What you should check before departing with your classic car
In case you ever wondered what are the usual needed checks you have to perform on a your classic to take her out for a ride, here comes our guide.
1. Check your battery output power
Especially in cold weather. Low temperatures might drain your battery faster than expected, so always make sure it’s up to scratch if you’ve haven’t checked it in a while. You can find tester really cheap online. Basically, you don’t want to be left stranded on a hot summer day but on a cold day, it’s just worse !
2. Your spare tyre should be ready to be used
Make sure the spare tyre in your boot is in working and usable condition before departing with your car. It may be sitting in your boot for many years but you will sure be thankful it’s there when you need it. Some MOTs in different country may oblige the car to have it in good conditions, but other like the UK is not the case. It is also important to remember to check the tyre pressure of the spare one, because if your insurance policy doesn’t have recovery cover, on top of a flat spare tyre you will be left helpless. Try to avoid it, please.
3. Check the pressure of all tyres regularly too
The car contact the world through the tyres. They are another security device for you. Too low or too high pressure are equally harmful but with different consequences. With low tyre pressure your car will be severely impacted in its ability to steer and break. Your car will be especially dangerous in the rain and on top of that you will be prone to a blow out. On the other hand, a high tyre pressure can affect the braking distance of a car, on top of that, it can result in a loss of grip due to the fact less there is less part of the tire in contact with the road. Both issues make the tyre wear away in a bad way and will also make you spend more money as you’ll have to replace them quicker.
4. Visual check the tyre tread depths before departing
Following with tyres, checking your tread depths is also advised before you start the engine. For safety precautions make sure you have your tread depths are within the legal limit of at least 1.6mm (or 4mm if you have Winter tyres in a country with compulsory legislation about them).
5. Make sure engine oil levels are correct
Having your engine oil at the correct level is essential for the regular use and future of your engine. It’ll help you prevent very costly damage. I assume one of the last things you want to do is have to replace your engine after something which could have been so easily avoided. Bear in mind it is not just the money but also the time you’ll have to leave the car on the garage to fix it.
6. Don’t run out of screen wash
Making sure your screen wash is topped up is crucial so you can have clear vision on the road . Classic cars are usually vehicles where all concentration is needed, so if without the appropriate amount of screen wash your eyesight is restricted, you may not spot any hazards on the road and you might end up suffering an avoidable accident.
7. Check coolant levels too
Having the correct amount of coolant level in your engine is a must. Your engine might overheat and if it does, it will lead to a costly repair which might include a refurbish or replace of your engine. Make sure you have enough coolant to avoid this expensive mistake that can be easily forgotten about.
8. Front beams and rest of lights should all work
The lights on your cars should be in a road worthy conditions to see in the night and also for other driver seeing you. Having blown bulbs on your car can lead to lower visibility along with a possible fine if caught by the police, as it is dangerous for yourself and your vision of the road. Be aware the fuses might be the ones causing the electrical problem and not just the bulbs, both repairs are fairly easy and even any amateur should be able to change the lights.
9. Plan ahead your refuelling stops and breaks when doing a long trip
It is not just your car you need to prepare on a road trip, it is a fantastic idea to plan ahead your fuel stops and comfort breaks. This will lead to a journey with less stress and a more enjoyable and comfortable trip.
10. If in doubt check with your garage
If you ever feel unsure or even unsafe in your car, call your garage and get an answer to your concerns. Having a health check at your local garage can be a great way of making sure everything is running correctly, a mechanic will happily check your car for anything not up to speed, as their best interest is your safety and that your car is running to its best of its ability.
I hope you can enjoy all your rides going forward.
Picture thanks to petrolicious