Proper Care for Vintage Vehicles

Classic cars aren't just fun to look at; they're fun to drive. Whether it's an item on your bucket list or a spur of the moment decision, buying a vintage car is a significant investment that requires time and money to preserve its beauty and performance. Here are a few tips that will help you protect your vehicle so you can have many years of enjoyment ahead.

  1. Keep it covered. Unlike cars of today, classic cars are more likely to be damaged by the elements. Prolonged exposure to rain, snow or sunlight will probably damage your exterior, requiring you to find expensive replacement parts. Ideally, you will want to keep your vintage car in a garage. If you do not have a garage, you can look into finding a storage unit, but that can prove costly. Storing a classic car outside is never recommended but if you have no choice make sure it is completely covered.
  2. Keep it clean. A dirty car can eventually lead to poor performance. You need to take care of your investment by cleaning it properly. Hand washing, drying, and waxing are recommended to keep your automobile looking its best. Use mild soap, clean towels and a chamois for gentle cleaning. Take the time to detail your car by getting in every nook and cranny to avoid the buildup of dirt and grime. 
  3. Take it for a spin. It's ideal to start your car once a week to keep the engine healthy. If you don't have time for a drive, let the engine idle to normal running temperature before you turn it off. When possible, take your vehicle for a spin around the block to keep the brakes and other systems in good working condition. Allowing your automobile to sit for too long increases the risk of corrosion and other problems. Classic car enthusiast, George McGimsey of AAA, suggests keeping a battery tender on the car to keep the battery hot. A battery tender allows your vehicle to start right up if it's been sitting awhile. 
  4. Have it professionally maintained. As a car owner, you should check your fluids, battery, and tires regularly. McGimsey recommends changing the oil yearly with an oil that has lead and a gas additive for older engines. Also, at least once a year, let the pros at AAA Car Care look over your vehicle. Our auto experts can inspect the basics and look for potential issues you may not notice. Even if you regularly perform your own maintenance checks, a second opinion is always a good idea. 
  5. Get insured. AAA offers special insurance for classic automobiles which allows you to drive them a few hundred miles a year. Get a quote from your local AAA Insurance agent today so you can get on the road and enjoy your classic ride. 

Since you will likely only drive your classic car on occasion, you will need something else to drive regularly. If you are in the market for a new or used car, AAA's Auto Buying team can help without the hassle of a dealership. We can also help you maintain your vehicle for optimal performance at our Car Care Centers. Find a Car Care Location near you.

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