Hance’s European gives a guide to classic car storage and maintenance.
Taking care of a classic car has a whole set of other challenges that you wouldn’t have with a brand new car. Because of the age and condition of various components, classic European cars require a lot more TLC to maintain their vintage appeal and avoid rusting. But all this maintenance is par for the course, and if you’re a classic car owner, you don’t mind at all!
Here are some helpful tips on how to store your classic car in order to preserve its condition and limit corrosion.
Before a New Season of Driving
Once the warmer weather approaches, you have to get your car prepped for a new season of driving. Here’s what to do:
- Wax Your Car – Before heading out, clean, polish and wax the vehicle to protect the paint job. You should reapply wax every few months to guard against grime, dirt and weather, says Car and Driver.
- Service Your Car– From brake pads to tire pressure, have your classic car thoroughly serviced prior to driving season. Now you can drive with confidence!
- Keep Your Car Clean – After each drive, hose down the undercarriage, which is where dirt and salt can accumulate and eat away at the untreated metal surfaces.
- Recharge the Car’s Battery – Old car batteries can lose power when the car hasn’t been used in a while. Manually charge the battery with a 12V battery charger.
How to Store a Classic Car
Once the nice weather is winding down and you’re ready to store your classic car for a few months, you’ll have to do it properly or else risk damage in the form of rust and pest infestation. Damage of any kind can affect how your classic car looks and performs, and can detract from its lifespan.
Choose the Right Location
The storage location matters. Make sure the area you choose offers enough protection from the weather, temperatures, and moisture, while offering the highest levels of security.
Let’s go over some common places where people keep their classic cars in the off-season, as well as provide tips on how best to store your car.
- Brick Garage: Whether attached to your home or as a standalone unit, brick buildings are the best choice. They can maintain stable temperatures within moisture-free environments to guard against condensation.
- Concrete or Wooden Units: These also offer good protection but wood structures such as sheds or barns aren’t the most secure or stable against the weather long-term.
- Outdoors: If you have no other choice but to store your car outside, there are ways to protect it. Buy a car cover designed for your exact type of classic car. This will protect it from sunlight, bird droppings, tree sap and moisture. To protect the tires, lift the car off the ground, putting it on bricks or blocks.
Open the Windows For Circulation
To prevent the accumulation of odors over the next several weeks, roll the windows down to allow fresh air to circulate. But opening windows means mice and other rodents have an easy way in. Don’t leave crumbs out that can attract them. If you have a convertible with a top, leave the top up in storage to maintain its shape. If you leave it down, it could shrink.
Disconnect the Battery
Preserve the charge by disconnecting the battery. Even just sitting there, your battery could lose juice. Or, if you prefer, you can start up the engine every few weeks and run it for 15 minutes.
Keep it Out of Direct Sunlight
Cover your car to protect the paintwork from direct sun. This will prevent it from fading.
Check Fluid Levels Regularly
Check all fluids regularly, including the oil, coolant/antifreeze, transmission fluid, and brake fluid.
Treat Rust Spots With Lubricant
If you see minor rust spots, apply a quality lubricant regularly to the area to prevent the growth of rust or at least slow its progression.
Maintaining, cleaning and storing your classic car is a labor of love for many owners. We are here to help, offering service on all kinds of European classic vehicles.
Contact Hance’s European
To ensure your classic Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar or Volkswagen is road-ready this spring and summer, schedule your appointment by calling us at (214) 800-4571 or making an appointment online. Remember, regular maintenance is vital for your classic European automobile!