Waking Up Your Classic
It has been all winter. You’ve spent the last three or four months shoveling snow, scraping windows, and huddled under blankets. Now the weather is warming up, and you know what that means; yes, it’s time to wake up your classic!
Now, before you dash out to the garage and throw the cover off of your car, you need to stop and get a game plan. There are several things you need to take into account before you turn that key. Remember that list of things we recommended awhile back? If not, click here to get a refresher.
Okay, now that you remember what you did when you put your classic away, let’s go through the list and get ready to wake it up.
Look over the cover for holes, tears, or wet spots. These could indicate that you may have some problems under the cover. After pulling the cover off, check those spots for insect or vermin issues. Look for chewed up rubber seals, insect tracks in any dust that made it through the cover, and such.
Pull the air sponges out, along with the rodent repellent we recommended. Take a look at your leather seats, if you have them, and apply another dose of leather conditioner to soften them up again while you prep the rest of the car. Don’t forget the pick up the boxes of baking soda as well; if you tip one over you’ll regret it.
Check under the car for leaks. Remember that list we told you to make of all the places you taped/covered/plugged? Now is the time to have that on hand. Go ahead and pull off all the plugs and such. Pump the brake pedal to build pressure and make sure the pads haven’t seized. You can also use this time to check for leaks in the hoses or lines. Change the oil, as over the time in storage there may have been some accumulation of water. After the battery is charged up and re-installed/hooked back up, start the car and let it idle while checking for any new leaks. Take it around the block, slowly, to loosen up the drivetrain and circulate the gear oil and transmission fluid.
Depending on what school of thought you adhere to, you may need to fill the tank up with a high octane fuel, or you may not. After driving for a bit, it may not hurt to change your fuel filter(s). Since the vehicle has been sitting for a while, some sediment may have settled to the bottom of the tank and been picked up by the fuel pump.
By now, your classic should be up to operating temperature. Park on a clean spot of pavement and inspect under the car for leaks. (Notice a pattern here?)
Lastly, wash it up, make it shiny, and go hit some poker runs!