Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Ownership of a restored classic car may be good for your soul, but it will be better for your pocketbook if you can maintain the condition of your car. Thankfully, with a little forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your baby purring long after you’ve paid it off.
Sleek paint jobs undergo a beating when you’re out on the road. While you’ll obviously want to avoid gravel roads, or driving through grass, also beware of low clearance areas where you’re likely to bottom out in either the front or back. Regularly wash your car and wheels (by hand!) with a mild soap and soft sponges and cloths. Be sure to check your tire pressure – something to do while you’re filling up your tank. Also, regularly rotate your tires and be sure your suspension is always in alignment to ensure even wear of both tires and your steering and suspension systems. One of the best things you can do to protect your car’s exterior is to store it out of the weather, ideally after securing garage doors. If a garage isn’t available, use canvas car covers.
While your car’s interior can often be overlooked, the long-term comfort and value of your car is based on how it looks inside. As with anything, prevention is the best cure – avoid tracking unnecessary dirt into your car, don’t eat in your car, and don’t place sharp objects on your seats. Be sure to wipe off your dash, radio, and gauge clusters using a microfiber cloth monthly and regularly shake out and vacuum floor mats. Again, storing the car out of the damaging sunlight will greatly extend the life of the console and upholstery. Make sure any cleaners you use are approved for your type of upholstery.
Finally, to keep yourself on the road without unexpected breakdown, be sure to regularly maintain your engine. Keep on top of regular repairs such as belt replacement, oil changes, and air and oil filter replacement. Use your original owners’ manual for guidelines as to the frequency of changes, or 3000 miles is a good recommendation to follow, even for older engines. Each time you hit the gas station, be sure to check your oil and fluid levels – including transmission fluid, power steering and windshield washer fluid. Some older engines don’t respond well to gasoline mixtures with ethanol. Respond to engine noises or other possible breakdowns promptly – your car will appreciate a visit to a reputable mechanic, one that specializes in classic cars is preferred.
With care, your rod should keep you roaring down the road in style for years to come.