Depending on where your clients live in the United States, winter weather presents many harsh conditions for them. Drivers face below zero temperatures, winter storms, road salt, sand, ice and potholes. All of these things create an environment that is tough on vehicles, not only on the exterior paint job and body. Engine performance is affected as well. If you have a client who is brave enough to drive their exotic, muscle car or collectible on the road in winter, give them a call in the springtime, as a reminder: Mechanics recommend a full tune-up in the spring to wash away the sludge of winter. If they’re do-it-yourself restorers, they’ll be especially motivated to get their cleaning equipment ready for a workout.
Removing the Salt and Sand
The salt and sand used to melt ice and snow on roads can be very damaging to classics and collectibles. Salt can cause rust and other problems to the undercarriage. Cars need to be thoroughly cleaned with a sprayer or hose. A thorough job requires special attention to the bottoms of doors where moisture and dirt can cause corrosion. It may be worth it for them to have a professional service clean and detail their vehicle as part of a spring ritual, maybe even get their valuable investment a good wax job, too.
Tires should be the most important to-do on a spring tune-up checklist – whether the vehicle drove through wintry weather or was stuck inside a garage for the winter. Tires with low pressure can cause blowouts or diminished handling and put a drain on MPGs. Tell your clients to refer to the sticker in the door jamb to determine the proper tire pressure and inflate tires accordingly. For day drivers, tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles and should be checked for uneven wear, as this may indicate a wheel alignment is needed.
Fluids, Gaskets and Oil
When the warm weather returns, many owners find out the hard way that low fluids can bring a vehicle to a halt. Have your clients check the dipsticks for oil and transmission fluid, as well as the coolant level, making sure the gas cap and radiator seal properly. If they notice the gaskets inside seem brittle, it’s time for a replacement. As far as changing the oil, owners should refer to owners’ manuals – if they have them – or make a quick check online to determine how often they should change the oil.
Hoses, Belts and Blades
These are all essential to a well-operating vehicle but tend to wear down and deteriorate with time, regular usage or even occasional driving. Your clients should check all the belts when the engine is off to make sure they feel tight and visually inspect them for any fraying. If they squeeze the radiator hose when the engine is on and it feels soft, it’s time to replace it.
Winter is especially hard on a vehicle’s battery. Have your clients check the connections to make sure they are tight and free from corrosion. Have them check the charge at a qualified shop, especially if the battery is more than two years old. A qualified technician should be able to tell them if it is time to replace it.
Air Conditioning System
If a client adds air conditioning to their classic or collectible, they’ll want to check the compressor belt for any fraying or cracks. After turning on the system, they should make sure that the compressor is generating refrigerated air. If not, they can check the refrigerant first, in case it’s low, and replenish.
The Classic Auto Insurance Difference
As an independent agent, your goal is to find the best protection possible for your collector clients. Saving them money strengthens the loyalty they give you and keeps them coming back. In partnership with Classic Auto Insurance, you can offer the coverage and options a collector wants, tailoring policies to fit their needs and doing it for less than what a standard auto policy might cost. Agent partners also enjoy a minimum commission of 10% for every new and renewed policy. To become a referring agent, contact us today.
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