Cars are meant to be driven. When you don’t drive your car for a long time, many of the parts start to break down from lack of use. The battery, rubber hoses, fuel lines, motor seals, bearings, and tires won’t function properly without regular use and scheduled maintenance. Without your watchful eye the exterior and interior can break down without your knowledge. Scheduled maintenance is thousands of dollars less than a full restoration. You can still enjoy your vintage car if you go through this step by step process.
I have a classic car that has been parked for many years. I just want to drive it again, what can I do?
Run It When It’s In Storage
You can keep your entire car fresh and ready for a cruise by running it periodically. It’s a common misconception to think starting your stored car a few minutes a week will do the trick. If you want to preserve and maintain your classic car, you need to drive somewhere between 10 and 15 miles every month. This gives all of the fluids and moving parts enough time to warm up and start operating again.
Bumper to Bumper Service Check
Auto repair shops offer a wide range of services for a fraction of the cost of a full restoration. They’ll service the brakes, fuel system, carb, the engine, ignition and much more, leaving you with less work and no stress. If you’re not sure where to start on your own and don’t want to break the bank, an inspection or individual service could help speed up the process to driving your old car.
Your car looks to be in good shape but has been in storage for a few years. An at-home inspection is the first step to starting your classic car. Begin with a visual inspection. Can you see anything out of place? Are there fluids leaking or wires hanging from rodent damage? How old is the gasoline in the tank? Continue to check under the hood, the chassis, and interior. If you notice any issues, it’s important to make an appointment with a repair shop before it gets worse. It’s recommended that you get your car inspected by a professional that specializes in classic cars, just in case you missed anything.
Typical Car Maintenance
Your visual check didn’t show any red flags. Before you turn the key, go through your typical maintenance. Inspect the fluid levels, fill up or replace the gas, check the air pressure in the tires, and charge the battery. After your basic maintenance is completed, it’s time to start your car. Allow the motor to run for 20 minutes so the fluids get to operating temperature. Check for any fluid leaks before you begin your test drive.
Before pulling onto a roadway, make sure your brakes work properly with the car in drive. Start driving slowly and gradually increase your speed. Take a test drive that’s 5-10 miles. Return home and make sure nothing has changed from your initial inspection. Go through the visual inspection, check your general maintenance points, and inspect for leaks. If everything seems fine, congratulations, your classic car is in good shape!
Remember, a smart classic car owner will always keep up with the proper maintenance when storing their vehicle. It will save you thousands of dollars and keep the tow trucks away.