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Hexagon, Classic and Modern Cars

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Driving Your Classic In Winter

There's a fair amount of pressure on the owners of classic and modern classic cars to store their prized possessions away during the colder months for fear of road salt and bad weather taking their toll. However, with the right approach and some sensible preparation, any older car can be driven through winter allowing it to be enjoyed all year long – no matter what the Met Office says is heading your way.

Cooling and heating

Check that your classic has the correct level and concentration of anti-freeze. A frozen radiator or engine is the last thing anyone wants, if you are unsure what dilution is currently residing in your system then a simple anti-freeze tester kit – available for under £10 – is money well spent. If you need to then drain your current solution and refill it with a more suitable dilution for winter, do so.

Sensible heat management is equally important. Extend any short journeys to let your classic warm through properly. You could also partially mask-off the radiator using a a radiator blind, or a homemade cardboard version, to help with restricting cold air to the radiator which assists with warming a car quicker.

Ignition system

Ensure your ignition system is in tip-top condition. Cold weather takes its toll on batteries which have to work harder to crank cold engines into life and then operate electrical systems such as heaters, lights and wipers. Ensure spark plugs, distributors and leads are up to scratch.

Protect your bodywork

Good rust prevention is key to avoiding corrosion accelerated by winter use, apply a sealant or wax to bodywork and use a suitable protection product in areas such as wheel arches. Ideally clean your classic – especially underneath – after every journey with warm soapy water to remove all traces of road salt.

Perform checks

Performing simple checks to consumables such as tyres, windscreen wipers and bulbs is a sensible precaution. Being able to see clearly in a classic during winter is paramount, should your car suffer from fogged windows consider applying a specialist product such as Rain-X Anti-Fog and ensure your screen wash is filled to the correct dilution for the season.

Drive carefully

Older vehicles are often missing modern safety systems, such as ABS or traction control, their back-to-basics nature which puts the driver in full control is part of the reason many of us love driving them, after all. While driving leave additional room to the car in front, brake gently and employ Cadence braking in very icy conditions. Pull away in second gear and always maintain momentum in ice and snow – especially on steep routes.

Carry a winter kit

We never like to think the worst, but all of us – even those driving modern vehicles – should carry a winter survival kit in the colder months. A blanket, food, water and even extra fuel is a sensible addition to your boot should you find yourself snowed-in out on the road.

 

Hexagon's Service Department are always on hand to help with your classic vehicle. They can be rached directly serviceinfo@hexagonclassics.com or called on +44(0)208 348 5151