Reviving Your Classic from its Winter Sleep
There’s a definite smell of spring in the air this month and here at Rimmer Bros we’re all set to support all your parts needs for the motoring season ahead.
It’s fair to say that it’s been a mild winter this year but also extremely damp as a result. If you’re bringing your car out from its winter hibernation, it may need a bit of TLC before it hits the road.
Here are a few things to check before you set off along the road.
Step 1 - Visual Inspection & Safety
Grab a notebook and have a good look around, you could be surprised by what’s changed over a short period. There’s one thing that classic cars hate and that’s sitting about doing nothing in a damp environment!
Make a note of anything that stands out to you as unusual. Paint blisters, rust, damp, low or cracked tyres, anything that wasn’t there before. Actually, you’ll probably pick up on all of those jobs you promised you’d do last year too!
Mini LED Inspection Lamp
Heavy Duty Inspection Lamp
Essential Breakdown Kit
Before you fire up the engine and go for that first drive........
Step 2 - Engine Oil and Service
The engine may have stood for some months without turning, so the majority of the oil is now in the sump - courtesy of gravity! This is a great time to drain it out and replace it.
Once you’ve replaced the oil, it’s probably worth turning the engine (without it firing) to prime the oil pump and get that fresh lubricant circulating before you actually run the engine up.
The easiest way of doing this is to remove the spark plugs and if possible, isolate the fuel supply too. This gives the starter motor an easier time to turn the engine and gives you an opportunity to inspect the condition of the spark plugs too!
Triumph Engine Oil Chart
MGB Engine Oil Chart
MG Engine Oil Chart
Jaguar Engine Oil Chart
Rover Engine Oil Chart
Land Rover Engine Oil Chart
Castrol Set of 3 Oil Jugs
14mm Flexible Spark Plus Spanner
10mm Flexible Spark Plug Spanner
Oil Filter Removal
Step 3 - Stale Fuel in the System
Modern fuels contain a percentage of ethanol, this makes them more environmentally friendly which we like but it also has a few side effects too. Unless you drained the fuel system for winter, the old fuel in the tank is likely to have absorbed moisture from the atmosphere and will therefore have a lower than normal octane amount. Ethanol also has the added caveat of creating a corrosive effect on rubber hoses and pipes. These can degrade over time leading to particles in the carburettors, fuel filters and ultimately the engine.
Contaminated fuel with a low octane rating isn’t exactly the best start to anyone’s motoring season!
While the car is still laid up it’s probably worth considering a change to ethanol resistant R9 hoses which would future proof the vehicle.
Automec Brake Pipes & Fuel Lines
Valvemaster Classic Unleaded Fuel Additive
Valvemaster Plus Classic Unleaded Fuel Additive
Step 4 - Battery Condition
How’s the battery? Checking the battery condition is a great idea before the season starts as it’s often an avoidable reason for a breakdown. If you have a battery that can be serviced, you can perform a drop test with a hydrometer and top up the electrolyte as required with deionised water. If your battery is a sealed for life unit then you need to use a bit of technology to assist you such as an electronic battery tester or a battery conditioner. Whichever type you have, your battery will benefit from the use of a battery conditioner all year round.
Battery Acid Tester Hydrometer
Avon Smart Charger
Silverhook Deionised Water
Step 5 - Drivetrain
This is the bit that most of us neglect, drivetrain lubrication. We’ve got so used to modern cars and their exceptionally long service intervals that we’ve forgotten that our classics need a far more frequent service. Universal joints, steering racks, trunnions, hub bearings, gearboxes and differentials all need routine servicing to keep them running smoothly and to protect them from undesirable wear. The difference in feel and noise can be quite surprising.
Here are a few essentials to help you:
Oils & Lubricants
Grease Gun – 500cc Lever Action
Grease/Oil Gun for Trunnion Oiling
Fluid Drain Pan
Stainless Steel Funnel Set
Nitrile Disposable Gloves
Step 6 - Electrical
Damp points ring a bell? Yes, it still happens, and the solutions are just the same as they always were. Either clean and re gap them, replace them or upgrade to electronic ignition.
Have a look at the distributor cap, rotor arm and spark plugs at the same time.
Feeler Gauge Set
4 in 1 Multitool
123 Electronic Ignition Systems
Lumenition Ignition Systems
Step 7 - Brakes
Brakes are another system on a car that suffer due to lack of use. Superficial corrosion can appear on disc or drum surfaces, pads get sticky/difficult to slide and the brake fluid can absorb water if left open to the elements.
A bit of simple cleaning, selective lubrication and fluid replacement will see you stop when you need to this season.
B-Quiet Lubricant for Brake Systems
Wire Brush Set
Gunson EEZI Bleed
Step 8 - Rain
It’s the start of the season so there’s every chance you’ll catch a shower or two. Don’t get caught out unprotected as we’ve got some great products to help your classic weather the storm.
Rain Away Water Repellent for Glass
Renovo Car Care
Autoglym Rapid Aqua Wax Kit
Waxoyl Sealing & Rustproofing
If you’ve done any or all of the above, you’re a step ahead already. There’s lots more you can do to give your classic car the best start to the motoring season and remember, everything you do now will only help preserve it for many more years to come. Happy motoring!