9th October 2020
Winterising your classic vehicle
If your classic vehicle is regularly used through the better months of the year it has probably seen much more use this year thanks to lockdown. It seems to have been a very strange year and many of us have unexpectedly had time on our hands to complete projects or renovate our classics which I suppose is one of the only benefits of the times we are living through.
Now autumn is officially upon us and for many it is time to start looking at tucking away your classic car or bike, getting the camper ready for hibernation and bringing in the garden furniture! These longer, colder nights are already starting to make things feel pretty chilly so now is the key time to prepare for hibernation for the colder months ahead.
In our world the old adage of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is very true and the same can be said about winterising your vehicle. If you take the time now to complete everything, the spring wake up will be a lot easier. Once the fair weather returns early in 2021 you’ll be itching to get back into your cherished classic rather than spending time on those jobs that should have been completed before hibernation.
Here are our top tips to ensure that you don't forget any key points when preparing for winter storage.
Fluids and Lubricants:
Apply lubricant and grease to any lubrication points, check fluids and make suitable changes for hibernation considering your climate. We like to top-up the coolant system with a 50:50 anti-freeze mixture. You may consider changing the engine oil and filter and if the car will be unused for months it Is best to minimise the amount of petrol that is exposed to the air so a full tank is better.
Wheels and Tyres:
In an ideal world and if the vehicle is being stored for long periods, you should consider keeping pressure off the tyres. If you have axle stands it is fairly simple to jack the car up and position the stands to take the weight thus avoiding tyre “flat spots”. Alternatively there are tyre shapers on the market that can be positioned to share the load. If you are limited on options, inflate your tyres to the maximum recommended psi and check them regularly but don’t forget to reduce the pressure prior to driving the car in the spring!
Battery and Power:
For best results use a battery maintainer as this will keep the battery in ultimate condition and will extend the useful life of the battery as well. These devices will deliver small amounts of charge as the battery requires thus eliminating the battery becoming discharged due to inactivity. If a maintainer is not an option, the battery should be disconnected if the car is being left for months on end. If you are able to start the car from time to time or even take it for short runs on dry days, your battery should be maintained in near perfect condition. Don’t forget to re-grease the terminals with petroleum jelly.
Clean & Protect the Bodywork:
Before you store your vehicle take the time to wash and wax the bodywork to protect your paintwork. Importantly, don’t forget the wheels as these are the details that will set your car apart from the rest. If you have alloy wheels they can be protected with a specialist wax or oil. To stop corrosion lightly spray any chrome details with WD40. Make sure you give your leather seats a good clean as they are prone to mould or mildew growth if shut in a microclimate for a long period. If possible store the car with the windows slightly cracked open to allow a throughput of air to prevent a build up of moisture inside the vehicle.
Once your car is in your chosen parking position it is a good idea to ‘chock’ the wheels or raise the car depending on your storage decision. Leave the handbrake off to prevent seizing of the brakes and spray a maintenance spray in external lock barrels to prevent rusting. Connect the battery maintainer if you have one and settle down for the winter!
Cover it up:
If you have a car cover it will save you precious time keeping the car clean and dust free either indoors or outside. If you’re looking for an indoor cover we recommend our Kalahari range. These are luxury stretch covers with a fleece lining that fit snugly to the contours of your vehicle. They’re custom fit, really versatile, washable and will last for years.
If you are storing your car outside over the winter months our most popular range of covers are called Stormforce. These clever tailored covers that can be used in almost any weather outdoors and suit any climate. The 4 layer fabric is fully breathable and can even be applied to a wet car allowing moisture to escape once fitted and any further precipitation simply rolls off the outer layer.
Our ultra heavy duty covers are called Apollo. These are available in a choice of colours and feature UK made Teflon coated fabrics for protection in all conditions. They are very strong and are designed to withstand all weathers and conditions with a useful life of 5-7 years even if used outdoors continuously.
If you do choose to use a cover, ensure that it is a fully tailored, branded item and that you read the instructions carefully. Car covers appear to be a simple product but actually thousands of hours of research and development have been undertaken to ensure that your car receives the maximum protection. They offer the next best protection to a permanent garage and will save you 100’s of valuable hours of washing, polishing, dusting and de-icing as well as protecting from paint fade and general wear and tear.
Coverzone specialise in the design and manufacture of bespoke vehicle covers. We have 100’s of fully tailored patterns & over 14,000 covers in stock for immediate despatch. Our range caters for most popular vehicles from the 1930’s to date & includes mopeds, motorbikes, sports cars, classic cars, city cars, hatchbacks, saloons, estates, limousines, suv’s 4x4’s, vans and campers.
If you would like more information visit www.cover-zone.com or call us on 01903 764 689.