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Cold Cures

Cold Cures Published: 25th Jan 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
Cold Cures
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So here’s our hot tips to ensure your classic doesn’t lose the cold war!


Putting a dirty car away should be avoided even though you may not want to use it until spring. Old dirt and grime left on the body and the interior causes problems. A wash and polish is okay but we don’t advocate cutting the old paint back because that faded old layer acts as a protective shield but we’d always leave a smear of wax (or WD-40) on the chrome surfaces.


Hoover the interior out and clean off stains or grime on the trim – it will only get worse over the winter. Remove the carpets and sound deadening insulation and store them in your house if that is possible. Close all the windows and air vents, but open up regularly to allow air to circulate and ward off for mildew damage.


Some experts advocate changing the engine oil because the old lube may contain harmful acids that can result in internal corrosion over the layup. Dedicated storage oils are available (try Millers, Penrite and Morris Lubricants) which give off a mist to protect the inner workings. Change the oil and filter before you use the car next season.


The biggest worry when laying a vehicle up has to be bits seizing up. The ideal solution is to drive it regularly but if that’s not possible get out the grease gun and WD-40 and lubricate all the moving parts you can think of – even door hinges and locks! Brakes, especially handbrakes will stick on so, if possible, chock wheels and leave it off. Clutch plates rust on to the flywheel; trick here is to wedge a broom handle against the pedal so it separates the two permanently. If an engine isn’t run the piston rings can stick in the bore and possibly break upon your spring-time startup. Ideally, turn the engine over by hand once a month. You can pour an egg cupful of ‘Upper Cylinder Lubricant’ in each bore through the plug holes but remember it’s there…


Petrol goes off and you may hit problems come next spring if you don’t do anything about it. You can drain it, naturally, but an empty tank attracts condensation leading to the prospect of internal rust and gummed up fuel lines. On the other hand a tankful of fuel is a big fire risk! A compromise is to leave the tank half full, and to add a gallon or two of the fresh stuff when required.

You can also buy specialised products to prevent tank corrosion; try Sta-Bil


Good old WD40 (or similar) should be liberally sprayed around the engine bay to prevent surface rust forming on the carbs, throttle linkages, battery terminals and so on.


Don’t leave the battery just sitting there in the car. Lack of use will lead to a premature failure. As well as posing a fire risk. The best solution is to, remove it and charge at home regularly. If this is not feasible, then at the very least disconnect the box of spares to prevent the chance of an electrical fire.


No matter if it’s just down your garden or a couple of miles away in a lock up, you should pay regular visits to your classic. If possible, push it out of the garage; this ensures the brakes are kept free plus reduces risk of the tyres (which should be slightly overinflated) forming flat spots. Turn the steering as you’re doing this.


Don’t get the impression that just because your classic isn’t roadworthy or is just a box of bits that you needn’t worry this winter. Many a project has been spoiled and even ruined by not preserving either the car or its parts (which may be dismantled), undoing any previous good work.


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