August 30, 2022 0 Comments

Signs your refrigerated van might not be working

Refrigerated vans are the perfect vehicle for businesses or individuals needing to transport perishable goods. Temperature controlled, they can safely transport food, beverages and medicines from A to B whilst preserving the quality of the products.

That being said, if there’s a fault with your refrigerated van then this can put the whole process into jeopardy. There are a few reasons why refrigerated vans may not be functioning correctly, so in this blog, we will highlight the most common issues and how you can troubleshoot them.

The major components aren’t functioning correctly 

Major component faults in a refrigerated van can be overlooked by the untrained common eye, however, if you believe there is an issue with the vehicle we urge you to visit an expert as soon as possible. 

A trained mechanic will be able to identify and troubleshoot the problem fairly quickly, but how do you spot an issue with a van component in the first place? Here are a few telltale signs that you may have a fault.

Firstly, the compressor is the heart of the system. It takes low-pressure refrigerated gas from the evaporator, and then compressors it to a high-pressure gas to force it out of the condenser for the cool crying to begin again. So, if this begins to fail then it can be due to a number of factors.

This includes voltage error, dirty condenser coils and general wear and tear. A voltage error is fairly simple to spot as the current will rise high to a point where excessive heat begins. This will affect the temperature of your refrigerated vehicle gradually, so spotting the van is starting to gain warmth is a sign of a faulty compressor.

Dirty condenser coils are often overlooked and can easily build up dust over time. If not cleaned regularly left, a build-up of dust will create a blockage in the condenser which has a huge impact on its performance. It will prove difficult for the refrigeration unit to cool down correctly and force the compressor to overwork. So, ensuring the coils are cleaned on a regular basis will ease the stress of other components declining. 

The fridge unit isn’t working 

An immediate sign of the fridge unit not working correctly is the temperature will start to falter. If the refrigeration unit isn’t cold enough this is a sign there is a problem with the fridge maintaining the correct temperature. This can cause a huge domino effect where food will no longer be stored at the correct temperature and will rapidly start to decline in quality which is bad for business and wastes good produce. Also, you may notice your running costs start to increase as the unit is working overtime to reach the desired temperature. 

Another fault to diagnose quickly is if the unit is blocked in. If this is the case it will mean there is no air reaching the chiller which will cause the refrigeration unit to overheat. You should make sure there is at least an inch of space so that plenty of airflow is running throughout the van. Effective insulation lining is critical to a long-standing efficient refrigerated van as it will help the vehicle reach and sustain at the required temperature. 

The thickness of the insulation ranges depending on the van, the most common insulation thickness type is 50mm but other refrigerated vans that are designed for colder temperatures can have insulation as thick as 100mm. The insulation is made from a high-density polymer foam, which means there are many microscopic air bubbles inside the material, making it an effective insulation solution. 

refrigeration unit Cool Running Rental

You’ve neglected basic maintenance

If you suspect your fridge unit isn’t working correctly we recommend carrying out simple maintenance tests. However, this can be overlooked more often than not. 

Unfortunately, basic maintenance isn’t carried out often enough for some van drivers and it’s because of this that issues start developing with their refrigerated vehicles. It’s essential to keep your van in great condition as they have the ability to last for a number of years without any problems if treated and maintained correctly. 

An easy maintenance task that should be mandatory for any driver is conducting a proper routine check-up. This can include the signs we have mentioned above along with checking your oil and coolant levels. Frequently making sure your oil is clean is the key to a smooth-running refrigerated vehicle, and it should be changed every three thousand miles. 

As mentioned earlier, refrigerated vehicles are prone to collect lots of dirt and dust in the main components of the van, so it’s crucial that zero contaminants have gained access to the main refrigeration unit. If you have no previous experience cleaning a refrigerated van, there is no need to worry, at Cool Running Rental all of our fleet are in mint condition and should you have a problem with any vehicle leased from us we can fix it for you. 



After reading this blog you’re still unsure what signs to look out for if your refrigerated vehicle isn’t working, then get in touch with one of our team today. We’re at hand 24/7 to help you with any support you may need.