Posted by: Amy Lassen | December 6, 2007

Things to remember getting your classic car out of storage.

10 Tips for Taking Your Classic Car Out of Storage

If it’s time for the car show, or you simply hear the call of Spring, it’s time go get your beauty out of storage to start driving. Although it’s not necessary that your engine be this glossy, here are some things you should do to keep her in tip top shape before you hit the road:


    1. Drain and properly dispose of the gas in the carburetor, the tank and the fuel lines. It’s a necessary waste because bad gas can cause problems! Plus, if it doesn’t start, you’ve saved yourself some time by already eliminating that as the reason.
    2. Drain, flush and replace the coolant. Many types of coolant have corrosion inhibitors to help protect your system. These have been eating away at the rust inside your cooling system for the past few months. Flushing things out could prevent a blockage and overheating the next time the temperature climbs. A 50/50 coolant/water mix will be great.
    3. Change the oil. Over months, sitting oil can become contaminated with water and possibly acids that cause rust and bearing failure inside the engine. Now is also a good time to change the oil filter.
    4. Give the battery a fresh charge and keep it warm while you attend to the rest of the car.
    5. If the car has been left for more than three months, remove the sparkplugs and apply some form of upper-cylinder lubricant into the cylinders. This will help loosen any piston rings that may be stuck.
    6. Bleed the brakes and check the operation. Make sure the master cylindars for the brake and  the clutch are full of fluid. Make absolutely sure your brakes are working before tearing off down the street!  Don’t forget to also check the operation of the emergency brake!
    7. Replace the warm and fully-charged battery in the car. While the spark plugs are removed, turn the engine over several times. The goal is to let the oil you put into the cylinders lubricate the cylinder walls, so you don’t scratch things up, and also to ‘prime’ the oil and fuel pumps ready for ignition. You want to continue cranking the engine until the oil pressure gauge needle moves up, or your oil pressure ‘idiot’ light goes out.
    8. Install the spark plugs, careful to reattach the leads correctly. Remove the air filter cover and spray some starter fluid like “Ez-Start” into the mouth of the carburetor. This will greatly increase the chances that your car will start the first time. You want to do everything possible to ensure your engines starts right up. Leave the air filter cover off for now.
    9. Make sure the gears are not engaged, depress the clutch, give it a little bit of gas or choke and turn the key! (Hopefully you are exhilerated by the sounded of the engine!)
    10. Let it idle (without revving) until it reaches operating temperature. Replace the air filter cover. Check for fluid leaks under the car, check the brakes again, then take the car on a short 30 minute run. This evaporate all the moisture in the exhaust and the engine. When you return, check again that there are no leaks under the car. Polish her up, giving plenty of time for the wax to dry before you take her out again. You are ready for a season of driving!



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