Whether you’re planning to store your classic car over the winter months or keep it running, it will require a little extra care during the cold weather.
Additional maintenance in the following areas will ensure your classic car stays in the best possible condition this winter.
Change your oil
Cars are more prone to corrosion during cold, damp weather. Fresh oil will help to protect your engine. Changing the oil and filter and letting the engine run will circulate the new oil.
Injecting grease into fittings such as wheel bearings, suspension and steering will also help ward off damp and corrosion.
Bleed your brakes
Moisture and air in the braking system can make your brakes spongy and less responsive. This is highly dangerous in icy, wet, or slippery conditions.
Bleeding removes air from the master cylinder, brake lines, callipers, and wheel cylinders. Replacing old brake fluid contaminated by dirt and moisture with fresh fluid will improve braking performance.
Brakes should be bled every couple of years. If yours are not performing as well as they should, book your car in for a brake check.
Check your battery
Batteries lose power in cold temperatures and when the car isn’t regularly used. By checking the strength of the battery, you can ensure it’s charged before you attempt to start the vehicle.
A battery maintainer can be used to keep it topped up – as once it loses its charge, it can freeze.
If you’re planning to store your classic car over winter, you could remove the battery so it can be kept in an optimal environment and drain at a slower rate.
Replace balding tyres
Tyres can deteriorate if they’re left standing for a long period of time and pressure becomes low. If you do intend to store your classic car, pumping your tyres up beyond their normal level could help.
In winter months, when roads are slippery, you should check the depth of your tread. 1.6m is the legal minimum limit. For optimum tyre performance, your tyres should have a decent tread and no bulges or cracks.
Wash and wax the exterior
Damp will affect the exterior of the car as well as the internal workings. Grime and dirt can build up, while moisture and air will cause iron and steel corrosion.
Giving the bodywork a thorough clean and waxing the paintwork will help protect it from the elements. You can shield your paintwork from the weather and dirt build-up by reapplying the wax every few months.
Clean the interior
Damp in the air can also damage the fabric and leather interiors of classic cars. Dirt also holds moisture, so it’s a good idea to clean the interior to prevent deterioration of the materials.
Some environments will create mould and insect infestations. If you spot any sign of these, use appropriate cleaning products to remove the damage and ensure the material is allowed to dry out.
Would you like advice on winter care for your classic car?
A classic car is a treasured possession. At Foster & Heanes, we ensure every aspect of its maintenance is taken care of so that it’s in pristine condition all year around.
We offer car servicing, maintenance and repair for all makes and models of vehicles, including classic and vintage cars. Free collection and delivery can be arranged if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres. Check out our Classic Car Servicing & Repair Services.