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Caring for a Classic Car in Winter

966 Mustang GT350 Sports Car

Your classic car is a significant investment and you want to keep it in its top shape all-year-round. The winter is a time when classic cars often get sidelined a little; they’re not going to shows, you may have halted restoration work, and not least the winter weather can be pretty harsh, especially here in Connecticut.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the tips for caring for a classic car in the winter months. These tips will help you increase the life of your classic car and ensure it works smoothly when the weather gets tricky (not uncommon, we know).


  1. Check the coolant

Coolant is fundamental to protecting your car against freezing, so be sure it’s topped up. When the temperature drops below certain levels, crystals may form in the engine’s cooling system and end up blocking the engine and even blowing the radiator apart. Therefore, it’s important to check your coolant regularly, you may need to top it up with antifreeze if it’s diluted.


  1. Check the condition of the tyres regularly

Colder temperatures will cause the tyres to warp and lose pressure, especially when you park your car for an extended period. It’s advisable to drive your classic car around your home every couple of weeks to avoid warping. If you don’t drive your classic or muscle car very often and you intend to leave it in the parking lot for an extended period, it’s a good idea to remove the tyres and store them to preserve their condition.


  1. Check the fluids

Cold weather can reduce the effectiveness of fluids. For instance, the oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid may thicken, making it difficult for the engine to function properly. So it’s best to check all the fluids regularly during the winter months to ensure fluids don’t freeze up, thicken and cause problems.


  1. Release the handbrake if parking for an extended period

There are two things that happen when you keep the handbrake engaged over an extended period, especially in the winter months. The brake pads get stuck to the discs or drums and the handbrake cables tend to seize. Be sure to release the handbrake and chock the wheels.


  1. Prevent rust

Your classic car will rust if you leave it exposed to snow. Some of the ways to prevent rust include:

  • Apply wax to the paint job
  • Clean any drains that could hold stagnant water
  • Wash the car regularly
  • Apply oil undercoating


  1. Insulate your garage

Cold weather can impact almost every part of your classic or muscle car. Maintaining the optimal temperature in your garage will protect your classic vehicle from extreme cold weather. It’s recommended to maintain a temperature of around 20°C during winter.


  1. Open the windows an inch

If you’re keeping the car in the garage you may want to open the windows a little to ensure air circulation and prevent odors. Your garage should be dry to avoid mold growth affecting your classic, if it gets humid consider a dehumidifier in there.


  1. Take it for a pre-winter service

Before you hide your vehicle away for the winter you may want to schedule a preventative service and check-up from a reputable classic car garage to ensure everything is tip-top.