With mass gatherings of any scale banned for many people around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s highly unlikely for any car show to be happening anytime soon. In fact, you probably shouldn’t be going out and driving much at all!
With most people staying at home to ride the pandemic out, it’s important to store your precious cars properly. After all, when this crisis ends, you’ll probably want your classic Minis to run easily and without any malfunction occurring!
As a car enthusiast, you’re probably already aware that cars need to be maintained, even when not in use. This is especially true for classic cars, which are a bit more fragile than their modern counterparts.
Here is a four-point checklist for storing your cars properly to make sure that once the pandemic ends, your classic Minis can rule the streets again.
Save a spot in your garage
The best place to store your classic car will always be a closed garage where you can protect it from the elements. In a closed garage, you will be able to mitigate some damaging effects of temperature change, such as humidity and condensation.
While this can seem harmless for a few days, humidity and condensation can introduce moisture inside your car that may lead to mould growth—which leaves a permeating stale smell. If you keep your classic car in your garage, you can afford to leave the windows slightly open to allow the air to circulate.
However, if you cannot store your classic car in a dry environment, another tip is to keep its fuel tank full. This way, there will be less space for moisture to form condensation, which can result in corrosion.
Turn it over once in a while
Your engine is a complex machine that needs to stay lubricated, even when not in use. Because of this, it’s a good idea to start your engine and let it idle for a while. This will allow the oil to circulate inside your engine and even let you check battery health. Since car batteries can go bad without giving any signs, letting it run is about the only way to check if it’s still in good shape.
While getting your engine lubricated by idling is beneficial in itself, you should also check for your brakes and suspension by making a quick run around your block for a few minutes. This helps you check for any issues with the brake pads and other mechanical systems and perform any repair or maintenance as necessary.
Change the oil, filter, and coolant
There are several parts of your car that deteriorate over time, even when not in use. One of these parts is your engine oil, filter, and coolant. The standard practice, even for old classic cars, is to replace the oil and filter every 3000 km.
With your car not running very much, it may be tempting to keep the oil and let it run warm every once in a while. However, it’s actually good practice to replace your engine oil and filter twice a year, even when you’re not running more than 3000 km! This ensures that your engine is always running with viscous oil that retains its lubricating and cooling properties.
Take care of the battery
Traditional lead-acid car batteries are notoriously temperamental as they age, even if they haven’t been used for a while. The most common problems that develop with stored cars is corrosion in the terminals of the battery.
This develops from the hydrogen gas being released from the battery’s acids reacting with the air around it, causing corrosion. It, in turn, can cause undercharging and premature deterioration of the battery in your classic car.
This is why it’s important to clean the terminals with a solution of baking soda and water. You can use a steel brush to remove any stubborn gunk on the terminals.
Classic cars are not just an investment. To many enthusiasts, they represent important and cherished memories of a bygone era where these classic cars used to be the kings of the streets. Follow these four tips to keep your pride and joy running smoothly. You’ll probably enjoy driving it when the quarantine ends.
UK Minis hold classic car giveaways for people who appreciate the exquisite charm of vintage cars. Browse our website and participate in one of our online car competitions, and get the chance to win a class mini. Connect with us today!