Springtime Classic Car Maintenance
– By Pioneer Auto Museum
The arrival of spring means many things to many people. For some, it means green grass, flowers in bloom, and the rebirth of leaves on the trees. For others, it means tan lines and lake days are just around the corner. But for some of us, it means one thing; it’s time to get that classic out of the garage! Yessir, she has sat there, idle for months, giving us those doe-like eyes with her headlights that practically plead for us to just give her key a turn, and perhaps a gentle step upon the throttle pedal. She has been so lonely out there, freezing her bumper off, with not so much as a refuel, or soft cloth ran along her fenders. But now, it’s time to rekindle your relationship, and give her all the love and attention she deserves!
Now, don’t think that you’re just going to jump in that driver seat, and suddenly be back in her good graces. No, she needs some reassurance that you’re ready to commit to spending some quality time with her. Luckily for you, Pioneer Auto knows a thing or three about car maintenance, and we’ve put together a spring-time checklist to ensure that you do the right things to win her over once again.
- Visual Inspection: When was the last time you even looked at her? We mean really given her a good look. Before you go pulling her out for your first date of the spring, you’re going to want to spend a little time getting reacquainted with her. Take a good look at her exterior; are there any scratches or dings that may have occurred when you weren’t paying attention? Check under the hood; is everything as beautiful as it was before you sidelined her for the winter? Are the windshield wipers and windshield free of any cracks? Take a moment to clean her battery terminals, and maybe throw it on the charger for a few hours. Grab your tire gauge and check the pressure all around, while also making sure that the sub-zero winter temps didn’t cause her tires to develop cracks.
- Fluids: Sure, maybe you checked all of her vitals before saying goodbye for the winter, but you owe it to her to give her a fresh batch. Check and change her oil, brake fluid, coolant, and steering fluid. Make sure all the caps and gaskets are free of dirt and debris.
- Lights: A simple way to let her know you care. Make sure she can still wink properly at the cars behind her, and that she can see clearly in the dark.
- Start her up: Think baby steps, here. Crawl before you walk. Let her idle for a few minutes, while you check the ground underneath to make sure there are no leaks. If all is clear, you can then back her out of that garage she’s called home all winter.
- Give her a bath: She’s no doubt gathered a winters worth of dust and probably isn’t feeling very pretty. We recommend using sheepskin, or chenille cloths for washing. Start from the top and wash your way down, checking for leaks around the windows, sunroof, and roof seals. When it’s time to dry, use microfiber cloths or a soft leather chamois. After you’re done, take a step back and remember why you fell in love with her in the first place.
- Take her out for an adventure: Now that you’ve worked your way back into her heart, it’s time to take a ride together. Take a leisurely drive through the beautiful Black Hills and enjoy the twists and turns of the Needles Highway. Enjoy a sunrise cruise to the stunning Badlands, and turn her stereo up as you wind through the landscape. From there, you can travel just a bit to the east, to Murdo, SD, and stop in to say thank you to all of us at the Pioneer Auto Museum for helping you rekindle your relationship with that classic beauty of yours.
At the Pioneer Auto Museum, we love all of our vehicles. Come show us your love, and spend the day learning about all of the rare classic cars we’ve had here over the last 65 years!