older man driving a red vintage carYou’ve put in the investment for a classic car, in terms of time and labor costs. Once your ride is in the garage, what’s the best way to maintain it? Unlike your regular vehicle, this one likely won’t be driven as often. However, that doesn’t mean you should not add oil or think about where you store the vehicle. With this in mind, what should you know about classic car maintenance?

The Fluids

Regardless of model year or frequency of use, a car without fluids won’t run. Even if you only drive it to car shows, you need to make sure the car is properly lubricated and cooled, so parts and systems function properly and the vehicle doesn’t overheat. As a baseline, always check the gauges and add oil, water and brake fluids when needed.

Give it a Drive

While you may not drive your classic car to work every day, you shouldn’t be leaving it in the garage all the time either. Many classic car experts recommend giving your vehicle the occasional drive – ideally, at least once a month for 30 minutes or more. This gets the gears and parts moving, prevents seals and rubber from drying or cracking and gets rid of condensation.

Think About Where You Store It

Where you keep your car is just as important as how you maintain it – if not more! What should you keep in mind?

  • Moisture: Keep the environment temperature controlled and avoid parking it over dirt or gravel, which could quickly rust the undercarriage.
  • Drainage: In line with preventing moisture buildup, water should never pool under your vehicle.
  • Sunlight: Never leave your classic car outdoors uncovered, as UV rays can rapidly damage the exterior. Soon enough, your car’s interior and rubber parts are cracked and the paint has faded.
  • Colder Temperatures: In winter, never allow snow to build up on your car. Also, the storage area shouldn’t be cold to the point your wipers freeze to the windshield.

Regular Maintenance

With classic cars, expect to put in more work than you would for a newer model. Whether you or our team at DaSilva’s does the work, make sure your car:

  • Is waxed regularly, which helps the paint maintain its appearance. Ideally, aim for once a month.
  • Is washed often, especially if you take it out in winter. Salt will quickly corrode the paint and metal components on an older car. Also be sure to touch on even the smallest spaces, including the wheel wells.
  • Gets vacuumed. For the interior, this removes any dirt from your carpet and helps get rid of dampness, which could result in rusting.
  • Gets interior detailing service. Particularly for leather and other upholstery, sun damage and stains show up quickly. As a solution, clean and condition the leather and have a UV blocker applied.

Get Classic Car Insurance

What would happen if you got into an accident on the way to a car show? Or if someone broke into your garage and damaged your classic vehicle? You can’t be too careful with your investment, so it’s always a good idea to take out insurance coverage. However, because of the risks and usage, classic car coverage is unlike your typical auto policy. Instead, you’ll have to shop around for specialty auto coverage, making sure that whatever policy you take out fits your usage and maintenance needs.
Are you fixing up a classic car and need to get on a maintenance schedule? For all upkeep and repairs, count on the experts at DaSilva’s Auto Body. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, give our Naugatuck location a call today.