When you are still some distance from your destination, on a rural road late at night with a full load on board, the last thing you want to see on the instrument panel is an orange warning light telling you that you’ve got a tyre pressure problem.
Does that mean you have got a slow puncture and the tyre will give up the unequal struggle in four or five miles? Or will you be able to keep going and reach your goal?
And which tyre is it anyway? The Berlingo’s warning light doesn’t tell you. What you are told, however, via the dashboard touchscreen is that you need to ‘reinitialise’ the system once the pressures have been addressed.
When my long-term test Berlingo’s light came on I kept going for a mile or so, pulled into a lay-by and carefully examined the van’s tyres by torchlight.
Given the disgraceful state of the country’s roads I fully expected to see a big lump out of a sidewall or tread courtesy of a deep pothole and hear a rush of escaping air.
Yet they all looked absolutely fine, and the Continental Eco Contact 6 boots the Berlingo wears on its 15in wheels are pretty robust anyway judging from past experience. Premium brand tyres cost extra, but they are a lot more dependable than cheap products made by manufacturers with unfamiliar names.
So I got back behind the wheel, secure in the knowledge that my Berlingo had a spare if the worst came to the worst, and made it home.
Next morning all the tyres still looked fine, but the pressures had to be checked anyway of course.
The label that tells you what they should be – 2.5 bar at the front, 2.7 bar at the rear – is on the B-pillar on the driver’s side of the vehicle, and can be seen when you open the door.
The pressure requirement is the same regardless of whether you are lightly or heavily laden.
As it turned out, all the pressures were slightly low, with the front nearside tyre noticeably lower than the other three.
So I got the tyre inflator out of the garage, plugged it into the 12v power point at the bottom of the dashboard, and pumped all the tyres up to the correct level.
Reinitialising involves pressing the outline of the front of a car on the left-hand side of the touchscreen. That takes you to the Driving Function menu, which allows you to switch the parking sensors and the stop/start and traction control systems off and on as well as reset the tyre pressure alert function.
Do so, and the warning light should be extinguished.
The moral of this story? Check your tyre pressures regularly – low pressures lead to higher fuel consumption as well as being a safety risk – and your oil, water and screen wash levels too while you are at it.
Too few van drivers (this one included) bother to do so these days – and don’t forget to keep some AdBlue handy if that is something your vehicle periodically requires. The Berlingo does, but it hasn’t asked for it yet.
Report card: Performance = 4/5
Well up to any task you throw at it.
Citroen Berlingo Enterprise BlueHDi 75
Official combined fuel economy (WLTP) 51.4mpg
Our average consumption 49.3mpg
Price (ex VAT) £19,035
Service intervals 2yrs/25,000mls
Load length 1,817mm
Load width (min/max) 1,229mm/1,550mm
Load bay height 1,236mm
Load volume 3.3m3
Gross payload 680kg
Engine size/power 1,499cc/76hp
CO2 142g/km (WLTP)