Autumn has fallen suddenly and is now rushing into winter with indecent haste and with it the wellbeing of our classic cars alongside the will to do anything on a cold garage floor. But there are a few things that classic car fans should be thinking about.
I’m sure that many of us put our cars into total hibernation until the arrival of spring, but I’m going to suggest the unthinkable. Don’t leave it sitting there for six months. Use it, frequently if at all possible. Yes, avoid the rain, ice, snow and the dreaded molasses-laced salt, but if the weather is crisp and dry, take the car for a good spin.
It’s a great way to gauge a car’s true condition, as a failed heater may be indicative of cylinder head problems. Feeble heaters may also be a sign of a failed thermostat and while we’re on the cooling system, just how long has it been since your cars coolant was completely changed and the hoses thoroughly checked?
Using a car during the dark months can also be a great time to experiment with upgraded lighting systems, from bulbs, to a complete change of charging system.
Let’s not forget that a static car’s tyres are very likely to develop flat spots and these can cause weaknesses in the tyres themselves, not to mention a rather uncomfortable ride. Keeping tyres in use preserves their shape.
Mechanical components and seals, devoid of lubricant for six months can corrode or dry up, causing headaches when it comes to using the car, come springtime. Just starting and running the engine for a few minutes is no substitute for a decent length journey.
There, I’ve convinced myself and hopefully you, too. Using a classic car all year round is the course of action to take and should do our hobby a favour.
After all, our cars aren’t simply a bunch of old-English white elephants.