No classic car owner likes to think about parking for the winter. Unfortunately, across Canada, we’re quickly approaching some of the most frigid and unforgiving months of the year. Before you park your collector car in the garage until spring, though, it’s important to properly winterize that beauty.
Why Winterizing Your Classic Car Matters
Winterizing your classic car will protect it from common problems that can occur when a car is left undriven over the winter months, such as dead batteries and rusted trim. This can help to preserve the value of your classic car while also saving you from the hassle of making repairs come springtime.
How to Prepare Your Classic Car for Winter
So, how can you protect your classic car in the winter months? This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but it’s a good place to start when winterizing your classic car.
1. Remove the Battery
If you leave the battery in your car all winter, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be dead when you try to start your car in the spring. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to actually remove the battery from your classic car as part of the winterization process. Ideally, you’ll store the battery in a warm and dry place. Just be sure to keep the battery elevated off any concrete floors or surfaces, as concrete is known to drain batteries with direct contact.
Throughout the winter, check the charge on your battery and use a portable jumper to recharge it as needed.
2. Protect Your Wheel Bearings
Cold temperatures will cause your car’s tires to lose air pressure over the winter; this is inevitable and can be remedied by simply filling the tires to the proper PSI in the spring. However, a drop in tire pressure over the winter can also put unwanted pressure on your classic car’s wheel bearings.
To avoid this, consider putting your car on axle stands over the winter. This will keep the tires elevated off the ground, which will protect the wheel bearings from added strain and stress.
3. Protect the Finish
You take a lot of pride in your classic car’s finish. Make sure to protect it from the elements over the winter months. The best way to do this is to wash your car as you normally would. Then, apply a protective wax coating to it. Whenever possible, keep your classic car parked in a garage or other covered space over the winter. If this is not an option, invest in a quality cover to protect your collector car from damage caused by tree resin, bird droppings, and other elements. Just make sure the cover is breathable to avoid unwanted moisture build-up underneath.
4. Treat Aluminum and Chrome Trim
Many collector cars are adorned with aluminum and chrome trim, which can be more prone to rust and corrosion during the winter months. You can protect your car’s trim by applying a water-resistant silicone spray or an acid-free petroleum jelly to the surface as part of your winterization routine.
5. Change the Coolant
Last but not least, take time to change your car’s coolant before you park it for the winter. This should be done about once every three years (or 30,000 miles) anyway—and doing it before winter hits will ensure that your car is protected even when temperatures reach their lowest.
Set Yourself Up for Springtime Success
These are just a few of the most important things you can do to protect your classic car from the harsh elements of winter weather here in Canada. By completing these maintenance tasks, you can keep your collector car in the best possible shape and avoid the need for unexpected repairs come springtime.
Looking for more ways to protect the value of your collector car? The Wayfarer Insurance Group is here to help, so contact us today to learn more. We’re also frequently updating our blog with helpful maintenance tips specifically for owners of collector cars!