How to Get Your Classic Car Ready for Spring
After a long winter, it’s finally spring–and you know what that means? It’s officially Classic Car Season!
Most classic cars can’t simply be driven out of your garage, especially if you took all the necessary steps to winterize your vehicle. After being idle for many months, your car needs some special attention to ensure safe cruising for the warmer seasons ahead.
Follow these tips to get your classic car ready for spring cruising and car shows!
Do a Thorough Mechanical Inspection
Before you start your engine, take a close look under the hood to inspect for signs of trouble. Look closely at any rubber parts, like belts, hoses, and gaskets. Check these for cracks and dry rot. This part is especially important if your classic car was stored in an environment that’s not climate controlled.
Take a look at your tire pressure as well, as these can deflate over time. Look for other signs of wear you forgot to address before storage season, such as balding treads or cracks. Replace tires if needed.
Inspect the wiring of your car. Even with the best preventative measures, animals can get inside and chew on the wires, which can cause major issues once you start the car up.
Don’t forget to test the windshield wipers to make sure they are fully operational.
Do a Fluid Check
Your classic car won’t run well if its fluids aren’t clean or at the right levels. Check your brake fluid, antifreeze, oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and if it’s a newer car, the power steering fluid. Change out what needs to be changed, especially your oil.
You may even want to run a bottle of fresh brake fluid through the system to clean out any old fluid. Brake fluid can absorb water, especially in a damp environment, making it less effective. That could lead to poor braking and unsafe driving conditions.
Test All of Your Lights
Grab a fellow car enthusiast, or even just a friend that thinks your car is cool, and enlist them in this next step. Make sure that all of your lights are in working order. This includes headlights, brakelights, turn signals, and any other lights on your classic vehicle. Your assistant can stand outside your car as you test various exterior lights. Replace or repair any lights that are not working properly.
Give It a Test Run
We recommend that you push your car out of the garage before turning the engine on for the first time this season. There’s always a minor chance that after many months of being idle, your carburetor could flood, something will spark, and things could start on fire. So it’s better to be outside if that happens.
Once you’ve determined your car is safely running, allow it to idle for around 15 minutes to properly warm up the systems.
Make Your Car Shine
Once you know your classic car is working properly, it’s a great time to clean it inside and out. You can pay a professional to do this, or save some cash and do this step on your own.
Start with cleaning the exterior first. Remember, classic cars should be washed and dried by hand only. The car wash does not do as thorough of a job–and could even scratch up your prized vehicle’s paint job!
Use only detergents without abrasive chemicals so that you don’t damage the paint. Soft, clean cloths are best, with separate ones for different areas of your car’s exterior.
Once you’ve got the exterior shining, show the interior just as much care. Use a mild cleaner and a microfiber cloth or an old t-shirt to wipe down vinyl upholstery. Genuine leather should be cleaned with a dry cloth regularly, and conditioned after you clean it.
Use Q-tips to get into tiny interior nooks and crannies. You want your classic beauty to truly sparkle!
Hopefully you gave your floormats a thorough cleaning before storing your car for the winter. If that’s the case, all you really need to do is remove them, give them a good shake out, and vacuum them to remove any dust accumulation. Give the car floor a quick vacuum before you put the floormats back in.
If you forgot to clean the floormats before the car went into storage, you will need to give them a more in-depth cleaning, complete with a rise-off and degreasing treatment.
Get Ready to Cruise!
Now that you know your classic car is in top-notch shape, it’s time for the fun part. Go out for a spin and enjoy the cruising season ahead!
If your car’s interior needs some extra TLC before it’s road ready this year, our team over at Legendary Auto Interiors is here to help.
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