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The summertime blues: coolant and convertible driving

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The summertime blues. Drive over coolant and carbrio

Because of course 'Any misfortune hep hep', as the Divine Amsterdammer once correctly stated. Those few days of real summer are therefore not just a reason to drink white wine or beer late at night without any worries. The cabriolet driver we saw on the terrace of the Doesburg 'Caldo e Freddo' (a must) was the example of this. A few days ago the man had already ridden his bald marble in his very neat classic. And the sheets were added. His partner was a textbook example of the fact that a headscarf can be elegant and not confrontational.

Open drive 2.0

Such a head full of sunburn is the reason why convertible drivers in structurally warm countries keep the hood closed during the day and the air conditioning high. The slogan 'only mad dogs and Englishisms go out in the mid day sun' has its grounds. The hood is only lowered at dusk. To enjoy the wind that caresses you. To see and to be seen. Driving a convertible is an easy form of strolling.


Sunburn, sunstroke, overheating. Those are the best things ... Wearing a cap should be mandatory for cabriers. But think about what kind of cap and how you wear it The overheating event can be prevented by wearing a cooling collar, an idea that comes from Australia. Consult your local classic shop owner to Cobber or Heat Guard.

Also stressful for technology

But it is not only the people (and animals) who are struggling with the unexpected happiness of a real summer. If your classic has any problem with its cooling circuit, then such a real summer is the ideal tool to make those problems clear. Cooling systems are often neglected things. But boiling coolant destroys more than you like. So be very careful when removing the radiator cap. First, wait for about twenty minutes. Then the pressure is off the system.

Then think of:

A polluted radiator
A sub optimal water pump
Sludge in the cooling channels of the engine block. That stuff causes a kind of coolant infarction. Not nice. And putting a stent will not get away in cast iron or aluminum.
A bad thermostat

The appropriate approach?

Flush the system. Just. With a garden hose. It is common to do that against the flow direction. Continue to rinse until the water does not become clearer.

Let the engine run as instructed while a dose of 'radiator flush' has been added. Then drain the coolant and refill the system. And hope that the radiator cleaner has not been the final blow to seals that are not completely fresh anymore. There are people who throw a pure dish from the dishwasher in the coolant. We would not do that. Aluminum and certain plastics are sometimes somewhat hypersensitive to the chemical components in the stuff that make plates and cutlery so shiny again. And note that also some radiator flushing agents that have learned to do so are aggressive towards aluminum. That is stated on the package.

The water pump was one thing in the late 1960s that went with an Opel max. 40.000 kilometer. A block, by the way, often did not last more than a tonne ... So give your classic a new water pump. He likes that.

And how does the thermostat work? Throw that thing in boiling water. Then you can immediately see if it will 'open'.

If you keep an eye on all of that, you will not get Summertime blues, but it will remain a cheering 'Summer in the city'.

And people who drive air cooled?
They are lucky!

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The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
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