Most people who own classic cars are motor enthusiasts to some degree. It’s fair to say that you are prepared to invest more of your time into caring for your vehicle than the typical commuter, though it’s not like you have much choice. Classic and muscle cars require a great deal of care and attention to keep them running smoothly and looking great. It takes a lot of work to maintain the original condition and appeal of a classic car, but for the vast majority, it’s far worth it.
Let’s take a look at some care tips you can follow to keep your classic car in pristine condition.
1. Wax on wax off:
You should give your classic car a really good waxing at least every couple of months, or as a minimum every 6 months. Older vehicles can more easily succumb to oxidization which ruins the paintwork, waxing helps to provide a protective layer against this. It’s also worth using a chrome polish for the trims to keep those looking nice too. For classic cars that already have rust spots, apply a lubricant to help prevent the rust from spreading.
2. Clean regularly:
It’s important to keep a regular cleaning schedule to remove dirt that can corrode away your paint finish and exposed metal components. Don’t forget the underside which can be particularly vulnerable to salt and grime from the road. Pay attention to all crevices.
3. Change the oil
Old oil is not good for any vehicle, it can be just as bad as oil. They say that motor oil is the lifeblood of any vehicle, this couldn’t be more true for classic cars which need all the care and attention they can get. Make it your priority to change your motor oil regularly.
4. Protect the interior
Leather, vinyl and plastic interiors can crack and fade when exposed to sunlight over long periods, especially where you’re showing your classic car off at local car show. Make sure to invest in leather and vinyl creams and UV blockers that help to protect against sun damage.
5. Check your brakes
Any car mechanic will tell you brake pads are cheap to replace, calipers and sensors are not. Don’t neglect your brakes until they wear down past the pads and start causing damage. Test them regularly and listen out for anything that doesn’t sound right. Keep an eye on your brake pads to check they’re not wearing down unevenly.
6. Keep things moving
Not driving your classic car enough can be just as bad as driving it too much. All engines and mechanical parts need working to maintain good lubrication and prevent parts from ceasing up. If you don’t drive it in the winter, make sure to take it out for regular trips in the summer to keep everything running smoothly.
7. Get a car cover
If you’re storing your classic car outside then a car cover is essential. This will help to protect against harmful UV rays, dirt and debris which all contribute to eating up the paint and metalwork.
8. Change transmission fluid / differential oil
Classic cars need these fluids changing more frequently than newer ones. Ensure you replace with the correct fluid/oil viscosity for your vehicle.
9. Check ball joints
Failed ball joints which connect the wheels to the suspension are not uncommon in classic cars, though the can be simply cared for with plenty of grease. A greased ball joint can go on and on, whereas a dry one is far more likely to fail.
10. Flush the cooling system
Heat is a surefire way to damage in any vehicle. Old or new it’s important to have an efficient, functioning cooling system ideally mixed with 50% coolant and 50% distilled water. Fresh coolant helps to prevent engine corrosion and harmful deposits that restrict the flow of this important fluid!