Well here we are once again with Spring just around the corner. It is time to get our classic car ready to roll for the Spring/Summer seasons. If you are like me you made an effort to store your car last fall to minimize problems now. However even if you didn’t, fear not we have a short checklist to help you get your car ready to go.
Drain and change the oil and filter.
I realize you probably did this last fall but moisture can build up in the oil while sitting in the winter. If the oil filter is new, just change the oil.
Check all fluids
Antifreeze specific gravity, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid etc. Kind of a no brainer but hey better to spell it out đ
Jack up the car (safely!) and check the brakes.
Pay special attention to brake hose and steel brake lines. Replace any cracked hoses, and extremely rusty looking steel lines will likely need replacing. While the car up on jacks anyway, check the fuel lines, transmission pan and rear end for leaks. Yes even sitting your car can develop leaks!
Charge up the battery.
Obvious I know, but it will be low unless you had it charging over the winter using an external maintenance charger. Do charge the battery, your first start of the season will be a long crank so you need the juice!
Pull the spark plugs and squirt a little new engine oil into the cylinders via the spark plug holes.
There are of course 2 schools of thought regarding this. One is with this method you prelube the cylinders that will prevent scuffing of the cylinder walls on dry start. The other is my thoughts that if the car hasnât sat more than 7 or 8 months, this step isnât necessary to preform this step. Crank the engine with the coil wire off a bit and you can lube the engine using the starter without starting the engine. Your choice.
This step is for carburetor cars only!
When you are ready to start the car, use a little starting fluid and spray it down the throat of the carburetor, about 3 seconds or so. The carburetor will be bone dry from sitting, and this will get the engine running enough for the fuel pump to catch up and pump fuel to the float bowel (s). It also saves the life of your starter!
Some final thoughts…
A note about that first start up. Once you get the engine running, donât immediately gun the engine ârevving it upâ. The reason being the rings will need to time to reseat themselves. Let the engine idle for 5 to 10 minutes, then take the car for for some miles. Do it easy, let her get fully warm before you want to get you foot into the pedal. This will give the engine time to reseat and run smoothly. Trust me it will save you big bucks in the long run! Don’t panic if you see some blue tailpipe smoke after start up, it is pretty normal for most any engine after sitting for a long period of time. Of course if the smoke doesnât clear after running as mentioned before, you may have a more serious engine issue that will need to be addressed very soon…
All these steps are a guideline only intended to be helpful only. Do your own research or talk to a qualified mechanic for additional information. Happy Hunting!
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