Category Archives: wheelchair vehicle

How to Prep Your Accessible Vehicle for the Holidays

Aerial view of red car driving through the white snow winter forest on country road in Finland, Lapland.

The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and feasting. Although this year will be a bit different with all the masks and social distancing because of COVID-19, many people will still travel to visit family members and celebrate together. 

With the upcoming holiday hustle-and-bustle and the looming cold winter weather, it’s more important than ever to have an accessible vehicle that you can count on. Follow the steps below to make sure yours is ready to go when you are.

Vehicle Maintenance

Regular maintenance improves the longevity of your accessible van or SUV. Ensure the tires have adequate pressure and tread. Check fluids such as coolant, oil, and washer fluid. A fresh battery can help a vehicle start better on chilly mornings. The easiest thing to do is to schedule an appointment with the Bussani Mobility, and our expert technicians will take care of everything for you.

Mobility Equipment Maintenance

As with vehicle maintenance, caring for your mobility equipment is essential. Make sure all the bolts and screws are tight. Lubricate hinges so they move freely. Emergency preparedness should include checking straps and placing a belt cutter in an easy-to-reach area. For peace of mind, our qualified professionals will inspect and tune up your mobility equipment.

Added Comfort

After vehicle and mobility equipment maintenance are checked off the list, prepare for the holiday season by making the journey more comfortable. Check the cabin air filter and replace it if needed. Store a blanket for personal warmth. Keep the gas tank more than half full for worry-free driving in case of inclement weather or heavy traffic.

With a little preparation, your accessible vehicle can be ready in no time for holiday travel. We encourage you to schedule a routine vehicle maintenance visit now before the holiday rush starts. Remember that we provide free pick-up and delivery for added convenience. Learn more about our one-stop auto shop, here.


Everything You Need to Know About Warranties for Your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Used Car Maintenance

Many people who buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle also opt to purchase a warranty. This can reduce or eliminate numerous maintenance costs for the life of the contract. Selecting and purchasing a warranty through a mobility dealer can be a smooth and simple process. More importantly, the mobility dealer will ensure that you know which plans cover your specific conversion.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about warranties for mobility vehicles.

OEM Vehicle Warranties

Many vehicle manufacturers offer warranties on new models. Vehicles are most likely to be eligible for warranties when the model is no more than four years old and has been driven fewer than 50,000 miles. 

When this period (as set by the manufacturer) has lapsed, an extended warranty is often available. The most common type is a powertrain warranty, which effectively covers the most expensive components of the vehicle, such as the engine and transmission. Powertrain warranties are popular because they allow buyers to enjoy their new purchase knowing that most major repairs will be covered. Warranties include parts and often labor.

These warranties do not include the mobility portion of a vehicle.

Mobility Dealer Warranties

As with the OEM warranties, mobility vehicle warranties also cover a majority of the components listed for the vehicle’s first three years/36,000 miles. 

The essential difference is the mobility warranty also includes the conversion. Like the vehicles themselves, mobility equipment can be purchased with warranty options. In many instances, mobility equipment must also meet similar eligibility requirements. 

Through a mobility dealer, it is possible to select a warranty on a mobility vehicle only or mobility equipment only, due to the age of one or the other; or you can choose a warranty package that includes both the vehicle and the mobility equipment.

The overwhelming benefit of the mobility warranty is ease of use. The warranties have been improved over the years to provide clients with peace of mind. They’re worth having, knowing that the fees of a local mobility dealer/mechanic or a garage you may visit on a cross-country trip are likely to be covered. With rental van coverage, lockout assist, and roadside assist, a mobility warranty offers everything that typically comes with an OEM warranty, and more. Payment plans are also an option.

Bussani Mobility will happily provide additional information on warranties, to help you decide what’s best for you and your vehicle. Feel free to contact our team for answers to all of your accessible vehicle questions.


How Can I Maintain My Wheelchair Van At Home

Even during these chaotic times, maintaining your wheelchair vehicle is essential to keeping it running smoothly. There are simple steps that you can take at home to help extend the life of your vehicle and keep you safe on the road:

1) Check the door track and ramp.
First, examine the door track and remove any debris. Also, check the hinges of your ramp to make sure that all of the bolts are tight and secure. A dry lube can be applied at the hinges to maintain the highest level of mobility. 

