Classic Cars are a joy to have and drive. However, keeping them maintained and serviced regularly is vital to ensure its longevity and give your car its highest possible value.
Step One: Make Your Car Look Good
Spend a little more time on your car than just the bare wash and rinse. Routine cleaning is one of the most beneficial jobs you can do for your Classic. Invest in a good quality car shampoo and soft sponge for washing it. Always try and wash the car in the shade and make sure you pre-rinse. Wash a little at a time and rinse off the suds, slow free flowing water is best, as it prevents the soap films from drying. Dry you car with a chamois, starting from top to bottom. Little details will make your car stand out also preserve its body work. Polish your car to remove any tiny scratches in the paint and to bring back its original shine. To maintain the gloss of you paint, and also protect it, invest in a good quality car wax; the difference in your paint finish will be noticeable immediately. Keep your chrome polished, and treat or add a preservative to rubbers. A glossy black tire looks impressive, and a tire dressing will help preserve your tires also. These steps, applying wax, treating the black trim, chrome and tires are optional but the small amount of time you spend on these areas will reward you with a crisp, brightly detailed shine that really sets your car apart.
Step Two: Servicing Your Car
Preventative maintenance is essential for prolonging the life of your vehicle, and ensuring your safety and enjoyment on the road. Booking a regular service with us is one way to guarantee that your Classic stays trouble free. There are a number of simple things that you can do yourself. For example; a lead additive to older cars will help prevent any corrosion to your engine caused from unleaded petrol. Check your oil level regularly and top up when needed, but make sure to have it changed according to your Classic’s directions. Coolant is vital for a Classic Car; always ensure that this is full. Keep an eye on other reservoir levels (clutch, break) also. Check air filters for cleanliness, and tire pressure. We advise to book your Classic in with Lyons Garage for a full check up.
Step Three: Winter Storage
- Wash all road grime and salts from the undercarriage as well as body parts. Give the entire car a good wax and don't buff off chromed surfaces until you're ready to remove the car from storage. Lubricate all rubber and vacuum and clean the upholstery; you don't want any hidden food crumbs that might entice critters. Grease or Vaseline can protect your chrome over the winter!
- Once you have your classic parked for the winter, change or drain fluids.
- Carefully fill the universal joints with fresh grease, if your car has lube fittings. Pack the front wheel bearings and apply clean grease on all of the steering and suspension fittings.
- Bleed the brake system. The best insurance against break deterioration is to drain your system of old fluid and refill with fresh.
- Drain the fuel tank if you are going to store your car for more than six months. Once you have drained the tank, start the engine and run the rest of the fuel out of the lines. Old fuel will clog carburetors and cause valves to hang up.
- Drain the cooling system completely and leave the radiator cap off so air can circulate. Disconnect the heater hoses and drain the heater too.
- Remove or disconnect the battery and store it carefully if you want it to survive. Wash it down with a solution of water and baking soda, and then top it off with distilled water. Store it on a shelf in a dry place, not on concrete.
- Raise the car and place jack stands under the suspension points. Remove the tires and stack them in a corner placing cardboard between each one and cover.
- Depress the clutch and lock it in position with a 2 x 4 pressed against the clutch and the front of the seat cushion or seat frame. Clutch plates often stick together in storage.
- Before you encase your classic in its winter cocoon, the last things to do are;
- Roll down your windows to allow for circulation
- Place opened boxes of baking soda in various places to absorb moisture
- Put a plastic bag over the carburetor to keep moisture out
- Stuff an old rag up the tailpipe to keep vermin out.
- Now you can cover up your classic car. The most important consideration when choosing a cover for your car's winter nap is selecting the right kind of fabric for your specific storage application. Cotton flannel fabrics breathe and allow air to circulate through them as well as being soft and easy on your cars paint and wax. Cotton/polyester fabrics have poor fluid resistance and trap heat and moisture. Plastic films should be avoided because they don't breathe.