With the temperatures rising and the sun shining, the winter should now become a distant memory. Most importantly roads will thankfully be free of damaging road salts, so this is the perfect time to start thinking about recommissioning your classic car for the summer months. Before making any long journey, its worth taking some time to check your classic car. This is especially important before a summer holiday as the warm weather, long distance driving and the extra weight of passengers and luggage can put additional strain on your classic car. With the right approach and some sensible preparation, any classic car can be driven through the summer, allowing it to be enjoyed all year long – no matter what the Met Office says is heading your way.
Tyres are one of the most important components of your car and have a huge impact on the performance and safety of your classic car. Tyres are in control of steering, braking, acceleration and absorbing bumps & imperfections on the roads. Thankfully they are easy to check; inspect the tyre sidewalls for cracks, crazing or bulges. It is also important to check tyres pressures regularly and this is one of the first things that should be checked on your classic car – as tyres that hold air perfectly during daily use can even deflate over six months of inactivity in a garage. Often tyres for older classic cars are not readily available 'off the shelf' by regular tyre suppliers. However, Hexagon Classics specialises in sourcing, supplying and fitting classic car tyres for most makes and models.
Older vehicles do not have many of the 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. Classic cars that have been stored away over the winter period require careful inspection when preparing for summer time use. It is important to check the brakes on your classic as lack of use can lead to the brakes seizing (especially drum brakes). Similarly, unless your car is fitted with carbon-ceramics, brake rust can form. This surface corrosion can reduce the capability of your pads and discs to effectively brake. Brake fluid must be changed every two years (regardless of use) as it is hygroscopic. If there is excess water in the brake fluid, it will lower the boiling point. When you press the brake pedal, a low boiling point might lead to your fluid vaporizing. This could reduce functionality. Therefore, it is imperative to have these checked by a specialist, such as Hexagon Classics.
Checking fluid levels & consumables
Checking fluid levels and consumables when recommissioning a vehicle for the summer months is a sensible precaution. Checking fluids such as oil, brake fluid and coolant are particularly important. If the vehicle has been in storage for a long period of time, it would be wise to have your vehicle serviced by a specialist workshop such as Hexagon Classics.
Wiper blades should also be checked for signs of perishing, ensuring that they effectively clear the windshield. Being able to see clearly in a classic car is also paramount. Should your windows suffer from fogging, it is recommended to apply a specialist product such as Rain-X Anti-Fog. All lights should also be checked to ensure that they all function correctly.
Fuel & Battery
Fuel left in classic cars over a long period of time can start to degrade and can often be the cause of starting issues when recommissioning your vehicle. Petrol becomes stale and its octane content can be reduced, leading to blockages within the fuel pump, fuel lines and the tank itself. It can also degrade the rubber in pumps and carburettors. To minimise the potential of damage, classic cars should be stored with only minimal fuel in the tank, ideally draining the tank entirely before putting into storage. When recommissioning your classic car, use fresh, high octane E5 fuel.
Before putting a classic car into storage, it is also wise to disconnect the battery, storing it away from moisture. With the battery removed, you should also charge the battery with a trickle charger to maintain the health of the battery. Hexagon Classics recommends using an adaptive trickle charger such as a CTEK battery charger. When it comes to reviving your classic car, simply reinstall your charged battery, applying a small amount of grease on the battery terminals to prevent electrical contacts from corroding and oxidising.
On top of the checks of tyres, brakes, fluid levels and consumables when reviving a car, it is imperative to make an expert assessment of a vehicle's overall health to locate any issues that may have come to light over winter months. At our state-of-the-art facilities in Fortis Green, North London, our expert team at Hexagon Classics offer this important service to owners of both classic and modern vehicles. On any car that is emerging from a period of rest, no matter how short, knowing what to look for and where to look is second nature to the factory trained technicians at Hexagon Classics.
For more information about our services or to have a conversation about your classic car, please call the Hexagon Classics workshop on 020 8815 0867 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org