If you’ve invested money into a beautiful vintage car, protecting it involves more than just cleaning and waxing it (although there is a lot of that!).
Owners also need to regularly check whether everything is in good condition, change out the fluids, and most importantly, take it for drives.
Here are 7 tips to protect your vintage car.
#1 Get it Checked Regularly
Even if you take great pleasure in tinkering under the hood yourself, it’s a good idea to get your vintage car checked regularly.
This helps your vehicle stay in great shape throughout its life and ensures that you don’t overlook any serious problems that can quickly spiral out of control.
On top of that, mechanics are also well-versed in obtaining spare parts and fixes for your car at the best prices – which is worth the extra cost alone.
#2 Get it Insured
It goes without saying that having your vintage car covered by insurance is by far the most important step towards protecting it.
With specialized providers like NRMA Car Insurance, your vintage car will be covered for any damages caused in an accident, as well as theft, storm damage, fires, and floods.
#3 Change the Oil
Even if you haven’t driven your vintage car in a while, it’s important to regularly change the oil. You may think that because you’re not racking up a lot of miles with your vintage car, the oil inside isn’t degrading as much as it would inside a regular vehicle.
But oil also degrades over time, so your vintage car will need an oil change long before the odometer lets you know it’s due.
It’s recommended to change it in the spring as you’re getting ready to take it out, and again after you’ve put it back in storage for the winter.
#4 Clean and Wax it Frequently
Cleaning your vintage car regularly is an essential step to help maintain its beautiful finish. Handwashing ensures that you wipe off any grime, salt build-up, and other things that could cause permanent damage to your car’s exterior.
After washing, a good waxing will not only make the car shine, but it adds a protective layer between the elements and the sublime finish.
This is an especially important point for owners who live near the ocean, as the salty air rusts a car very quickly.
#5 Take it for Drives
Probably the best thing you can do for your vintage car is simply to drive it. Don’t become so overprotective of your car that you never take it out for a spin – it’s both good for the car’s condition, and arguably the best part about owning a vintage car.
Longer trips that get the fluids and the engine nicely warmed up are a big part of keeping your car in tip-top shape, ensuring that it doesn’t breakdown while you’re out and about.
#6 Don’t Drive it in the Rain
Some owners might consider this tip overly cautious, but prolonged exposure to moisture can cause rust and corrosion.
Even if it has recently rained and the roads are wet, driving through puddles can cause small problems that might add up in the long run. Best to save your drives for those cool, clear, and sunny days to be safe.
#7 Store it Properly
How and where you store your vintage car is another big factor to consider when looking at ways to protect your vehicle. Inside a garage is best, where it’s protected from the elements.
Wind can often blow objects into your car, while rain causes rust, and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause the color to fade and damage to the tires.
On top of that, a proper car cover will help protect it even further if you or your family must move things around in the garage where it’s stored.
#8 Invest in a Trickle Charger
A trickle charger is a small device that attaches to the car battery, slowly feeding it power as your car is in storage.
It’s the perfect option to ensure that your car is ready to go whenever you feel the urge to take it out for a spin, without finding out that the battery is dead and needs a charge.
They’re cheap, help to extend the life of your battery, and are also very easy to set up and use.