If you know anything about taking care of a classic car, you know it’s worlds apart from taking care of a new model. Old cars need lots of extra TLC and a hefty bank balance to keep them in museum quality condition.
But as you know, this is part of the appeal of owning one in the first place, and it’s a project that can be incredibly rewarding if you do it right. If you’re new to the world of classic cars, have no fear. We’ve compiled this list of tips to help look after your new ride and sustain its vintage appeal. Here are 5 must-dos for any classic car owner to keep your vehicle in pristine condition every day of the year.
Regular servicing from a specialist mechanic
Many classic car collectors know all about the mechanics of their vehicles and feel confident enough to perform check-ups themselves. Even if this is the case, we always recommend taking it into a mechanic who specializes in all things classic cars. Not only will they know how to handle your vehicle with the love and care that it needs, but they’ll also be well aware of any warning signs that something’s wrong.
This will help you from major problems occurring down the road that may jeopardize the life of your vehicle, and avoid small problems growing into something major. A specialist mechanic will also have better access to any rare or hard to find parts that your car might need and will know how to find them at a lower cost.
Cleaning and waxing
Consistent cleaning and waxing is the key to keeping your classic car looking pristine at all times, as well as avoiding salt, rust and grime building up and damaging its exterior. A hand-wash should do the job every once in a while, and waxing should be done every 6 months or so to keep the paint shining.
Make sure not to neglect the inside of your vehicle too, and keep it looking just as impressive as the outside does.
Keep it covered when not in use
No matter where you’re keeping your car, you should always keep it covered when it’s not in use. You should always keep it parked inside a garage if possible, but if this isn’t an option a cover is absolutely necessary. Wind can blow objects onto your car that cause scratches or dents, and rain can cause the appearance of rust. Sunlight can also age your car, damaging the paint and causing the vinyl or plastics on the inside to become brittle and fall apart.
But even if you’re keeping your car inside a garage, a cover-up is still a good precaution to take. Whether your garage suffers water damage or there’s an excess of dust, you never know what can happen.
Keep the engine running smoothly
One mistake that many owners of classic cars make is that they don’t drive it and leave it stagnant for too long. While it’s understandable that you may feel overprotective, you’ll be doing more harm than good in the long run. Also, where’s the fun in owning classic cars if you can’t even take them on a ride?
Not only does this give you a chance to get out and meet other car lovers, but will also help to keep the engine running smoothly and allow you to notice any abnormalities.
Check its fluids
Having enough fluids is the key to your car’s health. Oil, water and brake fluid are all integral parts of its operation and it cannot run without them. Lubricant and water are needed to keep it cool and avoid overheating, and oil and water are needed to keep the engine in top condition.
You’ll also need to make sure that your car goes through heat cycles and keep a close eye on the gauges too. While this is true for any vehicle, classic cars are more susceptible to damage and faults so make sure you are always on top of all areas of its health and fluids.