The worst of winter seems to be over, and the time is almost here for you to roll your vintage car out of the garage and take her for the first drive of the season… if only it were that easy! Before you start following your heart and jump behind the wheel, it’s a good idea to follow your head and do some pre-driving maintenance to ensure you don’t damage your precious vehicle – or worse, endanger your life! Here at JD’s Auto Repair, we’ve compiled a list of critical checks that will guarantee you’re getting back on the road safely and responsibly.
Take your car out of winter storage
It goes without saying that you read our blog post about classic car winter care and preparation… right?! Well, if you did, it’s now time to reconnect and charge your battery, take her down off the jack stands, and put some air in those tires. Having kept your car in this condition will have minimized the harm that cold weather and long periods of inactivity can cause, leaving you with less to do and a lower risk of costly damage.
Full up on fluids
This is a perfect time to change the fluids, including the oil, water, brake fluid, power steering reservoir (if you have one), transmission oil, and coolant. It’s important to check and change these before you start the engine and get her rolling, because once the engine is ticking over, the engine fluids will start moving through the system, spreading any dirt and grime that’s accumulated over the long winter through the engine.
The four letter “F” word
FIRE! You’re probably not concerned about it too much and of course, if everyone’s car burst into flames every time it was started after a long winter, there probably wouldn’t be any classic cars left! But there is still a risk that issues such as split fuel lines, leaky bowls, or stuck floats could cause a fire. We recommend rolling your car well clear of the garage before starting the engine and having a working fire extinguisher to hand just in case! It would be a real shame if all the excitement of getting behind the wheel of your prized ride led to burning your garage and the rest of your house down!
Take a closer look at those tires
Once you’ve pumped the tires up and checked the pressure, make sure you do a close inspection for any dry rot, cracks, or unforeseen damage. Just because your tires don’t look worn, doesn’t mean they haven’t expired or degraded beyond a level that’s safe for driving. The last thing you want is a blowout at high speed because you forgot to check them!
It’s easy to overlook making springtime checks on your vintage car as the excitement that’s built up over the winter can be overwhelming, but if you want to keep safe and maintain your car’s condition, they’re a vital part of being a vintage car owner. Of course, if it all seems like too much work and you just want to get your car on the road asap, you can call in the experts at JD’s Auto Repair to put your car through a professional winter checkup and preparation! That way you can rest assured that your favorite vehicle is in the hands of those who know exactly what they’re doing!