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How to Look After Your Classic Car

Classic car owners are always looking at ways to keep their vehicle safe from damage and looking as sparkling and gleaming as they possibly can (as well as ensuring it is running well).

At IPS Paint Supplies we often give advice and tips to classic car owners when it comes to the ongoing maintenance of their cherished vehicle and we’d like to share these with you, which you will find helpful if you are looking to invest in one for the first time.

Regular Checks

When you own a classic car, it’s important to carry out regular checks on important areas of the car (just like you would for your day-to-day vehicle).  This should include:

  • Checking fluids: One of the most important ways that you can protect your car is to monitor the levels of fluids in your car. Low fluids can cause damage to any type of car, but it can be especially damaging to older vehicles.
  • Change your oil: Keeping your motor running should be your top priority. Low oil levels or old oil can cause irreparable damage to your motor in a short amount of time. To prevent the damage from occurring, you’ll want to check oil regularly and change it out consistently.
  • Flushing the cooling system: Whether you have a classic car or a new one, the car’s cooling system should be flushed out at least once a year. Once you’ve flushed the old coolant from the car, replace it with half distilled water and half coolant. This mixture should prevent any deposits from building up that will stop the fluids from easily flowing through the cooling system and corrode it.
  • Look for Rust: Another problem that classic cars typically run into is rusting. To prevent this, you can apply lubricant to areas where the corrosion has occurred. Lubricants such as WD-40 are known to do a good job of stopping the spread of corrosive rust spots. As a preventative measure, you can also keep the car away from water.
  • Test the Brakes: Whenever you take your car out on the road, you’ll want to know that it’s safe to drive. Test your brakes regularly, listening for any noises that seem off and feeling if anything is different when you press down on them.

Keeping Your Classic Car Clean

The best way to protect your classic car is to keep it clean at all times. Unlike a regular car that needs to be washed every few weeks, an older vehicle that’s regularly driven needs to be washed at least once a week for the best protection. Classic cars will be more susceptible to damage from dirt and grime build-up, making it crucial to know how to clean them properly.

Here are our recommendations for cleaning your classic car:

  • Clean the Exterior: you should only ever handwash your classic car. Taking it to a car wash can damage the paint surface and not even clean it effectively. When you handwash your car, should use micro fibre cloths or a chamois sponge or cloth, along with a soft-bristled brush for hard to reach areas.
  • Washing your Car: While you’re washing it, you’ll also want to use a soap that’s specially designed for an older vehicle and that will not dull your paint job. After you’ve cleaned the car, rinse it off and dry it with a soft towel. If you drive your classic car regularly, you should also hose down the undercarriage. By hosing it down every time you finish driving the vehicle, you’ll wash off the dirt and salt kicked up from the road that would otherwise corrode the untreated metal surfaces under your car. Another commonly forgotten area is the wheel wells. To keep your car running for as long as possible, you should  wash the wheel wells out consistently.
  • Waxing your Car: One of the best ways to keep your car clean and protected while you drive is to make sure a surface of wax has been applied. Before you take your car on the road, the car should be cleaned, polished and waxed as by waxing it, you’ll ensure that the car is totally protected from anything the weather throws at it.   If you don’t drive your car regularly, you should still reapply wax every few months to keep the weather, dirt and grime from harming it over time.
  • Cleaning the Interior: When you clean your car’s interior, you should make sure you’re using the right cleaners for the material of the interior. For example, vacuum a vinyl or leather surface with an upholstery attachment to prevent any damage to the material. Check the interior for fabric, vinyl, leather and plastic surfaces, among others, to make sure that you have the appropriate cleaners for each of them to avoid any damage. Dust off all interior areas with microfibre cloth. You should also vacuum the floors and mats to get rid of any dirt as a dirty floor is more likely to retain any dampness which can go under the floor and cause rusting.
  • Protecting the Interior: A good way to protect the interior of your vehicle will be to use UV blocking creams designed for leather or vinyl treatments.  The treatment you use will depend on the material used on the interior of the vehicle. Whenever you look to clean your seats or remove a stain, always do your research on what foam or cleaner will work best on it.

Find the Right Storage Space

An important part of car maintenance is making sure that you have it parked or stored in the right place. Classic car owners who know how to take care of their car will make finding a good storage space a priority. A high-quality storage place will protect the vehicle from the weather and stop corrosion on key parts of the vehicle.

A good storage place will not have a gravel or dirt floor, as this kind of flooring will increase the chance that moisture gets into the car and damage it. Flooring should also have good drainage, with common surfaces including concrete or asphalt. Additionally, a good storage place will keep your vehicle out of the sun while also storing at a consistent temperature that never reaches freezing.

IPS Paint Supplies

We trust these classic car maintenance tips help to keep your vehicle in good working and looking great too.

To find out more about IPS Valeting Products which are suitable for classic cars click here or you can call a member of our team today on the number below: