If you own a vintage or classic car, you’re probably a motor enthusiast. You’re probably in it for more than just the practicalities of your commute. You love the class and the history and the experience of driving one of the most beautiful cars on the road.
With this comes the responsibility of vintage and classic car care. It takes a lot of work to maintain your vehicle’s original condition – but it’s worth it.
In this vintage & classic car repair guide, we’ll show how to prepare for any potential repairs through effective vintage and classic car maintenance.
Seven Vintage Car Care Tips
- Wax: polish and wax your car every few months to maximise protection against dirt, debris and extreme weather. This will help to form a protective layer against corrosion – your worst enemy. If your car already has rust spots, apply lubricant to the corrosion to prevent the spread of decay.
- Maintain a cleaning schedule: after each journey, hose down your car’s undercarriage to get rid of any dirt that could corrode the unprotected metal surfaces.
- Car cover: a car cover is a must if you will be storing your vintage car outdoors. Using a car cover will protect your vehicle against dirt and debris, as well as prevent sunlight from fading the paintwork.
- Thorough servicing: take the time to check each car part for wear and tear, paying particular attention to service parts. Ensure all components are in good working order before taking your vintage car on the road.
- Lift or remove your wipers in cold weather: windscreen wipers are renowned for collecting moisture and freezing onto the screen. If you’re storing your vintage car for an extended period, lift the wipers to an upright position or remove them altogether.
- Regular checks: sit in your car every few weeks and apply pressure to the clutch and brake to free up the mechanisms. Release and secure the handbrake, turn the steering wheel and lock each gear into place to avoid components seizing up.
- Frequent trips: If you have stored your vintage car in a garage over winter, drive it often over the summer to keep it in good condition. Otherwise, you will risk leaks developing and mechanisms breaking down. Aim to drive your vintage car at least twice a month during the warmer half of the year.
Nine Vintage Car Parts, Tools and Supplies to Keep in Stock
It’s important to build a service kit of vintage car parts for peace of mind that you can keep your car in ultimate condition.
Whether you’ll be self-servicing your car or dropping it off at the garage, these are the nine core vintage car part types that you need to have ready.
- Ignition parts: most importantly, ensure you have a new set of spark plugs in the event of ignition failure.
- Wiring: from cable ties to fusing components, prepare yourself for potential electrical difficulties.
- Battery: power packs, battery tools and jump leads – you need these in stock.
- Fuel: make sure you’ve got a filter available for your self-service. GSP also stocks connectors, separators, regulators and valves.
- Lighting: don’t be stranded without bulb replacements. You never know when you’ll need them.
- Switches: from batteries to brake lights, to doors, ignition and indicators, GSP stocks numerous switches for every vintage car part.
- Dynamos and Starters: GSP stocks alternators, starter motors, dynamos, voltage regulators and pulleys for all vintage car makes and models.
- Fluids: from lubricants for corrosion to engine oil for everyday driving, make sure you’ve got all the fluids you need for a smooth driving experience.
- Tools: if you’re partial to DIY car servicing, make sure you’ve got all the right tools to carry out vintage car part changes to the highest standard.
The Green Spark Plug stocks an array of reputable OEM and aftermarket vintage car parts, tools and accessories from reliable manufacturers at the lowest prices.
Winter Classic Car Maintenance
Here are ten techniques for upkeeping effective classic car maintenance during winter months, so that your car is ready for summer.
- Optimal temperature: many classic car owners store their cars in a garage over winter to protect them from the elements. But have you considered the temperature of your garage? Many are barely warmer than the outside air. Invest in heating or insulation to keep your car’s surroundings at around 20°C during winter.
- A dry space: it’s important to ensure that your garage or storage space is free of damp. Humidity, moisture and mould will fast-track corrosion and promote mould growth inside your cabin. Invest in a dehumidifier and heater to keep your garage dry while storing your classic car.
- Prevent corrosion: Apply lubricant to any existing rust to prevent the spread of decay and preserve your car’s paintwork.
- Air circulation: Open the windows an inch or so while storing your car to allow air circulation and prevent odours.
- Give your car some shade: if your garage or storage area has windows or a skylight, you will need to invest in a car cover to protect your vehicle from direct sunlight. Choose one that is breathable and lined for ultimate protection.
- Keep the handbrake released: handbrake cables are more likely to seize in classic cars, so release the handbrake and chock the wheels instead.
- Look after your tyres: if you park your car for an extended period, you’ll risk the tyres warping or becoming flat. Reverse your car in and out of your garage every couple of weeks to get your tyres back in motion and avoid damage. If you won’t be around for a month or longer, you might consider removing the wheels altogether and storing them horizontally in a dry space, leaving the car raised on jack stands.
- Keep on top of fluids: check your engine fluids regularly to keep vehicle performance running smoothly. Do you have enough engine oil, brake fluid and engine coolant? Top up to avoid the risk of your engine freezing in cold weather.
- Keep the fuel tank full: if you haven’t driven your classic car in a while, condensation is likely to form in the fuel tank. This can lead to mould build up and further damage. To minimise condensation, refill your fuel after every journey (or as often as you can).
- Disconnect the battery: if you won’t be driving for a month or so, disconnect the battery so that it discharges at a slower rate. Alternatively, invest in a trickle charger to keep your battery full.
Classic Car Repair
It’s important to keep a supply of classic car parts and tools in case you need to make any unexpected repairs before taking your car on the road.
Whether you will be self-servicing your car or dropping it off with your mechanic, these are the nine product categories you should explore to ensure you have everything you need for a quick fix classic car repair.
The Green Spark Plug specialises in classic car parts, accessories and tools. If you haven’t been able to find the classic car parts that you need so far, there’s a good chance you’ll find them here. As a family-run business led by classic car enthusiasts, we know what you need for ultimate classic car upkeep.
About The Green Spark Plug
The Green Spark Plug Co. specialises in spark plugs & accessories for veteran, vintage and classic engines. We offer the best prices without compromising quality and only stock reliable, high-quality brands, such as Bosch, Denso, Champion and NGK.
Buy with confidence using our cost-effective postage plans and receive free delivery for orders over €165.37. We also offer a simple exchange and returns system for all customers.
GSP pride ourselves on being a reliable provider of high-quality car parts for motor vehicles, boats and specialist equipment. If you require further assistance, our professional team will be happy to help – just call +44 (0) 1477 532 317.