Unless you are intending to use your car through the winter months it’s time to ‘Winter-up’.
You may be tempted to throw an old blanket over the bonnet, close the garage door, thinking that you will have a look at it again over the Christmas period. That is not good enough and, you know, is unlikely to happen – the time to winter your car properly is now!
Here are a few simple steps that will reward you well come the spring.
1. Give it a good clean inside and out:
This really is the time to give your car a thorough wash and clean. On the exterior wash toughly to remove road toxins and a high-pressure hose is recommended to remove accumulated road dirt from the underside. On the interior, vacuum to remove residue of crisps, chips and tomato sauce – but treat any leather with hide food! But make sure it is properly dry before you put it away, leave the windows open by a fingers gap to ventilate; this will help prevent stale or musty smells building up over the winter months.
2. Protect against rust:
Apply grease to all mild steel brake and fuel pipes. This won’t prevent corrosion from the inside but will certainly stop corrosion from the outside. Apply a good coating of wax polish to the bodywork, but don’t polish it off (when you put the car back on the road another coat of wax and elbow grease will restore the shine). Likewise treat brightwork with either lacquer or a generous coating of wax or spray with WD40 or alike. Apply a fresh coat of underside anti-rust preservative like Bilt-Hamber (Roy’s favourite) or Waxoyl. Apply grease to all grease-points on steering, suspension and driveline.
3. Change engine oil:
Now is the time to change the oil and filter. Try to drain the fluids while the car is still warm. Oil, in particular, when it is heated and circulating, picks up and emulsifies chemical contaminants, particles and acidic material that can damage your engine if left for a long time. After long use oil loses some of its viscosity (becomes thinner) and therefore less protective of wearing surfaces – often witnessed by a reduced oil pressure. Holdens have a wide range of oils and filters.
4. Stabilise the fuel:
Petrol degrades during extended periods of inactivity. Modern ethanol-containing fuels will separate, leaving highly corrosive ethanol in all the ‘low’ points of your fuel system, at the bottom of your tank, in the pump, filter bowl and carburettors. If left, this will eventually cause permanent damage to your fuel system. Condensation forms inside part empty tanks and causes them to rot through, so leave tanks half or more full over the winter lay-up and add a fuel stabilizer. If the car is to be laid up for a year or more, drain the tank completely and leave vented to prevent condensation.
A Battery will always suffer from inactivity. In fact, battery activity will actually extend life. Disconnect both positive and negative terminals, clean and grease the terminals, check with a hydrometer, the ratio should be in the region of 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution. This solution is called electrolyte. Top up levels as necessary, and finally connect your battery conditioner.
6. Anti-freeze levels need checking and if 2-3 years old need replacing with fresh:
If below the recommended ratio, replenish the cooling system with the right proportion of water and anti-corrosion anti-freeze to cope with the coldest days of winter. If the drained contents are very dirty and your engine does have a tendency to run a little hot it may be worth flushing the system with speed flush to help remove unwanted sludge before refilling.
7. Tyre protection:
Tyres get tired so ether put up on axle stands or use tyre shoes, best over inflate by a couple of psi as well: You have the choice of putting your classic car up on blocks or to leave it standing on its road wheels. If it’s simply winter storage it’s probably easier to leave it resting on its wheels as this will enable you to roll the car out on to your drive-way give it an airing from time to time.
8. Put to bed:
Make sure there is enough room to allow you to walk past without knocking it, Leave the hand brake off to avoid sticking brakes and finally, cover with an indoor cover. This helps to protect from damp, dust and general knocks and scratches.
9. Don’t forget to SORN (UK) register or it will cost you £80!
Request a Catalogue to buy online or visit our showroom to browse.
Holden Vintage and Classic Ltd, Linton trading estate,
Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4QT, England
Tel: 01885 488488