Today the weather is still nice. This weekend will also be great! And the weekend there! But the time when my late father said: “The summer has passed its peak”, we have already left that far behind us. It's autumn. And winter is coming. Then we are often not even allowed to drive our classics anymore. Then our cars and motorcycles have to be stored in the winter. And don't let that be a former pigsty. The ammonia from the pig urine evaporates for years to come. And is lethal to chrome. So the winter storage. And the preparation for it.
Check the bodywork for possible rust and treat it immediately. This is also a good time to update small paint damage.
Wash the car thoroughly with plenty of water and a good shampoo. Allow the car to dry thoroughly with the doors and covers open. Also in the seams and cracks of the engine and boot lid and the inside of the doors and the door openings. Does your car have a sliding or sliding roof? Also clean the seams and slots of the roof and make sure that the drainage points for rainwater are not blocked. Also note the drainage openings for condensation or water on the underside of the doors and the sills. Ensure that these openings are not blocked. For safety, puncture them with a nylon cable puller from the Praxis or something.
Polish the paint and the chrome with a good wash
Door and window rubbers can be lightly dusted with talc. Using petroleum jelly is a less good idea because petroleum jelly is petroleum based and not all rubbers are crazy about that. The man who ever put his windshield wiper blades in petroleum jelly? That was an exception. Just like the Suzuki pilot who greased the disc brakes of his two-wheeler.
Clean the interior. Depending on the storage space you have, you can place a so-called moisture eater in the interior. Ventilation of the interior is not a wrong plan. But remember that mice and martens like to live comfortably in the winter. And rodents are the plague for upholstery.
Motor: Check the wiring optically. Visually check the block, radiator and container for leaks. If the block is warmed up, change the engine oil and oil filter. Then take a long drive to get the engine to the right temperature and the fresh oil everywhere in its place. After that, the classic may start hibernation.
Remove the battery from the car. Check the battery acid level and top up with distilled water if necessary. Then connect the battery to a battery dripper. A good dripper keeps your battery in top condition and ensures a long battery life and a trouble-free start in the spring. Cetek is a well-known, trusted name here. Do not buy a cheap dripper from Action or other price bangers. Make sure that the area where the battery hangs from the dripper is well ventilated. The partial discharge of the battery by means of a light bulb is an outdated story.
The cooling system
Check the cooling water or coolant for level and frost protection. The cooling system must withstand temperatures of at least -20 degrees Celsius. Meters to check that are croaking at the Halfords or Brezan.
The exhaust system and air filter
There are people who swear to put a greasy cloth in the exhaust and put a plastic bag over the air filter. The idea is that this approach prevents condensation.
If a car is left standing for months, tires can get a flat side. This can be prevented by placing the car on axle stands. The tires then remain round and the wheel bearings are also less stressed. 'Car shoes' are another option. They are plastic plates in which a cavity with the radius of the wheel has been cut. In this way the tire is supported over a larger surface. As the cheapest option, you can give the tires a few tenths more pressure than usual. If you see the fun and have a large garage, you can move the car a little monthly.
Do not put the car on the parking brake. It can get stuck after a few months of rest. Simply put the car in first gear or reverse. Check the brake fluid level and clarity. Brake fluid older than three years must be replaced in any case. A good braking system must survive hibernation without any problems.
The fuel system
With the current alcohol and acetone-containing gasolines, we no longer recommend to park the car with as full a tank as possible. On the contrary. The addition of fuel conditioner iod can help here. Consult your specialist or visit a company like Brezan. To prevent 'sucking in' water from the atmosphere, it is not a bad idea to cover the tank filler neck with a plastic bag so that the fuel cap can no longer breathe. Make sure the additive is in the entire fuel system by driving a short drive after the aforementioned wash and oil change.
Running the engine during the winter period:
A car cover
That is good protection against dirt and dust. In addition, a good, sturdy car cover protects your car against minor damage by other garage users (bicycle, falling garden tools) and the cover conceals your car from curious looks. Cats want to sharpen their nails. Choose a high-quality, ventilating or 'breathable' cover. Imparts is a well-known supplier of high-quality car covers. Take the cover off the car for a day every month to let it blow through
That is better for the cover and your classic.