10 top tips for looking after your classic car during the winter

22 January 2020

Most classic car owners tend to put their beloved vehicles away for the winter months because they know that salt on the roads and moisture in the air can cause rust.

Storing your car without any winter car prep can also be risky, and there are a few things you should do before leaving it parked up in your garage for much of the year.

Here are ten of our top tips for looking after your classic car during the winter.

1. Service (and MOT) your car

Unless your classic car was built before 1979, you will still need to get an annual MOT. A top tip on looking after your car during the winter is to ensure you get your car serviced before the cold season begins.

2. Clean the exterior and interior

It’s also a good idea to clean both the interior and exterior of your car before putting it away for the winter. Not only will this keep your car looking at its best and remove corrosive dirt, but it takes away much of the work when you want to use your classic car again in the spring.

3. Keep the battery healthy

Your car battery should be a top priority, so make sure the connections are clean and it’s topped up with distilled water. It’s important to keep your battery healthy so that it starts after a long period of inactivity.

4. Run the engine regularly

Likewise, starting up your engine and keeping it running every once in a while is a vital way to look after your classic car during the winter. It ensures the battery is charged and moving parts don’t seize or clog up.

5. Don’t forget the antifreeze

Ensure that your engine coolant has the right amount of antifreeze for this time of year. Keep the levels of water and antifreeze at around 50/50 to ensure that your engine coolant is at the correct level to prevent any issues or expensive damage.

6. Keep on top of tyre maintenance

Even if you’re not planning on driving your classic car this winter, you should still keep an eye on your tyres. Look out for cracks in the sidewalls or uneven tread wear that could suggest the tyres will need replacement in the near future.

7. Keep it dry

Leaving a classic car standing in the snow, frost and rain is never ideal for maintaining bodywork, metallic features or alloy wheels so consider a garage or a bespoke storage unit for avoiding unnecessary and costly water damage.

8. Think windscreen cover

Consider a windscreen cover to protect it from overnight frost. Stone chips or small cracks can worsen with extreme temperature change or expansion of water as it becomes ice. A cover will mitigate this damage to avoid a total replacement being required - at least for now.

9. Scrape off frost and snow carefully

If your car does get exposed to frost, then you should use an ice scraper to carefully and safely remove any ice from the windows of your car if necessary. De-icer sprays can be corrosive to paintwork, especially on older vehicles so try to avoid this. Carefully brush off snow from exposed bodywork before it has a chance to harden into ice over the following days.

10. Consider classic car storage

As we know, classic cars can take a lot of time and effort to maintain efficiently, so consider classic car storage for the duration of the winter. For whatever reason, you might not feel you’re not up to the job - and that’s OK, there are people like us that would love to do all the hard work for you.

Wrapping up

Some of these tips will only take you a few minutes and ensure your classic car is in tip-top shape for enjoying it during the spring and summer months!

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