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Facts about classic cars in winter and rust proofing

Posted by Rejel on

Classic cars and restoration are a big market for car collectors and enthusiasts wanting to own a bit of history. The love of  classic cars is about the sound they make, the driving experience and the wind in your hair – a sense of adventure beyond that of a modern car.

Popular classic cars include the Jaguar E-types, early Porsches, Ferrari’s, Rolls Royce and Triumph all of which deserve to be preserved. Restoration and maintenance is about enjoying a piece of history now and into the future.

Classic cars can be expensive particularly if you buy one that is on the ‘Most Popular’ list and one that has already been fully restored and rust proofed. They are not always extortionately priced. A rusty car that is no longer deemed functional can be bought at a good price provided you are prepared to take it on as a restoration project or have the budget to pay a professional to get the job done for you. A classic car that offers the easiest and cheapest restoration projection for someone new to the hobby is the Mazda MX-5. It is considered to be the best option (as discussed on many car related forums). They are considered reliable, relatively cheap to buy and insure compared to other classics. 

But whether you choose to buy new or old, classic cars need to be well maintained to risk damage and deterioration. With winter almost upon us, here are a few tips to winterize your' pride and joy'.

Winter classic car care

  • Protect your investment. It costs less in time and money to maintain a car than it does to repair it.
  • October is a good time to clean, polish and thoroughly dry your car before putting it away until the following Spring. 
  • When it comes to winter storage, the main concern is condensation build-up around your car. Unheated garages warm and cool with outside temperatures. Resulting condensation in and around your car can lead to corrosion on car parts. To avoid having to apply rust treatment, install a dehumidifier. The use of an electric fan will help to circulate the air around the car.
  • Pump up the tyres so they are fully inflated to avoid flat spots developing.
  • Put car in neutral and leave the hand brake down.
  • Bleed the brake system and replace fluids.
  • Disconnect the battery. 
  • Apply a good quality anti-freeze mixed with water to a minimum ratio of 30:70 or ideally 50:50 mix.
  • Store car on an full fuel tank to prevent condensation forming which could cause corrosion.
  • Remove the battery, wash it down and store it carefully on a shelf in a dry place.
  • Rust proof your car before storing with particular attention paid to under-sealing your car and applying a cavity wax into all hard-to-reach rust traps. 
  • Change all fluids: engine coolant, engine oil, hydraulic clutch and brake fluid.

These tips on classic car storage are not ones that in-cure any great expensive. But a step not to be missed is applying a good rust protection.

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