Most classic car owners know that their beloved vehicles don’t do very well in the winter months. Here in the UK we’ve had a pretty mild end to the year but the weather is no doubt going to get worse especially as we head into the New Year.
With that in mind, if you’re planning on tucking your bundle of automotive joy away ready for the harsh weather arriving, here are a few tips for storing your classic car.
Give it a thorough clean
You don’t want to come back to your classic car in a few months to find the paintwork has dulled and deteriorated whilst in storage. Grime such as bird poo, mud from the road and any dead flies can be acidic and over time, can chip away at the paint or chromework. By giving your car a thorough wash, polish and wax, you can help prevent any type of corrosion from setting in. Be sure to get in those hard to reach areas too. Dirt and moisture that is tucked away in little crevices can do serious long-term damage.
Pay attention to the wheels
Because car wheels and tyres are designed to move, they can require a little extra attention during periods of inactivity. For the truly dedicated, it can be a good idea to remove and clean each wheel nut, then add a small amount of anti-seize grease on the threads to reduce the risk of them seizing into place. Pumping the tyres up an extra 10 PSI can also protect them whilst they’re not being used, but just make sure you drop the pressure again before you go out for a drive.
It’s important to check for any trapped water as moisture can be a real killer! A known trick is to get a hairdryer and dry under the bonnet, inside the boots and in those hard to reach areas again. Keep your soft top up if you have one as folding it away can encourage mould to grow.
If you wash your brake discs they must be dried as leaving them damp can cause the pads to stick to the disc and lock together. After washing just take your car out for a short run around to dry them off.
Once you’re sure your car is dry you need to pay attention to where it’s going to be stored. High quantities of humidity in the air can lead to corrosion in the engine. It helps if your garage or storage space has got good airflow, but if not use a dehumidifier to get the humidity down to about 45%.
Don’t forget the wipers
The wipers are something that most people might not give a second thought to, however there is a risk of the rubber building up a connection with the glass if they’re left sitting for too long which can destroy the rubber. Either lift them off the glass or put newspaper in between the wipers and the glass.
Invest in a quality car cover
The type of car cover you get will be dependent on where you’re storing your car. If it’s in an unheated garage you should opt for a semi-tailored breathable cover, whereas if it’s heated, a full-tailored cover is better. If your car is going to be stored outdoors a good-fitting semi-tailored car cover with a soft inner lining so that it won’t mark the car if it does flap about when it gets windy.
Even though you’re not using your vehicle, you’ll still need to have classic car insurance If you’re going to be taking your vehicle of the road for an extended period of time you will need to declare it SORN.