How To Maintain A Classic Car

“Keep it hot, oiled and run it often.” These are some of the most simple but useful tips for keeping a classic car running as long as possible. Here are some more tips from experts on how to uphold your classic car.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do

Make sure you have fluids in the car. Oil, water, brake fluid. A vehicle will not run without oil and water. It needs lubricant and water to keep cool so that the vehicle doesn’t overheat. Keep a close eye on the gauges. Make sure the car gets its heat cycles, meaning keep it up to temperature and make sure that the vehicle gets to cool itself every once in a while.


The second most important thing you can do when maintaining a classic car is driving. Drive the vehicle at least once a month. The number one issue with old cars is that they are not used regularly. Turn the wheels and the gears and engage the tires. Rubber components are important to use, otherwise they will damage when you finally take your whip out for a drive.

Type Of Tools You’ll Need

The tools that should be in your garage are pretty simple. You’ll need a bucket, soft rag, and an automotive wash soap and finish. Soft towels help to maintain the clean coat on the vehicle. Dish soap will take the wax off a car and damage the paint on your vehicle. Make sure you wax the vehicle every once in a while uphold a clean look.


When storing your classic car, make sure you don’t park the car on dirt or gravel. Dirt allows moisture to enter your vehicle from underneath and that can accelerate the degradation of your car. Make sure you keep your car out of direct sunlight. The sun ages a car really fast, especially the paint. The fabrics on the inside will actually change color, and the vinyl and plastics will become brittle and break. Although keeping your vehicle out of extreme heat is a great idea, same goes for extreme cold. Cold can bring moisture into a vehicle, as well as cause the locks to dampen and freeze. Running the car will help prevent this, as well as keeping your classic vehicle in a well ventilated garage.

How To Clean Your Classic

Keep you vehicle as clean as possible, especially in a cold state. Salt corrodes the paint and metal. The cleaner you keep a car, the longer the it’ll last. Make sure you clean the interior as well. Wash the wheel wells out, vacuum the interior to prevent dampness from forming. If you have dirt in the carpets, it can retain moisture and will go beneath the floor and start the rust process under your classic car.

Maintain A Nice Shin

Make sure you wax you classic as much as you can. Detailers can revive the paint, but if your paint is in good condition, all you need to do after you wash your vehicle is dry it and add a nice wax. If the paint is at all degraded, call an expert to sand-wash your vehicle. They take water and very fine sand paper and take edges off and buff it with different strength grit. But that should only be done by someone with plenty of experience. Want to know more about rotary buffers? Watch this video!

Finding A Good Detailer

Whatever you do, DO NOT get your vehicle detailed by someone who’s never worked on classic cars before. They can literally take the paint off of your vehicle with the edge of the buffer. Ask around at car shows. An expert usually takes around 3-4 hours on a whole car and will charge about $150 to detail your vehicle. You might want to get your classic car detailed once every two or three years, but if you maintain your car the correct way, you might not need it as often. You might want to use sites like Angie’s List to help find qualified detailers.

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