For most car enthusiasts, owning a vintage car is a dream come true. Classic cars have an elegant and unique level of craftsmanship that is not seen in modern cars today. For a classic car owner, the vehicle is more than simply just another car, it is a piece of iconic history that they get to see and interact with on a daily basis. This is also the reason why many owners will go to great lengths to ensure that their classic car stays in pristine condition.
If you own a classic car, here are a few tips that you can use to ensure that your prized possession is looking and driving like new for many years to come.
1. Keep it Clean
It is important to clean the exterior of the car often. This is especially true if you live in an area that has frequent ice and snow on the roadways. For these places, there are usually salt or other ice treatments that are placed on the road. Salt can damage the paint on your car and can even cause the metal to corrode.
When cleaning the exterior, you want to make sure that you are using a soap that is specifically designed for automotive use. Using dish soap or other harsh soaps can strip the wax off of the car and damage the paint. You also need to use a soft rag or smooth sponge to clean the exterior. And then apply another layer of wax after you have completely washed and dried the car.
Ensuring that the inside of the car is clean is also very important. The interior may look clean at first glance, but unless you detail the interior on a regular basis, you could cause damage to certain components of the car. Just because there is no obvious trash or debris in your car, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is clean. Over time, dust and grime can collect in the crevices and cause damage to the certain components like the instrument cluster, or upholstery. In order to keep the interior in top condition, it is recommended that you wipe down and vacuum the interior regularly, even if you do not drive it on a daily basis.
2. Maintenance Your Car Regularly
It is crucial that your car has regular oil changes. If your car does not have enough oil or the oil is old, it will not be able to properly lubricate all of the components in your engine, which could lead to engine failure.
In addition to regular oil changes, you also need to make sure that the car has plenty of fluid. Most engines use a water coolant system. So, if your car runs out of water, it could cause the engine to overheat, and other components to not work properly.
3. Drive Your Car Regularly
Some classic car owners only like to take their cars out on special occasions. We understand why some owners may be hesitant to take their cars out on the road. After all, if a car is parked, it is less likely to be damaged. However, all cars were made to be driven. If a car sits still for too long, it could actually cause damage to some of the components.
You don’t need to drive your car every day, but you should drive it at least once a month. Make sure that it is able to get out on the road on a regular basis. If you are only taking it out once a month, try to drive it for at least 20 to 30 minutes each time. This will help ensure that all of the gears get a good workout and that the gasoline and other fluids are getting circulated through the engine and all of the injectors.
4. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Keeping your car parked outside can cause a lot of damage to the exterior. Extreme cold can cause a wide range of mechanical problems. Also, if you live in a humid area, you need to try to keep the car parked in a dry area to help prevent moisture from setting up in the car, which can eventually produce rust. Another problem that car owners face is the damaging effects of the sun. The sun can cause the paint on the exterior and the upholstery on the interior to fade over time.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t drive your car on cold or sunny days. In fact, your car should be fine as long as it is running and moving. But it does mean that you shouldn’t leave your classic car parked outside in your driveway. If possible, always keep your car in a garage. If you do not have a garage, you can use a tarp to protect it from the sun, but take extra caution when placing the tarp on your car and taking it off. Even though the tart may look soft, it can actually scratch the paint pretty easily.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Get it Looked At
Nobody knows your car better than you. If you feel that your car is driving funny, or you hear any strange noises coming from the engine, do not hesitate to have a trusted mechanic take a look. Even if you feel that the problem may be minor; fixing a minor problem soon can prevent a major problem from occurring. If you are not close to a mechanic’s shop when you start to notice a problem, you should probably have your car safely towed to prevent any damage.
6. Avoid Modifications
While adding modifications or after-market parts may not actually cause any damage to your vehicle, it could cause the value of the car to decrease. One of the things that many classic car owners find so appealing about a vintage car is their resale value. However, if the classic car does not have any original parts, or has been modified to the point that it doesn’t really look the same as it did when it was first manufactured, you may have a hard time selling it in the future.
Owning a classic car can be a very rewarding experience. Because classic cars have such a simplistic design, they do not require a lot of work to keep them maintained. Unlike modern cars, there isn’t really any high-tech components to change out or replace, which helps to cut down on maintenance cost. By following these simple steps listed above, you will be able to enjoy your car for many years to come.