12 Tips Every Canadian Classic Car Owner Needs to Know!
Drivers who own classic cars know the many joys they can bring. There is no better feeling in the world than a cruise in the mountains or down 17th Avenue in Calgary on a gorgeous day, but many of these gorgeous antique cars and trucks require special maintenance because they are not driven on a regular basis. We here at Dale Adams Automotive are experts in classic automobiles and we are always here for all your classic car needs.
Here are a few maintenance items you need to know about to keep your classic vehicle running smooth:
- Run the car: use it at least once a month. The number one issue with old cars is they’re not used regularly. Drive it, put the car through its paces. Turn the wheels and the gears and engage the tires. What damages cars is sitting still: all of those seals and rubber components dry up if they’re not used. Then leaks develop. You can slow down the aging process of a car by just using it at least once a month, ideally twice. Get it up and hot for at least a half hour. That will blow out any dampness and condensation and will be the single best thing you can do other than have oil and water in it.
- Wash your car regularly. Experts recommend that classic cars be washed and waxed once a month in order to keep up appearances. Remember to wash and rinse the undercarriage, especially when it comes to classic pickup trucks. Road debris can lead to issues with rust and corrosion.
- Don’t forget to lubricate your drivelines. Most classic cars feature driveline components that should be lubricated every 2-3 months. This includes all grease fittings and u-joints.
- Coolant flushes are equally important. Once a year, you should flush out the cooling system of any antique cars and trucks you own. Doing so prevents corrosion within the cooling system. Most classics will require a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and antifreeze.
- Classic cars require annual bleeding and replacing of brake fluid. Brake fluid is required in order for your car to maintain its stopping power. Brake fluid has a tendency to collect moisture. If it collects too much, brake failure will occur.
- Check your oil levels before each drive. Unless you are driving your vehicle on a daily basis, you will need to check the oil prior to each drive you take. If your classic car develops a leak, it can result in some expensive engine repairs.
- Do not to store the car on dirt or gravel, because that’ll allow moisture into the car from underneath and accelerate the degradation of the car.
- Keep the car stored out of direct sunlight. The sun ages a car really fast, especially the paint. And it will bake the interior, causing the fabrics to change color, and the vinyl and plastics to become brittle and break. The sun, especially in Calgary, is hard on a car. Our Vancouver friends don’t have to worry as much about sun.
- Though sometimes tough in Alberta, avoid storing the car in extreme cold. It will bring in moisture that will rust the car, and the locks will get damp and freeze. Wipers will freeze to the windshield, too. Running the car will help prevent this, as will keeping it in a good garage. Use a soft broom to clean snow off of your car.
- Wax it as much as you can. Detailers can revive the paint, but if your paint is in good condition all you need to do after you wash is dry and add a good wax.
- For the those who drive their classic car once a month or less, here's an easy way to keep your tires from flat-spotting. Every couple of weeks, put the transmission in neutral and roll the car a forward (or backward) a foot or two. Doing this on a regular basis will keep also keep your brake calipers from developing problems.
- Spraying shiny dressing compounds on your sidewalls is not recommended by tire manufacturers. Many tire and wheel cleaners contain harsh acids, alkalis and/or detergents that can damage wheels and paint. Initial cleaning should be done with a brush and soapy water. Use non-petroleum based products that are safe for tires as well as environmentally friendly.
If you follow these tips and come see us for regular maintenance or needed restoration and upgrades we promise you that even in Alberta you can maintain a beautiful classic car. We know you love your classic cars like we do. Only trust your car to experts like us here at Dale Adams.
Now get out there and enjoy the road!