How to Prepare Your Classic Car for Spring

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The snow is (almost) gone, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, which can only mean one thing – spring is here in South Dakota. After a long winter of freezing temperatures, salt-covered roads and piles of the white stuff, you may be itching to take your classic car out for a spin, and we don’t blame you! But before you reintroduce your beauty to the world, follow these car maintenance tips to ensure your first drive of the season results in smiles and not tears.

Do a visual inspection

First, take a moment and conduct a once-over of your car. Check to make sure your wipers are in good condition and make sure that your tires are properly inflated with an air pressure gauge. Pop the hood and take a look at the wiring; small animals are notorious for gnawing on the wires of stored cars. Make a mental note of any new dings or scratches. Also, check your spark plugs, as well as the condition of all belts and hoses. Keep an eye out for fraying or cracks, and replace as necessary.

Test battery and change fluids

Next, clean off the battery and connect it if you disconnected it before storage; if it stayed connected throughout the winter, charge it now to make sure you’ll be able to actually get it out of the garage and enjoy it after you’re done prepping it. Even if you put your car away with all new fluids in the fall, check the levels anyway. Better yet, go ahead and swap out all the fluids for new oil, antifreeze and brake fluid, which tends to pick up moisture over time.

Polish it up

Even if your pride and joy has been sitting in the garage for months, it has still collected dust and dirt. Park it in the driveway and bask in the sunshine while you suds it up and get it sparkling again! A good coat of wax won’t hurt, either, and will really get you in the mood to take it out and show it off.

Start it up

Now the time we’ve been waiting for – seeing if all systems are “go” and your classic car roars to life. You may want to put in fresh gasoline to help the process along. Let the car idle for a bit, while not revving the engine, and walk around your car, looking underneath for any leaks. Also, grab a buddy to make sure all lights are working correctly, including the turn signals and brake lights.

Take it out

Finally, the moment has come to back out of your driveway and make the neighborhood’s jaws drop! A nice, leisurely drive to soak up the fresh spring air and observe the freshly bloomed flowers is sure to lift your spirits and make cabin fever a thing of the past.

Nothing says warm weather like a spring drive with your windows down! Make sure to stop by Pioneer Auto Show the next time you’re in the area and check out our vast collection of unique and rare classic cars.

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