It’s been like this all winter. For the past three or four months, you’ve been shoveling snow, scraping windows, and huddling under blankets to stay warm. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, you know what that means: it’s time to rev up your classic vehicle!
How to Ready Your Car for Spring
First and foremost, before you sprint out to the garage and yank the car cover off of your car, you must pause and formulate a game plan. Several considerations must be taken into consideration before you turn the key in the ignition. Are those activities on a list of things to do that were recommended a while back? If you need a refresher, you can find it here.
Allow us to go through the list and get ready to wake up your classic now that you’ve remembered what you did when you put it away in the first place.
Examine the cover for signs of wear such as holes, tears, or wet areas. These could be indicators that you may be experiencing issues beneath the cover. After removing the cover, inspect the exposed areas for signs of insect or vermin infestation. Keep an eye out for things like chewed-up rubber seals, insect tracks in any dust that managed to make it through the cover, and other such things.
Remove the air sponges and the rat repellent that we recommended from the cabinet. In the meantime, check on your leather seats, if you have any, and apply another dose of leather conditioner to soften them up once more while you finish prepping the rest of the car. Don’t forget to pick up the boxes of baking soda as well; if you accidentally tip one over, you’ll pay for it later on.
Check for leaks under the car’s chassis. Don’t forget about the list we told you to make of all the spots where you taped, covered, or plugged things in. Now is the moment to make sure you have everything you need. Remove all of the plugs and other fittings if you want to. Press down on the brake pedal to build pressure and ensure that the pads have not been seized up. You can also take advantage of this time to inspect the hoses and pipes for leakage. Change the oil because there may have been some collection of water in the oil throughout the vehicle’s storage duration. Start the car and let it idle for a few minutes while checking for any new leaks after the battery has been recharged and reinstalled/hooked back up. Driving around the block gently will loosen up your drivetrain and allow the gear oil and transmission fluid to circulate more freely.
Depending on which school of thought you subscribe to, you may or may not be required to fill the tank with high-octane fuel. It may not be a bad idea to replace your fuel filter after a few hundred miles of driving. Some silt may have accumulated at the bottom of the tank and been scooped up by the fuel pump as a result of the car being idle for an extended period.
By this point, your classic should be up to operating temperature and ready to go. Park your automobile on a clear patch of pavement and look under the vehicle for leaks.