How To Prepare Your Classic Car For Its First Chicago Spring Drive

Ready to take your classic car out for the first spring drive?

Chicago winters mean cold weather, and most classic cars are stored away from the snow and the ice. And while you prep your classic car for winter, don’t forget to do the same for spring driving — even if that car has been stored all winter.  

Following the simple tips below will help ensure that everything is okay and safe — for both you and the car — before you get on the street.

How To Prepare Your Classic Car For Its First Chicago Spring Drive with Tips from Milito's Auto Repair of Lincoln Park Chicago 60614

1. Do a visual inspection

Carefully examine your car’s exterior, under the hood, and inside the cabin, making note of any safety or appearance concerns. Check your wipers to ensure they are still good and that the windshield is free of cracks or nicks. Tires can crack over the winter, so check each tire and also use a tire gauge to measure the pressure. This is also the time to clean and check your battery, putting it on the charger in prep for a drive.

2. Check and change all your fluids

Even if you changed your oil before storing your classic car for the winter, it never hurts to change it in preparation for the warmer months. In addition, check your brake fluid and antifreeze as well, and go ahead and change what needs changing or take it to a qualified mechanic who can quickly ensure all fluids are optimal.

3. Ensure all lights work correctly

Now is the time to grab your best friend or neighbor (who is jealous of your cool classic car) and have them help you check to make sure all your lights are working and bright. This includes not only the headlights, but also turn signals and brake lights.

4. Start it up

First step? Open up the garage door so you don’t off yourself with carbon monoxide poisoning. With that important step out of the way, fire up that classic car and (hopefully) listen to that engine purr. Just let the engine idle, don’t rev it like crazy, and do a second check for leaking fluids under the car. If everything looks and sounds good, get behind the wheel and back it out of the garage.

5. Give it a wash

When the car is mechanically ready for spring, now comes the time to wash and wax it. As you know, special care should be taken with a classic car. It’s recommended you use sheepskin or chenille cloths or gloves to prevent marks. When washing, start at the top of the car and work down, so dirt doesn’t drip on clean surfaces, and thoroughly rinse the car, making sure there are no leaks from sunroof seals, roof seals, or window seals. After thoroughly drying the vehicle with clean and dry soft leather chamois or microfiber cloths, go ahead and put on a coat of wax to make it really shine.

6. Check your insurance

Before you head out in your classic car, make sure that your inspection, registration, and insurance are all valid. Even if you didn’t change coverage, it’s smart to regularly speak to your car insurance agent to learn about possible discounts and optional coverage.

7. Kick it into drive

Now that everything is inspected, changed, washed, polished, and checked, it’s time to get behind the wheel and take it for a spin. Don’t burn rubber, but instead go for a nice leisurely drive, listening for noises that looking for things that don’t feel right. Assuming all is well, you’re now set to enjoy your classic car throughout the warmer Chicago months.

Benefits of Taking Your Classic Car To Milito’s Auto Repair

Our mechanics have undergone extensive training and have gained practical experience for years, which is how they gained their knowledge about the internal mechanics of classic cars. Their superior services and professionalism are unmatched, and will reassure you at every step of the repair and maintenance of your classic car.

Contact Milito’s Auto Repair about any issues you’re experiencing with your classic car, and bring your vehicle in to make sure it’s in the best possible shape before you hit the Chicago roads!

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