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Classic cars: Sweet Dreams

Published on 12.10.2020

Driving with the top down, your sun glasses on and your hair flying in the wind – what a great summer we had!

Vintage vehicle lovers made the most of the season, eating up miles of tarmac on the country’s loveliest roads at the wheel of their little treasures.
And now they deserve a well-earned rest. After all, they need a bit of spoiling to come out bright and shiny next year.

Any self-respecting vintage car owner knows that these cars are like babies. You have to cater for their every whim, giving them lots of love. As the year ends, the weather deteriorates and temperatures fall, these special cars need to go back in the garage. If you want to find your vehicle in good condition in spring, it would be madness to forget about it over the winter. So, some regular maintenance needs to be done to keep it in good mechanical order.

If you want the car to have a good winter, you need to keep it in a suitable place, ideally where humidity levels are low and the temperature is constant.

Before bringing it into the warm, it will need one last drink, so head for the fuel pumps and fill up. Then you’ll need to put in some stabilising additive to protect the fuel. No air can then get into the tank, preventing a build-up of condensation

After that, it’s vital to give the car a wash – for two reasons: it will come out looking good as new in spring, but, most importantly, cleaning prevents corrosion during overwintering. 

Once the car is clean, increase the tyre pressure. Otherwise, tyre deformation could cause vibrations. Wheel saver blocks are also recommended to keep the car steady in storage.

Before putting the car away, it’s a good idea to check the anti-freeze level in the cooling system to prevent ice formation and corrosion in the cooling system. The washer bottle needs to be emptied and the engine oil drained and replaced.

A vintage car doesn’t mean no new technology. To makes things easier, owners are advised to fit an overwintering maintenance charger to the battery. When left on all winter, the charger monitors and manages battery voltage automatically, saving you the job.

Many vintage cars have lubrication points on the running gear joints. Pre-winter lubrication prevents the deterioration of suspension arms and knuckle joints. You will also need to lubricate the rubber seals on the door, trunk and hood joints.

All you need to do now is put the vehicle to bed. So that the brakes don’t seize up while off the road, it’s better to leave the handbrake off. You should also depress the brake and clutch pedals regularly to stop the joints in the hydraulic components sticking – a good excuse for going to see it as often as you like!

Useful links

ACL Classic cars
Photo gallery : Classic Cars 2020

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