When the leaves start to fall and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air, it's time for your classic car to go into hibernation.
The icy roads, freezing temperatures, hail, and snow that winter brings are enough to drive any of us to stay indoors. But adverse weather conditions could prove disastrous for a classic car's bodywork, while vintage cars often lack the necessary tire traction and safety measures for driving in winter.
Of course, there's more to cold-weather classic car protection than parking it in the garage and hoping for the best. As any good classic car insurance company will tell you, your vehicle needs the full winterization treatment to keep it safe until spring.
So, what steps should you take to protect classic cars during winter? Keep reading to find out!
Where Should You Store Your Classic Vehicle For Winter?
While your garage at home might not have the special features of classic car garages, such as climate control and dust filtering, it'll be fine for storing your classic vehicle during the winter. Although, a garage with a concrete floor is better for helping to prevent moisture from building up on the underside of the car.
If you don't have a garage to work with, a carport is the next best thing as the overhead cover will offer your classic car protection from direct sunlight. A hard concrete or asphalt surface beneath your car is preferable to grass or dirt to avoid the accumulation of moisture. That said, you can always place a tarp underneath your car to serve as a barrier against moisture.
Preparing Your Classic Car for Storage
Keeping your classic car safe and protected for the winter can take time. But all your effort will be worth it once the snow melts and you can take it out for a spin again. Follow these steps to make sure your classic car is looking as good as new for next spring:
Step 1: Clean and Wax
Before you even think about putting your classic car in its chosen hibernation spot, you'll need to wash, wax, and polish it. This helps prevent tarnishing and corrosion to the bodywork, as well as stopping any undetected grit from scratching your car when you put the cover in place.
Clean your wheels and tires too, and apply a protective spray to any metal detailing to help prevent rust. Remember to clean the interior as well as the exterior. Vacuum the carpets and seats to get rid of any dust and dirt. And remove anything edible from the trunk, glove box, and door pockets as opened snacks and crumbs can attract pests.
Step 2: Fill Her Up
Once your classic car is gleaming inside and out, it's time to fill it up with premium fuel. A full gas tank stops the interior walls from being exposed to air. This, in turn, helps to prevent rust.
As well as gas, remember to add a fuel stabilizer. This prevents the evaporation that can then also lead to corrosion, despite your best intentions to fill the tank up. What's more, without a stabilizer, fuel can deteriorate and jam your carburetor, which then often makes it difficult to start once you want to use it again. After you add the stabilizer, running the engine for a couple of minutes will ensure that it's distributed throughout the car's system.
Step 3: All Change
As well as topping up the gas, you'll need to change your vehicle's other fluids. Change the oil, add antifreeze to your car's cooling system, and replace the brake and transmission fluids to prevent corrosion.
Step 4: Unplug
During the winter months, you should connect your classic car battery to a battery tender. This helps keep it charged until it's time to cruise again. If you don't have a battery tender, disconnect the battery and store it in a separate location to prevent drain.
Step 5: Keep It Dry
Moisture and humidity can wreak havoc on your car's interior, resulting in mold and staining on your carpets and upholstery. Luckily, placing a few boxes of baking soda throughout your car's interior can help absorb excess moisture and prevent this from happening.
Step 6: Jack It Up
Disengage your parking brake to prevent rusting and to avoid it getting stuck when the temperatures drop. With that done, it's time to jack up your vehicle onto a good set of jack stands. Although jacking up your classic car is less essential if you're using modern radial tires, it can still be helpful in avoiding putting strain on your tires and creating flat spots and misshaping.
Step 7: Cover Your Car
Before you tuck your car in for the winter, make sure that you plug your exhaust tip and any other open areas. This stops pests and wildlife from getting inside your vehicle and causing damage.
You can then cover your vintage vehicle with a non-plastic high-quality classic car cover. Although some classic car enthusiasts swear by bubble covers and vacuum-sealed storage wrapping, most drivers find that a good, breathable cover is all they need for optimal classic car protection.
Classic Car Protection for the Winter
A special car deserves a specialty car insurance policy that understands what it takes to own and care for such a unique vehicle.
Even the process of preparing your classic car for a safe and secure hibernation period is a lot more complex than many regular car owners - and regular insurance companies - realize. But, with these tips to guide you and the right antique car insurance policy to protect you once your car does come out of hibernation, you can be sure of a safe, smooth ride come spring.
Looking for more information about classic car insurance? Feel free to contact us today!