2) Check the battery.
Be sure the battery is cleaned off and there aren’t any bubbles of acid on the surface. If you find bubbles, use a scrub brush to clear them. Make sure the battery cables are tight and secure. Turn on the van and listen to the sound of the vehicle. If you hear something that doesn’t sound right, such as stutters, it may be time for a new battery. 

3) Maintain the right tire pressure.
Inside the driver’s side door, there’s a sticker that tells you approximately what your tire pressure should be. Check the pressure of each individual tire with a tire gauge. Accurate tire pressure is important to maintain safety and a smooth ride. 

4) Inspect the tie-down tracks.
If moving the tie-down tracks proves to be difficult, there is a high chance that there is debris preventing ease of movement. Vacuum up the debris or use a simple brush.

Even if you take these actions to maintain your wheelchair van at home, it’s still very important to schedule regular maintenance checks with the expert technicians at our Bussani Mobility auto shops. Our Service Department is open for business by appointment, and we’re offering free pick-up and delivery during the pandemic. This is a perfect time to get your vehicle serviced, so it’s ready to go when the quarantines are lifted.

We’re happy to assist our customers in whatever way you need during these trying times. Just let us know how we can help.


How Can I Transport My Wheelchair Without a Van?

bussanimobility_wheechair_WO-Van

If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or scooter, the easiest way to get around is with a wheelchair accessible van. And there are many stylish and functional models on the market today. But if you don’t have your own van, that doesn’t have to hinder your mobility. There are other solutions for transporting your wheelchair or scooter.

The team at Bussani Mobility thrives on helping people find independence through mobility. And we know that sometimes the best answer is to adapt your current vehicle, even if it’s not a van. Here’s what you can do:

1. Wheelchair Trailer
A wheelchair trailer is a possible solution. If you have a power wheelchair, you will have to consider its weight and purchase a trailer that can accommodate it. To avoid any damage to the trailer or wheelchair, you’ll always need to properly tie it down and secure it before transport it. You can either use a portable wheelchair ramp or purchase a trailer with one built in to get the chair in and out. 

2. Hitch Lift
An outside lift will transport any kind of wheelchair or scooter. If you own a small, medium, or large vehicle, you can attach a wheelchair or scooter lift at the rear end of their vehicle. Some hitch lifts can also be installed on vans, trucks, or RVs. 

Depending on your vehicle, you may need to have a hitch attached prior to using this type of lift. When considering a wheelchair or scooter lift, be sure to find one that can manage the weight of your wheelchair or scooter. Heavy-duty lifts have a carrying capacity of up to 400 lbs. But if you don’t have a heavy electric scooter, you may want to consider something more low-profile, like a micro lift. 

3. Chair Topper
The roof chair topper is designed to load, transport, and retrieve foldable wheelchairs. This device transports the wheelchair in a box that sits on your vehicle’s roof to save the space inside the vehicle for passengers. 
The chair topper is simple, convenient, and can be used on almost all car models. It automatically lifts and stores the wheelchair in the unit when you are ready to travel, and unloads it when you’ve reached your destination. Unloading and storing can be done in only 30 seconds. The chair topper box is also weatherproof, protecting your wheelchair from the elements.

Although owning a new wheelchair van is ideal, we understand that it’s not feasible for everyone and every situation. That’s why Bussani Mobility works with top brands to offer a variety of mobility solutions for your car, truck, or van. 


Veteran Christopher Levy Wins a New Jeep

 
Veteran Christopher Levy Wins a New Jeep

Watch Here

Congrats to the recipient of the 4th Annual Great American Jeep Giveaway at Westbury Jeep! Christopher Levy, U.S. Army, who served 8 years including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, was honored earlier this year. Bussani Mobility worked with Westbury Jeep to install hand controls that operate the gas and the brake – and to give an American hero a chance to get back on the road. We salute our heroes.


What to Know About Trading in a Wheelchair Van

imageYou may be considering trading in your wheelchair van for any one of several reasons. Is it getting older and you’re ready for an upgrade? Is your family growing and you need a bigger vehicle? Did your physical needs change and a new vehicle will fit your needs better? Or do you just have your eye on the latest-and-greatest stylish or functional model?

