Car Owner’s Guide: Maintaining the Value of Your Classic Ride

Compared to modern vehicles with complex components and wiring, classic models are often preferred due to their simplicity. No confusing technology or computers to work on, classic cars prioritize manual functionality and superb comfort. And while these older models tend to be smaller and lighter than modern cars, they are known to be tougher and long-lasting.

Classic cars also offer stylish and unique visuals that can draw the attention of anyone. Not to mention the low maintenance required as most of the work can be done by the car owners. They are fairly cheaper than the expensive diagnostic tests and electronic work essential for modern cars. Are you a classic car owner yourself? Here are a few suggestions on how you can maintain its value.

1. Keep it clean

As much as you hate cleaning your cars, classic vehicles must be washed and dried by hand. The thing is, car washing machines are more likely to cause scratches or dents on your precious car. If you want to avoid such damage, it’s best to clean your classic car in your garage. As for your cleaning supplies, pick the detergents that contain no abrasive chemicals. Make sure to also use separate clean and soft cloths for the different parts of the vehicle.

Doing these will ensure the paint job won’t be removed or dented during the cleaning. As for the interior, use a microfiber cloth and a mild cleaner to wipe down the car upholstery. If you have genuine leather installed in the interior, it requires conditioning every six months and regular dry cleaning. Don’t forget to vacuum the floormats or your interior floor.

2. Schedule regular checkups

While most classic cars don’t have complicated in-vehicle infotainment systems or complex wiring, it’s still best to schedule professional maintenance to keep them in tip-top condition. Expert mechanics don’t just have the skills and knowledge about proper maintenance, but they also have the necessary tools and equipment to do the work safely. For instance, they have the right two post car lifts that suit the model and weight of your cars.

Car lifts are crucial for performing repairs and maintenance work underneath in a quick and safe manner. Among the services that a local auto shop can offer include tire replacement, paint job, fluid and battery connections checkup, and routine engine oil changes. To save a few bucks, you can DIY the minor tasks like changing the spark plug or air filter.

3. Practice proper storage

In terms of storing your classic vehicle, there are several things you need to do first. During winter months, perform an oil change and keep the engine running for several minutes. This will protect your car from corrosion. Adding a fuel stabilizer and filling the tanks is also essential to prevent rusting. Overall, your vehicle needs deep cleaning and detailing, both in the interior and exterior. As for the actual storage space, avoid areas with dirt or gravel flooring as they can invite more moisture inside your vehicle.

Choose a damp-free garage to keep your vehicle for an extended time. If your garage has windows or skylights, use a car cover or place window shades to prevent sunlight from directly hitting your car’s paint. At the same time, it’s recommended to slightly open the car’s front windows to prevent the build-up of a musty smell.

4. Drive it regularly and safely

Many collectors of classic cars love to invest in restoration but rarely drive the vehicles to avoid any physical damage. However, being overprotective and not taking your classic vehicle for a spin can rot its insides. Driving your car regularly can keep the interior parts, especially the engine, in good running condition. Regular drives are the best way to identify hidden issues in your classic machine.

It’s also recommended to upgrade your driving lessons or take extra road precautions to avoid accidents and ensure a safe ride. If you can’t drive your classic car more frequently, you should at least take it out for a spin once a month. Letting it sit in your garage for months can dry out the car’s seals and rubber, which can then lead to leakage.

By doing such simple maintenance work, you can keep your classic car in perfect condition and preserve its value. After all, these models are a sound investment as they appreciate in value as time passes, unlike most modern vehicles. While maintenance work for classic cars is easier for owners, it’s best to seek the help of experienced mechanics if you’re not familiar with every mechanical part.

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