Collector car storage during the severe winter months in Canada is essential. But spring is nearly upon us and that means it’s time to bring your favorite car out of winter hibernation. All you need to do is follow a few simple DIY steps to get your collector car ready to hit the open road once again. This is the best way to make sure that your car will not only look great on the roadways this spring and summer, but perform to the best of its abilities as well. Check out our simple spring maintenance tips below.
1. Test the Battery
If you had your car stored away for an extended period this winter, you should have disconnected the battery. And hopefully, you hooked the batter up to a maintainer or trickle charger to keep it charged while it wasn’t in use. If so, check the maintainer to make sure that the battery is fully charged. If it doesn’t have a full charge, set it up on a charger and see if it will take a full charge. If not, there’s a good chance that the life of the battery has been affected. You should avoid trying to start up a stored vehicle using a partially drained battery. However, if the battery has a good charge, simply check the cables and terminals for corrosion and connect it like normal.
2. Test the Engine Oil
Since you topped up all the fluids before putting your car in storage, the levels should be good. But because the oil has been sitting there for several months, you should give your vehicle an oil change as soon as possible. Fresh oil is a relatively cheap expense that helps to protect the life of your engine. Even if you just changed the oil before putting it away for the winter, you shouldn’t be skipping this step.
3. Check All Fluids
Just like your engine oil, the other fluids that help keep your collector car performing in tip-top shape also need to be checked. While you should have topped everything up a few months ago, it doesn’t hurt to double-check your work. Did you remember to add some fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank before putting your car away? If not, you can fill up with high-octane gasoline and add an octane booster to the tank now. Keep in mind that old gas that has been sitting for a while can make your engine run roughly, so it’s important to remember the fuel stabilizer the next time that you put your car away for an extended period.
4. Complete a Visual Inspection
A good visual check is always necessary before letting your collector car back out into the fresh spring air. After looking over the engine bay, get dirty and inspect under the car for any signs of fluid leaks. Take a deep look at all the electrical wires and hoses, check for any signs that mice or other unwanted critters decided to use the car for shelter during the cold winter months.
5. Test the Tire Pressure
After looking at the mechanical components of your vehicle, you should complete a good walk around to assess any exterior issues. Specifically, how do the tires look? Check the tire pressure and if necessary, fill them up so that they each reach the suggested PSI rating indicated on the sidewall. Additionally, make sure that the tires look like they’re in good shape. If you notice any bulges or cracks in the rubber, they likely need to be repaired or replaced.
Take Your Classic Car Out for a Test Drive
Now that you’ve completed our simple DIY maintenance checklist and officially brought your car out of winter storage, the only thing left to do is to hit the open road. Let the engine run for a few minutes to ensure the fuel has fully circulated and bring the engine up to cruising temperature. And remember to take it easy during your maiden spring voyage. Finally, as the layers of winter snow and ice melt away, the roads are sure to feature their fair share of salt, sand, and potholes—so drive with these obstacles in mind.