There’s always going to be an innate risk when you own a classic vehicle. Whether you own a climate-controlled garage or not, everything from accident damage to theft to acts of god can cause unexpected damage or wear.
As a classic car owner, the best you can do is to prepare for the worst. While we’ve already covered the basics of winter storage in another article [link here], below are some tips for safe storage in between your drives.
It’s pretty much a law of nature when it comes to phones, laptops, and classic autos (basically anything expensive). If you don’t buy a protective case at the point-of-sale, there will come a day when you least expect it that the vengeful hand of fate comes knocking.
Sometimes it’s a kid that knocks a stray object into the car. Maybe your spouse opens their door too fast and dings the side. Other times it’s a paint spill or even some bird poop. There’s no end to the potential disaster for your classic. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
Buying a case obviously won’t protect against the heavier knicks and dings, but it does a whole lot more than having nothing there, and it works wonders against fluid damage. There are expensive versions ranging into the hundreds of dollars — and some classic owners will swear by them. But even a simple and cheap cloth case is better than nothing.
Fluids are Essential
Your classic car and your body have at least one thing in common (insert joke about gas here) — fluids are one of the most important elements of proper maintenance. Be sure to regularly check your oil, water, and brake fluid levels. Additionally, a regular short drive will assure that the fluids are pumping clearly through the lines.
It should go without saying, but change your oil more frequently than the recommended 12,000 miles for a standard driver. Your classic car probably isn’t going to go that many miles in a year (if you’re good to it), and engine oil efficiency doesn’t just decay with miles. It also decays with time. It’s much safer to change your oil every season.
Don’t Tire of Caring for Your Wheels
Did you know that if you store your tires on concrete, it can remove moisture and oils from the rubber? It’s much safer to lay down simple carpet squares or insulation foam when parking for extended periods of time.
To avoid flat spots for long periods of storage, set the car on jacks and lower the PSI to around 25. Even bias-ply tires get flat spots after sitting for a long time. If you already have flat spots, don’t worry — they usually go away thanks to the heat when you drive it again. But be extra careful, because all tires can attain permanent flat spots after six or more months of storage.
Battery Disconnection is Simpler than You Think
You may have heard this piece of advice from experienced classic collectors, and it’s a good one. Your car is made up of parts older than it is. Its engineer likely didn’t anticipate it would be in use this long. Electric parts are of particular note, since short circuits can cause devastating accidents.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to get under the hood (or in the trunk) every time you drive your car to unplug and reconnect your battery. Instead, a battery disconnect switch can save you time and effort on the cheap. Simply flip the switch to isolate your battery from the rest of the car while it rests, or even while you charge the battery.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Don’t take risks with your classic. Let Classic Auto Insurance customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.