Getting classic cars out of hibernation - Tips for the start of spring
Finally, the first rays of sunshine lure us back outside and make us want to take a spin in the vintage car.
But before the collector's vehicles are fit for a tour again, you should work through a few points:
First of all, you should take a look under the vehicle... if there are spots on the floor, this indicates leaks. The location of the leaks should be urgently investigated and remedied. Also take a look at the brake lines and exhaust rubbers.
Then the tires are checked for cracks and air pressure before you take a look under the hood. In the engine compartment, you should check and correct the level of coolant and brake fluid, hydraulic and engine oil, and wiper water. Then lines, hoses, plug connections and cables are checked for leaks, bite marks and a firm fit. The V-belt also deserves a condition and strength check, otherwise squeaking noises can occur or, in the worst case, it can even tear.
After a long period of inactivity, the battery must also be checked and, in any case, fully charged before the first start, because many electronic components such as the alarm system or navigation system consume electricity even when the vehicle is not in use. It makes the most sense to check and charge the battery at intervals during long periods of inactivity, or to use a battery conditioner.
- The spark plugs are unscrewed and subjected to a visual inspection. A dry, brown surface is considered optimal here. Only remove soot with a soft spark plug brush. If there is heavy wear, the spark plugs should be replaced.
The air filters should be checked for cleanliness and a look into the distributor cap will tell if moisture has gotten in. Fresh pole grease on the battery poles protects them from corrosion. In older vehicles with a cardan drive and rigid axle, the grease nipples should be supplied with plenty of grease at regular intervals. All hinges, shafts, joints and the antenna should be rubbed with oil or grease. The paint gets a wax polish after the vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned. The cockpit, the leather seats and plastics as well as the door seals require care products. In a convertible, the soft top and its joints or hinges deserve additional care.
Once all points have been processed, the engine can be started to set off on a test drive. Especially for the first few kilometers you should definitely drive at a low speed and pay attention to the brakes. If you initially feel a rattling and scratching in the pedal, this is not unusual. The surface of the brake discs can become corroded after a long period of inactivity. This can be remedied by repeated, longer braking. However, if the brake discs are still corroded, they need to be replaced. Don't forget to apply the handbrake when exiting, so that residues are removed from it.
Now nothing stands in the way of the season and you can enjoy the ride with your darling until October. If you need tips for wintering in October, please have a look at our blog article: