Winter is the time that classic cars are used the least but also when they can become the most damaged. To avoid this being the ‘winter of discontent’ we’ve got 10 top tips on what you can do to maintain your classic car this season:
1 Invest in a smart charger
A smart charger which will keep the battery charged. It may be obvious, but consider certain older cars have reverse polarity and some have just 6v systems. Buy wisely to prevent damage.
2 Clean and polish the car
Before storage, remove mud, dirt and road salt that harbours moisture to help prevent corrosion.
3 Plenty of ventilation
If the car is being stored in a garage, ensure that it’s well ventilated and consider investing in a dehumidifier that will keep the air dry as well.
4 Top up with fuel and anti-freeze
Filling the fuel tank will reduce condensation levels that can build up over time. The same goes for anti-freeze – top up the levels and run the engine for a few minutes so they get circulated.
5 Use WD-40 to reduce corrosion
Any unpainted metal parts under the car can be treated with WD-40 to prevent rust. Avoid spraying belts, hoses and braking surfaces.
6 Inflate tyres to correct pressures
Ensure that tyre pressures are correct. If the car is being stored for several months, lift the vehicle to raise the tyres from the ground to prevent flat spots.
7 Don’t use the handbrake
Leaving the handbrake on can allow the brake pads to become fused to the discs. Instead, tyre stoppers should be used to prevent the car from rolling.
8 Invest in a good waterproof car cover
This will keep dust, debris and small animals away from the car. Non-plastic tarp should be used to avoid paint damage. Ensure excellent ventilation, don't forget covers can keep moisture in as well as out leading to mould and rust.
9 Change the oil and filters
Old engine oil can contain contaminants that damage the engine if left to sit for long periods of time. Oil and air filters should also be swapped at the same time.
10 Make a note of all the work carried out
Write down all the steps taken to maintain the vehicle on a notepad, so when the time comes to restart the car in the spring, it won’t accidentally end up being damaged for example, forgetting to pull out the rag left in the exhaust.