If you’re lucky enough to own a classic car, you’re going to want to take very good care of it, so that it can keep running and stay looking good for as long as possible. The older your vehicle is, the most important if is that you give it lots of time and attention.
The key to keeping your classic car in tip-top condition is scheduling regular maintenance for it and being extra careful with the way it is used. Here are some of the most important things you will need to do:
A classic car that is filled with old or, or even very little oil at all, is much more likely to have its engine degrade than one that had regular oil and oil filter changes made. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to care for your vintage vehicle.
Flushing the Cooling System
This is something that you should do annually, and you should probably do it whether your car is classic or new. Luckily, it’s easy to do – you just need to mix equal measures of distilled water and coolant and replace the old stuff with the new preparation. This will help to protect against corrosion and prevent deposits from developing inside your car.
Transmission Fluid Changes
Changing the transmission fluid in your classic car is something that, although not as essential as many of the other things in this post, you should make an effort to do every once in awhile to keep things running smoothly. Just make sure you choose fluid that is the right viscosity for your car.
Regular Car Washing
Keeping your car clean will help to keep the paintwork in good shape. The longer you leave your car uncleaned, the more likely it is that impurities will eat away at the paint. Not only that, but dirt, salt and grime from the streets can do a serious number on your vehicle’s undercarriage, so cleaning it up after you’ve been for a drive is probably sensible.
Wax It Waxing your classic car at least twice a year will help to keep the bodywork looking its best, and it will help to keep the car’s paintwork more protected too.
Once you’ve cleaned and waxed your car, it’s undoubtedly a good idea to keep it covered with a breathable and waterproof car cover, so that it doesn’t get damaged by falling debris or inclement conditions. You should do this even if you’re keeping your car in the garage (which you really should be).
Don’t Park in the Sun
It’s always a good idea to keep your classic car out of the sun if you can because this will stop the vehicle’s interior from fading and becoming dry. If you’re unable to do this, then you can use UV blockers, leather creams and vinyl treatment products to mitigate against the light.
Monitor ball Joints
The ball joints are often the first thing to fail in vintage cars, but if you take the time to monitor them and ensure that they always have adequate levels of grease, you can ensure that they have a much longer lifespan. In fact, they might just last forever if you take the time to take care of them.
Lubricate the Drive-Line
The various components of your drive-line should be regularly lubricated too. This will help your car to run more smoothly and ensure that fewer repairs or replacements need to be made in that area.
Repack the Wheel Bearings
The wheel bearings in your vehicle should be checked, cleaned and repacked with the best grease for the vehicle on a regular basis; every three months is a good estimate, but you might want to ask a trusted mechanic to give you a more accurate servicing timeline for your particular vehicle.
Test the Brakes
On a regular basis, perhaps monthly if you can, you should take the time to test your brakes to ensure that they’re in good working order. Not only that, but you should also bleed your brakes at least once each year to ensure optimum running and your safety.
Keep Your Car on a Jack Stand
If you have a classic car that you aren’t planning to drive anytime soon, then it is an imminently good idea to raise it on a jack stand. Doing this will help to lower the air pressure, which is particularly important for protecting your vehicle in the winter.
Seal any Openings
Again, when your vehicle is not regularly in use, sealing up any potential openings, such as the tailpipe by packing it with a plastic bag full of steel wool, ideally, will help to prevent critters like mice, rats and other small mammals from making your car their home during the winter months, If you don’t do this, they can do a lot of damage, so please remember to stuff any opening around autumn/winter time each year.
Transport with Care
If your vehicle is truly vintage, and it isn’t up to long trips if you need it to be some place far away from where it is now, make sure that you use a professional car transport company to safely get it too and from its destination. Driving a really old car long distance, or even towing it, can do untold damage, so be very careful about doing so, especially if it hasn’t been driven in a long while.
Use a Battery Maintainer
Connecting your classic car’s battery to a battery maintainer, using clamps, then closing the hood and leaning it running when it isn’t going to be in use for a long time, Particularly in cooler conditions, is a great way to ensure that the battery survives to live another year.
If you do all of these things, then your classic car is unlikely to be in anything but great shape. However, it’s probably a good idea to book your vehicle in for a professional tune-up at least once a year, just to be on the safe side, too.
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