With the nicer Cleveland weather upon us, you’re likely to see classic and antique cars out on the road after a long winter in storage. Classic car owners know that these historic vehicles require special care to maintain their unique exteriors, and to ensure they are running properly.
Proper storage conditions, combined with a comprehensive maintenance plan, will help to ensure your classic or antique car will be poised for a smooth ride, and a long life.
Keep a strict and regular maintenance routine for your classic or antique car in order to pinpoint deterioration, such as rust, right away.
After your vehicle has been sitting for a season, complete the following spring maintenance tips:
- Change the oil and oil filter.
- Check fluid levels, and ensure the color of the fluids has not changed; a dirty color can indicate potential rust or byproducts that can cause corrosion.
- Drain any gas in the tank and carburetor float bowls; flush the fuel lines.
- Make sure brakes, hoses and belts are working properly.
- Inspect tires for proper tread.
- Check the battery, and replace if needed.
Finally, continue to store your car in a climate-controlled self-storage unit. While commonly used for weather-related or long-term storage, self storage is an ideal solution for your classic car all year long, providing the space and environmental conditions needed for optimum storage as the seasons change.
Protect Your Investment
Since classic and antique cars are generally high in value, take the time to find or update your insurance plan to ensure it covers the market value if an accident or theft should occur.
When using self storage, it is important to note that storage facilities will not insure your car on your behalf. Having proper coverage for your car will help give you peace of mind and the protection you need.
Before You Store Long-Term
When summer comes to an end, there are additional maintenance procedures that should be followed to prepare your antique car for extended storage. Complete the following checklist before you store your vehicle for winter:
- Make sure there’s some fuel in the tank.
- Thoroughly wash and wax the exterior for added protection.
- Add fuel stabilizer to prevent gas breakdown.
- Change the oil and filter, and top off all fluids.
- Pull the spark plugs, add some oil and replace.
- Prep the battery for storage by hooking up a battery tender, or removing.
Your All-Year-Long Solution
While many view car storage as a seasonal or situational need, it is an essential component of protecting the interior and exterior of your antique car all year long. Proper, year-round maintenance and the right storage conditions will help to ensure that your car is protected and safe between summer cruises, and across all seasons.
Do you have an antique or classic car? Share your maintenance tips with us!
Sources & Additional Resources:
- 10 Tips for Taking a Car Out of Storage
- Taking Your Car Out of Long-Term Storage
- How to Protect an Antique Car
Photo credit: Morning theft