of soot that would otherwise invade your air inside your vehicle.

Over time, these filters need replaced. If you don’t, you may start to develop respiratory issues like persistent coughs or sneezes. Your vehicle, likewise, will have trouble circulating air when you’re trying to keep it at a comfortable temperature.

Fortunately, cabin air filters are easy and affordable to replace. In fact, you can probably replace it yourself with just a quick read through your manual or watching an instructional video online for your specific vehicle!

Always check your vehicle's owner's manual

Always Refer to Your Owner’s Manual

The best way to practice good preventive vehicle maintenance is to read your owner’s manual. The manual includes several recommendations for tune-ups, oil changing and other key maintenance periods. These recommendations are based on time or mileage, using the manufacturer’s experience from testing and building to estimate the likely times when your vehicle could experience issues.

By following the manual, you can also help yourself avoid problems that could void your warranty or cause damage. Preventive maintenance done improperly won’t keep your vehicle running longer – always refer to your manual!

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About Adrian Steel Upfits

Adrian Steel manufactures contractor-grade products and storage solutions including shelving, drawers, cabinets, partitions, ladder racks, aluminum toolboxes, and accessories. Beyond manufacturing, our dedicated Customer Care Team and a network of highly qualified distributors can have your vehicle upfitted at a location convenient for you – at the factory, out of dealer stock, at your place of business, or through a bailment pool.

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