Fortunately, there are always things to be done throughout the winter to help maintain your collector car and make it optimally ready for spring when it finally does arrive.
Check out the list of tips below, and let’s get your beauty ready for its big reveal this spring!
How to Get Your Classic Car Ready for Spring
Start with the perfect storage place.
Ideally, the place where you store your classic car should be at least 60°F. This will ensure the freeze-thaw cycle doesn’t cause a buildup of moisture, corrosion, or mould. As most garages aren’t heated, it may be best to rent out a storage location to keep it safe.
Clean it up — inside and outside.
You’ll thank yourself come spring if you give your collector car a good cleaning before storing it away. Wash the car on the outside, remove bug splatters, and touch up paint or other corrosion if needed. Inside, clean all surfaces, and give the interior a good vacuum as well.
Protect the tires.
Your tires can end up cracking in the frigid temperatures and dryness of winter, so consider filling them up right before storing your car away. Tires that are full of air are less likely to have problems.
Give it an oil change.
When a car sits idle and is not in use for an extended period of time, dirty material and carbon can end up building up inside the engine. It’s not good for the engine to have these materials just sitting there, so if you have the foresight, give your vehicle an oil change before storage.
Set up a winter battery charger.
Many-a-battery have frozen over the winter months because proper care was not taken in the fall. Truth be told, a healthy battery can actually last as long as eight years, so there’s no reason to ditch the one you have just because you didn’t plug it in over the winter.
Basically, all classic cars need to be on a battery charger all winter. If your battery is actively charging, it won’t freeze.
Use fuel stabilizer.
Chances are, your car already has a little fuel in it, but this is not the state to store it in. Of course, you shouldn’t store your car with a full tank without any stabilizer in it either.
You need stabilizer to keep the fuel in your tank from deteriorating. All fuel has a limited shelf life, and that time period is about 30 days. After this time, any fuel will begin to deteriorate.
A fuel stabilizer can help, though. Simply add it to your fuel tank. Then, start your car, and let it idle for about five minutes so that the stabilizer can run through the filter, carburetor, and all fuel lines. Next, fill up your gas tank, and it’ll be ready to zoom when spring arrives.
Keep rodents at bay.
Rodents like mice, chipmunks, and squirrels can be a huge problem for classic cars that are stored over the winter. A few little tricks can help keep them at bay, however.
First, take a piece of steel wool or a cloth rag and put it in your car’s tailpipe. This will keep mice, especially, from making their nests in there. Similarly, dryer sheets can be placed beneath your car’s bonnet to deter nesting of mice and other rodents.
Choose the perfect day for the big reveal come spring.
We know how exciting it can be to take your collector car out in the spring but try to resist the urge to take it out too soon. The roads should be completely bare and absent of snow and ice before you take an older (pricier) car on the road. This is because even the smallest amount of ice can cause an accident, and older cars aren’t equipped with ideal safety features.
For more tips and advice on owning and maintaining classic cars, check back often and stay up-to-date with our Wayfarer blog!