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14 Steps to Care for your Classic Car in Winter

Winter, cold, ice, snow, christmas, dressing warm - it's not all bad - But it's also not great for your classic car

The swing in temperatures can wreak havoc on an olders cars systems - filling your washer bottle or cooling systems with the wrong fluids - ie water - can lead to problems down the line - so how do you correctly Winterise your car for the winter months?

Winterizing a classic car is essential to protect it from the harsh conditions of winter and ensure that it remains in good condition. Here are the steps you can take to safely winterize your classic car:

  1. Clean and Detail: Start by thoroughly cleaning and detailing the car. This includes washing, waxing, and polishing the exterior. Clean the interior as well. Make sure the car is completely dry before moving on to the next steps.

  2. Change the Oil: Change the engine oil and filter. Fresh oil will help prevent corrosion during the winter months.

  3. Check Coolant and Antifreeze: Ensure the coolant and antifreeze levels are appropriate for winter conditions. Use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water to prevent freezing.

  4. Inspect the Battery: If you won't be driving the car during the winter, it's a good idea to remove the battery and store it in a warm, dry place. Alternatively, you can use a battery maintainer to keep it charged.

  5. Fill Up the Gas Tank: Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer. This helps prevent fuel from deteriorating and keeps the fuel system clean.

  6. Tire Maintenance: Over Inflate the tires slightly to prevent flat-spotting, but don't exceed the recommended tire pressure. You can also put the car on jack stands to relieve pressure on the tires.

  7. Protect the Paint: Consider using a car cover to protect the exterior from snow, ice, and road salt. Make sure the cover is breathable to prevent moisture buildup.

  8. Interior Protection: To prevent mold and mildew, place desiccant packs or moisture absorbers inside the car. You can also leave windows cracked slightly to allow for ventilation.

  9. Rodent Prevention: Place mothballs or rodent repellent inside the car to deter pests from nesting in your classic car during the winter.

  10. Exhaust and Tailpipe: Plug the exhaust pipe with steel wool or a dedicated exhaust plug to prevent rodents from entering.

  11. Store in a Safe Place: Ideally, store your classic car in a climate-controlled garage. If that's not possible, choose a dry, well-ventilated storage space and consider using a vapor barrier or plastic sheeting on the floor to prevent moisture from rising.

  12. Regular Checkups: Periodically check on your classic car during the winter to ensure everything is in good condition.

  13. Insurance: Don't forget to maintain insurance coverage for your classic car even when it's in storage.

  14. Regular Startup - to maintain all your systems it is advisable to regularly start your car - let it warm up slowly and remember to ensure that you have good ventilation if you are are indoors, next, wait for it to cool down before covering it up again, then head back in and organise the next car show in spring - and if you looked after your trusty steed - it will be ready for you when required.

Remember that the specific steps may vary depending on the make and model of your classic car and the severity of the winter in your area. It's a good idea to consult your car's owner's manual and possibly seek advice from a professional mechanic or car enthusiast with experience in winterizing classic cars.

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