You bought a vintage car and restored it, and now that winter arrives you want to keep it in the best possible way. How to do? The classic cars are much more sensitive to rust, so it is preferable to avoid using them in autumn and winter, when temperatures are more rigid and due to atmospheric conditions it is easier to wear. Below, you will find a list of tips on how to preserve your classic car for the winter.
1. Wash and polish
Washing and polishing a car is important for two reasons: to have the car clean and a protective layer on the paint. Start by washing your car with a normal car cleaner to remove all dirt, so you can polish the car without scratching it. Bird droppings and resin fallen from the trees will corrode the paint if left in your car, so it is best to clean the car before storing it for the winter.
2. Aluminum and chrome
Even the parts in chrome and aluminum, such as the bumpers, the door handles and the wheels can oxidize. Treat the chrome with acid-free vaseline or water-repellent silicone spray to create a protective layer. Perform this process also with aluminum wheels, if your vintage car has them. Despite possible layers of protective varnish, small scratches can easily corrode and ruin the wheels.
3. Wheel arches and underbody
Be sure to clean the wheel arches and the underbody of the car. Spray dirt and sand with a normal nozzle. Do not use a high pressure hose because a strong jet of water could affect the protective layer; moreover, water can even penetrate wheel bearings and steering joints. After cleaning the car, make sure to dry it or, even better, drive it until it is dry. Take your time for this trip because a 50-kilometer route ensures that the engine and exhaust reach the right temperature to eliminate any moisture. In addition, the battery will also be fully charged. After this ride, you can safely store your car in the garage for the winter.
4. Goalkeeper and rubber parts
Lubricates the door seals with vaseline or silicone grease so that they remain flexible during the winter. It is better not to close the doors completely, but rather to leave them slightly ajar, thus allowing the rubber parts to breathe. When the doors are not completely closed, ventilation is allowed and, more importantly, the door seals are prevented from sticking to the car. Do the same with the boot and open the windows slightly, so as to ventilate the car and make sure that the barn or garage where your car is stored is also ventilated.
5. Brake and clutch system
During the winter, while your car is at rest, press the brake and clutch pedals every now and then, to help them stay flexible and avoid adhesions. Do not use the handbrake, put it on the move instead. Otherwise the brake pads will rust on the brake disc.
6. Cooling system
The coolant in your car offers protection up to a temperature of -25 ° C. The cleaning and storage capacity of the fluid decreases over time, therefore it is advisable to replace the refrigerant every three years. Replace it before storing your car for the winter, thus ensuring protection even at low temperatures.
7. Fuel tank
Any exposed metal can rust and this also applies to the fuel tank. Be sure to refuel your car before putting it away, so that your fuel tank is protected from rust.
After a season spent having fun driving your classic car, there will be some dirt in the engine oil that can cause rust in the engine itself. The engine oil should be replaced at least once a year for good lubrication. It is strongly recommended to change the oil before storing the car for the winter season. You can do it after the last car ride of the season, when the oil is warm enough to be changed.
It is preferable to remove the battery from the car when your jewel is kept safe in a dry and cold place, but it is also good to disconnect the battery. You can keep the battery in perfect condition by charging it during the winter with a maintenance charger. After fully charging the battery, let it drain a little before charging it again.
When you get your car back on the first sunny spring day, you definitely do not want to find yourself starting with rickety tires. Since the car has been stuck for a few months in the same position, the tires will probably have lost some air. So be sure to inflate them again up to a minimum pressure of 3 bar when you store your car. You can also place your car on trestles. This is the best thing for wheel bearings also because it disposes of pressure. Another option is to move your car a little bit.
With these tips, you can keep your classic car safely and keep it in optimal condition during the winter season. If you’re still looking for a vintage car, take a look at our classic car auction and our recent classic car auctions to find a selection of some of the best classics, vintage cult cars and others big icons on the market. You might even prefer to sell your vintage car rather than put it away this winter. In this case, register here to become a seller and offer your car today at auction.