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Routine Maintenance Guide for Classic Cars

classic car maintenanceAsk any collector and they will tell you that their restored classic car is more than just an automobile.  To many they are considered their baby and should then be cared for like one.  Routine maintenance for a classic car or truck is a little more involved than your every day vehicle.

Here are some of the basics that every classic owner can follow to make sure their prized possession stays in tip top shape.

  • Safe storage – It should go without saying that keeping your car out of the elements is essential to maintaining your vehicle’s condition.  The sun and weather can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s body and interior.  It is almost imperative that you keep them indoors.  We additionally suggest using a soft, paint friendly cover to protect your finish from dust as well.
  • Hand wash your vehicle – There may be a car wash or two in your town that can properly was and detail your car, but you are almost guaranteed a better outcome doing it yourself.  Using a mild soap and plenty of clean cotton towels and a chamois is really all you need to remove most grime and dust.  There are also plenty of safe interior cleaners and leather treatments available to keep your interior shining.
  • Maintain fresh fluids – Depending on the year your classic may not even have an oil filter.  Changing your oil every 1000 miles will help keep the sludge buildup to a minimum.  It is advised to use a zinc additive with your oil change to help keep everything properly lubricated.  Also regularly check fluid levels in the transmission, differential and your cooling system.  Fresh, topped-off fluids will make a huge difference in the well being of your classic.
  • Keep it moving – At least once a month you should take your car out for a spin.  This helps keep all the major mechanical parts of your car in working order.  If weather does not allow you to get your classic on the road then be sure to follow our advice on how to properly store your car for a season.
  • Inspect belts and hoses – Each time you have your oil changed is also a good time to check your belts and hoses for wear and tear.  A bad hose or belt can cause a negative snowball effect on the rest of your vehicle’s system.  Most belts and hoses should be changed every 5 years to help keep everything running smoothly.
  • Inspect your cooling system – It is common for cooling systems to develop issues as they age. Inspect the radiator, heater core, head gasket, freeze plugs and other components for any leakage.  Use a hot or cold weld to repair any leaks as simple sealants can slow down the flow of the coolant.  If everything in the system seems fine, but you still have an issue with overheating it is probably time to replace the thermostat.  It’s a simple fix that can save you tons of future repairs and frustration.

Keeping your classic car or truck in showroom condition will most likely require additional work on your part, but following these simple 5 steps will ensure the basics are all covered.  Let us know in the comments below if you think we missed anything or if you have any special tricks or tips you use to keep your baby ready to impress.

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