“The cars we drive say a lot about us.” – Alexandra Paul
Yes, for those of us who own classic vehicles, we are well aware of this fact! The vehicle you drive really does say a lot about your character. As classic car owners, we know that cars don’t just “get old” with age, but instead they simply become a classic!
Now that we are in the colder months of the year though, now is the perfect time to review protecting your classic in the cold. Whether you’re looking for ideas to help with your classic car winter storage, or still looking to have some safe fun with your classic, we’ve got you covered!
Classic Car Winter Storage
For most of us, we don’t want to risk having our classics out in the cold winter months, which is why we wanted to give you some tips on proper classic car winter storage.Without the right preparation, storing it for the whole winter could cause some issues if you’re not careful. Not to worry, though! As classic car enthusiasts, we have the perfect solutions to making sure your classic car is in tip-top shape while you are storing it in the winter.
The first piece of advice that we have is to ensure that the body of your classic is protected. Before going into storage, your classic car should definitely get a thorough wash and waxing. Without this step, neglected salt or grime on the bottom of your vehicle can oxidize and eventually lead to rust, and we certainly don’t want that. After your car is clean, your best bet is to use an insulated garage to keep the vehicle covered, or at the very least use a cover if you don’t have the garage space available. Also, be sure to top off your gas tank before parking in the garage for the winter and add some fuel stabilizer when you do. After that, take it for a quick drive for the stabilizer to be mixed into the fuel lines for a few miles; this will help prevent the fuel from varnishing if left in the car too long over the winter.
The next step you’ll want to take is to remove the battery if need be. Some vehicles may not require it, but for other classics, the cold temperatures can turn into a serious problem for a battery – most particularly if your battery is as classic as your vehicle. If your car is being stored outside, the best thing to do is take the battery out and store it inside so that the cold temperatures won’t drain it. If you do keep your classic stored in an insulated garage, it’s still best to keep the battery charged with something like a trickle charger, because an older standard charger could cook the battery if you’re not careful.
Our next tip is to make sure that your vehicle is both rodent and moisture proof. This can be done by simply having a protected area for storage such as an insulated, rodent-proof garage. Although, if this isn’t an option for you, then you may want to consider some alternative solutions. To keep rodents out, you can set up baited traps in the car. To keep moisture out, we suggest leaving a window cracked open to let moisture escape if it’s trapped in your vehicle, otherwise it could condense on the cold car windows and damage the interior.
We have a couple more bits of advice that may help you along the way with your classic car winter storage. The first is to change your vehicle’s oil before putting it away for the winter (and the filter too!), this way stale oil has no risk of corroding the engine. Additionally, make sure the emergency brake isn’t left on, because otherwise you run the risk of the pads or shoes sticking to the brake rotors or drum. Additionally, it’s best to take care of your tires as well. To prevent flat spots in your tire, you can add an extra 10 psi to them for the winter, roll the car in and out of the storage space if you can, or our best solution is to simply elevate the vehicle on wooden blocks, that way the pressure is off the tires.
Enjoying your Classic in the Winter
If you’re feeling brave enough to take your classic car out during the cold months, we have a few tips to protect you on the road as well. Generally, we don’t advise to drive classic cars during the winter, but we understand that sometimes the urge to enjoy a joy ride is just too strong! While it’s important to avoid harsh conditions, icy roads, or salt that can damage the bottom of your vehicle, you can still have some fun with the right attention and care in the winter time with your classic.
Before you head out for a winter time drive, it’s very important to change out any worn seals, and check your car’s battery level before heading out. Additionally, if you’re going to consider driving during the winter time, it’s best to prep your vehicle with tires that have strong tread and are capable of handling wintry weather. Additionally, it’s best to spray the vehicle down with corrosion protection, to avoid any permanent corrosion based damage. When you are ready to tackle the road, it’s best to drive at slow speeds at first to help your vehicle warm up before giving it any serious gas. Last, but not least, if you plan to throw your classic back into storage after your joy ride is over, be sure to follow the steps we mentioned above on storage, and ensure that your car is nicely cleaned up after your trip.
While it’s best to have an attentive eye when it comes to taking care of your classic, it’s always even better to have the protection you need in case things were to take a turn for the worse. Even more importantly, your classic needs to be protected year round with the right coverage and policy, not just during the winter time. If you have any questions on your classic car coverage, or if you’re looking for a new quote for your classic, one of our professional agents can help you today! Get your classic protected by the people who know and love classics, here at Paradiso Insurance!