How To Keep Your Accessible Vehicle In It’s Best Shape & What To Do If It’s Not
Your accessible vehicle is the most important asset when you need to go somewhere. If your handicap van breaks down, you can’t just borrow a friend’s vehicle, especially if you use high tech equipment. Most likely your friends’ don’t have a lift or ramp in their vehicle.
The Importance of Maintenance
The number one thing to keep your van in tip-top shape is regular maintenance! If your van, lift/ramp or other adaptive equipment isn’t working properly, you need to bring it to your mobility dealer ASAP! If you don’t assess the problem as soon as you notice it, it can get worse and could leave you without your vehicle. Not fixing a problem sooner rather than later can also be more costly.
Use It or Lose It
If you let your wheelchair accessible vehicle sit too long in one place, whether it’s in the garage or outside in the changing weather, the tires, hoses and gaskets can get dry rot. Using your vehicle actually slows down corrosion.
Re-Read the Owner’s Manual
Do you remember how to use the manual overrides when there’s a mechanical problem? It’s a good idea to refresh your memory so that you can get into and drive your vehicle in order to get it to your mobility dealer so they can address the issue. If you can’t override your vehicle to drive it another option to get your van to your mobility specialist is to have it towed there.
Your mobility equipment should be inspected and maintained by a mobility technician on a regular basis. Read your owner’s manual to find out how often. If you have misplaced your owner’s manual you can contact the manufacturer and they’ll send you one.
Repairing Mobility Equipment After an Accident
In the event of an accident, you commonly call your insurance company to have the damage appraised. That appraiser may be an expert at vehicle damage, but if the accessible equipment needs repair, the agent typically won’t know anything about adaptive equipment (lifts, ramps, hand controls, etc..) and they won’t know their value. Your appraisal will be wrong. Call a mobility dealer as soon as possible, preferably one that has a body shop. They should be available for mobility emergencies and accidents. Your mobility dealer should know if the equipment is still in working condition, if it can it be fixed or if it has to be replaced. Only a mobility specialist can tell you the true value of your adaptive equipment and the costs to fix/replace them.