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6 Simple tips to Help Keep Your Classic Car in Top Shape

A classic car or truck needs more attention than an everyday driver to stay in top shape.  They are older and a little more temperamental and that’s why they need special care.  Many collectors also have a special bond with their dream machines and want to keep them in the best shape possible.  Treating them like they are part of the family.

Here are some of the simple steps you can take to make sure your prized possession stays in tip top shape.

  1. Store in a safe place – Indoor storage is key to keeping your vehicle out of the elements.
    The sun and weather can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s body and interior.  We also suggest using a soft, paint friendly cover to add another layer of protection for your paint.
  2. Wash your classic by hand – I am sure there are decent automatic car washes that can give your car a quick rinse, but if you want to guarantee it gets done right, you should probably wash it yourself. Using a mild soap, lots of clean cotton towels and a chamois is all you really need to remove most grime and dust.  There are also many brands of safe cleaners for your interior to keep it shining.
  3. Keep the fluids fresh – We suggest changing your oil every 1,000 miles or every 6 months, whichever comes first. Another good suggestion is to use a zinc additive with your oil change to help keep everything properly lubricated.  The transmission, differential and the cooling system fluids need to be regularly checked and topped off or replaced.  Fresh, topped-off fluids will make a huge difference in the well being of your classic.
  4. Take it for a spin – Take your classic car or truck out for a drive at least once per month just to keep the mechanical parts moving. The weather might not always agree and road conditions may be too poor to go anywhere.  If you need to store your vehicle all winter you might want to read our eleven tips for storing a classic car.
  5. Check the belts and hoses – One bad belt or a leaking hose can have a negative effect on the rest of the system. Check them for cracks, tears and leaks every time you change the oil.  At a minimum, all belts and hoses should be changed every 5 years.
  6. Inspect your cooling system – Cooling system issues are very common with older vehicles. Regularly inspect the radiator, heater core, head gasket, freeze plugs and other cooling system components for any leaks or signs of wear and tear. A hot or cold weld can be used to repair any leaks.  Simple sealants are not recommended because they can slow down the flow of the coolant.  If you still have an issue with overheating it is probably time to replace the thermostat.  It’s a simple fix that can save you a lot of repairs and frustration.

If you are trying to maintain your classic car in showroom condition, it is going to require additional work on your part, but following these simple 5 steps will ensure the basics are all covered.

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