These are all common reasons that individuals decide to trade in their accessible vehicles. But when it comes time to actually making the switch, is it better to make the trade at a dealership or sell the vehicle yourself? Below we discuss a few of the best benefits to trading in your mobility or non-converted vehicle at a certified dealer.
 

  1. Trading in a vehicle gives you tax savings. For instance, if there’s an 8% sales tax on a $50,000 vehicle, which you trade in for $20,000, you now pay that 8% sales tax on just $30,000. That’s savings in your pockets that you can’t get when you sell your vehicle yourself.

  2. It’s easier than selling your own van. You don’t have to worry about coordinating times for potential buyers to look at your vehicle. Also, if you’re selling a converted mobility van, the selling difficulty goes up. And then there’s a safety issue. Do you really want strangers going to your home to look at the vehicle?

  3. Be careful of getting a quote solely over the phone. We often hear from people who called a company and were told they could trade in for $20,000. But when they got there, everything changed. It’s important to take your vehicle into a knowledgeable mobility dealer. We put it up on the vehicle lift, identify any potential problems, and then make an appropriate trade-in offer.

  4. You get the latest-and-greatest. Mobility vehicle manufacturers have teams of engineers working on new and better ways to make driving easier for people living with disabilities. When you trade in, you get a vehicle with the most up-to-date advancements and conveniences.

  5. Trade in early. As a vehicle gets older, its value drops. Try to time it so that you trade in your vehicle early enough that it still has good value and you can cash in on the equity it has. The sweet spot is usually 3-5 years old. Once the vehicle hits the 7-year mark, it loses a lot of value. If you’re thinking of trading in, remember that the auto shop at Bussani Mobility is always looking for used vehicles in good shape that we can put into our inventory for people who don’t have the financial means to buy a new wheelchair accessible van.

 The most common reason that people trade in their mobility van — instead of selling it themselves — is to use it as a downpayment on a new van.
First, we try to align on the value and eligibility of the vehicle for purchase. We evaluate the vehicle well prior to the transaction, so there are no surprises for anyone at the last minute. And if you’re looking for a new vehicle, it’s important to note that Bussani Mobility refurbishes all vans to a roadworthy, warrantable condition so our clients can always drive worry-free.

Some customers like to have a vehicle service contract, to give them the greatest peace of mind.

If you have any questions or concerns about the wheelchair van trade-in process, give us a call or stop by Bussani Mobility on Long Island or in Westchester.


4 Tips to Prepare Your Accessible Vehicle for Winter Driving

wheelchair vehicle
With December now upon us, it’s cold out there, and we all have to deal with those dreaded winter driving conditions. To stay safe and keep your wheelchair vehicle in optimal condition, start preparing for those wet and snowy days as soon as possible. Here are a few things that you should do to get your vehicle ready for winter weather.

Snow Tires
Any vehicle you drive in winter should be equipped with tires that can effectively maneuver what can sometimes be tricky conditions. Whether you elect to purchase snow tires or just replace your current tires with new ones that have more tread, having good tires is crucial to your safety and the safety of others.

Wiper Blades
Visibility is another important factor when driving on snowy roads. Your windshield can quickly become covered in snow and rain. Make sure your wipers are in good shape and they completely remove all moisture from your windshield so you can clearly see the road and any obstacles ahead of you. Also refill your windshield wiper fluid with one that includes antifreeze, to prevent your windshield from icing over.

Wheelchair Ramp
Be sure to have your wheelchair ramp inspected. It needs to be lubricated and the functionality should be checked regularly. If straps or ramps need to be replaced, it’s best to do so now.

Battery Check
The last thing you want is for you vehicle to refuse to start in that cold and icy weather. Have your battery checked, and if you need a new one, now’s the time to act. In case you need a little extra motivation, Bussani Mobility has a special promotion running, 25% off any new battery installed, through December 30, 2018.

It’s worth taking the time to check if your wheelchair vehicle needs any maintenance or repairs before heading out into winter driving conditions. The team of certified technicians at Bussani Mobility is here to help. We want to make sure that you stay safe and secure on the roads in any type of weather.