The sun is finally out and it might be the perfect weekend to get your classic car back out on the road. Whether you are planning a sojourn in the countryside or a visit to a classic car show, you want your pride and joy to be in pristine condition.
Restoring or owning a classic car is a dream for many automobile enthusiasts. But just like owning an antique, keeping your classic car properly maintained takes time, effort and care. There’s nothing more heart-breaking than seeing your treasured possession deteriorate so you need to be aware of the risks that your car faces and take steps to minimise the damage.
There are a number of factors at play which can wreak havoc on your car – here’s 5 key ones to look out for to ensure you have trouble free motoring.
The Great British Weather
We live in a country that throws all the elements at us and that weather can be the nemesis of the classic car. Without proper protection, your car will be vulnerable. Rain promotes rust which it will feed on and damage your car, whilst too much sun can cause the paintwork to fade or even blister. Ideally keep your classic car in a garage to protect it but if you can’t do that, invest in a proper cover. If you plan to store your car away over the winter season, place some open boxes of baking soda inside to absorb moisture, open the windows for proper air circulation, and drain the fluids to prevent deterioration over time.
Lack of use
Don’t just keep it as a showpiece that never gets used. It may not be your choice of vehicle for everyday use but long periods of storage can actually have a detrimental effect on the car itself. Batteries can run flat, engine parts can corrode and undetected problems can cause all manner of issues. Get that vintage auto out for spin on a regular basis to keep it ticking over nicely and ensure you notice problems as and when they begin to develop.
Bleak winter months spell road salt. Road salt might be essential for keeping icy, wet roads safe for drivers, but when it comes into contact with steel it can create a chemical reaction which produces rust. It can be a killer to unprotected steel parts such as your suspension or exhaust. Avoid going out when the roads are icy and salted if you want to save yourself an extensive and expensive hunt for replacement parts.
Vermin, such as rats and mice, have the potential to cause a huge amount of damage to your car – particularly if it’s stored away in a garage somewhere, out of sight. Not only can they chew through important wiring and tear up the upholstery, they could even end up treating your car like a nest and breeding! Be sure to regularly check your car in storage and stuff a rag in the exhaust to prevent any little pests sneaking in through the pipe.
Lack of cleaning
There are no short cuts when it comes to keeping a classic car. You need to keep it in top condition which means a detail-clean of your precious investment in order to prevent rust, chipped paint and general build-up of dirt which can contribute to poor performance and future issues. You want your classic car to retain its value for as long as possible. After completing your detail-clean, remember to ensure that all the soap scum has been washed away. Residual cleaning products left on your car could cause damage over time.
Taking care of a classic car is a labour of love for the auto enthusiast. Make the most of your beautiful investment and don’t let all your time, work and money go to waste by letting the maintenance slide. Additionally, remember to take out the correct insurance to protect your classic car against any unfortunate and unprecedented events.