Lockdown Vitals


If your Bongo is laid up for a period of time follow these ten important maintenance tips.

  1. Keeping your battery charged is vitally important. The best way to do this is to start her up once a week and run the engine for 15 to 20 minutes, although a battery should not go flat within 3 weeks unless it is on its last legs. We do not recommend disconnecting the battery as this has an adverse affect on alarms, immobilisers, radio, auto sliding door etc. It is also possible to hook up the battery to a trickle charger; the best ones stop charging when the battery is full.
  2. If you have a leisure battery fitted, run the engine for about 20 minutes once a month. This will ensure it is charged from the alternator.
  3. If not using the vehicle for any prolonged period then do not use the handbrake as this can put too much pressure on the cables and rear shoes. Instead, when you start it up, move it forward and test all the brakes, even if it’s just a few inches.
  4. It’s worth over inflating the tyres otherwise flat spots may occur. This is also why it’s worth moving the vehicle forwards a few inches.
  5. Rubber items can get brittle if not used. By running the engine for 15 minutes coolant will pump its way round the hoses.
  6. Similarly it is a good idea to run the air conditioning system for a few minutes.
  7. Fuel: diesel can start to evaporate in the fuel lines if left un-circulated for more than a few weeks. Petrol is better but you might want to put in a dose of Redex or something similar if leaving petrol in the tank.
  8. If you have an Auto Free top, then raise the roof once in a while. This will stop the motors seizing and will keep the vinyl from cracking.
  9. If you have a fresh water tank, then empty it before storage. Disconnect your gas bottle if you have one.
  10. If at all possible take the vehicle out for an “Italian tune up” once a month to blow away the cobwebs. But during the 2020 lockdown this can only be done if it is an essential journey such as a weekly supermarket shop or dropping off medicines for a relative.